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Beyond Cards: Giving Members More Ways to Pay

Beyond Cards: Giving Members More Ways to Pay

Diya in India chooses PhonePe, Hendry in Indonesia prefers GoPay, while Ting-ting just adds it to her ChungHwa Telecom bill in Taiwan.

 All three are Netflix members but instead of using a credit or debit card for their subscription, they are using alternative payment methods such as Unified Payments Interface (UPI), digital wallet and direct carrier billing respectively.

While Netflix entertains members around the world, the way they pay is very specific to where they live. That’s why we’re working hard to localize payment methods in APAC, so that we can meet our members where they are.

We accelerated this journey of diversifying payment methods nine months ago and the results have been impressive. From 2020 to 2021, the number of new subscribers signing up using an alternative payment method more than tripled as we added 16 new payment partners. The trend continues this year, with the number of signups with such payment methods having already doubled over the same period last year. 

This is due to a combination of push-pull factors. Across the region, there’s been a greater preference for these methods. The Global Payments Report estimates that digital wallets will make up 72 percent of e-commerce transactions in APAC by 2025. Currently, digital wallets, direct carrier billing and bank-based payments are some of the most popular payment methods among our new signups.

On the other hand, not all members have access to credit cards, and debit cards often don’t work as well as they should for subscription transactions in their markets. For example in India, a number of cards are not enabled for recurring payments, while in Southeast Asia many banks require customers to opt in for online payments adding another step of friction. That leaves our members scrambling every month to make sure they can continue watching their favorite shows like Stranger Things or Money Heist.

Moreover, customers in APAC are generally concerned over payment security and are not comfortable storing their card numbers online, which is one reason they might prefer to use a mobile number linked to a wallet. 

Putting our members first

To make payments easy and convenient for our members, we are giving them a spectrum of payment methods so that anyone who would like a Netflix subscription can pay for it whenever and however they want.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach though. At Netflix we meticulously A/B test any new payment method prior to roll out and launch to make sure this is truly something our customers want and is delivering incremental value.

In India, we were the first merchant to launch UPI autopay. In Indonesia, leading mobile wallet GoPay was the first e-money payment option on Netflix in the country. Even in more mature markets like South Korea and Taiwan, where card payments are still the norm, there’s a strong demand for direct carrier billing, along with an increased growth in digital wallets.

On top of that, we also manage retail payments such as gift cards and of course the traditional cards like credit, debit and prepaid. We are always looking for new ways to improve the payment experience for our members, be it by offering methods of payments that they prefer or by optimizing user journeys to make payments more seamless.

Protecting our members’ payment data is our top priority. As a PCI-compliant organization, we adhere to the payment card industry’s standards of keeping customer card data secure, which includes not storing CVV numbers. We are also the first merchant to leverage tokenization — a method of encrypting cardholder personal data — globally to increase security for sensitive payment information.

Because of our in-house expertise in payments fraud, we’re able to proactively share fraud trends or A/B testing results on payments trials with others in the ecosystem such as our payment and bank partners, wallet providers and new tech platforms. By being a good partner, we hope that, together, we can build a better experience for our members, and a stronger ecosystem for all.

Check out the various methods of payment for each country here.