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When you decide to begin accepting credit card payments for sessions, you will have to jump through some hoops to establish yourself as a legitimate business with the card companies. Accepting credit card payments is easy, but there are some requirements you must meet.
Escorts who carefully go through this process to establish their methods of accepting credit card payments will see the most rewards in the long term.
- Select a name for your business. Even though you may be “Donna the Dominatrix” or “Emma the Escort,” you don’t want that to appear on your clients’ credit card receipts. Choose something really boring such as Global Consulting Corp. or Quality Research Service. The name of your business should not attract any extra attention from a client’s accountant, manager or spouse. It should appear like a perfectly normal expense for any kind of professional executive.
- Establish merchant accounts. Contact your bank, credit union or financial institution and ask to set up an appointment to apply for a merchant account. Banks and other similar institutions can approve you for accounts that determine your eligibility for accepting Visa and MasterCard payments. If, for some reason, you aren’t approved… or you feel uncomfortable applying at your local bank for an account… you can apply for merchant accounts from Independent Service Organizations (ISOs). Their application processes are usually a bit more lengthy and their start-up fees are higher. But, otherwise, you get the same service.
- Forego the processing equipment. If you think exchanging an envelope with hundred dollar bills is awkward, imagine swiping a client’s credit card at the door. Not only awkward, but very impersonal. Additionally, credit card processing equipment can be expensive, cumbersome and unnecessary. Avoid choosing credit card payment options that require you to manually enter credit card numbers into a machine.
- Use online credit card processing. Consider using an online processing option provided through your traditional merchant account or account provided by your ISO. They usually provide several options for accepting credit card payments online. Additionally, escorts can register through PayPal for secure methods of payment that link directly to your bank account. Clients can pay you using PayPal with the knowledge that you will never see their payment information, too, which gives them peace of mind. And, if you have an impromptu client who hasn’t had a chance to pay online, he can use your laptop to make a payment while you get “ready”. PayPal provides easy coding options so you can easily and conveniently add a PayPal button to your website, too, which gives clients easy access to your payment methods.
- Be aware of the fees associated with credit card processing. Usually merchant services charge a business a percentage of the transaction to process it, in addition to a transaction fee that ranges from $0.20 to $0.50 per credit card payment. Some companies, such as ISOs also charge annual, quarterly or monthly fees for their services and access to their software.
- Refrain from charging clients fees for their transactions. It is illegal to pass along credit card fees to clients. Through your general agreements with the credit card companies, it is generally understood and part of the terms of agreement that you realize you are expected to pay fees associated with being able to process credit card payments. It’s a service YOU are paying for, and companies never expect those charges to be passed along to clients and consumers.
Remember that setting up the process to accept credit cards is actually much more complicated than accepting the credit card payments. Keep in mind that once your system is in place, it becomes immediately possible to draw more funds.