WIA Profile: Hilda Tuel
Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.
How did you get into the business?
I had always worked in financial institutions up until I had kids, then I got into sales. One of the largest banks in the country became my biggest customer and they asked me to come to work for them. It was a perfect fit. I knew this bank well, had a clear understanding of bankcard divisions, credit and debits, and at that time in 1996, we were only selling terminals. Shortly after that we started selling Internet merchant accounts and my team and I worked directly with high risk merchants and online adult companies. I became the senior vice president of the bank and we quickly became the number one go-to bank for online high risk merchants. I was fortunate to work with and befriend the who’s who of the online adult industry back in the mid to late 1990s.
What in your background prepared you for what you are doing now?
Being the senior vice president of the bank for 14 years selling Internet merchant accounts and working directly with online adult merchants is what prepared me for my business now. When the bank dissolved in 2008, I started iProcessing to meet the needs of the industry and help my clients businesses grow with solid banking solutions. iProcessing specializes in merchant account acquisition and management and payment gateway solutions specifically for “hard to place” and “high risk” merchants helping to determine the best bank and payment solutions for individual adult business’ needs. My background prepared me to set up the best online processing solutions for merchants in the adult industry including being able to offer our clients merchant accounts at unique banks that most do not have access to, domestic and international, as well as multiple gateways, third-party processing options, ACH, European direct debit, and mobile processing.
What do you see as the challenges of working in the adult online business? How do you overcome them?
Securing solid merchant account solutions is imperative to the success of your online adult business. The banking landscape, rules, and regulations changes often so the challenge is more for online adult companies to have a processing partner who is on top of these changes, is always looking out for their best interest and are confident that their merchant accounts are being managed properly every day. We have overcome many challenges for our clients by having a dedicated team with decades of merchant service, risk management and transaction processing experience to assist them with all of their processing needs. I am proud that we have built up a stellar reputation and an impressive roster of successful customers since we opened for business. My team and I are honored and proud that our customers have nominated us for an XBIZ award for the past four years in row. We work very hard for our customers; after all their business is our business.
Does your work life affect your personal life?
Well, yes and no. I love to travel and work directly with our clients. I enjoy going to all of the shows too as they are usually in sunny and warm locations. My kids are grown now and I hope for them to get involved in the business soon. In the early years, it affected our personal lives in that they grew up being quiet in the back seat while I was on conference calls. They learned early to be patient while I was talking with clients about their banking and processing needs. As for my husband of 24 years, he is used to me getting up between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. PST to begin my day; checking emails and conference calls and often working late into the night. He has been very supportive and understanding even with the shortened vacations, me walking out of a restaurant at times to take care of a client and the very demanding industry. He knows that I love what I do and has always been supportive because of it. After all, whether applied to your family, friends and/or your job, Love is what makes the world go around, isn’t it.