Adult entertainment businesses have been around since the dawn of time. And with rise of the digital age, many of these ventures have migrated to virtual platforms that offer greater privacy for those who enjoy their products and services. But there’s a lot more to their online success than just the anonymity of the platform.
Offering adult products and entertainment online allows businesses and personalities to push the horizons of the fantasy through a safe platform that’s comfortable for all parties involved. That also means that these businesses should be able to process credit or debit card payments for the services and products they provide.
Unfortunately, setting up an adult business merchant account might not be as easy as it seems. Considered a high risk merchant for most merchant account providers, the options might be limited for businesses in the adult industry. On the upside, these 6 choices have been known to provide excellent services for those catering to adult audiences.
As a favorite merchant account provider for most businesses in the online adult industry, PaymentCloud provides a mix of services that give their clients all-in-one solutions for all of their web-based needs. They integrate with a number of web hosting services on top of working together with well known payment gateways like Authorize.net so you can get all of the solutions you need in one package.
Another thing that’s ideal about PaymentCloud is that their solutions are available for all the different segments of the adult business niche, leaving out only escort services. That means businesses with services and products that cross between different segments of the adult entertainment industry can receive solutions with just a single provider.
And then, of course, there’s customer support. PaymentCloud offers prompt, helpful, and informative customer support services. If you’ve been running your adult industry business for a while, then you know how important it is to be able to contact your merchant account provider whenever a transaction hiccup happens (and they’ll happen a lot.)
Rates and fees for PaymentCloud aren’t set in stone and vary widely depending on the specifics of your venture. To find out more about the cost of their services and the add-ons they provide, it would be best to reach out to them directly for a more accurate quotation.
With a reputation for low rates and reasonable fees, Durango Merchant Services places itself close to the front of the running. Their highly responsive and reliable customer support team has won over the hearts of many of those in search of trustworthy merchant services for high risk businesses in the adult entertainment industry.
However it’s not entirely clear which specific kinds of adult businesses Durango accepts for their merchant account services, it’s safe to assume that they don’t really draw any lines anywhere. They also offer both domestic merchant accounts and offshore accounts in a number of countries in case that might be necessary for their clients.
If you’re looking to learn more about their rates, Durango doesn’t publicly disclose how much they charge for their merchant account services and associated fees. However, they are known for their fair pricing and competitive rates. And while they might offer extended contracts compared to others in the industry, it’s worth noting that Durango doesn’t charge early termination fees.
If you’re running an adult business involved in one of the higher risk segments of the industry, like escort services, then eMerchant Broker might be for you. These guys are popular for not cherry-picking their clients, offering merchant account services to everyone and anyone that might need them — as long as the business is legal.
Much like other providers offering services for high risk merchants, eMerchant Broker is well-known for its sturdy customer support facet that provides prompt assistance whenever needed. However, the quality of their service plus their substantially larger risk appetite come at a cost.
For qualified high risk merchants (such as those with high volumes of transactions and a relatively low chargeback history) eMerchant Broker charges 2.99%. But keep in mind that these rates are for qualified merchants, which means most of those who apply will probably get much higher rates.
They also charge painfully expensive early termination up to $595. But it’s definitely not unheard of to get these terms with most high risk merchant account providers.
Let it be known that Host Merchant Services isn’t exactly high-risk merchant-centric. On the contrary, these guys cater mainly to low and moderate risk merchants but make room in their repertoire for high risk clients nonetheless. For the most part, however, their support for adult businesses mainly centers on membership sites and novelty-slash-toy merchants.
That said, there might be some adult businesses (like escort services) that fall outside of their jurisdiction. And since they don’t fully disclose the extent to which they’ll offer their services in the adult industry, it’s imperative that you take the time to reach out and ask what they can and can’t work with.
Although Host Merchant Services definitely isn’t what you would call a comprehensive service provider like PaymentCloud, they do offer hassle-free merchant account support for their clients. On the upside, they’re also compatible with the most well-known payment gateway service providers that can cater to your processing needs in conjunction with Host Merchant Services.
Although they’re fairly new to the ball game, SMB Global has amassed a large client base because of their reliable service and prompt customer support. And that’s mostly because they’re not exactly new at all. SMB Global sprung out of Payline Data, which explains why they operate with such expertise despite being a fresh face in the high risk merchant account sphere.
For the most part, SMB Global seems to cater to every sector of the adult entertainment and products industry, but most of its services are targeted at the online ecosystem. That means that businesses offering services and products through brick-and-mortars might not get the kind of support or features they need through SMB Global.
Nonetheless, they make up for it with their highly specialized solutions that improve business performance and keep chargebacks low. They also readily integrate with well-known payment gateways like Authorize.net, USA ePay, and Network Merchants Inc. for more advanced payment solutions.
Providing both high risk merchant account and payment gateway solutions, Easy Pay Direct is yet another one of those all-in-one providers that offer a complete payment processing package for their clients. Established in 2012, these guys have allegedly serviced over 60,000 clients.
Keep in mind that Easy Pay Direct’s most prominent service is their EPD Gateway which is a payment gateway solution for electronic payments in various forms. While they don’t hold the merchant accounts themselves, Easy Pay Direct does offer merchant account solutions through their partner institutions. So you can either get a merchant account plus a payment gateway, or just their payment gateway integrated with an existing merchant account.
With a perfect BBB rating, it comes as no surprise that Easy Pay Direct gets the leverage to price their services at slightly higher costs, including a $99 setup fee for merchant accounts. Nonetheless, they make up for their prices with excellent customer support and holistic payment solutions that are available to all sectors of the adult industry.
No doubt, the competition for adult business merchant account providers is getting pretty tight. So as a client, you might find it a little confusing to sift through the options and find one that truly matches your needs. So to narrow down your choices and zero in on a provider that’s a fit for your business, consider these tips:
The term ‘adult business industry’ is a wide umbrella term that can mean any number of things. There are lots of sub-sectors under the adult industry and although all of them are high risk, some are lower risk than others. For instance, toys and novelties are high risk but are lower risk compared to webcam services.
All of these are lower risk compared to escort services, which are considered the highest risk of all. That said, some providers will avoid working with businesses in certain sectors due to their limited risk appetite. If your adult business transcends various sectors, it’s important to choose a provider that accepts all of the sub-segments you dabble in.
A high risk merchant account is just the first step. There are loads of other services and features you’re going to want to look into once you actually have the facilities to accept and process electronic payments.
The majority of the providers you’ll find will offer payment gateway and processing services on top of their merchant account provider. This helps you get everything you need under one roof.
Many of these companies will work together with other payment solutions providers to provide robust processing and security features that can streamline and automate almost every aspect of the payment facet of the transactions you get.
If you’re eyeing other payment gateway providers, then you might want to consider whether or not your chosen merchant account provider can integrate with them for hitch-free processing.
No two adult business merchant account providers are the same. Read the fine print, look into rates, and most importantly, understand what your business really needs. This should help you narrow down your options and partner up with a provider that can help you streamline your payment collection and processing facilities for whatever sector of the adult industry you might be in.