Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies)
Bitcoin is, in my opinion, one of the safest independent payment methods within our industry. The payments are fast and anonymous, with no risk of cancelled payments or frozen accounts due to violating a TOS. There are some cons to using Bitcoin, though. One is that you will have to convince some buyers to get started with it, and sometimes help them with questions about how it works. Two is that Bitcoin’s value fluctuates, so if you don’t withdraw immediately after receiving it, sure, there’s a chance you’ll make money off of it, but there’s also a chance you’ll lose money on it. If you choose to hold onto your BTC rather than immediately converting them to your local currency after every transaction, getting a secure Bitcoin wallet can also cost money. Do NOT under any circumstances hold Bitcoin on a trading site. If the site ever goes down, you’ll lose your entire balance. The recommended wallets and trading sites have changed a fair bit since I first wrote this, so I’ll have to update this later with info on what’s currently recommended! Not sure what Bitcoin is, or how it works? Check out this article that explains bitcoin like you’re five. Bitcoin transfers often go through in 2-60 minutes. Fast, safe, and secure.
Similar to Bitcoin, the registration process takes a bit of time to get through, but once you’re set up, it’s quick and easy. Both buyer and seller must have a Paxum account in order for it to be an option for direct payments. The name attached to your account will not be shown, but your username may be visible (so be sure to use your stage name or sex work related email for that).
How it works:
1. Once the buyer gives you their Paxum email address, fill out Request Money form (link is at the top of the page after you login to paxum.com). Note: The email you are requesting funds from must be the same email the buyer registered to Paxum with.
2. Buyer receives a money request in their email inbox, and follows the instructions in their email to send the requested amount to your account.
3. Money gets transferred to your Paxum account. If funds are pending, do not provide goods or services until they have cleared into your Paxum account.
Paxum funds can be withdrawn to your bank account, or you can request a physical card for debit transactions and ATM withdrawals direct from your Paxum account. Restrictions may apply based on location.
I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a client pay via Paxum, but it’s still worth having as a third party payment processor. Paxum is compatible with multiple adult sites, such as StreaMate, PornHub, and ExtraLunchMoney. My payouts go from those sites to Paxum, then you withdraw from Paxum to your bank account.
Note: Paxum withdrawals are, in my experience, pricey. Therefore, I try to cash out as infrequently as possible, so that when I do cash out, I’m not losing half of my balance to fees. Last withdrawal I made cost me $85USD.
Amazon Gift Cards
An easy and commonly used method, Amazon gift cards are sent directly to your e-mail and can be redeemed instantly. These can be purchased by buyers in most countries, so be sure to direct buyers to purchase the gift card from the Amazon website you will be using in your country (Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, etc).
It is worth noting that Amazon does not support adult businesses, but they do not go out of their way to investigate claims of adult industry use unless directly prompted to. This means they are a slight risk. Tell your clients to keep gift card messages discreet or blank, and you shouldn’t experience any issues.
Things to keep in mind:
• ONLY accept gift card codes emailed to you directly from Amazon. If someone sends you just a code, ask them to cancel it and send you the gift card through Amazon. Codes can be faked, stolen, or claimed as fraudulent, so redeeming a code you didn’t receive in an email from Amazon can get you in trouble.
• The e-mail you receive the gift card to does not have to match the e-mail that your Amazon account is associated with. This means if you have an email address dedicated to selling/performing (which you should!), you can receive the gift card to that email account but redeem the code to an Amazon account that is connected to your personal email.
• It is common to charge a convenience fee on Amazon Giftcard payments, as they cannot be used to pay bills. Most SWs charge between 15-25% extra for payments made by giftcard.
• Buyers do not need to be from your country to send you an Amazon GC through your country’s Amazon site. For example, as a Canadian, I only accept Amazon.ca GCs. My international clients can log in to Amazon.ca using their Amazon.com/Amazon.uk.co/Amazon.au (etc.) login info.
Other Gift Cards
Whole Foods: Anonymous and instant. As a Canadian, I have no experience with this personally, but have seen American colleagues accept WF gift cards.
Southwest Airlines: Anonymous, but takes some time to send. As a Canadian, I have no experience with this personally, but have seen American colleagues accept SWA gift cards.
Starbucks: Anonymous, but takes some time to send. I have no experience with this personally, but have seen colleagues accept Starbucks gift cards.
Sephora e-giftcard: The sending process is a bit tedious, but easy for buyers to follow. Sometimes takes a few hours to arrive in your inbox. Buyers can send while keeping their personal info anonymous.
Etsy: Easy and instant. Je mindful of the face that not all shops accept gift cards, so if you’re accepting GCs to purchase something specific, make sure the shop accepts them, first. Buyers can send while keeping their personal info anonymous.
Because giftcards can be canceled, I recommend spending them as soon as possible to minimize the chance of a buyer doing a chargeback and leaving you with an empty gift card after goods/services have been provided. Requesting gift cards that you can spend online is your best option, especially since you could technically spend it before providing goods/services to the buyer (if you already know exactly what you want and can order quickly, so as to not leave the buyer waiting).
This option is only usable when both the buyer and seller are Canadian, but it is pretty quick and easy to use. As with most other payment methods listed above, the sender only needs to know your e-mail address. The name they include is whatever you tell them to put, and does not have to match the name on the account the money will be deposited into.
You will be able to see the buyer’s name, but if this is a concern for them, don’t fret! If they go into their Interac e-transfer settings, they can choose a name that will appear when sending e-transfers that does not match the name legally attached to the bank account. They’ll just need to remember to change it back before sending e-transfers to anyone they know if they want to avoid any questions!
DO NOT under any circumstances allow buyers to send e-transfers to an email address you have set up for auto-deposit. You can read why in this blog post (link will take you to Reddit until I update this website with a copy of the same blog).
This method is recommended for high volume and/or full time sellers. CCBill allows you to accept credit cards instantly for most of your adult services, all approved by their TOS. Some items and content are not permitted by their TOS including used panties and taboo fetishes (incest, scat, pee, ageplay, etc). Read through their terms fully before enrolling. The service costs approximately $1,000 per year to enroll and a small percentage of each transaction is also taken. We’d recommend making sales for 1 month and doing the math to see if CCBill will be worth it for your business versus other payment methods.
DO NOT USE
For the love of God, just don’t. PayPal is extremely anti-sex worker, they are easy for clients to do chargebacks on, and if you ever get reported for being a sex worker, you will never be able to create a new account. Save your PayPal for online shopping. Do NOT use it to accept payments for sex work!
Google Wallet, Venmo, Cashapp, etc.
These are slightly better than PayPal, but only slightly better. Once you get some regular clients (I’m talking 1+ years of consistent spending on you), you might be able to trust them with these options, but if things go sour, or they ever decide they want their money back, they can really fuck you up. Besides, on third party sites, while they do take a %, they also give you exposure. Diverting sales from a third party site will hurt your site rank, and cost you future sales.