According to The Pew Research Center, close to 30% of American adults have tried online dating platforms. It also found that this type of platform was preferred more by men than women.
Online dating platforms are also more popular among singles in their 20s versus singles in their 60s. Almost half of those surveyed (48%) that tried online dating were between the ages of 18 and 29. Only 13% that have tried online dating were over 65 years of age.
Although we still have the forerunners of online dating such as Match.com and eHarmony.com, so many more platforms have sprung up to appease just about every group in existence. There are currently around 2,500 dating sites and apps which operate in the U.S. alone, while 5,000 operate around the world. Clearly, this popular way of meeting a soulmate is not going away any time soon.
Statista has reported that the U.S. revenue for online dating will potentially hit $4.2 billion by the year 2024.
What is an Online Dating Merchant Account?
Online dating has now become the most popular way to meet a spouse. And if the statistics are any indication, this industry has only proven to be highly lucrative. If you are ready to launch your online dating service, then you will need to partner up with a merchant account provider in order to process both credit and debit card payments.
Your online dating merchant account provider must not only provide the means to process credit card payments, but it must do so seamlessly and securely.
Is Online Dating High-Risk?
Now that you know that you need to secure an online dating merchant account, where can you get one? One thing is for sure, it won’t be your traditional bank or merchant account provider. And that is because online dating is considered a high-risk business. Most traditional providers will not do business with these types of businesses that will expose them to risk.
But why are online dating sites high-risk?
In the online dating industry, there is an unusually high number of chargebacks. Some of these chargebacks are a result of friendly fraud, where frustrated users paid for the service and were unsuccessful in finding their soulmates.
On the other hand, it could be that the user did find their soulmate but forgot to cancel their monthly membership to the service. Here too, you will find that they will file a chargeback as they never intended to continue to pay once they found their partner. After all, this is why they signed up for recurring billing with an online dating service, to begin with.
Another major issue is that many of these online dating services have served as a front for illegal businesses such as prostitution services.
What Is Needed To Apply For An Online Dating Merchant Account?
In order to qualify and get approved for an online dating merchant account, you will need to have important documentation at the ready. Keep in mind that these requirements only represent a general overview of what a provider might request from you during the application process. Please consult with your provider to find out what they will need from you as all companies will vary.
- Shareholder certificate
- Certificate or articles of incorporation
- Personal and business financial history
- Processing history, if applicable, for the last six months
- A duplicate copy of the driver’s license or passport
- A utility bill of local directors and shareholders that hold over 15% of ownership in the company
- Organizational business structure chart
- Website that is in compliance with PCI regulations
- Voided check/proof of settlement bank account(s)
How To Apply To An Online Dating Merchant Account
Before you set out to find a qualified and trustworthy online dating merchant account provider, ensure that they provide the following features to make this partnership worth your while:
- Payment gateways
- Automated recurring billing
- “Low-commitment” contracts
- Transparent pricing and fees
- Top-tier customer support
- Chargeback mitigation tools
Once you have secured the perfect online dating merchant account provider and you have secured all of the required documentation, it’s time to apply for the merchant account.
Many providers have their applications ready to fill out online. Once you have filled all vital information to the best of your knowledge, submit the online form along with all the required documents.
Once received, underwriters will be working behind the scenes, evaluating your business for any illegal activity. They will also evaluate the level of risk in your business. Other important information that will be examined includes credit card processing history, the business’ credit scores if all bills were paid on time, and its history of chargebacks, if any.
The entire process could last a few days, but once approved, you will have assistance in getting your account and payment gateway set up to begin taking and processing credit card payments right away.
Find Your Perfect Match
The online dating service industry is exploding as more users are looking to find their soulmates online. As a merchant who currently owns or is looking to launch their own online dating service, it is important to partner up with the best online dating merchant account provider that will have all the services you need to run your business successfully.
Take time to research providers to ensure they offer fair pricing and contracts. Also, as a high-risk merchant, make sure they offer chargeback mitigation as well as fraud prevention tools to secure not only your business but your customers’ sensitive information.
By taking these steps, you know that you will have everything you need to grow and prosper within this lucrative industry.