The adult industry is one of the largest industries.  It’s well-known that sex sells and it doesn’t look like that will ever change.  The need for intimacy is woven into the fabric of our DNA and with the ever-increasing number of ways to connect, share, and experience your wildest desires; what was once thought as it could only be fantasy is now turning into reality, in some cases virtual reality.  You can get just about anything these days with a swipe or click as long as you’re willing to pay for it and that’s where it can become a little tricky, paying for it.  Especially, if you are the merchant trying to navigate your way through the overwhelming number of payment processors vying for your business.  You have fantasies to fulfill.  How are you supposed to know what kind of payment processing solutions you need and who you can rely on to provide that service in a straight-forward manner?  We’re going to tell you.


Adult Merchants with Retail Interests


If you operate a retail store front such as an adult novelty store, strip club, bath house, massage parlor, or members only club you have the luxury of having customers present at the time you take payment for goods and services.  The ability to swipe cards within your location typically puts you in the best position to leverage the lowest possible rates and fees for your business type.  It’s no secret that these types of establishments love cash but have large volumes of card transactions and the competition on the merchant services side of the business to secure them as clients is cut throat. So knowing that every merchant service provider is for the most part going to say they will get you the best rates; how are adult merchants going to get something that can make a real difference in the way they are able to operate?  One great way is to work with a payment processor that caters to adult merchants and is willing to provide free terminals or a POS system.  This can greatly reduce the cost of doing business as well as increase the ease in which business is conducted.  There are great advantages to having a POS system, some of which are:

  • Easily scalable and customizable to meet specific needs
  • Access to an extensive array of real-time reports
  • Inventory tracking
  • Customer relationship tracking and loyalty program capabilities
  • Employee time, payroll, and sales tracking


E-commerce and Adult Merchants


You would think the internet was created specifically for the adult industry with the overwhelming presence it has here.  It’s nearly impossible to search for anything without some kind of adult-related business finding its way into the search results whether on purpose or not. The types of adult businesses found online are only limited by the wildest of imaginations.  Purchasing adult-related goods and services through various webstores has become so popular that many adult retail merchants offer their products online in order to compete outside of the confinements of their physical location.


Working with a high risk merchant service provider that caters to adult merchants is very important when it comes to e-commerce.  Sure you need to work with someone who will be cost-competitive, but more importantly, they have to understand your business and have you set up properly so you do not get forcibly and unexpected shut down.  This could be anything from age verification to PCI compliance, chargeback mitigation, or changes to your website, terms & conditions, or billing model; particularly for those running memberships, subscriptions, and advanced billing.


Adult Merchants with Distribution Channels or Direct to Consumer Products


Adult merchants that sell business to business typically conduct a majority of their sales over the phone.  Most of their payments will come in one of two forms, checks and cards.  There are electronic check processing solutions that will streamline operations and increase efficiency; however, for purposes of this articles we will stick to discussing credit cards.


This type of merchant account is called Mail Order Telephone order which is more commonly referred to as MOTO.  A MOTO account gives distributors the ability to manually key-in their transactions through a virtual terminal.  MOTO accounts are typically viewed as the highest risk merchant accounts.  They go through a more thorough underwriting process requiring a greater amount of supporting documentation be submitted with an application, but for those in wholesale and distribution it’s the right way to take payments over the phone.  Likewise, this can also be used for direct to consumer sales.


Adult Merchants on the Move


Some businesses within the adult industry find themselves delivering their goods or services directly to the costumer.  They can be working from a retail location, office building, warehouse, or even home office depending on the specific business.  In most cases, these types of adult merchants are considered retail swipe with delivery and simply need a mobile swipe terminal in order to take card present sales transactions while out on the road.  Setting this up is as simple as making sure the merchant service provider knows what you need in order to properly take payments from consumers.


Adult Merchant Accounts Set Up for Success


In many scenarios, owners of adult business products and services might find themselves utilizing a variety of the aforementioned payment processing services. For instance, if you operate a retail storefront such a private members-only club, you might utilize your website to reserve goods & services or renew memberships online, but also offer additional goods or services within the confines of the retail operation which require swiping cards through a terminal or POS system. This means you’ll needs to be set up for retail and e-commerce and this could require different accounts for each type of revenue stream.


It’s important to discuss all the ways in which you plan to accept card payments with your merchant service provider in order to make sure that you do not incur any unnecessary problems because merchant accounts are set up for specific types of processing and have specific thresholds such as:

  • How much total dollar volume you can process in a month
  • How much you can process in a single transaction
  • How many of a certain type of a transaction you perform
  • How far out in advance you can bill a customer


Putting it All Together


To get the most out of an adult merchant account you need to choose a high risk merchant service provider that caters to adult merchants.  They have to show that they not only understand how payment processing works but also that they understand your business model. However, that’s not enough.  They also need to make it work for you in a way that is competitively priced, yet more importantly, gives you all of the tools you need in order run your business efficiently.  We do that at Painless Processing.  We make payment processing for your adult business so easy… it’s Painless.


High Risk Merchant Account Solutions