Well after a long and tedious few months of speculation, rumors and facts being presented to those of us in the adult industry working on AEN sites (Formerly known as AVS sites) it seems that Visa has put a strain on AEN companies to start re-working and, renaming their sites to fall under the 'Adult Entertainment Network' name. What does this mean to us as webmasters and, more importantly to the industry as a whole? This is what we shall address in this article.

A Little Visa History Lesson.

This whole mess started in October of 2002 when, jointly, CCBill, Epoch and, iBill issued a new set of operating guidelines that had been passed onto them by Visa. In effect, this meant that 3rd party credit card processors had to be re-classified as an 'IPSP' or 'Internet Payment Service Provider' this also in turn meant that webmasters needed to start paying 'fees' to Visa (via their IPSP) in order to continue charging their surfers for access to products and services by using Visa issued credit and / or debit cards.

In addition to the initial $750 however, there is also a need to pay an ongoing fee of $375, two thirds of this fee goes directly to Visa and, the remaining balance goes to issuing banks and IPSP's for administrative charges.

Shortly after this announcement was made the industry then got dealt another blow by the processing companies, this time, in the form of Paypal announcing they would no longer accept any adult orientated payment through their system. This went into effect on May 12th 2003 and, after initial speculations as to what could and could not be charged to Paypal accounts, it seemed to be the final nail in the coffin for some of the smaller webmasters.

However, the adult industry is strong and rallied together getting as much information as possible about alternates to both of the above situations and companies such as Stormpay and off-shore IPSP's started to see an increase in revenues from adult payments.

As The Waves Settled - The Next Blow.

Given all of the financial troubles of the previous 10 months in respect of online adult payments the industry as a whole started to settle itself again, of course there was the usual posting on forums, conversion ratio and shaving discussions happening on the main forums as there always was but, in addition to these conversations more rumors started, this time, regarding the AVS business model.

Almost as quickly as these rumors started however, they seemed to have fizzled out into nothing but a distant memory but, two months later after the first round of initial conversations on the adult industry message forums, the same AVS business model was dealt another devastating blow.

It seems Visa has its sights set on AVS (Age Verification Service / Systems) with a press release being issued first by Sex Key, then by Free Age Card, which was followed by similar announcements from Global Male Pass and Gay Passport informing adult webmasters that they had 2 days to make their current AVS sites conform to the new requirements set down by Visa.

These requirements were that.

1) Adult webmasters can no longer use the term 'AVS' on their sites.
2) Adult webmasters can no longer use the term 'Adult Verification Service' or 'Age Verification Service' on their sites.
3) Adult webmasters can no longer state that surfers joining up to their AVS will have 'Access to thousands of other AVS protected sites'.

As usual Adult Webmasters started to question the reasons behind this sudden and apparent change of AVS rules on almost every forum and, whilst most questions went unanswered the one thing that was answered (honestly) was that these new rules had been set down by current AVS IPSP's who, had had these rules issued tot hem by Visa.

So, webmasters started to change out their tour page text to conform to these new rules and, for the most part, it seemed like that was all that was needed to be 'safe' working the AVS business model. Little did they know...

One Last Blow To The AVS Webmasters.

Several days after the initial press releases from some of the top AEN (Formerly AVS) companies was made it seems that in between all of the posting ont he boards yet another issues comes to light - That Visa is aiming to have AVS webmasters now pay a $750 fee for the benefit of being able to keep using this business model as stated by Craig Tant (Sex Key) 'we believe is that every site will have to be registered and pay the $750.'

This beleif, although somewhat vague tends to draw conclusions that, through no fault of their own, the AVS / AEN business model in the adult industry as we currently know it is changing and, changing for the worse. If webmasters are forced to pay Visa a $750 registeration fee per AEN system or per AEN site then a lot of todays industry leaders are going to come unstuck, especially those that focus solely on the AVS / AEN model for the primary source of income.

Adult Entertainment Networks - What's Next?

This is the question that is currently being asked by many webmasters and, the truth of the matter is simply that nobody knows - Except for Visa, the next few days, weeks and months are going to be telling on the industry as a whole from what happens to current sites inside the AVS / AEN companies websites to what happens when surfers start to propagate back onto the adult internet looking for their fix of high quality porn, two things however are definitive throughout all of this, Visa is homing in on the adult industry and, every webmaster needs to be concerned about what will happen next.

Article written by Lee.