The Pandemic Effect: Growth Opportunities & Challenges facing the Dating Industry

Aug 26, 2020

More and more people are turning to online dating sites amid a pandemic thanks to the lockdowns and stay-indoor rules.

In mid-March, websites like announce in a Press Release in that it had recorded a surge in the number of new signups at the start of the month.

But more new customers often come with excessive chargebacks, fraud and refunds. And in the worst case lead to merchant accounts shutdowns.

The Challenges & How to counter them

Though dating sites are welcoming an inflow of customers, merchants are facing different challenges amid a crisis.

  1. No-more one-on-ones

Pre-pandemic, internet sites were just a linkup point after which dates met in person. But due to the novel coronavirus, users are no longer willing to meet strangers one-on-one. Merchants must now change their offerings to maintain the prospects they attract.

Remedy:  To counter this, merchants have leveraged tech by providing video chatting solutions for a livelier interaction.

  1. Chargebacks

According to a post featured in, US dating businesses are the most affected and have so far recorded “chargebacks rates nearing 1 percent.”

Naughty customers use services then come begging for refunds and reverse charges (chargebacks). And from past experiences, most of these reverse charges are unjustified.

Remedy: Dating merchants must follow best practices to avoid chargebacks. Here are some tips;

  • Give a quick refund or suggest a different offer immediately to prevent the situation from escalating into a chargeback
  • Offer unswerving support. Customers will file chargebacks if you ignore them repeatedly.
  • Build a clear refund policy
  • Keep financial records for future reference
  • Identify stubborn customers and block them
  • Identify and curb fraud before it happens
  • For a recurring subscription, notify customers upfront and send multiple reminders before deductions

Lastly, keep records of interactions with clients to use as evidence if any customer files a chargeback for a legit charge.

  1. Fraud

In the meantime, fraudsters have been working the midnight shift to enjoy premium dating services without paying for it.

Remedy: Use the latest anti-fraud technology. Also, be PCI compliant to safeguard client payment information.

  1. Age Verification

Adult sites should not onboard minors, yet some still try to sneak their way in.

Remedy: Ask for a client’s photo ID during signup.

  1. Payment Processing Problems as Processors tighten rules

Banks and payment enablers have been changing rules due to the impacts of COVID-19. Qualpay, for instance, no longer process transactions for high-risk merchants—and many other firms like Square have announced new rules.

Some of those policy changes will lead to high-risk merchant account terminations. Such unanticipated changes may affect how you take payments and affect your bottom line

Remedy: Diversify your payment collection avenues. Use other methods like e-checks (or ACH) and cryptocurrency.

Let us help you get a high risk merchant account today!

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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 on 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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