Can Adult Merchants Use Stripe?

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Last Updated on June 29, 2022 by Corepay

So you just launched your adult business and are looking for an adult merchant account. While signing up for a low-risk processor is easy, it is not in your best interest. This article will cover everything you need to know about Stripe and its adult content policies. 

Currently, Stripe has strict regulations on how they allow adult content. In stripes restricted business and regulations terms, you will find that merchants cannot have pornography with nude or sexual acts. 

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Stripe And Adult Content Restrictions

Below is a list of content that Stripe currently bans. 

  • Pornography and mature content (books, photos, videos)
  • Adult services: Escorts, adult live chat, cam girls, pay-per-view, sexual massages)
  • Gentlemen clubs, topless bars, strip clubs
  • Adult sex toys

What is important to note is that Stripe can decide that your company violates their terms of service, whether you believe you do or don’t.

What Adult Merchants Should Do Instead Of Choosing Stripe

Stripe is a fantastic option for merchants who are considered low-risk. With this being said, adult content is not permitted with Stripe. 

We recommend that merchants seeking payment processing for their adult business seek out payment processors specifically focusing on high-risk and adult entertainment.

Alternative To Stripe For Adult Content Payment Processing

Adult merchants must choose a high-risk payment processing solution to build a successful brand/business. High-risk processors work solely with merchants who are off the traditional path, and they understand what these merchants need.

Because you are considered high-risk, you might be charged a premium price to operate. With this being said, you won’t have problems getting your merchant account terminated unexpectedly.

Most adult content merchant account providers will not try to change your business model or tell you how you need to operate as long as you aren’t breaking any laws. 

If you accept payments with Stripe and don’t end up with your account terminated, you will likely have to completely reshape your store/business model to meet their demands.

At Corepay, we boast over two decades of high-risk payment processing experience and know the ins and outs of the industry. 

We provide honest payment processing and can ensure that our merchants not only get approved but stay approved. 

You can expect the following should you fill out an application and decide to choose Corepay:

  • Fast approvals
  • Highly competitive rates
  • Adult industry processing experience (two decades)
  • 24/7 customer service
  • 100% transparency

Stripe Acquiring Banks

Stripe uses two main acquiring banks, Wells Fargo and PNC. This means Stripe has to work within both scopes of these banks’ regulations/rules. 

Should Wells Fargo/PNC determine a particular merchant is not within their scope, Stripe will have to terminate that merchant account.

If you are really set on choosing Stripe and trying to operate within their scope, you must be 100% transparent with their sales rep. For example, they might tell you specific products that will flag your account, but should your business grow, your account will end up flagged by PNC/Wells Fargo either way.

This would happen once you start to process a solid monthly amount, say $50,000 or more.

This is why we recommend getting set up correctly the first time to avoid any surprises or merchant account terminations.

What To Do After Stripe Terminates Adult Merchant Account?

Once your adult store merchant account is terminated, you will need to figure out an alternative to Stripe payment processing quickly. 

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do until Stripe tells you why your account was terminated. You will usually have to wait weeks to months before finding the reason. The only thing you can do is be honest and start looking for a high-risk processing solution.

Why Did Stripe Terminate My Merchant Account?

Your merchant account was terminated because you either broke the terms and service or you have high chargebacks.

It is essential to determine why exactly your account was frozen or terminated, but you also want to make sure you find another solution while specifying the reason.

If you operate within the adult industry, you will find your merchant account frozen or terminated. 

Why Doesn’t Stripe Allow Adult Content?

Adult content is prohibited via Stripe’s restricted business guidelines. However, with credit card brands doubling down and making it harder on adult businesses, it doesn’t seem likely that Stripe will begin to accept adult payments.

Payment Processors That Don’t Accept Adult Content

Since we are focusing on Stripe in this article, we wanted to note similar processors that do not accept high-risk merchants.


Paypal is perhaps the most popular option merchants use when getting started. With Paypal specifically, merchants can get their merchant account going with no questions. Merchants can even accept payments for months before having their account terminated. 

Paypal also has a strict policy against adult merchants and doesn’t permit the use of anything sexual. 


Square is another company that specializes in low-risk industries. Unfortunately, Square has a no-tolerance policy for the adult industry, and you will find yourself with a terminated merchant account should you choose Square.


While Shopify is another great option for those looking to accept payments quickly, they have strict rules against high-risk industries, especially those operating in the adult industry.

Wrapping Up

Because Stripe does not specialize/allow adult merchants, it is our recommendation to do your research and choose a processor who understands the adult industry. 

Should you be looking for a new payment processor, fill out the application below and find out what Corepay can do for you.

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