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Merchant success stories
How the Financial Times creates a friction-free subscription experience

How the Financial Times creates a friction-free subscription experience

Jun 15, 2023

The Financial Times is a renowned global news organization widely respected for its accuracy, credibility, and expertise. With a monthly readership of 22.5 million and over a million paying subscribers, the FT Group is committed to leading investigative journalism and breaking news stories.

Those million-plus subscribers enable the Financial Times to continue investing in high-quality content. That means the organization places a premium on ensuring subscribers can make payments smoothly and without interruption.

It's a complex challenge, with payment failures accounting for up to 40% of involuntary churn in subscription-based businesses.

Managing this challenge and delivering an industry-leading payment experience is the job of Bernard Kpoor, Head of Payment Optimization. Here he explains how enables the FT to avoid involuntary churn by ensuring customer card details are current, navigating SCA requirements and optimizing acceptance for first-time subscribers.

A performance-driven payments partner

The Financial Times began processing with in 2019. Kpoor explains that they selected because of its modern payment infrastructure and proven performance.

"We've built a strong partnership with over the years," says Kpoor. "'s flexible technology provides us with the tools we need to offer a great experience to our customers, leading to higher conversion rates for first-time subscribers."

One example of's contribution is its collaboration with the FT to meet the Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements. Under SCA, first-time subscribers may need to authenticate themselves through their bank. Adding friction to the process may give potential subscribers a split-second to reconsider their choice and back out of the transaction.

Additionally, Kpoor highlights's range of optimization tools as another crucial factor driving the partnership's success. "Accepting recurring payments is crucial to our business," says Kpoor. " understands this and collaborates with us to leverage the latest tools to minimize the risk of payment failure and subsequent churn."

One of these tools is the Real-time Account Updater, which automatically updates stored Visa and Mastercard payment card details when they change. is among a few providers in Europe that offer both Visa and Mastercard account updater services.

Using Real-time Account Updater, the Financial Times prevents involuntary churn caused by expired card credentials. It also saves significant internal resources that would have been spent chasing customers to update their credentials manually. The time and effort saved can be redirected to other areas of the FT's business.

Another tool that is deploying for the Financial Times is Network Tokens, which improves payment performance and again reduces the risk of involuntary churn.

The deployment of Network Tokens is strategic and dynamic because, despite its benefits, the solution, which replaces a customer's PAN with a secure token, is not accepted uniformly by issuers. To solve this challenge, uses its wealth of transaction data and strong issuer relationships to ascertain when to leverage Network Tokens versus standard PAN information.

"Since going live with network tokenization with, the Financial Times has seen an overall increase of 1.5% on tokenized transactions. This has not only enhanced their success rate but has led to an enhanced user journey removing pain points such as out-of-date credentials.

Trusted global payments for a trusted global brand

As a standard bearer for quality journalism that makes sense of international politics, economies & business, the FT is one of Britain's prized global exports. And Kpoor is now focused on working with to ensure the FT can continue scaling globally without incurring unnecessary costs and complexity.

"We’re looking to expand our range of alternative payment methods (APMs) to ensure our customers in different regions can pay with their preferred payment methods. We also want to leverage’s different licenses as we expand and scale our business in different geographies to ensure we're optimizing for performance and cost."

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