The Real Buzz on Adult Merchant Accounts

The adult sector is a lucrative industry for online merchants. Following this high-risk industry are high chargeback and dispute rates. At eMerchantBroker.com we can help you open a merchant account for your dating, adult novelties, adult toys, and any adult related website.

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Frequently asked questions about adult merchant accounts:

  • How to get an adult merchant account?
  • Why not use an online payment system instead of credit cards?
  • Are all types of adult businesses accepted?
  • What are the application requirements?
  • What to expect during an adult merchant application review?
  • What happens after approval?
  • Ways to get a credit card processing volume increased
  • How to fight a chargeback?
  • Ways to prevent chargebacks in the adult industry
  • A chargeback prevention system that works
  • Adult entertainment industry categories

Adult Merchant Accounts

The number one internet search term is “sex” and each month, there are 72 million unique visits to adult sites, according to research conducted in March 2016 by Statistic Brain. There’s no denying that the adult entertainment industry is not only booming but a growing, profitable industry.Many of the veils of judgment and disgust have been lifted thanks to the internet, which not only offers a more acceptable way to get off but make it more convenient by allowing users to pay for porn sites with a credit card.All of this is good news except that banks make it impossible for porn sites, adult toy and novelty, dating, strip club, and similar businesses to get adult merchant accounts to process credit cards. This is where eMerchantBroker.com steps in as a comprehensive, affordable adult merchant account provider.Since eMerchantBroker.com specializes in high-risk merchant accounts, such as adult entertainment businesses, it tailors payment processing solutions to meet every merchant’s needs. The practical tips and suggestions here make it easier to obtain a retail or online adult merchant account. Apply today to begin the process.

How to get an adult merchant account?

Obtaining a merchant account for a strip club, pornography site, escort services, online dating site, or sex toy business isn’t like getting one for other, less risqué businesses. These businesses aren’t just high-risk because of the industry but because of the large volume of chargebacks that come with adult businesses. That’s why owners of an adult venture can’t walk into a bank and ask for an account to process credit cards. Sponsor banks must allow adult businesses in their underwriting guidelines for them to be approved for accounts.Many of the world’s largest and well-known banks don’t allow processors to underwrite for adult businesses. Therefore, they need to go to high-risk merchant account providers, like eMerchantBroker.com. The provider’s underwriting team reviews the application, which can be completed in minutes online.eMerchantBroker.com provides helps general ecommerce companies increase their bottom lines by offering versatile payment solutions and lower card processing account rate structures through merchant account services. Devoted to exceeding customers’ expectations, merchant accounts are approved in as little as 24 hours.

Why not use an online payment system provider instead of a credit card processor?

Going with an online payment system provider, such as PayPal, Stripe, or Square, is a risky venture. Though these businesses do not accept adult businesses, these payment processors will accept them when they first start accepting credit cards for transactions. This is because PayPal and the others don’t do any underwriting until after a business starts accepting credit cards. When they get to the underwriting phase up to six months later, they notify merchants that they can’t work with adult merchants. Aggregators immediately cease working with adult merchants and freeze their money for six months.

Are all types of adult businesses accepted?

Though the industry is always changing, most reputable, legally-run adult businesses get a processor to approve an adult merchant account.eMerchantBroker.com works with businesses, including:

  • Adult Toys and Novelties
  • Adult Bookstores
  • Adult Content Membership Sites
  • Online Lingerie and Adult Clothing Shops
  • Strip Clubs
  • Adult Massage Businesses
  • Escort Services

If a merchant is offering a new type of product or service that doesn’t fall into one of the more commonly known categories, can reach out to eMerchantBroker.com for further assistance. Sometimes, a simple conversation about a product or service can be explained to an underwriter to move the process along.With that being noted, in general, payment solutions are available for all types of businesses that don’t engage in illegal activities.

What are the application requirements?

Get started on the application process by filling out eMerchantBroker.com’s simple online application. Though nothing is guaranteed, the process will move along more quickly if a business has these required items at the ready:

  • A valid, government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license
  • A bank letter or a pre-printed voided check
  • 3 months of the most recent bank statements
  • 3 months of the most recent processing statements, if applicable
  • SSN (Social Security Number) or EIN (Employer Identification Number)
    Chargebacks must be under 2%

Also, e-commerce merchant businesses must have secure, working websites.

What to expect during an adult merchant application review?

No adult merchant credit card processor will accept an illegal business. When underwriters begin evaluating adult businesses, they check to ensure companies are legitimate and based on stable business principles. Adult merchants will need to prove they are operating legally by providing valid disclosures and restrictions.Once this is verified, an underwriter will analyze the business to determine its risk. The underwriter will look at the business’ credit scores, credit card processing history, bank statements, and its website. This review is to ensure that the merchant doesn’t have a negative bank account balance, pays its bills on time, and doesn’t have a history of having a large volume of chargebacks. Also, the business’ website is examined to ensure it has a secure (SSL) and that there are well-established privacy and refund policies.The best way to get approved is to prepare and make a good first impression. Prior to underwriting, merchants should ensure they have no unpaid debts, they have enough money in the bank, and the principal who signs for the merchant account application has an outstanding credit history. When an underwriter visits a site, there should be no question that the merchant is operating as a reputable, responsible, legal business. Following these tips makes an adult merchant likely to get approved with burdensome limits, like a cap on higher processing volume or a lowering rolling reserve.

What happens after approval?

An adult merchant can begin processing credit cards once the account is approved. To curb chargebacks, eMerchantBroker.com can assist in setting up chargeback management software, integrating it with the payment gateway, and enabling chargeback alerts. A fraud filter also can be set up for online payments.

Ways to get a credit card processing volume increased

Adult merchant accounts typically come with a monthly credit card processing volume cap, often because they are new. Basically, this means a merchant is limited by a certain determined dollar figure that be accepted via credit cards. So once the limit is reached for that month, the merchant is essentially shut down for business. Fast-growing merchants may need a much higher volume ceilings than the typical $100,000 to $200,000 credit card processing caps.Adult merchants that have had low chargeback ratios, has no unpaid bills, and has some money in the bank can request a limit increase and likely be successful. Typically, businesses should have at least three months of processing under their belts before seeking an increase from the account provider.

How to fight a chargeback?

Chargebacks occur when a customer disputes a debit or credit card transaction. The problem escalates for merchants when they are not told about the dispute or when it is too late. Merchants are not being informed in about 58% of pending disputes. This leaves merchants unable to defend themselves against chargebacks.To prevent chargebacks from ruining a business, merchants must have a strategy for handling them. With time, evidence, and resources, businesses can dispute any chargeback and recover lost money.To fight and win, a merchant will need to prove that a customer ordered and received a product or service. Detailed documentation that is kept organized for quick retrieval is crucial. A signed delivery slip, address or CVV verification can be enough for some transactions. Other compelling evidence includes emails between a merchant and a customer, proof that a consumer used the same information or IP address on another occasion when a transaction was not disputed.The more, easily-accessible data available to merchants, the better the chances they have of fighting chargebacks successfully.

Ways to prevent chargebacks in the adult industry

The adult products and services industry is exploding. Global sales of sex toys reached more than $15.25 million, according to research conducted in September 2017 by Statistic Brain.Despite society’s seemingly open-mindedness to sex, most are embarrassed when a spouse or significant other catches them ordering adult items. This type of situation can result in the customer denying the purchase and issuing a chargeback. Each time something like this happens, it hurts an adult business, its merchant account, and its revenue potential.Oftentimes, it is easier to stop something from happening than to clean up the damage later. This is often the best approach when it comes to chargebacks in the adult entertainment industry.If the name of an online adult business obviously reflects what the merchants sells, an ecommerce site may want to adjust the name so it doesn’t draw attention on a customer’s credit card bill.For this to work, online merchants need to clearly communicate to customers how information will appear on a bill. An unrecognized name can trigger a chargeback as easily as an obvious name. In other words, if adult merchant bills products under a more benign name, inform customers about it. Communicate this to them via receipts, order confirmations, and emails.

A chargeback prevention system that works

EMB has partnered with Verifi and its new Cardholder Dispute Resolution Network (CDRN) and Ethoca’s alert system to create an elite alert and prevention system. Since the CDRN works with banks and card issuers, merchants have control over resolving credit transaction disputes. Offering alerts and the resolution network allows merchants to achieve the greatest rate of chargeback resolutions with direct input in the process.

Adult entertainment industry categories

Assigned by the United States and other countries, including the United Kingdom, Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes are four-digit numerical codes given to business establishments to identify the primary purpose of their businesses. NAICS are 6-digit codes used by federal statistical agencies to classify establishments. NAICS codes are used to collect, analyze, and publish statistical information about similar types of businesses and how it impacts the U.S. economy.Typically, merchants in the adult industry fall into these SIC codes:

  • 5945: Hobby, toy, and game shops primarily for adult novelties and toys
  • 5947: Gift, novelty, and souvenir shops (an alternative for adult novelties and toys)
  • 7375: Information retrieval services for adult websites
  • 729903: Dating and escort services for adult dating and escort services
  • 7299: Miscellaneous personal services; not elsewhere categorized for adult massage
  • 792903: Amusement and recreation services for adult bookstores, strip clubs, and other adult retail locations
  • 5968: Direct marketing, continuity/subscription merchant for pornography websites, content memberships, and other adult continuity products, such as electronic items

Visit the United States Department of Labor to view a complete SIC list.Many of the NAICS codes do not specifically classify adult businesses models, so general codes are used. In general, dating, escort, adult content sites, and adult toys use one of these NAICS codes:

  • 451120: Hobby, toy, and game stores (often used for adult novelties and adult toys)
  • 453220: Gift, novelty, and souvenir stores (an alternative for adult novelties and toys)
  • 517110: Wired telecommunications carriers for adult content websites
  • 454111: Electronic shopping, internet retail sales for adult ecommerce websites and adult online sales
  • 812990: All other personal services for adult dating, escort services, strip clubs, and adult massages
  • 451211: Bookstores for adult magazine, e-books, bookstores, DVDs, and other retail products
  • 8139: Business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations (an alternative used for adult membership sites)

Visit the United States Census Bureau’s Northern American Classification System to view the complete NAICS code list.

Adult Merchant Services

  • Let our team show you the ins and outs of setting up an adult merchant account.
  • Regardless of the Adult Merchant Account you may need, we have you covered.
  • We can help your adult merchant processing get set up quickly and easily.
  • No Visa/MC Registration Required

Get Started Now


Our team specializes in merchant accounts for your adult business, including an adult dating merchant account

A variety of secure payment gateways, efficient processing, and an application process that can get your business a merchant account in as little as 48 hours makes our services a can’t miss opportunity for your adult sector business.

  • No Application Fees
  • Competitive rates
  • No VISA/MasterCard Required
  • Secure Payment Gateway

Get approved for an adult merchant account in as little as 24 hours. Get Started Now or call 1-800-621-4893

Award winning.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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