It seems like everything has moved online these days. Businesses, grocery shopping and now dating. With approximately 91 million interested singles between the ages of 19 and 45, it makes sense that many entrepreneurs would see launching a dating site as a lucrative business venture. However, running a successful online dating site is not as simple as you might think. Below are just a few of the major challenges these business owners encounter during the startup phase and later down the road:
1. The Image Issue
The nature of the adult industry makes running an online dating site hard for entrepreneurs. It often leads to startups being booted from online platforms – like Facebook – where these businesses need to be able to advertise their services. An inability to market properly can seriously hinder an online dating sites reach and growth.
2. An Oversaturated Market
Statistics have revealed that there are more than 5,000 dating sites worldwide, and 1,000 new sites are being added every year. With so many competitors, it can be incredibly difficult for a startup to separate itself from existing businesses. It might take some time – in some cases, too long, before new users and advertisers become interested in a new dating site.
3. The Lack of Funding
In 2002, Visa and MasterCard categorized adult content businesses as being “high risk” and announced that they were no longer willing to work with these businesses; this includes online dating sites. This leaves these businesses with no means of processing debit and credit card payments and no access to business funding options. Following this announcement, PayPal also stated that it would no longer work with adult content companies.
4. High Turnover and Minimal Loyalty
Unlike other businesses that can more easily win loyal repeat customers, online dating sites are known for losing customers quickly. In some cases, a customer simply does not find a match, is dissatisfied and decides to go elsewhere.
5. The Issue of Misrepresentation
Unfortunately, online dating scams are becoming more and more common. The reasons vary anywhere from money to simply seeking attention. According to Huffington post, 40 percent of frequent dating site users are already married.
Solution to the Online Dating Site Struggle
Obtaining a merchant account for an online dating site is not as straightforward as it is for business types considered less risqué. These businesses are not just high-risk because of the nature of the business, but also because of the large volume of chargebacks that come with adult businesses. For this reason, you will not be able to just walk into a bank and apply for business funding or a merchant account. In fact, many of the world’s largest and well-known banks don’t allow processors to underwrite for adult businesses.
This has led many online dating sites to providers like eMerchantBroker.com that specifically offer an adult dating merchant account. When you apply with EMB, the underwriting team reviews your application, which can be completed in minutes online. The required items to apply are simple:
- 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%
A secure, working websites is also required for e-commerce merchant businesses, like online dating sites.
Do you need safe payment processing services, business funding solutions and chargeback protection tools? Consider the benefits of working with eMerchantBroker.com. Fill out the quick application and get started on your business plans today!