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Online Dating Merchant Account & Online Dating Payment Gateway

Human beings are social animals. No matter how modern and advanced the world becomes, people will always look for love. 

Tinder revolutionized online dating. It allowed people to take their love life into their own hands. Shy and socially anxious people could now approach or reject whom they willed – just by swiping right or left. The global dating giant was valued at $10bn in 2020.

As of 2020, the global revenue for online dating is $3.08bn while the total number of dating app users stood at 270m.

The total market share of the dating industry is estimated to spike to $5.71bn in 2025.

Impact of Covid-19 on Online Dating

As most of the world’s population was forced to stay at home during Covid-19, dating apps saw an influx of users. This was ironic since many predicted that people would refrain from online dating to avoid the risk of contracting the infection. In fact, Apptopia reported that the top 20 dating apps in the US gained 1.5 million new daily and active users in 2020.

Types of dating businesses supported by CutPay

  • Dating apps and websites
  • Social networking groups
  • Matchmaking sites

Why is online dating considered high-risk?

Although there are many legal online dating businesses that follow all rules and regulations by the book, the taboo and stigma attached to online dating make it difficult for the players in the market to open a merchant account. Therefore, banks classify these businesses as high-risk. 

Here are some of the factors that contribute to this phenomenon:

Reputational risk

Most banks are conservative and highly concerned about their reputation. They do not want to be associated with any controversy. Online dating services might be perceived as questionable by many financial institutions. There have also been cases of some businesses partaking in illegal activities like human trafficking, escort services, prostitution rings, etc. Most ‘respectable’ institutions would be prejudiced against online dating businesses no matter how legitimate they are.

High Volume Turnover

Online dating businesses usually have a high volume turnover. This contributes to the overall risk when the business is being assessed by an acquiring bank. A higher sales volume increases the likelihood of liability, especially in the case of credit card payments.

High chargeback turnover

Online dating businesses are prone to high refunds or chargeback rates. Customers may call their credit card provider and deny their purchase or claim it was unfulfilled because they could not find that ‘special someone. Some users may be embarrassed and not want a record of their use of online dating services, especially if they are caught by their spouse or partner. This phenomenon is known as ‘friendly fraud’. Chargebacks can also occur due to customer confusion. Customers might forget and not recognize a subscription charge in their bank statement. They may also dispute billing charges after opting-in for monthly billing for their credit card. 

Card Not Present (CNP) transactions

Many online dating businesses are based off-shore. It becomes difficult for financial service providers like banks or merchant service companies to conduct the necessary KYC and AML checks. This increases the risk of online dating services being misused by users colluding with one another/or with the business itself. Important financial information of clients might be compromised online during a CNP transaction. There are numerous fraudsters hacking bank accounts, skimming credit card information and stealing identities. As mentioned above, online dating services might be carrying out illegal activities undercover to launder money, e.g., escort services, prostitution rings, human trafficking, etc. 

Lack of Legal Framework

The online dating industry is not regulated in most parts of the world. Most governments provide basic guidelines as to how businesses should operate. Due to a lack of legal and regulatory framework, most financial institutions are sceptical of working with online dating merchants.


New online dating businesses or start-ups have little experience. Financial service providers are sceptical of working with a new entity in an industry that carries a huge stake for all parties involved. These businesses might not have an idea about the risks associated with the online dating industry, including cheating customers, illegal businesses, fraud, etc. This could expose these businesses to the risk of these customers defaulting on payments and claiming chargebacks or refunds. 

Lack of infrastructure

Most online dating businesses do not provide clients with appropriate levels of customer support and lack policies and procedures in place to deal with their complaints. In the event of a dispute or dissatisfaction (especially if they do not meet that ‘special someone’), disgruntled clients may turn to banks or merchant service providers for refunds or chargebacks.

Why Choose CutPay?

CutPay specializes in processing payments for online dating businesses. We are one of the best merchant service providers for online dating merchants in Europe and the UK.

With our extensive network of various acquiring banks, we can help you diversify the processing of your payments among multiple banks to mitigate risk as well as expand your business globally.

CutPay offers high-risk businesses a host of fraud and chargeback protection features as well as a secure payment gateway that provides online dating merchants with long-term, reliable payment processing solutions.

Industry Account Experts
Easy Application
Competitive Rates
Fast Account Approval
Medium/High-Risk Accounts
Relationships with Leading Acquiring Banks 
Large Merchant Case Studies
E-Commerce and Retail Options
B2B Vendors Supported
Multiple Payment Solutions
Multiple E-Commerce Gateway (Mobile apps or website)
Chargeback Prevention
Credit Cards
B2B-Level II/III Data Discounts
3D Secure Frictionless Checkout
Level 1 PCI-DSS Merchant Gateway
Fraud Prevention
Mobile Payment
EMV Reader
NFC technology
Support  & Guidance
International Merchant Accounts
Gateway Recurring Billing
E-Commerce Cart Plugins 
Developer API /SDK/ Docs
POS/Terminals (Virtual or MOTO)
Dedicated Account Managers
Superior Customer Service

Ready to Get Started? 

So are you an online dating business that wants to open a high-risk merchant account? Don’t know where to start? Fear not – CutPay is here to solve all your problems!

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