What, Why, How?
One of the biggest concerns we, affiliates in the gaming industry who have been around for a while, share with our fellow affiliates is the possibility of affiliate programs 'shaving' players. Not every affiliate runs into this problem, it exists among affiliate programs.
For those of you who are not familiar with the expression: "Shaving" in the affiliate industry is done using different methods. The most severe form of shaving is to delete a player from the statistics of an affiliate program so it appears as if the person never signed up through the referral link of an affiliate, this means money is held back from an affiliate.
Another way of shaving is diminishing affiliate revenues by charging ambiguous fees, for example: "Costs for maintaining network". Some networks use these ‘costs’ to justify subtracting a whole percentage of the amount, which essentially is the same as stealing.
This form of shaving is done in two forms. We call it ‘passive shaving’ when a program subtracts a percentage, but announces the fees in its Terms & Conditions. ‘Active shaving’ is the more severe form, because the program takes out a percentage from the affiliate fees to be paid to the affiliate, but the affiliate is not aware of this because it isn’t in the T&Cs.
AffiliateSecure.com has developed a unique method to scan data for changes in affiliate statistics. With the help of a team of trusted affiliates, we test affiliate stats continuously, making self-testing by affiliates pretty much redundant. Our work also prevents affiliates getting banned by affiliate programs when signing up family members for testing purposes. The affiliates have reason to do this, but programs may think they are abusing the system to receive bonuses. Through our method, operators will never know who is testing them and when we are testing them, which makes it a bigger risk for an affiliate program to engage in shaving activities.
AffiliateSecure’s system scans data continuously for signs of active shaving of affiliates, because we feel shaving is wrong and the money belongs to the affiliate (?). Programs that pass our tests and do not engage in these malpractices can apply for an "Affiliatesecure.com Seal of Approval".
This way we hope to set one step closer to eliminating shaving from our industry and to create a new standard based on honesty and ethics for affiliates in the gaming industry, we hope that soon all affiliates will look for our seal before signing up to a new program. (?)