Regular websites have no problem finding a payment processor and accepting Internet payments, but adult websites are an entirely different breed.
Many billing services refuse to collaborate with any adult-related websites, as they consider the porn industry to be high risk. Others ask for outrageously high fees, essentially blocking most adult start-ups from using their services.
For example, PayPal has a strict no-porn payment policy. Although they recently relaxed their regulations and started working with certain sexually oriented materials or services, most adult projects still cannot rely on their services.
Failure to comply with their terms of service will lead to your account being closed, which means you losing access to your hard-earned money. Naturally, this is the last thing anyone wants. In other words, PayPal is not a viable option for adult webmasters.
To help porn webmasters and solve this problem, we have partnered up with Vicetemple to bring you the following list of the best PayPal alternatives for adult websites.
A Brief Guide To Choosing A Payment Processor
When it comes to money, you can never be too cautious. Not every company can be trusted with handling all of your transactions. Especially if you expect high revenues.
You need a professional billing service that is reliable, easy to use and affordable. Sadly, finding such a service can be incredibly hard for adult-related businesses and organizations.
So, let’s begin by examining the most important features and characteristics that you should evaluate before settling for a PayPal replacement or alternative.
- Contract policy – You don’t want to sign up for any long-term contracts or obligations. You should be able to use the payment processor on an as-needed basis. Service termination fees are another critical factor that you need to assess if you decide to sign a contract.
- Flexibility – The best merchant solutions support a wide variety of international currencies and payment methods. It’s particularly important if your website targets a worldwide audience.
- Customer support – If you’re processing payments daily, you should look for a merchant solution that offers 24/7 support. You don’t want to be left on your own when something unexpected happens.
- Fees – All payment service providers have their processing fees. If the processing fees sound too good to be true, they probably are. Always read the fine print and examine if any hidden fees may drive up the costs.
- Terms of service – Don’t forget to go through the terms of service. Check if the payment processor deals with adult businesses. If you’re unsure, it’s best to send an email inquiry before you start using the service.
Skrill and Payoneer
Everyone in the adult industry knows about Skrill and Payoneer, the long-time favorites of porn aficionados and webmasters. They provide a billing service on par with PayPal, but with a policy that is perhaps best summed up in a single phrase – no questions asked.
These lenient policies made them grow in popularity and overtake a significant chunk of the payment processing market in the past. However, both companies have gradually distanced themselves from the adult industry. They’re now implementing stricter control over all of their transactions.
In 2017, Payoneer transferred all adult-related accounts to its subsidiary FirstChoice Pay in an attempt to change its reputation. However, FirstChoice Pay was unable to match its competitors, and the company went under after only a year in business.
Meanwhile, Skrill has always maintained a no-porn content policy in its terms of service, but they only recently started implementing it and closing down adult-related accounts. Still, the majority of Skrill accounts are yet to experience any problems for dealing with the porn industry. Skrill may not be a safe bet in the long run, but if you’re looking for the quickest way to set up a billing service in the short term, it’s arguably your best option at the moment.
Top 10 PayPal Alternatives for Adult Websites
If you don’t want to tempt fate with Skrill and Payoneer, you have several other options at your disposal. This article will now present you with the top 10 PayPal alternatives that you can use on your adult website.
PaySimple is a flexible payment processor that accepts a range of payment methods, including eChecks, ACH transfers, credit cards, mobile, and online transfers. Their policy can be summed up as: don’t ask, don’t tell.
Their user reviews are mostly favorable, but some clients have pointed out specific transparency issues about their service. However, they offer a free 14-day trial allowing you to test their solution for yourself.
They collaborate with high-risk merchants regularly but make up for it with fees that are on the pricier end. If you don’t plan to have a high turnover, you may want to skip PaySimple.
Epoch is an international merchant solution that allows its customers to process payments from a variety of methods, including PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Direct Debit, etc. It also accepts payments in more than 60 international currencies, which can automatically be converted to the currency of your choice.
However, Epoch is known for its high processing fees, which reach up to 15% if your weekly revenue is less than $5,000. The fact that its standard gateway fee is 2% or 3% hardly helps, considering that the aforementioned weekly figure prices out most adult businesses.
Unlike many other solutions on the list, Zombaio is an online payment service provider that specializes in providing services for the adult industry. They’re the PayPal of adult industry – or at least that’s what they claim.
They accept a high number of currencies and varied payment methods, all of which are protected by a fraud prevention system. This ensures that their service is highly secure and efficient.
However, user reviews suggest that they often have cash flow problems which result in late payouts. On top of that, Zombaio’s above-average commission rates make them far from the ideal choice.
PaymentCloud promises to simplify and manage all your credit card transactions. They advertise themselves as the no. 1 high-risk merchant solution in the US, and it’s hard to argue against that.
Their risk evaluation system allows them to assess and collaborate with adult websites and porn companies from all niches and countries. Besides, PaymentCloud easily integrates with WordPress, Magento, WooCommerce and many other frameworks.
However, the main downside of PaymentCloud is their processing fees policy. Each account receives a different fee, which depends entirely on their subjective risk assessment. This means that new websites can expect above-average fees, mainly if they work in the adult industry.
While PaymentCloud is a good option, you may have to sacrifice a sizeable portion of your website’s income.
SkyPrivate is an adult payment gateway that is ideal for businesses that rely on Skype for communication. Their API tracks the time spent on Skype and allows you to charge your customers per minute automatically.
This makes SkyPrivate perfect for camming businesses, but it also significantly reduces its usability for other start-ups. An efficient, but a minimal solution.
Paxum is arguably one of the most popular PayPal replacements. It’s available in over 50 countries, supports over 20 currencies and regularly works with high-risk businesses. However, they have a strict copyright policy, which might not make them suitable for all types of adult websites.
Unless you plan to focus on original content and purchasing distribution licenses for films and videos, Paxum will not help you. Otherwise, this merchant solution should be at the top of your shortlist.
A cheaper alternative to PayPal, PayDiverse is a high-risk merchant account and credit card processor that has been offering offshore payment processing for over 20 years.
They provide their clients with free reports and ISpyFraud prevention software. Also, they utilize pre-chargeback alerts and an established dispute system.
Furthermore, PayDiverse serves practically all types of porn websites, from adult bookstores and sex toy shops to adult escort services and strip clubs. Even if your adult business is not on their list of supported sites, you can contact them and ask for a personalized solution.
CCBill is another popular payment service provider on our list. Their services come with free regulatory support, risk mitigation, fraud management, and compliance support.
Their Complete account appears to be the best option, and it comes with a 3.9% processing fee and a flat $0.55 transaction charge. This makes their service relatively affordable and accessible to most adult webmasters – it’s no coincidence that CCBill won almost 30 adult industry awards for its services.
However, CCBill accepts only a limited range of currencies, such as USD, AUD, CAD, JPY, EUR, and GBP. If your adult business relies on a broader range of currencies, you may need to look for another solution to complement CCBill.
9. National ACH
An automated clearing house is a relatively modern way to pay for services and providers like National ACH are now making it accessible for the adult industry.
With ACH, payments are electronically debited from customers’ bank account, and there is no need to use any credit cards. ACH also supports eChecks, which makes it perfect for recurring payments and subscriptions.
The only problem with ACH is that it requires chargebacks to be below a certain threshold, which can be especially hard to maintain in the adult industry.
10. Cryptopayment Processors
In addition to traditional online billing providers, adult webmasters have recently started turning to payment gateways for cryptocurrencies. Many adult websites were quick to implement crypto-technology because it offers anonymity to their customers.
The most popular cryptocurrency gateways are BitPay and CoinGate. Both of these solutions primarily deal with Bitcoins, but they also support a range of other coins, such as Ethereum, LiteCoin, etc. Besides, they can convert your Bitcoins to practically any national currency. Keep in mind that their exchange rates can sometimes be less than favorable.
Still, their low transaction fees mean you will probably get a good deal, despite the exchange rates. The main downside of crypto payment processors is their novelty. Not many people have adopted this new technology, and it may take some time for it to become widespread.
Until then, you will likely need a more traditional payment processor beside it.
By now, you should have a fairly decent overview of all the available options. However, you should still be considering going through other resources such as:
All of the websites listed here provide expert and user reviews of software solutions, including payment gateways. They do not offer much information about the policies of each solution, though.
If you need help finding out whether you can implement a specific solution on your adult website, contact Vicetemple. This specialized company will provide you with a free consultation and answer all your queries.