The 10 Best Massage & Sauna Boutiques Merchant Accounts

With a rampant and unrelenting barrage of stimuli from cell phones, computers, social media alerts, and noise pollution, the modern man does not seem to catch a break to relax and escape.

However, the solution can be found in the Spa Services Market. The industry is projected to reach an unprecedented $154.6 billion by 2022. Spa services usually encompass various services such as facial, massage, body, manicure, pedicure, and body treatments. All are performed by a specially trained professional and are proven to reinvigorate the brain and the body.

Massage and sauna boutiques are also the “brick and mortar” side of the adult entertainment industry.

Despite this lucrative and growing venture, banks are still reluctant to offer these businesses a merchant service account. The massage and sauna boutique business is considered high risk due to chargebacks, links to prostitution, and tainted reputation.

Below are 10 reputable and highly skilled merchant service providers that are adept in providing you with a massage and sauna boutique merchant account. Take the time to research each one to determine what is best for your business.

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Allied Payments

With offices in North Palm Beach, Florida, Allied Payments specialises in providing high risk processing services for massage and sauna boutique merchants.

The Pros

One of their features, an e-Check solution, has the following benefits: low costs, account stability (transaction disputes are 2-3%), increased protection from chargebacks, a fraud protection system which is linked to their fraud scrubbing platform, check conversion processing solutions, check verification, check guarantee, and check drafting.

In addition, there are no volume limits.

Both the approval and setup fall within the same timeframe of 1-3 days. Deposits will be received within 48 hours.

They offer integration with payment gateways such as: WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, Ecwid, Limelight, Magento, Opencart, and Prestashop.

The Cons

This company only offers communication by phone, mail and contact form. Would be best to have a live chat feature that merchants can utilize for pressing matters and urgent questions.

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Total Processing

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Manchester, UK, Total Processing offers customised payment solutions for businesses. They specialize in high risk merchant accounts for massage and sauna boutique merchants.

The Pros

Their expertise lies in the following: high availability account servicing, high availability and redundancy, scalability and change speed reactivity, independent from an acquiring bank, dedicated expert support, robust and simple integrations, cost effective solutions, PCI level 1 compliant, and business critical cash flow delivery timescales.

Additional benefits for their merchants include: a secure payment gateway, hotlists, flexible card verification, security tools, enhanced reporting functions, fixed bonds, rolling reserves, deferred payments, online risk analysis, and recurring payments. Accepting all traditional and alternative payments, including ApplePay ( a total of 198 payment methods).

They also provide great customer service and chargeback prevention.

The Cons

Although there is a phone number, search bar and chat feature for questions, the live chat feature is only available during office hours, which doesn’t help if there are emergencies after office hours. Having 24/7 support is key to putting out any potential fires.

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Durango Merchant Services

Founded in 2004 and located in Durango, Colorado, Durango Merchant Services works with many gateway processors and suppliers with sponsor banking relationships that offer credit processing solutions for both the US-based and internationally based companies.

The Pros

Features in the contract include: variable contract lengths (month-to-month), free application processing, direct financing with regular deposits (daily or weekly, depending on whether onshore vs offshore), recurring billing, competitive rates, acceptance of multiple currencies and deposits, compatibility with major gateways and shopping carts, integration assistance with more than 100 shopping carts, chargeback prevention tools and advice, eCheck processing, gateway includes fraud detection and prevention tools.

The Cons

The only complaints received about this company were about Durango’s inability to get approval for a high risk merchant account and about a partnering bank withholding a merchant’s funds.

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Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and founded in 2009, Payline offers its merchants the following benefits: access to a virtual terminal, no cancellation or termination fees, next day deposit of funds, direct integration with Quickbooks, and a chargeback prevention platform.

The application process is quick and painless in which their high risk experts work to create a customised solution.

They also offer a dedicated support team to navigate the different options available to high risk merchants.

The Pros

Their virtual terminal alone, has a vast array of features, including: invoicing, a hosted payment page, billing plans and scheduled payments, shopping cart integrations, ACH payments, Mobile App, securely stored customer data, in-depth reporting, emailed receipts, void and refund capabilities, free PCI compliance, and unlimited users.

The Cons

The few complaints filed against the company include withheld funds, product malfunctions, and slow customer service.

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Host Merchant Services

Based in Newark, Delaware and founded in 2008, Host Merchant Services provides customizable payment processing solutions for high risk merchants, including massage and sauna boutique businesses.

The Pros

Their features include a guaranteed lowest rate, free mobile options, affordable point of sale, free equipment for qualified accounts, transparent statements, online marketing tools, multiple payment gateways (Transaction Express and Authorize.NET), virtual terminals, online shopping carts, PCI compliance, merchant cash advances, EMV credit card machines (including traditional, mobile/wireless, and PIN Debit PIN Pads), point of sales systems, gift and loyalty programs, cash discount programs, small and large ticket processing, and data breach protection.

The Cons

Only a handful of complaints have been reported and were related to merchants being denied an account or malfunctioning hardware. The others were about a misrepresentation of rates and an unexpected equipment lease. It is imperative that merchants read the fine print thoroughly to avoid these unnecessary charges.

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iPay Total

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in London, iPay Total is a payment processor that offers end-to-end high risk merchant solutions to massage and sauna boutiques merchants around the world.

The Pros

Some features offered on massage and sauna boutique merchant accounts include: multi-bank processing (including offshore), secure payment gateway, chargeback alerts, chargeback disputes, ACH/Check 21 processing, repeat/recurring billing, fraud prevention and protection, and competitive processing rates (below 6%), as well as 24/7 support online or by phone.

The Cons

High risk merchant account contract terms are not disclosed to the public. iPay Total also claims to charge a set up fee of up to £4,500, an incredibly exorbitant and prohibitive amount, especially for small businesses starting out.

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Located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Instabill was founded in 2001 by CEO Jason Field to help high risk merchants secure credit card payment solutions.

The Pros

Massage and sauna boutique merchant benefits include the following: easy person to person transfers, no debit/credit card or PIN use, a convenient storage solution on your PC or smartphone, traceable transactions to deter fraud.

The Cons

Due to Instabill’s focus on high risk accounts, it may feature tiered pricing, early termination fees, and PCI Compliance fees. Most complaints against Instabill are about the company’s fraud prevention policies. Merchants report cancellation of their merchant accounts or withholding funds.

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Based in Los Angeles, California, eMerchantBroker offers high risk processing solutions. They offer unique payment solutions for both massage and sauna boutique businesses.

The Pros

EMB offers custom-made paid solutions, excellent customer service, approval rates between 24 and 48 hours, chargeback management tools, PCI-compliant payment gateways, as well as fraud filters.

The Cons

Very little information about the standard contract. This could only mean that the contract terms vary widely from merchant to merchant. There are early termination fees that are up to $295 for 1 year contracts and up to $595 for 3 year contracts.

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Radiant Pay

London-based Radiant Pay is an agency offering payment solutions to merchants across all “legal” industries, including massage and sauna boutique merchants. It is a leading payment solution provider in the UK, European, and Asian countries.

The Pros

Some of the advantages offered include quick approvals, partnership with banks around the world, round the clock support, affordable pricing plans, quick payouts, minimal transaction charges, no deductions from revenues, uncapped transaction volumes, multi-currency processing, low taxes, risk management solutions, and personalized consultations.

The Cons

Some complaints about the company have to do with sales agents imposing highly undesirable contract terms. It is best to read the fine print thoroughly before signing anything with this company.

Provider of the Month

Due to the high risk nature of this business, you should expect to pay higher than average fees and rates on your transactions. However, these fees should not be so exorbitant that it cuts into your bottom line.

Take the time necessary to research each of the aforementioned merchant providers. Talk to the representatives and ask pertinent questions to ensure that their rates and contract terms are reasonable.

Doing so will grant you peace of mind and ease of doing business.