This may not be a big surprise but websites and businesses that deal in adult content or materials require a different kind of merchant account than most other businesses. Because of the higher risk of these businesses the overall cost of the merchant account is going to be greater than other merchant account costs.
Part of what makes adult content or materials at a higher risk is simply the nature of it’s business. They tend to have more charge backs which exhaust financial institution resources, they are not widely accepted and approved of by the whole of society, and because there are times when the business fails and they close down leaving a merchant account provider without their money. These all add up to the fact that merchant account providers have to protect themselves.
What all is considered “adult”? Anything that cannot be purchased legally by someone under 18 is technically considered “adult”. Whether it is tangible or not it is considered “adult”. A few examples of businesses that are considered as adult businesses are:
- Adult Entertainment – this takes in everything, even video games. You have books, movies, magazines, and toys.
- Dating, Escort or Massage Services – It is probably easy to imagine how customer’s who aren’t satisfied for whatever reason may try to do a charge back.
- Gun Sales – Due to the events in the news for the past few years people are more alarmed when it comes to having guns, selling guns or anything have to do with them. You definitely don’t want them to be with the wrong people. Charge backs are also common in this business.
- Liquor Sales – Because drinking is an adult behavior this is definitely an “adult” based business. On top of which you can usually get tobacco and/or lottery tickets at the same place which is another reason why it is considered adult. A major risk is burglary, having employee problems, the risk of selling to a minor (knowingly or not).
If you are already in one of these businesses or just starting one you may want to keep in mind that it will probably be harder than usual to obtain a merchant account and when or if you do get one you will pay more in merchant account fees. It’s just how it works.