While putting together an adult site may seem like the easiest thing to do, it’s not that easy to make money from it. The resources for content and images are a dime a dozen, while payment processors serving the adult industry will barely reach a handful.
To get you started in this new world, it’s important to understand that in business, especially in e-commerce, the adult entertainment world is considered a high-risk account. For this very reason, getting a merchant account for your billing needs usually proves to be the biggest difficulty adult merchants face. Payment processors typically charge an arm and a leg for even the most basic adult billing service as a risky bill. That is if you already get approval. Major credit card associations such as Visa and MasterCard have very strict standards against high-risk merchants. Both card associations maintain lists alert merchant account services to high-risk merchants with high chargeback rates.
So back to the basic question: how do you start billing for your adult service? What you need is a seller account. So search on the internet. Simply typing “seller account” or “Internet billing” might be a complete waste of time. It will return hundreds if not thousands of search results. Try narrowing down your search to focus more on your field. “High-risk merchant account” or “adult account” are good search terms to start with. Then make a list of possible candidates that you may want to review later.
Now prepare the questions you will be asking your prospective trading account service providers. Write down the things that are important to you. Check out what the sites out there have to offer in terms of rates and service depth to get a general idea of the rate range you’re looking at. Are upfront costs an issue for you? How much are you willing to pay monthly? Will the cost per transaction work better for the type of service you offer?
What do you expect when it comes to service? Do you need a quick response time to questions and emails? Is uptime important to you? What security do you need for your site?
Now that you have all those questions ready, you should also answer them. Be prepared to provide information about your business, the adult services you offer, and how much you process in a month.
Get in touch with the trading account providers and know them better. Once you’ve found the one that can provide the kind of service you’re looking for at the price you can afford, start thinking about the next step.
Submit all necessary paperwork and get approval. The paperwork may include the application form, your incorporation documents, and proper identification for board members. Some adult billing service companies may ask for your current processor’s business credit report or statements.
With all that done and a decision made, you should now be ready to integrate the adult billing service payment gateway into your shopping cart system (if you have one). The billing processor must set up your merchant account on their payment gateway and provide you with your secure gateway URL and other technical details to complete the integration process. Once this step is complete, you should start server-to-server processing of live transactions. The payment gateway should provide you with all the security you need to safely complete all transactions for your adult website.
The next step is, of course, the most important. Payout. With consistent and regular transaction processing, you should also get consistent and frequent payouts. Some merchant account providers have a threshold before releasing your first check (some wait until you hit your first hundred dollars, for example). Others process payments every month with payouts set on a specific date (usually the 15th or 30th). Still, other adult billing service providers offer even more ideal weekly processing where you can get your money’s worth every week. It is often the standard for the trading account provider to hold 10% of your gross trading volume for the rolling reserve fund. The purpose of this reserve fund is to provide security against possible credit risks. After a certain time,
This article should give you a general idea of getting started billing for your adult site. While a long and often tedious process, adult billing isn’t that difficult once you understand the basics.
Phillip Carmichael is the Senior Copywriter and Associate Creative Director for Sly Ideas Advertising Inc., a small-scale advertising/PR firm based in Visalia, California. He is also a regular contributor to various online literary and marketing resources and has written numerous articles on a wide variety of topics.