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How to pay for porn?
December 5, 2010 8:40 AM   Subscribe

How to pay for porn?

So years ago I had a citibank credit card that allowed me to create virtual (one-time-use) credit card numbers on their website for use for shopping online.

I found this to be a great way to pay for my online porn. (Yeah I am a bit anal I like to buy my music/movies and my porn). It protected me from possible scams, and it also kept embarrassment low, and a "one step away" from my real credit card. Good stuff.

Now I closed that account for unrelated reasons (high %).

But I around the same time Paypal introduced a much loved feature of virtual credit card numbers. This was my new way to pay for porn and it worked flawlessly for years. Unfortunately Paypal decided for some reason or another to discontinue this service. (which was free).

Now both of these services allowed you configure a bit of the authentication that takes place which means it wasnt strictly required to give your full real name in order to get the authentications to go through.

So I have been hunting around since then, trying to find a new solution.

I have trie
Visa Gift Cards. (giftcardmall) you can buy these at pretty much any convenience store, and they seemed pretty good. You can activate it online.
However most of the porn site I am interested in, for reasons I am not sure about
reject the gift card as a form of payment.

I have had some people tell me that there is a difference in how these gift cards work and some of them are not really a full Visa card. I dont quite understan what the difference is, but ok, I moved on.

I got a PayPower pre -paid credit card. These are also available at most stores and seem popular (just based on distribution). I figured sine this is a re-fillable full card it would work well. The fact that to activate it, it requires a social security numer is a bit of an unfortunate detail, however lets try.

Well the PayPower pre paid credit card had the same issues. Most porn sites I tried will not accept them as a form of payment.

This includes but is not limited to CCBill, CCBill.eu, Verotel, and a lot of others.

So at the end of all that which I hope might save some other people a few headaches
I ask how do you pay for your porn these days? Are there any virtual credit card services available?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
How about opening a new citibank account and using it only for your porn purchases? As long as you pay it off in full every month, you will not be charged any interest.
posted by lesli212 at 8:51 AM on December 5, 2010


Years ago, Discover Card was one of the first to introduce this system--there was a little desktop "widget" which spat out random virtual numbers for each new purchase. I haven't used mine in literally years, but a quick search tells me it's still available. Now, I don't know the ins-and-outs--interest rates, authentication process and so on--but it's start.

The reason why none of those gift or pre-pay cards work is because they are not credit cards -- they're debit cards. My understanding is that, in the US, debit cards are still not as ubiquitously used as in Europe, and are mostly for in-person purchases (ie, in stores/restaurants/etc.)
posted by war wrath of wraith at 9:42 AM on December 5, 2010


(I don't have a Credit Card as such and use my debit card for everything. Even online. Never had a problem with that. I don't think Credit vs. Debit is the issue here.)
posted by Sara C. at 10:21 AM on December 5, 2010


I think the problem with gift cards might be that they are anonymous (no verified data associated with the card) and so the sites cannot confirm you are not a child trying to buy porn.
posted by garnetgirl at 10:48 AM on December 5, 2010


Yeah, in addition to Discover, I think Citi and Bank of America also offer virtual card numbers. The reason some issuers stopped offering them is that they turned out not to be just not a very popular service (the section of people who are confident and tech savvy enough to buy online but cautious enough to do so only with a temporary card number is pretty small).
posted by phoenixy at 10:54 AM on December 5, 2010


I was just looking for something similar last week [paypal doesn't support my country], came across entropay. It seems similar to paypal's old virtual credit cards, and they do take a small fee.

Haven't tried it for porn and I don't have extensive experience with them, but it worked for what I needed, might work for you too.
posted by xqwzts at 10:55 AM on December 5, 2010


Hi there. I use CCBill as the credit card provider for my site. I just verified this on the phone with them. The reason hey do not accept PayPower is because it lacks an address to verify for fraud.

Unlike your garden variety retail store where there is a physical swipe of the card and/or signature, website transactions are all non-verified, meaning that there is no real way to prove the person buying the subscription is the actual owner of the card. There is more to it, but that's just some insight into it.

I know that many of my subscribers have a dedicated free checking account that offers a debit card as "porn" accounts. That way all those purchases are segregated onto a stand alone statement that doesn't intermingle with their no-porn purchases.

Happy hunting.
posted by sandra_s at 11:35 AM on December 5, 2010


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