IBill Seeks More Information

Rhett Pardon
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — An iBill official said Thursday that its credit card processor, which handles Visa, has requested more information from a “handful of Internet merchants” whose businesses are incorporated in Delaware.

Company spokesman Al Dugan said First Data Corp., its acquiring bank which processes the transactions, told the company that it is requiring iBill to provide physical addresses and other information from some adult website owners.

Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based iBill, which is short for Internet Billing Company Ltd., is one of the leading third-party credit card processors for the adult Web industry which takes in nearly $12 billion annually. The company is publicly traded on the Nasdaq exchange.

Up to 35 adult Web businesses will be affected by the decision to demand proof of physical addresses, Dugan said. Those businesses which don’t comply with the requests will be tossed from the program.

“The problem we ran into is that First Data asked for more information from the businesses that use the registered agents at a single certain address,” said Dugan, who would not disclose the registered agent, a service which typically processes an incorporation.

Greenwood, Colo.-based First Data, which also owns Western Union, is one of the largest credit-card transaction processors in the nation.

“Processing transactions has become more challenging these days,” Dugan said. “Fraud is rampant and there are so many unscrupulous merchants.”

He said iBill has nearly 8,000 adult Internet merchant customers and that the request is minor, considering the financial stakes involved.

“You can argue all day about the logic,” Dugan said, “but all we’re doing is fulfilling a request of one of the few adult processors of Visa.”