Before I begin, let me state that I think the processing rates for so called ‘high risk’ services such as adult-oriented webcam shows are ridiculously high. That said, many new independent camgirls don’t seem to understand the importance of having sustainable payment processing such as Zomabio, CCBill or Epoch, so I figured I write about the pros and cons of the ‘ad hoc’ alternative payment methods most commonly used by newer independent camgirls.
Gift Rocket is an American-based system through which camgirls with a Gift Rocket account can receive ‘gifts’ or payments from customers. The pros are that the cost of sending money to another party are borne by the person sending the money, not the recipient. This means that processing costs for the camgirl are zero, and the customer pays the fee of $2 plus 5% of the total gift amount in processing costs. The other main benefit of using Gift Rocket is that the customer does not need to have his own Gift Rocket account in order to send money, he simply uses his credit card to send the agreed upon amount to the camgirl’s email address that is registered with the site. The customer never sees the camgirl’s name, address or identifying info, making Gift Rocket safe and anonymous, which is important for our purposes.
The main downside of using Gift Rocket as payment for skype webcam shows is that only customers located in the US can use it, the service does not allow people from outside the US to send funds through their system. Independent camgirls outside of the US can create a Gift Rocket account, however non-Americans can only withdraw funds through paypal, which is NOT a safe or sustainable solution. If you use Paypal as an independent camgirl in any capacity related to your webcam sex work, it really is only a matter of time before your Paypal account gets frozen or suspended.
Another negative about Gift Rocket is that while the recipient of funds receives the ‘gift’ immediately, Gift Rocket only debits the customer’s credit card at a later date, meaning that there is no guarantee you will get paid for the webcam shows you perform. If the credit card is declined at that later date you are totally out of luck.
Amazon Gift Cards
Amazon gift cards are a popular payment option for independent camgirls providing skype webcam shows, as these cards are anonymous and safe, provided you always redeem the gift card prior to starting the cam show. The main drawback to these cards, and the reason I don’t accept them myself is because I can’t pay my bills with gift cards or deposit them into a savings account, I can only spend them on consumer goods. That’s great if you’re a fan of online shopping (I am not) but even for those of you who are Amazon gift cards will never be able to replace payment processing.
Payoneer private loads are an efficient and low cost payment option for camgirls offering yahoo and skype webcam shows, but there are significant drawbacks to the service as well. First off, the good: the fee for private loads is 3.75% and customers only need the email address attached to your payoneer account, they don’t need to create an account themselves. The downside is tha as of now only payoneer debit card holders can accept private loads, you cannot do so if you receive payoneer payments via direct deposit/global bank transfer. This means that while the fees for receiving payments are low, the expenses attached to card maintenance and withdrawal of funds from the card are expensive. Further, unless you regularly receive payoneer payments from a registered partner (such as a cam site) your card will be deactivated and your ability to accept private loads removed.
Payoneer is a great service but they aren’t a payment processor, and are quite vocal about it. As a camgirl you are not permitted to put a Payoneer payment link on your website, and your ability to accept private loads is at the sole discretion of the company. Expect that as your volume of payments rises your ability to receive private loads will be curtailed. See this link for further information on the payoneer private load policy.
Another drawback to using Payoneer as a payment option for webcam shows is that customer payments are not transferred immediately, there is often a two day hold on the customer making a payment and the funds being removed from his credit card and appearing in your account. This means that if a payment is declined you only find out after the fact, unless you always require Payoneer payment two days in advance. Not a great solution for spur-of-the-moment webcam show requests.
Paxum is a similar service to payoneer although unlike the former they encourage private use. Paxum is anonymous and the low costs of payment (which are paid by the customer) are 4.95% of the total amount + $0.50 + 25 cents. Still, fees to withdraw ones funds from a Paxum account are quite steep, at 5$ for check and $8.95 for ACH (EFT). There is also a $40 surcharge if a payment from a customer is charged back, which means that in the event of a chargeback you lose the cost of the webcam show plus an additional $40. Another drawback is that customers must create a Paxum account in order to send payments to your Paxum account, and creating your own verified Paxum account in order to withdraw funds can be quite a bureaucratic ordeal.
Money Pak/Blue Bird
Money Pak and Blue Bird are two great safe, secure and anonymous alternative payment options, but since they can only be used by Americans within America I don’t consider them to be a general viable option for webcam show payments. I’m not American, but even if I was easily half my customers are located in nations outside the US, simply put these services would be useless for a great percentage of my webcam show clients. Feel free to do your own research if you own circumstances are more US-centric, however.
Why Alternative Payments Do Not Replace Adult Payment Processing for Webcam Shows
All of the options listed above have their uses and pros and cons, but they don’t replace adult payment processing for skype webcam shows because none offer the protection offered by processors such as CCBill, Zombaio and Epoch. Adult payment processors blacklist customers who have charged back, and cards that are declined for innocent bank errors appear immediately, before you have performed the agreed upon webcam show service. Anyone who uses adult payment processing knows how frequently innocent errors that cause credit card declines occur, and few of the services listed above offer any method to protect independent camgirls against that. Further, many of the options listed above offer low cost processing but carry high fees to withdraw funds, in effect raising the cost of accessing your money far above the initial processing fee. I’m not saying don’t use these services, I’ve used many of them myself and been pleased, but I could never run a thriving business without adult payment processing that notifies me immediately of card declines. If you want to be a full time independent camgirl you need to either get your own merchant account or use a site for payment processing that offers a sub-account system of the same. That’s the only way to protect yourself as you grow your business.