If you've been in the escorting business for a while, then the idea of accepting credit card payments for your services may have crossed your mind at some point. Of course, most providers have a cash only policy when it comes to getting paid for their encounters. But are they missing out on extra money by limiting their client's options to paper bills?
Article by Ashly Lorenzana Published Blog Slixa Under Cover
The thoughtful advice and opinions of the author of this article are meant to be informative and entertaining and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Slixa.
The decision of whether or not to accept credit card payments isn't necessarily a simple one for escorts. As it turns out, credit card processing is a rather slipperly slope not just for escorts but for the adult industry as a whole.
If you're set on accepting credit card payments, what you will need to apply for is a high-risk merchant account. There are tons of companies and websites that offer these types of accounts and will allow you to process payments once you're approved. I highly recommend doing some research and finding a company that specializes in adult services, rather than applying with a generic payment processing service.
A quick Google search for "escort merchant service" might be a good place to start. It should turn up several sites that specifically offer accounts to escorts, such as InstaBill.com
You may also be able to process credit card payments using more popular services such as Authorize.net, however be prepared for hefty fees when using sites like this. Not only do they tend to charge outrageously high setup fees, but you need to also watch out for any monthly fees and high transaction fees.
If you plan on taking credit card payments online through your own website, you will need to provide a secure server for your clients to keep their sensitive information safe while transactions are being processed.
Another important thing to consider is that most merchant account providers will reserve some percentage of your funds in the event of any chargebacks on your account. Chargebacks and other disputed transactions may result in losing funds for time you have already spent with a client.
With all the high fees, unfriendly attitudes towards adult workers and the undeniable paper trail that credit cards leave, is this idea even worth looking into? Well, let's be honest about the cons before we present the pros and take a look at another option.
Yes, credit cards create paper trails and they draw attention to your name. While we're on that subject, you will also need to make sure that payments are being sent to your actual business name.
Clients may not like the idea of paying with a credit card, so you might not get much use out of a merchant account if you choose to apply for one.
Fees associated with credit card payments may be too high to justify the entire concept.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about a new service called Square. They have made an attachment for your Smartphone that turns it into a credit card swiper and makes it easy for just about anyone to accept payments while on the go.
The best part about Square is that they do not charge any monthly or setup fees and the app works on any mobile device running the Android operating system. They charge a flat transaction fee of 2.75%, which is very reasonable when compared to your other options.
Before I leave you to make this decision for yourself, I'd like to point out that while mobile apps like Square might make accepting credit cards more convenient and seemingly simple for escorts, you are still required to use your business name and you will need to report the income just the same.
In the end, it's up to you whether or not the benefits of credit card payments outweigh the risks and the costs.
Escorts face a unique challenge when confronted with one of the most common small talk starters that is thrown around in our society. That question, of course, is "So, what do you do?"
One of the most important things to figure out when you begin escorting is where you will be spending your time with clients. Generally speaking, there are three main options for locations: incall, outcall and neutral locations.