Merchant Accounts for Adult Companies

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Merchant Accounts for Adult Shops

The adult entertainment industry is a growing sector in the UK and offers some very lucrative opportunities for business owners in the industry. However, securing merchant services and business banking for adult shops and e-commerce stores can be difficult, as most mainstream merchant providers will view payment processing for adult shops as high risk.

At Merchant Account Service we specialise in arranging high-risk merchant accounts across a range of industries including adult shops, escort services, marketing platforms, webcam sites and dating sites. There are some allowances, for example, if your business is exclusively selling sex toys.  This is not classed as ‘adult’ or high-risk, and instead is regarded by merchant providers as standard e-commerce, making it easier to obtain a merchant account for.

Whether your business is operating in online or face-to-face sales requiring a chip and pin machine – or both – we can help. We are able to provide adult, escort and dating businesses with everything required to accept online card payments including a high risk payment gateway and ‘adult merchant account’.

Accepting credit cards in adult shops

Although the internet has forced decline in brick and mortar adult shops, there are still some very successful businesses out there. Most require a chip and pin machine and standard merchant account. Some combine a shop premises with an online store, accepting credit cards doesn’t have to be tricky.


Escort merchant accounts

Finding the right merchant account or payment gateway for an escort business can be tricky, if you are simply searching with mainstream and high street banks. The industry is not only a profitable one but is expanding, and if your merchant account application is packaged correctly, you can be eligible for some great rates.

Some companies choose to accept escort payments online, allowing an element of security for both the escort themselves and the company if clients choose not to show up! To process escort card payments online businesses will require both a merchant account and a payment gateway. The merchant account authorises payments between banks, just like face to face payments. The escort payment gateway acts as a safety net to keep customers card details safe and secure.

We have seen a huge expansion in escorts accepting credit card payments face to face, allowing both security for escorts themselves and also flexibility for repeat bookings or extended time allowances. Processing card payments means that escorts no longer have to carry large amounts of cash with them after being paid, exposing them to the danger of robbery. It also allows clients to re-book or extend bookings with ease.

Most escorts choose to use portable PDQ terminals or MPOS (mobile point of sale systems) to accept credit card payments in person. These machines are compact and very discreet. They can be hired on a monthly basis for as little as £20.00.  The benefits of which include; easy accounting, time saved on trips to the bank, security and safety.

IMPORTANT – Be aware that escort websites will need to be worded correctly to be accepted for card processing. Merchant Advice Service advisors and partners will act within Visa and MasterCard guidelines and will not work with companies involved in illegal activity.


Payment gateways for webcams and live accounts

Sourcing a secure payment gateway in an industry renowned for high levels of fraudulent transactions and chargebacks, is imperative for both genuine client safety and for repeat custom. Ensuring that your adult card processing is PCI compliant will mean that you can have an ongoing and successful relationship with your gateway and merchant account provider. Specialist advisors can help point you in the right direction.

Adult merchant services for subscriptions and memberships

Merchant accounts and payment gateways for online subscriptions, be it adult or not, experience a high level of chargebacks…why? This is due to people agreeing to a subscription then further down the line cancelling. In high-risk industries in particular, there can also be a high level of fraudulent transactions. Finding an adult payment processor for this type of business can be done through a few providers. The rates may be slightly higher than some, however providing your account application is packaged correctly the process can be relatively straight forward.

If your business operates across any of the following sectors, subject to the nature and content of the site, we can provide expert advice help you secure the best deal possible from a specialist merchant provider, so you wont be paying over the odds.

Adult content sites

Dating sites

Sex chat lines

Lap/pole dancing clubs or similar

Strip clubs

Adult saunas

Adult shops

Here are a few of the areas we have supported similar businesses in:

Payment gateways for adult shops

Payment gateways for webcams

Adult merchant service accounts

Merchant account for escort service

Adult toy merchant accounts

Merchant Accounts for online dating, including monthly memberships

Merchant accounts for chat rooms

Adult ecommerce


Terminated adult merchant accounts

As with all high-risk businesses the likelihood of being served notice by your merchant account provider is increased. The reason for this is that acquiring banks are always balancing their risk portfolio and adjusting their criteria accordingly – high-risk business are constantly under the spotlight.


Adult merchants who have been terminated, feel like they might struggle to obtain alternative card processing, however this isn’t always the case. Working with a specialist Merchant Services Broker will allow businesses to secure suitable card payments solutions. The reason we suggest this is because good Brokers have their finger on the pulse of changing criteria, so they will be able to point you in the right direction of banks that will accept you but also package your application correctly to increase chances of being accept.


High turnover adult businesses may choose to process with multiple merchant accounts to limit the risk of being unable to accept transactions while searching for alternatives.


Processing payments for adult businesses

Don’t pay over the odds…if you are currently accepting card payments and have transaction history, don’t get stuck with the same provider, make sure you shop around regularly. Our experts can provide a free of charge quotation, meaning that you won’t be paying more than you need to for processing card payments.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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