Finding a Payment Processor for Adult Merchants

Sep 2, 2022 | High Risk

All businesses are unique. Every restaurant, grocery store, book shop and retail boutique has their own way of running their business. They have their own image, unique inventory mix, proprietary process, brand, etc. That “thing” that makes them unique.  These days businesses sell their goods and services in store, on-line and on the go. How a business accepts payments has become part of their uniqueness. Their secret sauce. But how do these unique businesses get setup to accept payments?

If the business is considered to be a “mainstream” merchant, it’s fairly easy to find a merchant account provider. The merchant can walk into a bank and open an account, or they can work with any number of payment processors.  But what about “adult” businesses? Can they walk into the bank and setup a merchant account? Probably not.

best payment processor for adult site
best payment processor for adult site

Ready to accept payments anytime, anywhere?

How do “adult” businesses find a merchant account provider?

Getting a merchant account approved for an adult business is not as easy as getting approved for a mainstream merchant account. There are behind the scenes rules and requirements as dictated in large part by sponsor banks. You would be hard pressed to find a major bank willing to sponsor adult based businesses. But why?


When it comes to merchant accounts, adult businesses are considered high-risk and more prone to chargebacks. Even within the adult category, some businesses are more prone to chargebacks than others.  For example, there is a higher probability of chargebacks for online dating sites and adult membership sites.  Because chargebacks are a critical factor for banks when considering whether or not to work with a high-risk business, risk averse banks choose not to work with this category of merchants.That is where a payment processor comes in. Finding the right payment processor whose sponsor bank allows adult businesses is your ticket to getting an adult business setup to accept payments. But who are these adult businesses we are talking about? Common adult businesses include:

  • Adult Toys and Novelties
  • Adult Bookstores
  • Online Dating websites
  • Online Lingerie and Adult Clothing Shops

    There are payment processors who specialize in high-risk merchant accounts. These processors have invested time and resources into developing relationships with sponsor banks that allow them to work with high-risk and adult merchants. That said, most high-risk payment processors will only approve merchant accounts for legally operating businesses.

    Signature Payments has been providing high-risk merchant accounts to businesses for over 20 years. As experts in the high-risk space, we have a team of in-house experts able to help you get your adult merchant account approved. Please reach out to our team of experts. We’d love to get you approved.