Not all dating merchant accounts are created equal.
Launching an online dating website can make perfect financial sense given the proliferation of dating sites and apps devoted to helping people meet their romantic partners.
A $3 billion industry experiencing a steady growth for the past several years, many dating sites have been created to specialize in specific interests, religious beliefs, and lifestyle choices.
Entering a lucrative market doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, however. Although the online dating industry is a highly profitable industry, it is rife with challenges.
The Pitfalls Of The Online Dating Industry
Online dating has completely revolutionized the way people meet and many relationship success stories have their origins via these dating websites.
So, as a dating site owner, what pitfalls should you be aware of in this otherwise fascinating industry?
Here are some of the challenges:
- High Risk – Online dating businesses are considered “high-risk” and many merchant account providers and banks will refuse to provide merchant account processing services.
- Buyer’s remorse – Successful online dating stories abound. Unfortunately, many problems plague the industry as well, such as scams, abusive relationships, and harassment. Some customers pay for months or years and still have no prospect. Typically, the customer will consider this service an absolute failure, blame the dating website, and seek a chargeback from their bank.
- Illegal Activities – There have been businesses that use online dating sites to mask illicit activities such as for the purpose of money laundering and prostitution. Criminals apply for a false account and use it to carry out illegal activities.
- Married Clients – Although dating websites cater to the single population, a growing number of people in married relationships have been using online dating sites for infidelity. When their spouse discovers their involvement, not only will the guilty spouse file for a chargeback, but the dating business runs the risk of facing litigation.
What Should You Look For In An Online Dating Merchant Account Provider?
In order to remain profitable and process credit card payments, you will need to secure a safe and dependable high risk merchant account provider.
High risk merchant account providers are experts in the high risk industries and are well aware of regulations and how to mitigate fraud and chargebacks.
Here are more helpful tips to help you select the very best, high quality online dating merchant account provider:
- They specialize in high risk: Shady merchant account providers use slick marketing campaigns to get your attention and convince you that they know the high risk industry space when they don’t. Do your research. Get in contact with some of their top clients and get first hand information about their experience with that provider.
- Offer Recurring Billing: Your business model is most likely to offer a subscription service with monthly billing capabilities. You need a provider that is technically equipped and is able to offer this service.
- Payment Gateways: It is always more convenient to have the merchant account provider offer its own payment gateway, as this eliminates the complexity of integration issues.
- Flexible Contracts:. Seek a provider that has shorter contract lengths, or even month-to-month contracts. Having this flexibility will save you as your business needs change.
- Excellent and Reliable Customer Support: Tech glitches, payment processing issues, and the like will require immediate outside help. Seek providers that are available 24/7 since your business runs around the clock.
Knowledge Is Power
In spite of the real, potential setbacks that your online dating business could face, the key to navigate the sometimes insurmountable challenges of this industry will depend on your partnership with a quality online dating merchant account provider.
Study the industry, learn as much as you can. Research your providers, ask lots of questions.
A reputable provider will walk you through the entire application process, set up your account, and make themselves fully available for any support throughout the life of your account.