Adult Payment Gateway

The adult industry has evolved from its meager beginnings with books, magazines and videos to becoming one of the largest industries on the internet, providing consumers with a variety of products and services readily available online.  Reaching nearly $100 billion in online sales a year, the desire for adult industry products and services continues to skyrocket and projections for adult sales continue to soar well into the future.  This demand has made it extremely import for merchants to partner with an adult payment processor that can provide reliable online payment services, including a secure adult payment gateway to handle online sales.

The options for merchants to find a high risk or adult payment gateway are plentiful, but not all payments gateways offer the same levels of security or functionality that online businesses expect or need. An ideal adult payment gateway can help merchants increase profits through advanced functionality and enhanced payment technology; offering such features as transaction management and automated merchant account management.  Merchants will want a payment gateway that provides businesses with more control over their sales while allowing for better management of customers to help optimize sales and increase revenues.

The adult payment gateway from Adult Merchant Services provides merchants with the reliability, network security, and functionality that is demanded by adult businesses and other high-risk businesses accepting payments over the internet today. The reliability, functionality and simple integration into over 100 of the largest shopping carts has been a driving force behind the growth of its usage and coupled with the advanced features built into the gateway, it’s no wonder our payment gateway has been one of the most favored online payment acceptance services with adult merchants for over 10 years.

Available Payment Methods for Adult Businesses

Adult merchant accounts can be set up to accept payments with a variety of different platforms. Depending on the type of business, merchants will need to offer customers different methods of payment to make the transactions fast and convenient. Some of the most common ways that merchants can accept payments are:

• Payment Gateway
• Virtual Terminal
• Credit Card Terminal

Most credit card processing companies will be able to assist an adult business by setting up the proper terminal to accept payments, whether its online through a payment gateway and virtual terminal or with a credit card terminal. Most of the credit card terminal solutions available have little to no cost, including payment gateways and virtual terminals that charge monthly fees for their online services.

Adult Payment Gateway

What is a Payment Gateway?

Credit card machines that have been located in merchant’s storefronts provide an identical payment process as payment gateways when accepting credit cards and debit cards, except for the fact that payment gateways accept payments over the internet instead of through a physical terminal. Being integrated into a merchant’s website, the payment gateway provides a sophisticated and heavily secure access to the payment card association, allowing for items placed in the customer’s shopping carts to be purchased without the risk of fraud due to card account theft of any other data breaches.

Payment gateways that are used by the largest adult merchants have been designed to securely transfer card account information between servers, from the merchant’s website server to the servers used by the customer’s bank to manage their transactions. Having all card account information being transferred encrypted using some of the most secure financial protocols allows both the merchant along with the payment gateway to remain as PCI Compliant, a standard for web security that has been set and monitored by the Payment Card Industry. Merchants and payment gateways that are not compliant, whether due to lack of design or a lapse in monitoring, face the risk of heavy fines along with footing the bill for the costs of any losses associated with their non-compliance, expenses that could sink companies overnight.

Another benefit that many payment gateways offer is the ability to provide business owners along with business managers a variety of different tools and functions to help manage their customers and business. Managers can set up separate employee accounts and delegate different job permissions to the various employees, preventing any possible theft or otherwise problems that could arise from too many employees working through 1 account. Managers will also have the ability to track customers, manage transactions and access a number of different reporting tools to help understand the business and the customers.

Most payment gateways will also provide merchants the ability to operate as a virtual terminal, meaning that payments can be accepted over the phone or in the store using a credit card swiper and sent through the virtual terminal. Eliminating the need for multiple terminals, merchants operating online and through a storefront can consolidate transactions into the payment gateway to help simplify reporting and accounting on the business.

How a Payment Gateway works

A Payment Gateway provides a safe and secure interface for customers to submit credit card information to the merchant’s payment processing company, or acquiring bank, through the merchant website’s shopping cart. The initial transaction sent through the gateway is the payment authorization, a temporary approval of credit from the customer card issuing bank in the amount requested by the merchant. The process that a payment card takes during a payment gateway transaction includes:

• Website shopping cart
• Payment Gateway
• Payment Processor
• Merchant Acquiring Bank
• Payment Card Association
• Customer Card Issuing Bank
• Response

A transaction begins once the card account information is entered into the customer’s web browser while attempting to check out of the merchant’s website using their shopping cart. Customer information is encrypted in the browser and sent to the payment gateway. Information that is accepted in the web browser is securely handled by an internet protocol to ensure that none of the information is compromised at all during the transmission to the payment gateway.

At the payment gateway, information received from the customer’s web browser is encrypted into a format used for messaging similar to ISO 8583 and sent from payment gateway to the payment processor. From the payment processor, transactions are sent to the merchant acquiring bank, who in some instances acts as the payment processor. Transactions that are completed at the merchant’s storefront can be authorized through a virtual terminal by manually entered or swiped into a payment card reader to obtain customer card account information and enter it into the payment gateway

From the payment gateway, the encrypted files are sent through the payment processor to the merchant acquiring bank for entry into the Payment Card Association network where card account information can be deciphered and used to complete the authorization request The payment card network repeats this process for every transaction, determining the customer card issuing bank and then routing the customer request to the correct bank for authorization and the authorization response answer.

The card companies of MasterCard and Visa operate a network that allows the customer card issuing banks to access their system and issue payment cards to customers through their network. The networks of Discover and American Express each run their own closed network, meaning that these companies issue their own payment cards to customers and acquire their own merchants, unlike the Visa/MasterCard model.

Once the request for payment authorization has been received by the customer card issuing bank via the card associations, a response is determined by confirming that the customer has the required available funds and that there are no fraud detection concerns. Once a card goes through these checks, a response sent back to the payment processor through to the payment gateway to inform the merchant and customer of the decision to either approve or decline the authorization request.

Features of the Adult Payment Gateway

An ideal type of payment gateway that businesses want to use for their online payments will offer businesses flexibility, simplicity and a multitude of functions to help increase the effiency of business operations.

Enhanced features of the Adult Payment Gateway

• Level 1 PCI Compliance
• Easy Integration into most shopping carts
• Reliable with over 99.95% network availability
• ACH Payment Processing
• Customized Transaction Reporting
• Complete Transaction Management
• Integration into Accounting Programs

Types of Merchants using an Adult Payment Gateway

Adult payment gateways can be used by a variety of different types of adult businesses operating over the internet, from charging memberships fees for websites or clubs to selling gifts or sexual enhancement products, the industries and uses by adult businesses is extensive and almost limitless. One of the constants in the adult industry has remained as change; changing fads and changing businesses – all selling a new twist to the adult industry.

Common Adult Payment Gateway Businesses

• Adult Content Services Online
• Adult Dating Services Online
• Adult Membership Websites
• Adult Toy Stores Online
• Adult Video Services Online
• Adult Web Cam
• Bath Houses
• Escort Services
• Escort Directories Online
• Massage Parlors
• Massage Therapists
• Penis Enlargement Products
• Phone Sex Services
• Sexual Enhancement Products
• Strip Clubs
• Swinger Clubs

Payment Gateway services are not limited to only adult businesses, rather all types of businesses including high-risk businesses can use the online payment services provided. Merchants that are in the adult industry are encouraged to seek out the partnership with a payment gateway provider that has the experience and ability to work with the adult industry.

Benefits of Using Payment Gateways

In a time when higher-risk businesses are realizing it is becoming more difficult to find reliable merchant services for their business, the need to partner with a payment processor that can specialize in the adult industry is necessary to become a successful business. Without a reliable merchant account or secure payment gateway, an adult business could suffer from losses associated with fraud from customers or problems with the merchant acquiring bank.

• Accept Credit Cards Online
Utilizing a payment gateway allows customers the ability to make payments in a number of different ways using either credit cards, debit cards or a bank account.  Payment gateways simplify online payment processing by handling payment authorizations and consolidating the daily transactions into a single batch file to be sent for bank finalization and settlement.

• Recurring Billing Services  
Online payment gateways provide convenient and simple payment services for merchants and customers by allowing billing payments to be automated.  Setting up customers for daily, weekly, monthly or yearly billing allows for consistent and timely charges to the customer and simplifies the transaction management of payments for the merchants.

• Secure Payment Processing
Protecting customer data is of the utmost importance for any online merchant. Merchants can potentially face severe penalties and fines from the card associations in the event of fraud, making the usage of a PCI Compliant gateway essential by ensuring that customer account data is encrypted and kept safe at all points during a transaction.

While credit and debit cards are the most common form of payment that is accepted online, some adult merchants have business models that require the ability to accept checks online, most commonly these are services that work on a subscription-based program. The payment gateway from Adult Merchant Services allows merchants the ability to add check processing services and manage them directly from the gateway back office.

As a merchant’s business evolves, having the control to manage customer information is key to the continual growth cycle and the adult payment gateway does provide the needed functions. Providing merchants with the ability to run countless reports and manage customer transactions along with seamless integration into most accounting programs, businesses have all the keys to building a successful enterprise.

What is needed for an Adult Payment Gateway

Starting an online business off with an adult payment gateway will require that the merchants have an e-commerce website with a functioning shopping cart program installed. For the payment gateway to function properly, the business will need to have already established a working relationship with a payment processor who can provide a merchant account to handle customer payment card authorization requests.

Merchants will need to supply the payment gateway a form of payment to cover the costs of transactions, either by providing business checking account information or a credit/debit card to cover the cost of transaction fees and other monthly expenses. Merchants using the virtual terminal function at a storefront will also want to a card swiper to streamline the card acceptance process by eliminating the need of employees to key in payment card information that could otherwise be accepted by swiping the card.

Merchants using an Adult Payment Gateway will need:

• Functional e-commerce website with shopping cart
• Adult merchant account MID (Merchant MID)
• Voided check or credit/debit card information for monthly billing
• Card Reader for adult virtual terminal accounts

Finding the best Adult Payment Gateway

Businesses looking to find the best payment gateway for their adult business will want to make sure that the company they plan on partnering with offers the services and functionality they need. Most merchants looking for a payment gateway for adult websites will ask the following:

• Confirm the gateway works with high risk/adult businesses
• Check the compatibility capabilities with the merchant’s shopping cart
• Test the gateway to check the functionality and features offered
• View pricing to ensure there are no surprise billings in the future

If merchants have additional questions or concerns about choosing an adult payment gateway they are encouraged to contact one of our payment gateway professionals to ensure they are making the best choice the first time through.

Adult Virtual Terminal

As a hardware add-on for payment gateways, a virtual terminal allows merchants to access their online payment gateway to process transactions performed in a card present environment.

What is a Virtual Terminal?

Occasionally merchants that have online stores will need to process payments manually, whether the sale came from a telephone order or in their storefront, merchants can use a feature within the payment gateway to process the transaction. A virtual terminal is an application within the payment gateway that allows merchants to enter cardholder information manually or with a card reader attached to the computer, sending card account information to the card associations in the same manner as a web-based payment gateway sale. ACH transactions can also be integrated through this same payment gateway application, allowing merchants an additional method of payment acceptance that is streamlined and fully PCI Compliant. All transactions sent through the virtual terminal are encrypted to the highest standards required by the Payment Card Industry, ensuring that all customer account information is secure and handled with minimal risk of fraud.

One of the most common ways that merchants use a virtual terminal in their storefront location is by installing a payment card reader, also known as a card swiper, into their store and connecting the reader to a computer. Merchants operating online will use a virtual terminal as way to simplify their merchant account and business operations by consolidating all transactions through one location. Installing a card swiper at the merchant storefront will allow customers to complete a transaction by sliding their payment card into the card reader and allowing the required information to be read and captured by the virtual terminal, eliminating the need for employees to manually enter card details. Sales that are accepted over the phone or via mail order can also be input through the virtual terminal, manually inputting customer and card account information with the computer keyboard as if it was a credit card terminal.

Many times businesses using a virtual terminal have chosen so due to the many features offered in the payment gateway software to help with management and organization of the business. Using a virtual terminal will allow management to have better controls over employee permissions and financial roles for members of the organization along with providing access to transaction management and reporting features to help the company run smoother.

How does a Virtual Terminal work?

When a customer card is swiped through a card reader or the payment card information is input into the virtual terminal, the virtual terminal received and securely stores the account details for submission to the payment processor using the payment gateway. Virtual terminals with card readers allow businesses to quickly enter the customer information from the payment card into their system without the need for manually entering account details while customers wait. Other types of transactions where customers are not present, the merchant can manually enter the information into the virtual terminal to authorize the transaction from their computer terminal or a mobile app.

Payment card information that has been received into the virtual terminal is encrypted using a financial messaging protocol and prepared to be sent to the payment processor for entry into the payment card network. Transactions sent through the virtual terminal are not encrypted from the customer’s web browser, eliminating the need to receive encrypted information from a remote location. Once the payment processor receives the encrypted customer card authorization file, the information is either sent to the merchant acquirer or directly to the card networks if the payment processor is capable.

At the card association, the customer file is deciphered to determine the name of the card issuing bank so that the authorization can be quickly sent at the customer’s financial institution. Once the authorization file is received at the card issuing bank, the financial institution will check the details of the account for any potential fraud to ensure that the transaction is, in fact, legitimate and the customer has the required available credit to pay for the authorization.

Once the authorization request has been reviewed by the bank and a decision has been made, the response is sent back through the payment card network to the merchant acquiring bank and onto the merchant, informing both the customer and the merchant as to the answer for the payment request. All authorizations will be assigned a transaction code but declined transactions will also include a response code to inform the customer as to the reason for their denial of payment.

Types of Businesses using an Adult Virtual Terminal

Businesses that use a virtual terminal are generally operating part of their business online, utilizing the payment gateway for non-website sales that are coming through different channels into the business. Instead of operating multiple merchant accounts and having various payment platforms, merchants can use a virtual terminal to combine all transactions into one place.

Most common adult businesses utilizing Virtual Terminals

• Adult Toy Stores
• Bath Houses
• Escort Services
• Massage Parlors
• Massage Therapists
• Penis Enlargement Products
• Phone Sex Services
• Sexual Enhancement Products
• Strip Clubs
• Swinger Clubs

Benefits of a Virtual Terminal

Merchants that are operating both retail storefronts along with online e-commerce storefronts can benefit from combining their payment processing services through one application. Utilizing the services of a merchant account that is specialized in the adult industry, instead of a separate adult merchant account for online and a general retail account the brick and mortar, can prevent future disruptions in services if the retail merchant account decides to discontinue services. Using a virtual terminal will allow merchants the ability to run all of their payments through one merchant account, preferably an adult merchant account, to help reduce risk while simplifying the business operations.

Functions of an Adult Virtual Terminal

• Reliable Adult Merchant Services
• Safely accept credit or debit cards both online and in a store
• Cost savings by using 1 merchant account in 2 locations
• Track and manage all aspects of the business online
• Create profiles for customers to improve customer service
• Simple transaction management
• Full Employee management functions
• Easy reporting for accounting and other needs

What is needed for a Virtual Terminal

Adult merchants looking for a virtual terminal to start accepting credit cards will need to have a few items in place before a virtual terminal can become operational. If the payment gateway services provider is not handling the merchant account, the business will have to find a merchant account set up for adult businesses. Merchants will also need equipment, such as computers and an internet connection to access the virtual terminal to input customer information and send the authorization request.

Items needed for an Adult Virtual Terminal setup

• Adult Merchant Account (MID)
• Computer with Internet Access
• Virtual Terminal software
• Card reader for merchants running transactions in their storefront
• Business Checking account for payment gateway fees

Finding the right Virtual Terminal

Merchants in the adult industry will want to confirm with their payment processors that adult businesses can use their merchant accounts and payment gateway, preventing the chances of having an account terminated due to content. Accounts that are closed or payment gateways that are shut off can cost merchants a great deal in lost revenue and additional costs from time spent researching, applying and integrating new accounts. Here are a few ideas for questions adult merchants might want to ask a new payment gateway services provider:

Questions for finding the right Adult Virtual Terminal

• Does the gateway accept high risk/adult businesses?
• What shopping carts does the payment gateway integrate with?
• What functions and features does the gateway offer merchants?
• What are the costs for using the gateway?

Merchants with any questions concerning finding a virtual terminal or how it operates are welcome to contact one of our team members for more information about the services available for adult businesses. Educating merchants before making business decisions can help save time and money down the road.

Adult Credit Card Machines

What is a Credit Card Machine?

All types of businesses that are operating a retail storefront and decide to accept credit or debit cards will need a secure method to authorize customer transactions. Depending on the type of business, merchants can use either a credit card machine or for larger merchants a POS (point-of-sale) terminal to handle their credit card authorizations. Similar to a payment gateway, a credit card terminal encrypts customer card account information and sends it to the payment processor for authorization by the customer’s bank.

Credit card machines today have the ability to accept a variety of different payment types; whether it is a chip card that has been dipped into the machine, a swiped card in a POS system or using NFC through a mobile wallet solution; credit card machines have evolved along with payment technologies while utilizing some of the highest levels of transmission and messaging security. Depending on the needs of a merchant and their business, there are different credit card machines at all different pricing levels that should satisfy the needs of everyone.

How does a Credit Card Machine operate?

In a process that is very similar to that of a payment gateway accepting online payments, the acceptance of payments is slightly different since customer payment cards are present and placed into a credit card machine. Once in the credit card machine, the information is sent for authorization at the customer’s bank. The typical process for a credit card authorization is:

• Authorization Request
• Payment Processor/Acquiring Bank
• Payment Card Association
• Customer Card Issuing Bank
• Authorization Response

Once a customer is prepared to check out of a store, the customer’s credit card or debit card is presented to the credit card machine. Today, the ways a credit card can be used include traditional swiping, dipping into the machine for use with a chip or through NFC by tapping either an NFC enabled card or through a mobile wallet. Once the customer’s card account information has been securely received into the credit card terminal, the transaction can begin with the authorization request process.

In the credit card terminal, the customer information is encrypted along with the details of the transaction and sent to the payment processor. The payment processor can either send the information to the merchant acquiring bank or if the merchant acquirer is acting as the payment processor, the transaction will bypass this stop and move to the next step. From the merchant acquirer, the encrypted file is entered into the payment card network so the details of the customer card and the transaction request can be determined in a quick and efficient manner.

In the payment card network, the encrypted file will be opened to determine the type of card and card issuing bank along with the customer information and transaction details will be sent to the customer’s bank. The customer’s bank will determine the information from the authorization, perform any necessary fraud checks, confirm the available credit on the account send their answer.

The answer to the authorization request will be sent back through the same route it originally traveled to the merchant’s location where a printout on the merchant’s credit card terminal will show it was either approved or declined. Approved transactions will have a unique code to the transaction and declined transactions will have a code to explain the reason for the denial of payment.

Who needs a Credit Card Machine?

Most adult businesses operate online and do not require a store nor need a credit card machine. Other types of adult merchants focus on a local customer base instead of the online community for their products and services. Some of the more common adult industries that have a local customer base are:

• Adult Toy Stores
• Bath Houses
• Escort Services
• Massage Parlors
• Massage Therapists
• Phone Sex Services
• Strip Clubs
• Swinger Clubs

Benefits of a Credit Card Machine

Adult businesses operate in a highly regulated industry that has different requirements and regulations for the various businesses that fall into this category. Many of the businesses prefer to operate as a retail storefront to reduce their risk and better manage their customer base, whether it is a toy store or club, keeping tight control over the age of customers is very important. Using an adult credit card machine can allow merchants to increase sales while providing simple transaction management functions.

Adult Credit Card Machines offer

• Ability to accept credit cards in person
• Simple functionality with paper receipts
• Easily manage transactions through the terminal
• Most work with either phone or ethernet connections

Requirements for a Credit Card Machine?

Businesses looking for a credit card machine will want to find a payment processor that can accept adult industry merchants while providing credit card machines for minimal costs. Understanding the terms of the agreement is essential for a merchant looking for the best solution for their business; some payment processors provide free machines with terms and conditions in the form of lengthy contracts while other processors might not give free machines away but will have few terms and smaller costs for businesses.

Adult credit card machines require

• A merchant account that accepts adult
• An internet connection or phone connection to authorize sales.

Finding a Credit Card Machine?

Merchants that want to find a credit card machine to handle their business’ and customer’s needs will need to have the services of an adult merchant account before taking any steps forward towards finding a functioning credit card machine. Merchants can a few options when it comes to purchasing equipment, credit card machines can be purchased through their merchant services provider or merchants can go online and find an unlocked machine that will work with multiple providers. Using one of the most common machines will make setup and operation much easier than using a one-off brand that might not have the support needed.

Things to consider when looking for an Adult credit card machine

• Who will provide the adult merchant account services?
• Functionality and simplicity for merchants
• Affordable pricing or acceptable terms

Open an Adult Payment Gateway today!

Merchants shopping for a payment gateway solution or in the first stages of researching the different programs available are encouraged to speak to one of our payment gateway professionals. Our staff will be more than happy to go over any technical support questions or address any concerns merchants might have about the payment gateway.

The Adult Merchant Services payment gateway offers businesses other features to help merchants manage and grow their businesses more efficiently with additional payment processing available, better transaction management, reporting, and accounting functions.

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