Digital Ad Payments Can Be Complex, But They Don’t Have To Be


While paying for digital advertising placements has gotten a lot simpler in recent years, it can still be complex. Anyone wanting to run a digital campaign, for example, has to know which pricing model (for example, Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Mille/Thousand Impressions (CPM), Cost Per Action (CPA), and more) each platform uses, how to use the auction system, and ensure that they can make cross-border payments in the currency required. 


It’s a lot for one person, or even a dedicated ad-buying team to keep track of. But this complexity can also make it difficult for companies that are entering the digital ad space for the first time to get full value out of their online marketing efforts. That’s no small thing either. After all, if you’re a business owner, you want to meet your customers where they are. And with Africans spending an increasing amount of time online (South Africa actually leads the world on this metric), that means having a presence on the biggest digital platforms and, more particularly, the ones most relevant to your business.


Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Advances in a number of fields mean that digital ad payments can be much simpler than has historically been the case.


Understanding complexities 


Before looking at what those advances entail and allow for, it’s important to understand some of the factors behind ad payment complexity.


In addition to the wide variety of pricing models mentioned above, a significant part of the issue is the sheer number of platforms that offer advertising products. Each of those platforms has its own payment systems, pricing models, and rules. Advertisers often need to work with multiple platforms to reach their target audiences effectively.


Many digital ads are also placed through real-time auctions where advertisers bid for ad placements in milliseconds. Advertisers (or, more typically, their media buying partners) need to make rapid decisions about bids and budgets to secure desired placements. Another, related issue is that ad prices can fluctuate based on demand, user behaviour, and other factors. Advertisers need to adapt and optimise their budgets accordingly.


Additionally, digital advertising operates across international boundaries, involving different currencies, tax regulations, and payment methods. Advertisers must manage these complexities when running global campaigns.


These are, of course, other factors that add to the complexity of digital ad payments, but the ones listed above go some way to illustrating how advertisers might miss out on getting full impact from their marketing efforts. That’s not only to the detriment of the advertisers but also to the advertising platforms themselves, who end up missing out on valuable revenue from dissatisfied customers.


Taking a new approach 


In other words, there’s a lot to be gained from making ad payments simpler. Whether you are a native digital advertiser based in Africa aiming to reach consumers in the US, who need hassle-free credit in local currency, or an ad tech platform aiming to offer your services, your experience should be as straight-forward as possible.


That’s part of the reason we’ve launched Aleph Payments. It’s a straight-forward cross-border credit and payment offering which allows eligible advertisers in 130 markets a line of credit for advertising. Once accepted, the advertiser pays Aleph invoices in local currencies, settling exchange and taxes, and allowing all of this to simplify commercial operations for digital ad-tech players.


Ideally, the more of this kind of simplicity we see in the sector, the more we can anticipate the expansion of  the digital ecosystem in emerging economies such as Africa. That’s because simplicity leads to enhanced accessibility and creates an ecosystem that’s more user-friendly for everyone to navigate.


Less complexity benefits everyone 


Ideally, the more of this kind of simplicity we see in business, the more growth we’ll see in the US$800 billion digital ecosystem in emerging economies. Because simplicity equates to better accessibility and a simpler ecosystem for everyone to function in.