Processors: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The online adult community has been in turmoil these past couple of months over the recent developments that payment processors have been going through. With WebsiteBilling going under and leaving it’s customers unpaid, PayPal no longer accepting adult transactions, and iBill having problems with payments and poor customer service complaints, adult webmasters have been up in arms. While the larger companies seem to ride these waves better, its the smaller webmasters that get hit the hardest.

Basically, webmasters are forced to choose one or more processors if they do not have their own merchant account and this puts them at a disadvantage. It is not that they want this service in many cases, they NEED it. The processing companies realize that and they put the smaller webmasters at their mercy. Of course, webmasters do have the choice of which processor(s) they go with, and this is where I come in. Since I am not affiliated with any processor, nor do I have to use one, I am here to dish the dirt on the good, the bad, and the ugly. I will give you some useful information and of course a little bit of gossip on some of the larger processors that are available to adult webmasters. 

High Risk Merchant Card Processors

These include traditional banks and credit card processors that will accept and process for adult webmasters and adult business owners like gentleman clubs, adult book stores, and adult clubs and travel companies. The benefits to working with a traditional credit card processor is the rates will be significantly lower then a 3rd party billing service. We are talking rates in the 3-5% range vs the 10-15% plus range for a 3rd party processor like those described below. Traditional credit card processors will put you through an underwriting process where as a 3rd party billing service will have a faster turnaround time. Popular and well known credit card processors and high risk merchant providers that will accept adult websites include companies like:

iBill – The biggest complaint that most webmasters have with iBill is their lack of customer service. Unless, you are a large porn enterprise, they will take their time answering your questions or addressing your concerns. With them having CMI downtime issues recently, I am sure they have been flooded with webmaster queries. Some have also been complaining about late payments. In addition to this, there was the whole big issue not too long ago of iBill not paying out on Web900 transactions, but I will not go into detail about that because I am sure everyone is already aware of the situation. Lastly, their rates tend to be on the high side, so what are webmasters paying for? Well, iBill is a large company and a public one, so webmasters can feel relatively safe that they will not go out of business. Also, they are one of the only large processors out there that allows you to sell tangible goods, like sex toys or videos. 

CCBill – I have only heard good things about CCBill’s customer service. It seems that they take an interest in all of their customers, big or small, and they pay on time. However, it seems that CCBill webmasters have experienced a few bumps since the interface and System5 change that was implemented. As well, if you are a Canadian Webmaster, then you will not be able to process Visa transactions with CCBill at the moment. They have not yet found a Canadian bank that will handle high-risk merchant accounts, but it seems that they are working on this and hopefully they will have a solution soon.

Epoch – I have heard mostly good things about Epoch/Paycom. Recently though they have been fined $1.5 million by MasterCard and this has resulted in Paycom filing suit against them. With this fine and costs of litigation, they have been forced to change payment days from Tuesdays to Fridays. While this really isnt all that big of a deal, we all get uneasy when a process complains of cash flow problems. Like CCBill, they still cannot process for Canadians, due to the new Visa regulations. 

ePassporte - The technology for this PayPal alternative was originally developed by Epoch. Even though this Curacao based financial service claims financial independence from Epoch, some still wonder how much they are really connected. So far I have heard good things but they are still in the phase of being the new guy out there, and along with this comes the natural apprehensions and scrutiny.

Netbilling – Netbilling offers a merchant account for webmasters that I highly recommend. The process of setting up the merchant account through them is quick and for the most part, painless. Their slogan states that they have the lowest transaction fees in the industry and from what I have heard their rates are pretty competitive. The webmasters that I spoke with about Netbilling also loved the fact that you could set up your own level of scrubbing, which I find rather amusing. They also offer a shopping cart solution for those webmasters that would like to offer tangible products on their sites. I have not heard too many negative things about this processor, but one thing to keep in mind is that they are not as large as companies like iBill or CCBill, and companies of this size have the potential of here today, gone tomorrow (::cough::websitebilling::cough::).

Glo-Bill – One thing about Glo-Bill that webmasters are not happy with is the fact that they email customers every time their credit card is being charged with a rebill which includes a link they can click if they wish to cancel their membership. While this is an ethical practice, it does not do much for webmasters in the way of profit from rebills. It has also been brought to my attention recently that Glo-Bill has ceased to provide their billing for any websites, which contain images of twink content. However, most of the processors are starting to crack down on websites that contain images of young looking models due to the whole Amber Alert Bill that was passed recently. On the positive side, Glo-Bill does not require you to pay the $750 Visa fee and they can process for international webmasters, which is a huge bonus, but this still seems a little fishy to me for some reason. 

Jettis – Since the Visa fee is such a large issue with smaller webmasters; a good thing to know is that Jettis does credit this fee back to you. From what I hear, Jettis does pay on time and has pretty reliable customer support, even for the little guys. Also they do offer gateway processing now. While Jettis is not the most talked about company out there, they almost never have anything negative said about them, which is rare in this industry of bitchers and moaners.

Well, that is enough dirt for one day. I will be discussing processors more in some of my upcoming articles, as I think that this service is one that undergoes the most change and scrutiny.

Reader Comments: (1 posts)

Sundance says:
That's the best aesnwr of all time! JMHO
August 14th, 2011
at 11:02am EST
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