The Importance of Proper Payment Processors

One thing that I see a lot (and something that will require it’s own resource segment) is the ignorance regarding how one receives payment for ANY online interaction that may be considered adult. For those of us in the BDSM, Kink, & Fetish arena it’s important that we are safe and aware of what we need to do and know to make this a profitable venture. So, to be the most aware it’s important to understand what is safe to use.

The term “high risk merchant” is indicative of a payment processor which handles accounts and companies that have potential issues with customers that may pose a risk and put the processing merchant in danger of losing money. It’s understandable that these options want to avoid these risks and the industry in which that is the most prevalent is the adult industry.

So what is the risk here? Two words: Charge backs. (“cb”s for short).

A charge back occurs when a purchase is made but then disputed by the customer. The reasons for the dispute can be anything from they didn’t receive the promised product, they were accidentally charged, or their card was even stolen. Unfortunately this happens quite a bit in the adult industry. One reason is potentially trying to hide certain purchases from, let’s say, a spouse. Regret tends to be behind this quite a bit or the malevolent position of simply trying to steal from the provider. Yes, a bit dick-ish.

Due to these occurrences many payment processors bow out of supporting transactions that are in anyway related to the adult industry. This is typically stated in their terms of service (which unfortunately few read) of their stance on what actions are taken if such an instance is found whether the transaction is even an issue at all. For example PayPal will freeze an account that is even suspect of being used for anything adult related. This usually results in losing the funds in the account and no longer be able to use it at all.

Paypal isn’t the only processor that does this. In fact most popular merchants absolutely will not facilitate transactions if there can be any way to connect the account to the adult industry.

Anti-Adult Industry Payment Processors

  • PayPal
  • Venmo (they are owned by PayPal)

  • CashApp
  • Circle Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Amazon Gift Cards (Amazon is not as strict but in their ToS you cannot use these cards as a means of monetary exchange for services.)

  • Gift Rocket (not as likely to enforce but still not meant for adult content)

Adult Friendly Payment Processors

The processors above work by having a tip or tribute option which customers can utilize and be linked to specifically. These companies are meant specifically for adult content and work through a larger “high risk” merchant. While one could employ their own merchant service it is very expensive to initially set up. CCBill, one of the top adult payment processors online, has a VISA set up fee of over $1000 which isn’t practical for most.

From my experience if a potential customer is unwilling to use any of the above and insists on something such as PayPal this is a huge red flag. They are aware that they can cancel the payment or dispute it later which puts you at risk any time this is used. Also, there are people who work for these companies whose job it is to specifically seek out websites which are using their services for “high risk” transactions. And trust me, they will shut you down.

It is absolutely worth the percentage they take to use the safer services. Not only are they meant for it they protect both you and the customer. Many of them also protect you against charge backs and will absorb the damage. This is nice considering you could start a new payment period in the negative due to a charge back. Should this protection matter to you make sure the platform you investigate offers cb protection.

Bottom line, DO NOT accept or advertise that you accept payment through any of the payment processors which are anti-adult work. With FOSTA/SESTA becoming more of an issue this is being cracked down even harder than before. Protect yourself, establish yourself, and work only through the appropriate platforms.


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