For businesses in the adult industry, finding a payment processor can be a significant challenge. The subject matter typically brings with it a high-risk classification due to regulatory concerns and chargeback rates, meaning mainstream processors won’t accept you.

However, a number of providers specialise in this area and are here to help.

This guide introduces the best payment gateways and merchant accounts that cater specifically to adult-oriented sites. By comparing key features, costs, and the compliance capabilities of each option, my goal is to simplify your selection process.


How do I accept payment for adult content?

To accept payment for adult content, you should set up a payment processing system that specializes in high-risk industries. You’ll want to ensure they offer the following:

  1. High-Risk Support: Ensure the processor specializes in high-risk industries and is familiar with the specific challenges of the adult sector.
  2. Top Notch Security: Given the sensitive nature of transactions, robust security features are vital to protect both the business and its customers.
  3. Regulatory Compliance: The processor should be adept at handling the regulatory requirements specific to adult content, including age verification.
  4. Chargeback Protection: Look for providers with strong chargeback prevention strategies, as this is a common issue in the industry.
  5. Reputation and Reliability: Choose a processor with a proven track record in the adult industry.
  6. Competitive Transaction Rates and Fees: High-risk businesses often face higher fees. Compare rates to find a balance between cost and the services offered.
  7. Global Transactions: If your business serves an international market, ensure the processor can handle multiple currencies and complies with various international regulations.
  8. Customer Support: Efficient and accessible customer support is crucial for addressing any transactional issues promptly.

By focusing on these factors, adult-oriented businesses can find a payment processor that not only accepts their business model but also provides the necessary support and services for smooth financial operations.

Maximizing Approval Odds for Adult Merchant Accounts

When applying for a merchant account in the adult industry, several factors will increase the likelihood of getting approved.

Firstly, a track record of some kind will help. Payment processors seek evidence of stability and reliability in your business’s financial history. Equally important is submitting a complete and accurate application; any missing or incorrect information can lead to delays or outright denial.

Unsurprisingly, personal and business credit history is important. If there are blemishes on your credit record, be prepared to explain them.

You’ll also want to show that your business adheres to all relevant laws and regulations, particularly in areas like age verification and content restrictions. If you’ve managed a merchant account before, presenting proof of a low chargeback ratio can significantly bolster your application, demonstrating your capability to handle one of the major risks in the adult industry.

Finally, highlighting the security measures you’ve implemented to protect customer data and transactions will work in your favor. It illustrates your commitment to risk mitigation.

How the Best Adult Merchant Account Providers Compare

ProviderSpecializationsKey FeaturesTrustpilot Score
Total ProcessingLarger businesses, international transactionsSupports 190+ payment methods, integrates with major platforms, extensive acquirer network4.9*
CashflowsHigh-risk industries, innovative solutionsFlexible settlement options, supports major payment methods, advanced security4.5*
CC BillHigh-volume transactions, adult websitesAdvanced fraud protection, supports various billing models1.8*
VerotelAdult industry compliance, securityIndustry-specific compliance, broad payment options, robust security measures2.6*
Firm EUEuropean market focus, high-risk industriesSecure transactions, supports alternative payment methods, enhanced security featuresNot specified

The 5 Best Adult Payment Processors

Here are the best payment processing options for adult businesses.

We haven’t listed specific per transaction fees for each of these as this is always handled on a case by case basis, depending on sector, trading history, jurisdisction, turnover and many other factors. You’ll simply have to apply to find out.

Total Processing: The Best Overall Adult Payment Processor for Larger Businesses

If your turnover is 500k p.a. or more, Total Processing stands out as our top choice. They are an ISO who have relationships with the broadest selection of banks and acquirers of anyone we’ve encountered, meaning their ability to forge a specialist payments solution in almost any area is unmatched. They don’t just handle high risk these days, but it’s how they started, and there is very little they can’t arrange.

With Total Processing, you’re not just getting sector-specific expertise: they can help with international banking, streamline the checkout process and generally help you streamline this very complex area of your business.

They offer three different payment gateways, including Total Processing on ACI, plus Cybersource, and Cardinity (Nomupay), plus support for over 190 payment methods.

Key Features

The platform supports a variety of acquirers, both with and pending ISO agreements. This includes Trust Payment, Cashflows, Paysafe, Paynt, Fiserv, Elavon, Nuvei, Truevo, Nomupay, and several others, many of which support Apple Pay and Google Pay. This extensive network ensures that businesses have multiple options for transaction processing, enhancing reliability and flexibility.

In addition to the broad acquirer network, Total Processing is connected with several platforms like WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, AeroCommerce, Prestashop, OpenCart, and others. This means you can easily run your adult business on WordPress or Shopify, and simply get Total Processing to handle your payment processing.

Finally, their customer service really does elevate them from the crowd. With a 4.9* rating on Trustpilot, it’s clear their team really goes the extra mile to help their clients function smoothly.

Cashflows: Best Runner Up

Cashflows is another ISO recognized for its comprehensive approach to payment processing. They’re FCA-licensed, offering a wide range of services that extend beyond simple transaction handling. They specialize in high-risk industries, making them well-suited for adult-oriented sites.

Cashflows prides itself on offering innovative payment solutions that are designed to boost conversion rates and improve the customer experience. Their platform is known for being user-friendly and highly secure, providing peace of mind for both businesses and their customers. They also offer insightful analytics, helping businesses understand their transaction data better and make informed decisions.

Key Features of CashFlows Payment Processing:

  1. Anytime Settlement: CashFlows provides a unique Anytime Settlement feature, offering three-day, next-day, or even same-day settlement options. This flexibility ensures businesses can access funds from card payments quickly and efficiently, aligning with their specific financial needs.
  2. Broad Payment Method Support: The platform supports all major payment methods including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Samsung Pay. This broad range ensures businesses can cater to the diverse payment preferences of their customers.
  3. Security and Compliance: Security is a priority for CashFlows, with advanced technology and authentication tools to safeguard transactions. The platform aids businesses in becoming PCI compliant and is one of the first acquirers to offer the benefits of 3D Secure Version 2.2.
  4. Versatility in Payment Acceptance: Whether payments are made online, in-person, or in-app, CashFlows is compatible with leading partner gateways and supports various card machines, ensuring seamless payment experiences across different shopping environments.
  5. Optimisation of Acceptance Rates: The service offers tools to manage and optimise acceptance rates, providing businesses with fast, easy access to relevant data to minimise failed payments.
  6. Easy Integration: Integration with CashFlows is streamlined through their APIs, allowing for easy and efficient setup without extensive technical requirements.
  7. Multi-Currency Payments: The platform accepts and settles payments in most major currencies, facilitating global market expansion for businesses.
  8. Additional Services: CashFlows offers services like Secure Hosted Payment Pages, Cashflows Account Updater for automatic updating of customer card details, and Cashflows Direct Send for quick and safe digital disbursements.
  9. Real-Time Reporting: Businesses have access to real-time reporting of their transactions, providing them with detailed insights and control over their payment activities.

CC Bill

CC Bill is a well-established player in the payment processing industry, particularly renowned for their expertise in managing transactions for adult websites.

They offer a robust and secure platform that can handle high-volume transactions efficiently. CC Bill’s services include advanced fraud protection, ensuring safe and secure transactions for both the business and its customers. Their platform is also designed to support various billing models, including subscriptions and one-time payments, making it highly versatile for different types of adult content providers. Additionally, CC Bill provides excellent customer support, ensuring any issues are promptly addressed.


Verotel specializes in providing payment processing services specifically designed for the adult industry. They are known for their high level of compliance with industry-specific regulations, making them a reliable choice for adult sites concerned with legal and regulatory adherence. Verotel offers a range of payment options, including credit card processing and alternative payment methods, catering to a broad customer base. They also emphasize security, with robust measures in place to protect against fraud and chargebacks. Verotel’s service is marked by its ease of use, both for the

business owners and their customers, ensuring a smooth transaction process. Their customer support is tailored to address the unique challenges faced by adult content providers, offering solutions that are both efficient and industry-specific.

Firm EU

Firm EU is particularly adept at handling the intricacies of European markets, making it an excellent choice for adult businesses operating within or targeting customers in Europe. They offer a range of payment processing services, including secure card transactions and alternative payment methods, ensuring flexibility for businesses with diverse customer bases. Firm EU’s platform is designed for high-risk industries, with enhanced security features and robust fraud prevention tools. This focus on security is crucial for adult sites, which often face higher risks of chargebacks and fraudulent transactions. Additionally, their customer service team is knowledgeable

about the unique needs of the adult industry, providing specialised support and guidance to help businesses navigate the complexities of European regulations and payment processing challenges.

Understanding and Managing Chargebacks in the Adult Industry

One of the biggest challenges for adult-oriented businesses when it comes to payment processing is managing chargebacks. Chargebacks occur when customers dispute a charge on their credit card, often leading to a reversal of the transaction. In the adult industry, this can be a frequent issue due to the nature of the content and services provided.

Here’s how businesses can understand and effectively manage chargebacks:

  1. Clear Communication: Ensure that the billing descriptor on the customer’s statement is clear and recognizable. Confusion often leads to chargebacks.
  2. Discreet Billing: Many customers prefer discretion in billing for adult content. Using a nondescript name on statements can reduce chargeback rates.
  3. Robust Customer Service: Provide easily accessible customer service to handle disputes and queries. Often, resolving a customer’s concern directly can prevent a chargeback.
  4. Detailed Terms of Service: Clearly outline your service terms, refund policy, and cancellation procedures. Customers should be aware of what they are agreeing to at the point of purchase.
  5. Fraud Detection Tools: Implement advanced fraud detection and prevention tools. These can flag suspicious transactions before they’re processed, reducing the likelihood of fraudulent chargebacks.
  6. Documentation and Proof: Maintain detailed records of transactions and customer interactions. In case of a dispute, having proof of the transaction and any communication can be crucial in contesting the chargeback.
  7. Educate Customers: Sometimes, customers aren’t fully aware of what they’re purchasing. Providing clear descriptions and previews can minimise misunderstandings.
  8. Regular Monitoring: Regularly review chargeback rates and patterns. This can help identify specific areas or processes that may be contributing to higher chargeback rates.

FAQs: Adult Merchant Accounts and Payment Processing

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