Porn Webmasters Up In Arms With ePassport

Credit card giant VISA International has suspended its business with ePassporte, an Internet payment system widely used to pay adult Webmasters and a raft of other affiliate programs. A number of adult Webmaster forums are up in arms over the move because many of their funds are now stranded. Visa has been silent on the issue so far, but KrebsOnSecurity.com points to an e-mail from ePassporte founder Christopher Mallick saying the unexpected move by Visa wouldn’t strand customers indefinitely. Mallick co-directed Middle Men, a Paramount film released in August that tells the story of his experience building one of the world’s first porn site payment processing firms, as well as the Russian mobsters, porn stars and FBI agents he ran into along the way.

Interestingly, the speculation so far is that Visa cut ties with ePassporte due to new anti-money laundering restrictions in the Credit Card Act of 2009, which affects prepaid cards and other payment card instruments that can be reloaded with funds at places other than financial institutions.

Adult Video News (AVN) got more input from ePassoorte’s business account manager who telephoned and made the following comment:

“The problem,” he said, “is not our bank. Our bank is perfectly fine. Everybody’s money is safe. The issue is literally with Visa. Visa functionality is the only thing that’s down, which means eCards and vCards. We are working to resolve the issue and we will have a resolution by next week, but at this point in time we don’t have any more information and we will contact everyone as soon as we do have any update at all.”

“The problem,” he added, “is that yesterday we were given about an hour’s notice of the situation, so there really wasn’t enough time for us to prepare any sort of documented statements other than the message that came from our CEO and owner, Christopher Mallick.

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