Home > Features > AMP Offers New Options for Merchants • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

FEATURE

AMP Offers New Options for Merchants

AMP Offers New Options for Merchants

May 7, 2009
Text size: 
Get XBIZ News
XBIZ Research
Will virtual reality boost the paysite market?
Yes, it will soon
  39.66%
Yes, but in a few years
  36.87%
No
  23.46%
Out of 179 votes. Results based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network.

" We are a service provider; a true service provider. "

Mace Horowitz, vice president of operations for Alternative Merchant Processing (AMP), likes to keep things simple and straightforward.

"We provide direct merchant accounts, both domestically and internationally, for hard to place, unconventional or high volume merchants."

That may sound like a very serious gig, but for Horowitz the company's actual function is even more basic. "We are a service provider; a true service provider."

Established circa 2001, AMP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boca Raton-based Charge Card Systems, offering merchant services to other high risk industries, such as travel, loan modification and health benefit companies, but retaining a definite soft spot for the businesses and people in adult.

"It's a great space," Horowitz said. "The people in it are far different from any other, more like real people than the stuffy suits in other industries that you have to set up a specific time and day just to go hang out with."

Hanging out is especially enjoyable when in the service of products and services that also are in great demand.

"We offer a direct MID (merchant identification number; a unique number that identifies merchants for reference and billing purposes), no aggregation, no third-party, no ewallet. We give merchants their own MID, with their own descriptor and customer service phone number, which nobody else shares and nobody else is in."

Still, the bottom line remains providing hands-on service. "We will supply a prospect or merchant with whatever solution they want and can qualify for," Horowitz said. "If someone comes to me, and, for whatever reason, wants an account internationally, or specifically, a non U.S.-based account, if I can support that based on what the merchant's needs are, I will."

He added quickly, "We are not here to reinvent the wheel or force anybody to do anything they don't want to do, or give them something they're not already looking for, but as a service provider, we also are not going to convince somebody that they don't want something if they tell me they want it. I'll give them an education, and then I'll ask them the question again, but if their answer is the same, 'Yes, I want to be offshore," then, by all means, that's what I will get them."

That said, Horowitz does not recommend moving funds offshore. Indeed, he warns those who do that they run the very real risk of not being able to get their funds back.

"It happens," he said. "Keep in mind; I'm talking about more than just adult companies. We would get phone calls all the time. 'My money hasn't been released; they're not taking my calls.'"

While Horowitz readily admits that some companies have legitimate reasons for wanting to move funds and processing offshore, his advice — indeed, his pitch — is to keep one's treasure at home, where it belongs.

"Doing transactions internationally gives you a little bit more leniency with respect to chargeback ratios, but there are domestic banks that are willing to exceed the Association thresholds on ratios, because they are able to manage the accounts," Horowitz said. "So, if somebody tells me they want to go offshore because they can get a higher chargeback rate, first, that raises a red flag, because they know they're going to be a high chargeback merchant, but also, I know I can get them a competitive rate domestically once we overcome whatever hurdles there are getting their ratios down."

AMP claims it actually can do much more than that. "We now represent a bank that will do high risk coded accounts that we can assure the reader was not there before," Horowitz said. "We are introducing a solution to the industry that is going to supplement the solutions that they currently have for merchant services, domestically.

"It's a bank the majority of the adult space does not have, and probably doesn't even know about," Horowitz continued. "I'm offering something to the industry that they are in desperate need of, a new bank that will register 5967 (high-risk registration). No matter where they are processing or how much, we are talking here about adding redundancy, the ability to cascade even further, and another way to hedge your bets, so to speak."

Horowitz noted that a few factors set AMP apart from its competitors.

"We provide full reporting from the bank side, which differs greatly from the reporting you see from gateway companies, which are basically just conduits between the card holder and the acquiring bank," Horowitz said. "But I'm providing you with reporting on what's happening on the bank side, and there's nothing more exact or precise than that report.

"But the thing that separates us the most is that we care. We care about the long-term success of our merchants and I'm sure that's a cliché; we really are there for them. They know us on a first name basis, they have cellphones and work numbers for us, and they know that we are looking out for their best interests. We ensure that banks stay open and compliant, that there are no issues with the account, we are fair and don't take advantage of any situations as far as rates and fees, and we're respectful. I guess my point would be, try us. Let me show you what makes us different. Talk is cheap."

Horowitz said that he has seen a lot of consolidation in the business, and the economy had got a lot of people stressed out, but he thinks that the global reach and resiliency inherent in the adult industry will see many of its players through, as long as they keep their noses clean and remain in touch, literally.

"As far as advice to merchants," Horowitz said, "all I can suggest to people, besides doing legal business that doesn't push the envelope too far, is to be available, because it is all about communication. If there's a problem with their account and we pro-actively give them a call and can't find them, it could easily become a problem. Proactive banking, after all, is safe banking."


BUSINESS ANALYSIS

Sex Toy Manufacturers Talk Retailer, Distributor Support

The pleasure products industry, at its best, is a well-oiled machine consisting of manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Distributors make sure that products get from Point A to Point B, while retailers... More »

Pleasure Product E-commerce Experts Discuss Latest Trends

Adult mail order is a concept that has existed for many years. Phil Harvey famously operated a groundbreaking mail order business for adult products during the 1970s. But e-commerce has expanded the concept... More »

Adult Retailers Predict Consumer Trends for 2017

When adult e-commerce was exploding in popularity in the 2000s, some tech writers predicted that brick-and-mortar adult stores would be meeting their demise. But those obituaries were premature. E-commerce,... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The European Summit

Mar 04 - Mar 07
Barcelona-Sitges, Spain

The TEA Show

Mar 05 - Mar 06
Hollywood, CA

Phoenix Forum 2017

Mar 23 - Mar 26
Tempe, Arizona

EXXXOTICA Denver

Mar 31 - Apr 02
Denver, CO.
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!