Netflix Thinks You’re Letting Your Subscription Lapse When Your New EMV Payment Card Arrives

You are, presumably, a financially responsible adult, or aspire to become one. Yet it’s easy for even the most financially responsible grown-up to forget to change everything over when you receive a new credit or debit card. As banks are supposed to replace all of our cards for the EMV changeover, our forgetting to update the cards on our Netflix accounts is actually affecting the company’s profits. No, really.

The company missed its forecast for subscriber numbers this quarter: they had predicted that they would add 1.15 million, and instead added 880,000. As they explained the situation in today’s release of their results and predictions for next year, their best explanation for why hundreds of thousands of members aren’t paying all of a sudden?

Our over-forecast in the US for Q3 was due to slightly higher-than-expected involuntary churn (inability to collect), which we believe was driven in part by the ongoing transition to chip-based credit and debit cards.

To hypothesize further, if most Americans are anything like me, they don’t bother to update the payment card until the next time they feel like watching something on Netflix. That could be the same day that they activate their new card… or not for a few months.

Q3 Results and Q4 Forecast [Netflix] (via Bloomberg)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.