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Discussion on: Programming in the Adult Entertainment Industry is Broken

jonerer profile image
Jon Mårdsjö

What's the reason given, if any? I'm very surprised. Given that it's a legal business in the area, the processors should be happy to have customers, no?

jjzd profile image
Johan J.

Also look from the other side. Let's say you are an illegitimate business, actually selling the weed. You notice you are not accepted at any of the merchants. How would you hide your business?
One way would be to pose administratively as a graphics company, having nothing to do with the product itself. And then continue still sell the weed under the counter. Problem solved!
But the merchants covering you, have the same problems as with the actual companies selling weed. So, it's cheaper to deny hundred weed related companies, knowing there will be X in there which are actual proper companies. Way better than either accepting the risk on X or spending money to actually find out who is X and who is not.

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whoisryosuke profile image

I'm a fan of playing devil's advocate, but that wouldn't make sense in practice.

People run fake businesses already, particularly the people who run illegal medical marijuana delivery services.

The easy part? They pose as a graphics company. Not a ganja-specific graphic design company. It's easier to spoof when you don't associate. The issue we faced was that we were up front about our business and practices, whereas the criminals wouldn't be. Why put a weed leaf on my cover business? My dirty accountant would strangle me 😅

It's more of an issue with the federal legislation (with cannabis), and in some cases (like the adult industry) they avoid businesses that receive a lot of chargebacks.

I actually had issues getting processing for legitmate, non-cannabis design companies because professional services are more prone to chargebacks (and more difficult to prove receipt than physical retail goods). I've had clients chargeback, and even with screenshots, server logs, and a contract-- and the bank/credit company still sides with the client. And small claims court isn't an option for out-of-state/international clients (one of the major issues with working remote).

whoisryosuke profile image
Ryosuke • Edited on

There's usually no explicit reason given. And if you shake them down, they point to their TOS that states no cannabis and say you can't feature any reference to it on your website (or even social media).

It's a legal business in terms of local or state municipality, but it's still illegal on a federal level. And since all banks/credit cards are managed on a federal level by the FDIC. They risk their federal license/status if they operate with federally illegally businesses. So you end up working with smaller banks/processors that are on a lower profile, and are willing to risk their license.

You can find local processors happy to have customers, but they overcharge you 10%+ in fees (versus Paypal's 2.3% or whatever). They take so much risk they overcharge to cover it. And they tend to only offer bank wires/e-checks, since credit card processors/bank debit won't even take the risk.