Reducing Churn with Account Updater

Subscribe Pro

September 13, 2023

Minimizing churn should always top of mind any business selling products on a subscription model. Account Updater stands out as an indispensable tool to help reduce involuntary customer churn. Major card brands like Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover each offer their own version of the Account Updater service. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of Account Updater (AU) and how it is valuable to business selling subscriptions.

The Fundamentals: How Account Updater Works

Visa VAU Flow

Account Updater is a service that relies on a secure exchange of updated account information between card issuers, card brands, and merchants. In simple terms, when a customer’s card details change due to expiration, loss, or theft, the service ensures that their payment information in your secure vault is automatically updated.

How Subscribe Pro Account Updater Works

Once you have enabled Account Updater for your account, Subscribe Pro will automatically send card information to the card brands twice per month in batches, starting on the 1st and 15th of each month. The card brands will then attempt to update the card information and send the updated information back to Subscribe Pro. Subscribe Pro will then update the payment profile with the new card information.

See our payments documentation for more details on using Subscribe Pro Account Updater.

Key Advantages

Escalating Approval Rates

Account Updater can drastically decrease declines due to outdated payment information, improving your approval rates. The financial repercussions of these declines extend beyond the lost revenue; they also affect your authorization and decline rate KPIs, and you end up paying fees for failed authorization attempts.

Mitigating Churn

Consider this: nearly 30% of payment cards in the U.S. are reissued annually. Without Account Updater, imagine the revenue loss and potential customer churn from not being able to charge 30% of the stored cards. Account Updater allows you to preempt declines related to card reissuance, recovering between 2-10% of your monthly revenue.

Quantifying the Impact

Take a hypothetical scenario where your business processes 1,000 transactions at an average order value of $25, with a decline rate of 10%. Your revenue is $22,500. By incorporating Account Updater, you could potentially reduce your decline rate by 10%, lifting your revenue to $22,750.

Moreover, every decline prevented is a step toward retaining the full lifetime value of a customer, which, for a subscription lasting 12 billing cycles at $25, is $275.

Elevating Customer Experience

Account Updater eliminates the hassle of manually updating card information, thereby creating a smoother, more reliable experience for your customers. This seamless customer journey can significantly enhance their perception of your brand, making them more likely to stay subscribed.


Implementing Account Updater is far from a discretionary upgrade; it’s a necessity for anyone serious about mastering the complexities of recurring billing. With benefits ranging from higher approval rates and reduced churn to improved customer satisfaction, Account Updater not only optimizes your operational efficiency but also propels your business to new heights of profitability and customer loyalty.

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