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Adult Merchant Accounts: The Inside Scoop

The adult industry is a profitable one. However, high dispute and chargeback rates come with this lucrative sector. We at TailoredPay can aid you in opening a merchant account for your novelty, dating, or adult-only website.

Accounts for Adult Merchants

“Sex” is the most searched for keyword on the internet. Every month, 72 million unique users visit adult sites, based on studies performed by Statistic Brain in March 2016. Without question, the adult entertainment field has exploded and is profitable. Most of the discouragement of the sector has faded away, more or less. Because of the internet, masturbation has been enhanced. It is quick and easy for a user to pay for what they want at any moment using their credit card. TailoredPay is a thorough, economical provider of adult merchant accounts. TailoredPay focuses on high-risk merchant accounts for companies in the adult entertainment industry. We customize payment processing solutions to accommodate the requirements of merchants in the adult space.

Getting an Adult Merchant Account

Getting a merchant account for a porn site, strip club, online dating site, escort service, or sex store warrants a different process than non-adult businesses. Organizations in the adult industry are responsible for a substantial amount of chargebacks. As such, company owners in the adult industry can’t ask for help from a traditional bank. Many big banks in don’t permit underwriting of adult companies. As a result, these businesses must turn to TailoredPay and other high-risk merchant account providers. TailoredPay allows e-commerce businesses to raise their profits by providing flexible payment solutions and reduced rate structures for card processing on their merchant accounts. You can expect to wait 24 hours or less to find out if your application was approved.

Why Use a Credit Card Processor Instead of an Online Payment System?

Using an online payment system provider like Stripe, Square, or PayPal is a risky endeavor. While these companies don’t accept businesses in the adult sector, they do accept credit card payments to process a transaction. PayPal and Stripe don’t begin the underwriting process until after a company begins accepting credit cards. When they reach the underwriting phase half a year later, merchants learn about the lack of support for adult businesses.

Are All Adult Companies Accepted?

While the field is always going through changes, many reputable, legally-operating companies obtain merchant account approval. TailoredPay services the following types of businesses:

  • Adult Bookstores
  • Adult Novelties and Toys
  • Adult Clothing and Lingerie Stores
  • Adult Content Membership Sites
  • Adult Massage Companies
  • Strip Clubs
  • Escort Services

If a merchant is providing a new kind of service or product that isn’t classified under a recognized category, they can contact TailoredPay for help. A discussion about a service or product can be broken down to an underwriter to expedite the process. For the most part, payment solutions are attainable for all kinds of companies that don’t partake in illegal actions.

What Does the Application Process Entail?

Begin the process by completing our online application. While there are no guarantees, the process will be faster if a company has the following items prepared:

  1. Valid government-issued identification like a Driver’s License
  2. A pre-printed voided check or bank letter
  3. Three months’ worth of bank statements
  4. Three months’ worth of processing statements from your previous or existing provider
  5. EIN (Employer Identification Number) or SSN (Social Security Number)

Further, e-commerce merchants need to have fully functional and secure website.

What You Can Expect During the Review of Your Adult Merchant Application

Illegal businesses won’t be entertained by any adult merchant credit card processor. When underwriters start assessing adult companies, they want to make sure businesses are using proper business principles. Adult merchants must establish that they are running things legally by revealing valid restrictions and disclosures. Post-verification, an underwriter will review the company to determine the risk factor. The underwriter will review the company’s credit card processing history, credit score, the company website, and their bank statements. Such a review is conducted to make sure that the merchant’s bank account balance is positive, doesn’t have a history of late bill payments, and has a low chargeback rate. Further, the company’s website is evaluated to make sure it has an SS certificate, and that there are refund and privacy policies in place. The optimal approach to getting approved is to make a strong first impression. Before underwriting, merchants are encouraged to have their debts paid, and have enough funds in their bank accounts to cover potential chargebacks. The principal who signs the application for a merchant account must have good credit history. Upon assessment of a website by an underwriter, it should be clear that the merchant is running as a reputable, legal entity.

What Occurs Post-Approval?

After getting approved for an account, an adult merchant can start processing credit cards. To minimize chargebacks, TailoredPay can help with getting a chargeback management software up and running. They can also enable chargeback alerts and integrate it with the payment gateway. For payments made online, a fraud filter can be set up, too.

How to raise your volume for credit card processing

Adult merchant accounts are generally accompanied by a monthly credit card processing volume cap. A merchant’s earnings are held back by a specific dollar figure when it comes to processing credit card transactions. After that limit is reached each month, the merchant isn’t able to accept any more payments until the month is over. Growing merchants might require a greater volume limit than the usual credit card processing caps of $100,000 to $200,000. Adult merchants with their bills paid on time, low chargeback ratios, and positive bank balances can ask for an increase. Generally, companies should have a few months’ of processing under their wing prior to submitting a monthly volume increase.

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Disputing a chargeback

Chargebacks happen when a customer contests a credit or debit card charge. The issue gets worse for merchants when they weren’t informed about a dispute, or when it’s too late to resolve the issue on their end. Merchants are uninformed in approximately 58% of unresolved disputes. Merchants are therefore left vulnerable to chargebacks. To stop chargebacks from destroying a company, merchants should develop a way to deal with them. Using proof, time, and resources can help companies fight chargebacks and recoup money lost. To successfully win a dispute, a merchant will have to establish that a customer bought and obtained a service or product. Thorough paperwork that can be referenced at a moment’s notice is important. A signed address, CVV verification, or delivery slip can be sufficient for several transactions. Another helpful piece of proof is correspondence between a customer and merchant, or evidence that a customer used the same IP address for another purchase that wasn’t contested. Merchants have better odds of successfully fighting chargebacks when they can access data easily.

How to stop chargebacks in the adult field

There is a boom happening in the adult services and products field. Worldwide sales of sex toys were over $15.25 million in 2017 based on statistics from Statistic Brain. In spite of society’s tolerance towards the sex industry, many people face shame when a partner or spouse finds out about a “naughty” purchase. This kind of scenario can lead to denial of a purchase, and as such, the purchaser ends up contesting the charge, initiating the chargeback process. Every time a situation like this occurs, it negatively affects the adult company and their merchant account. Sometimes it’s more prudent to prevent something from occurring than to handle the fallout down the road. Online merchants must articulate to consumers how details about their purchase will be displayed on the bill. If an adult merchant is labeling products on their bills under an unrecognizable name, customers must be informed via email, order confirmations, and receipts.

An effective chargeback prevention system program

TailoredPay has teamed up with Verifi to use its CDRN (Cardholder Dispute Resolution Network), along with Ethoca to use their alert system, creating an elite prevention and alert program. Because the CDRN collaborates with financial institutions and card issuers, merchants can regulate and resolve credit charge disputes.

Categories in the adult entertainment field

Developed by the US, the UK, and other nations, the SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) codes are four numbers assigned to companies to determine what they specialize in. To label each business, 6-digit NAICS codes are assigned by federal statistical agencies. The purpose of these NAICS codes are to acquire, assess, and publish stats about similar kinds of companies and how they affect the American market. Generally, adult industry merchants are given the following SIC codes:

  • 5945: Toy, hobby, and game stores mainly for the adult industry
  • 5947: Novelty, gift, and souvenir stores (adult toy and novelty alternative)
  • 7375: Adult website information retrieval services
  • 729903: Escort and dating services
  • 7299: Various personal services; not categorized as adult massage elsewhere
  • 792903: Recreation and amusement services for strip clubs, adult bookstores, and related adult retail locations
  • 5968: Direct marketing, subscription/continuity merchants for porn websites, content memberships, and similar adult continuity items, including electronic products

Consult the United States Department of Labor to see a full SIC list. Most of the NAICS codes are general since they don’t directly label adult businesses models. For the most part, escort, dating, adult toys, and adult content sites use one of these NAICS codes:

  • 451120: Toy, hobby, and game shops (usually used for adult toys and novelties)
  • 453220: Novelty, gift, novelty, and souvenir shops (adult toy and novelty alternative)
  • 517110: Adult website-wired telecommunications carriers
  • 454111: Internet and retail sales for adult online sales and adult e-commerce websites
  • 812990: All relevant personal services for escort services, adult dating, adult massages, and strip clubs
  • 451211: Bookstores for adult e-books, magazines, DVDs, bookstores, and similar retail items
  • 8139: Professional, business, political, labor, and related groups (adult membership site alternative)

To see the full NAICS code list, consult the United States Census Bureau’s Northern American Classification System.

Adult Merchant Account Services

  • Our staff will explain to you the basics of establishing an adult merchant account.
  • We can cover you no matter what kind of account you might require.
  • We can support you during the setup of your adult merchant account.
  • Registration for Visa/Mastercard is not necessary.

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We use high levels of security & encryption standards to protect your data.

How It Works
1. Complete our free online application
2. E-sign the merchant processing agreement
3. Get approved and start processing

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Call us at (888) 599-6482 or read our FAQ.

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Adult businesses looking to accept credit card payments can turn to TailoredPay to meet their needs. We make it simple to apply for merchant accounts, and we will enable you to offer your customers the ideal payment options!

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