If you are involved in the escorting business as an escort, designer, agency owner, SEO specialist or even client, and use Paypal, you should pay attention to this post.
Over the past few weeks we have heard from 3 separate clients who have had their Paypal accounts closed down for various reasons. One of the issues was reported by an escort agency who had sent a list of escorting URLs which they wished to purchase links on. The other two concerned client down payments. In all instances, both the seller and purchaser had their accounts closed down, with the money being kept by Paypal for 6 months (if they ever pay it out).
Why does Paypal close accounts that deal with escorts? Well, Paypal claims that the escorting business, along with other kinds of businesses including gambling and psychic readings, is often linked with fraud. We can't comment on gambling and tarot cards, but we can't see how escorting could realistically use Paypal for fraudulent transactions, since the seller has to send payment details for the buyer, who must surely be aware of what they are buying beforehand.
A more likely reason is due to Paypal's home being the USA, where escorting is technically illegal. The company don't want to be blamed and potentially sued by US authorities for facilitating prostitution, as happened with Craiglist (remember it?) back in 2012. Any suspicion of a transaction being escort-related is likely to have your account closed down immediately as the company try to look totally clean.
How them to avoid having your account closed down? The most obvious one is to make no mention whatsoever during the transaction process that the deal has anything to do with escorting. When you sign up for a Paypal account, ensure that the email does not contain any escorting-related words, and that you do not use an email listed on an escort site. Don't sign up with an email called firstname.lastname@example.org or anything like that, and don't do any business with anyone who has such an email as their Paypal ID.
We recommend that sellers do not send their Paypal email to the seller directly, as the seller may decide to add some escort-related info in the payment text. Instead, ask for his or her email, and then send them an invoice with something neutral in the info box, such as 'services as agreed' or something like this. Also, make sure to educate buyers not to mention escort-related wording on Paypal in future, so that they don't send you payments out of the blue once they have your Paypal email.
In this way, you will reduce the risk of having Paypal close your account. Also, you should regularly keep your Paypal balance to a minimum, so that any frozen funds will not hurt you too badly.
Are there any escort-friendly alternatives to Paypal? Well, if you study the Acceptable Use Policies of other e-Wallet providers such as Stripe, Skrill or anyone else, they all make it clear that you cannot use their services for adult-related transactions. You have to assume that they will also close your account if it comes to it, as most have a presence in the US. Also, none of these providers have the same user base or brand awareness as Paypal, so it is unlikely that customers will want to use them.
The best alternatives then are the traditional means of bank transfer (slow), Western Union (expensive and not good for large amounts) or good old cash face-to-face. None of these really replace the fast and easy method of Paypal, so it looks we are stuck with it to an extent. In another post, we will show you ways to have multiple Paypal accounts so that when one is closed, you have another one, but right now the best way to use Paypal for escorting business is to follow our safety tips, educate your customers, and not keep too much in the account at any one time.