Execs of 2015: Online Industry Leaders Reflect on Top Business Influencers

XBIZ World is pleased to present “Execs of 2015: The Year in Review.”

Each of the executives we spoke to below has one thing in common — they are among the finalist nominees for the online industry edition of the 2016 XBIZ Exec Awards.

More and more merchants both in adult and mainstream are utilizing multiple merchant accounts within their companies to either balance processing volume — within card association rules — or mitigate risk. -Mitch Farber, NETbilling

XBIZ captures the thoughts of these influential and motivational leaders as we sought their take of the year 2015.

The following question about the year in review was asked to those running for the Businessman of the Year:

XBIZ: What industry trends, innovations were the most influential to your business this year?

Juicy Jay
Founder and CEO, JuicyAds

“Advanced targeting for advertising is the leading trend for innovation at JuicyAds in the past year and the upcoming year. Our advances in mobile traffic monetization and mobile targeting have been by far the most important, followed by our proprietary Sexy Technology, which has been a great asset to our mobile and desktop banner advertisers by improving engagement rates and conversions by aiding the optimization process. However, the most impressive enhancements have actually been kept out of the public eye during their beta phases. Now more than ever, it’s not about delivering billions of low-quality impressions per day — it’s about delivering just the Juicy ones through our award-winning platform.”

Steve Bryson
CEO, OrbitalPay

“A couple of things come to mind. The first is not new — just coming around again like every five years. New or poorly operated billers and ISOs created an influx of new merchant accounts due to the fact that they had not been set up correctly. Reason: new or poorly operated billers in the industry attempted to obtain merchant accounts for merchants with same address, phone number, descriptors, bank accounts and/or ownership. Then cascaded, this drives chargebacks and fines up instead of down. The second of these would be the federally mandated deadline of Oct. 1, 2015, for PCI and security/EMV. The crackdown was primarily felt in large Internet and retail merchants. The combined effect was PCI compliance fees, fines, thousands of letters and phone calls and enormous purchases of compliant hardware for each merchant in our system. It begs the question: can you really afford to trust your business to the new or recycled billers out there?”

Mitch Farber
Founder and CEO, NETbilling

“More and more merchants both in adult and mainstream are utilizing multiple merchant accounts within their companies to either balance processing volume — within card association rules — or mitigate risk. This trend has been ongoing for several years but has been even stronger in 2015. This has prompted NETbilling to develop partnerships with more acquirers and other ISOs than ever. Also, alliances between merchants to upsell, cross-sell and provide one-click sales to their own products/services or to their partners has helped drive many of the tools and reports that NETbilling provides to their merchants. As always, the tools we develop are done with one thing in mind: to help make them more profitable and provide greater customer service and satisfaction.”

Harmik Gharapetian
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Epoch Payment Solutions

“There are always a lot of different factors that influence our industry. Most of all are the regulations by banks and the card associations. I am glad to say that Epoch is one of the leading processors in our industry, that Epoch is proud to be one of the first to keep up with all regulations and make sure our merchants are always protected. We will always stay ahead of curve and make sure our merchants conform to all the industry regulations. As the industry gets more regulations and it becomes harder to make money, I am proud to say that Epoch’s continuous efforts to add new payment options across the globe — some of which no one else can offer — allow our merchants to stay competitive and monetize their consumers from all corners of the world. Epoch will continue to create and be on the cutting edge.”

Steven Grooby
Founder and CEO, GroobyBucks

“It seems that in the adult industry, everyone is looking for the next innovation to revitalize their product. I’ve seen many new innovations come and many more go over the years, and few of them are the magic bullet that they’ve been purported to be. This year, we’re hearing a lot about virtual systems where the customer will be able to walk around a sex scene — and the other big thing is using controllable devices on or with other participants through a website or app. Technological advances may be what consumers expect and want, but in my experience, they can be a bit gimmicky and often don’t deliver what the early adopter expects. What Grooby has focused on in 2015 is what we’ve done for nearly 20 years and what I believe many heritage companies like Evil Angel, Kink, etc. do: produce the absolute best content that their customer wants and deliver it in the best format for each customer.”

Michael Reul
CEO, Traffic Partner and Co-Founder and Senior Partner, Webbilling

“’s companies range from media buying to casual dating to cams to to to Webbilling — which is almost all aspects of our industry. Therefore, our 400 employees see a lot of trends. Just to mention some: we see more cases of fraud, including bots and fakers, directly in the traffic sources. But our fraud teams have made a lot of progress in the art of catching these guys. Another thing is companies bringing mainstream technology like real-time bidding into adult. This has been the trend for years, but so far, it has all been talk and little delivered. Maybe some players will finally make it now. Mobile sites with local content and mobile payment methods are still skyrocketing. Responsive design is a must for all sites now. Users want to interact more; so we see them gearing more towards community, dating and cam sites.”

Douglas Wicks
CEO, Payze

“Payze unveiled multiple solutions in 2015 that generated greater revenue for our client base. These solutions included sophisticated backend reporting, join features such as one-click and token-based sales as well as multiple currency processing and payouts. The trends of the adult industry remain in solid processing and servicing the client base. With that in mind, in 2015, Payze brought on multiple different bank relationships throughout the world in order to create a stronger and safer place to process your business transactions. The reporting features and ease of use makes Payze one of the best processors in the arena.”