Top Billing Execs Take Look at New Laws at XBIZ LA

LOS ANGELES — Top processing execs covered a wide swath of topics affecting the online adult biz, including new federal laws that impact website operators and billing companies.

The panel spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at XBIZ LA in the conference’s first day. XBIZ LA continues through Wednesday, with the XBIZ Awards slated for Wednesday evening.

The processing executives at the panel discussion, titled “E-Billing: Proven Strategies and Outlooks,” included Cathy Beardsley, vice president of sales and marketing partner for CommerceGate; Ron Cadwell, president and CEO of CCBill parent company CWIE Holding; and Harmik Gharapetian, Epoch’s vice president of sales and marketing.

Steve Bryson, founder and chairman of Global Electronic Technology Inc., parent company of OrbitalPay; and Mitch Farber, president of NETbilling, also gave their take on discussion of EU processing; adult vs. non-adult processing; G2, the information services company that spiders websites for Visa and Mastercard; and federal and credit card regulations that affect the business.

The panel discussion was moderated by JoeD, chief marketing officer of Webbilling.

Cadwell specifically noted that the new Rockefeller Act is causing ripples for adult, as well as mainstream, companies.

“This is why they call it the ‘oh shit Rockefeller law,” said Cadwell, noting about the new law that prevents online marketers from engaging in certain types of credit or debit card data-pass or post-transaction marketing. “You are no longer allowed to take that credit card and give it to someone else to do a cross sale between merchant accounts.”

Bryson remarked about the recent Regulation 6050W of the IRS Code, which starts this year.

Called the “Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008,” the law targets merchants with $20,000 or more in sales or 200 or more in transactions. Processors are now required to report annual gross payments processed by credit or debit cards to the IRS and to merchants.

“We are now the IRS collection agency so we have to report — third-party billers — every year on your behalf and name you. Anyone who has dodged the IRS is the past; well those days are over,” Bryson said.

“There are laws that you need to be aware of that you should know about. There are some legal things coming down, and you should consult your attorney.”