In the digital era, looking for your soul mate is as easy as shopping for your favorite clothes.
This billion dollar industry which has popular dating platforms like Tinder is one of the most prominent digital industries in the world. With the introduction of apps and wide variety of highly specific niche websites, the online dating industry has only experienced massive growth in the recent years.
The primary service medium of dating merchants is online websites and apps which make it absolutely essential to find a reliable and secure way of accepting credit or debit cards online.
Even after proving to be a lucrative business, merchants have to struggle with obtaining merchant services from financial institutions. The lack of regular merchant account services available for online dating websites is because of being classified as ‘High Risk’.
Why do I need a High Risk Merchant Account for my Online Dating Website?
Banks maintain a list of industries that they consider high risk. Adult Industry, Gambling, Nutraceuticals, Cannabis and such are included in this category. The factors that determine their risky nature is industry specific. Let’s look at the main reasons why your online dating business is considered high risk:
- The online dating business is a niche industry which falls under the Adult Industry umbrella which automatically makes it high risk.
- Nature of Business: Some of the websites or apps are not exactly family-friendly. They showcase indecent or vulgar content not suitable for all ages.
- Business Model: Dating Websites and Apps usually offer free trial with monthly payments to follow. It is a risky business in the sense that it has to rely on monthly payments, if the customer opts for it, after the free trial period ends. It can lose customers quickly.
- Subscription based models also means abrupt cancellations and refunds leading to chargebacks.
- Fraudulent businesses like escort services or prostitution websites disguised as online dating websites are common with this industry.
- Unsatisfied Customers: Merchants have to frequently deal with customers that do not find their match or suitors and then file for chargebacks claiming that the merchant failed to deliver what they subscribed for.
- Image Issue: For approval, merchant providers’ acquiring banks should allow dating sites in their underwriting guidelines. But for many global banks, it is against their policy to approve adult or any other related niche business such as online dating. Reputation risk being a major concern.
Online Credit Card Processing for Dating Sites
If you happen to be an owner looking to obtain merchant account services, you may have stumbled across various processors luring you in with tempting offers. Some of these providers take advantage and charge high transaction fees or hidden costs. As such, you need to be cautious and ask relevant questions before agreeing to anything.
There are banks that have a conservative approach towards this niche industry and charge exorbitant fees for regular merchant services.
If you are thinking about registering with payment processors like Paypal, Square or Stripe, you will be disappointed to know that these processors do not accept such high risk businesses.
Fortunately, there are several excellent merchant account providers that are not hesitant to serve dating merchants and also offer custom high risk merchant account solutions for dating websites.
Since acquiring banks choose not to be directly involved with an online dating business, merchant account providers with strong banking relationships prove to be significant in taking such merchants onboard and increase chances of approval.
For a secure payment gateway, you can ask your merchant account provider to integrate a payment gateway that is compatible with your website.
For dating websites catering to global audiences, different modes of payment processing and multiple currency processing services is what you should look for in a potential merchant account provider.
High Risk Merchant Account Services are available for every niche within the online dating industry. Start processing now!