Home Blog What payment gateway and merchant account should I choose for adult websites?

What payment gateway and merchant account should I choose for adult websites?

29 March 2024

For businesses in the adult industry, finding an adult payment processor can be tough. Because of the content, they're often seen as risky, so mainstream processors don't want to work with them. Plus, there's usually a lot of extensive documentation involved, making things even harder.

Best Adult Payment Processors & Merchants Accounts | Bunny CMS

Nevertheless, there are plenty of providers that could fit our needs and some of them offer less paperwork for adult businesses than you might expect.

This guide presents top payment gateways and adult merchant account providers tailored for transaction processing, including those suited for an adult content management system. Through thorough comparisons of essential features, expenses, and functionalities of each service, the aim is to simplify your decision-making process.

πŸ†š What is the difference between Payment Provider and Payment Gateway?

When selling online, surely, you must first have the right systems and processes in place. However, this raises many questions, some of them are:

  • What is a payment provider?
  • What is a payment gateway and how does it differ from having a merchant account?
  • How do they work together?
  • Are there any associated costs?

We get these questions every time, therefore, it would be nice to have a look at everything in order.

πŸ’³ What is a Payment Provider?

In a nutshell, a payment provider is a firm service that facilitates online transactions between merchants (sellers) and customers (buyers) in processing credit card payments by transmitting and managing cardholder information between issuing and acquiring banks.

Merchant account providers also offer a range of services beyond just processing transactions, such as fraud detection, currency conversion, and recurring billing. They typically integrate with various gateways to offer a broader range of charge methods and support multiple currencies.

🌐 What is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is a technology that acts as a middleman between the merchant's website and the financial institutions that process transactions.

When a customer makes a purchase online, the gateway securely captures their transfer information (such as credit card details) and transmits it to the adult payment processor for authorization.

Then, once the operation is authorized, the gateway returns the result to the merchant's website, allowing the transaction to proceed.

In short, a payment gateway for adult businesses ensures that sensitive payment information is handled discreetly and securely.

πŸ†š Merchant Service Provider vs Payment Gateway

Now, to clarify how they work together, imagine a gateway as some sort of bridge between your business and your customers' credit cards. It talks to the processor to see if the transaction is good to go or not. The adult payment processor is like the secret agent making sure everything runs smoothly, sending data between everyone involved, from the start of the purchase to the money ending up in your bank account.

Let’s also have a look at some of the differences between the two:

Features Payment Provider Payment Gateway
Services βœ“ Offers wide range of services βœ— Limited services
Diversity of transaction methods βœ“ Supports various methods βœ— Complexity for multiple methods
Security βœ“ Invests in robust security measures βœ— Security concerns
Personal control βœ— Merchants have less control βœ“ Greater control
Independence βœ— Dependency on single provider βœ“ Independence
Costs βœ— May have higher costs βœ“ Lower costs

As you can see from the table, we can't clearly put payment gateway vs merchant services provider in the question of which is better, because they usually work best in tandem, kind of offsetting each other's shortcomings.

πŸ”’ What sets apart the most trusted Adult Merchant Account Providers?

In fact, the best merchant account providers out there share a considerable degree of similarity, but have certain nuances, which we have emphasized in the following table.

Provider Specializations Key Features Downsides
CCbill High-risk industries Security and fraud prevention, supports major currencies methods Limited chargeback protection
Verotel High-risk industries Supports multiple currencies, Advanced security, Minimum paperwork, best merchant provider for the start High transaction fees, Strict approval process
Epoch.com High-risk industries, Subscription-based service Flexible charge options, fraud prevention Complex fee structure
Signaturepayments.com Small, Midsize, and Enterprise Businesses Chargeback mitigation services, Probably the best customer support Strict approval process
Paymentcloudinc.com High-risk industries Easy Approval process, high security level Works only in US, Strict policy

To simplify the selection process, the best merchant account providers are usually the ones that offer top-notch security, reliability, multiple currency options, great customer support, easy setup and keep improving their services. You can also make your choice by referring to the preferences of leading companies, for example, Onlyfans use CCbill as one of their payment processors.

It's also worth mentioning platforms such as TrustPilot, where other merchants like you share their thoughts about specific service providers.


CCBill is a leading transfer processing company specializing in catering to the needs of high-risk businesses, particularly in the adult entertainment sector.

βœ… We have full integration with this service


Verotel specializes in handling transfer operations for high-risk online businesses, including adult credit card processing and alternative methods, while ensuring PCI compliance standards.

βœ… Integration can be provided upon your request


Epoch offers a merchant account for adult businesses and a range of services including credit card processing, alternative charge methods, and subscription management tools.

βœ… We’re currently working on the integration of Epoch.com with our service, coming soon.


Signaturespayment.com focuses on simplifying integration and facilitating monetary transfers across various channels, providing e-commerce solutions and adult merchant services.

βœ… Integration can be provided upon your request


PaymentCloud offers adult credit card processing services at affordable prices, emphasizing politeness, professionalism, and building good relationships with clients.

βœ… Integration can be provided upon your request

❌ Exclusively for clients based in the US

πŸ€” Can I use a Payment Gateway for adult business as a Standalone Service?

Well, sure you can, but using gateway as standalone is rather tricky. One of the primary hurdles businesses face when opting for a gateway is the daunting task of integration. Unlike integrated solutions that seamlessly mesh with existing systems such as websites or point-of-sale terminals, gateways often require custom integration. This process can be time-consuming, particularly for businesses lacking technical expertise in transaction processing.

On the other hand, using gateway as a standalone service is the top choice for those seeking flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and control over their adult payment processing operations. If you really want to go this route, there are some options to consider:

Humboldt Merchant Services

Humboldt Merchant Services specializes in credit card processing for high-risk businesses and offers their own gateway specifically for this category.

βœ… We have full integration with this service

❌ Exclusively for clients based in the US


RocketGate is a specialized gateway service tailored for e-commerce solutions, offering comprehensive credit card processing and supporting transactions in over 60 different currencies.

βœ… Integration can be provided upon your request


Probiller.com is an industry leader in online payment gateway services, offering secure transaction solutions and global reach. They work with major platforms like PornHub and Brazzers and support international currencies.

βœ… Integration can be provided upon your request

πŸͺ™ Cryptocurrency Payments

In addition to traditional payment gateways, cryptocurrency providers like Plisio.net offer advantages such as elimination of chargeback risks, increased security, lower transaction fees, and anonymity.


Plisio.net is a cryptocurrency gateway service supporting major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. They offer flexibility in transaction methods and secure protocols for transaction protection.

βœ… We have full integration with this service

πŸ“ Summary

In essence, for newcomers, starting with a payment provider is easier as it offers a broader suite of services related to online transfers. Many providers offer their own gateway solutions, and merchants can choose to use standalone gateways and integrate them with their chosen merchant account provider.

While CCBill stands out as a top choice, options like Verotel or Epoch offer convenience by minimizing paperwork. Integrating a gateway takes things up a notch, but it's also more complicated. Although cryptocurrency integration adds a bonus dimension, it's not a necessity, and we suggest weighing the benefits and drawbacks of accepting this type of processing.

Understanding your market is crucial, as payment preferences vary across regions. In some countries, local cards dominate over Visa and Mastercard.

As for us, we believe that flexibility is key. We have successfully integrated CCBill, Humbolt.com (only for US), Plisio.net, and are currently in the process of adding Epoch to our lineup of supported payment processors for adult businesses. Additionally, to encourage our customers, we offer full integration with any payment service at no cost, as we value trust and strive for long-term cooperation.

If the last thing you want to do is deal with the problems described in this article, we recommend that you read more about our adult affiliate program.😎 This program is designed to ensure efficient management and monetization of adult content while minimizing time and administrative costs.

🧐 FAQs

What is the fee structure for Payment Processors?
Merchant account providers usually take around 2% to 3% of each transaction amount, along with a small fixed fee for each transaction. These rates may differ depending on the processor and the type of business you have.

What is an Acquiring Bank?
An acquiring bank is a financial institution that holds your merchant bank account. It receives payments from the customer's bank. After the transaction is approved, the acquiring bank transfers the transaction amount into your account.

Can I switch my Gateway or Processor?
Yes, you can switch gateways or processors if you find one that better meets your needs or offers more competitive rates. However, the process of switching may require some technical integration and coordination with your business operations.

Is PayPal a Gateway or a Payment Processor?
PayPal functions as both a gateway and a processor. It serves as a platform facilitating online money transfers and eCommerce transactions, securely connecting buyers and sellers.

Are there any limitations on the types of transactions supported by Gateways and Processors?
Some payment gateways and processors may have limitations on the types of transactions they support, such as recurring fees, mobile purchases, or alternative transfer methods like digital wallets or cryptocurrencies. It's important to choose providers that offer transaction methods most commonly used by your customers.

What impact does the material on my adult website have on the approval of my Merchant Account?
Content that breaches laws, such as featuring minors or non-consensual activities, will result in automatic disqualification. Adult Payment processors carefully review content to ensure it complies with legal and ethical norms.

Can having multiple merchant accounts help reduce risks in the adult industry?
Indeed, some businesses choose to maintain multiple accounts to spread transaction volumes and associated risks. Yet, effective management is crucial to uphold compliance and operational effectiveness.

What advantages do Cryptocurrency Gateway Services offer for adult businesses?
Cryptocurrency gateways eliminate risks associated with chargebacks, offer increased security, lower transaction fees, and anonymity, contributing to less paperwork for adult businesses.

What is a Payment Gateway and how does it cooperate with the processor? (simple analogy)
Imagine you're ordering food at a restaurant. The gateway would be the waiter who takes your order (credit card information) and delivers it to the kitchen (processor). The processor would be the kitchen staff who verifies your order with the bank (ensures you have enough funds) and prepares the food (approves the transaction). Finally, the waiter brings you the food (approval) and the bill (amount minus fees).

Where can I find detailed information about creating my own adult website?
For comprehensive details on creating your own adult website, we recommend visiting our blog, particularly the article How to Start a Porn Site. Here, you will find all the necessary information from planning to launching your website.

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young_rmn 2 weeks ago
informative article, it will be interesting to read on similar topics