Online dating has revolutionised the way in which people meet, connect, and form romantic relationships. The services are used by millions worldwide and have become one of the main ways in which couples meet.
One of the key benefits of online dating is that it allows users to find exactly the type of person they are looking for and provides an opportunity to get to know more about someone, before arranging to meet them in person. This can save a lot of time for consumers, which is essential considering how busy modern life has become.
Most online dating services generate revenue through premium membership offerings to their customers, so providing a wide range of payment methods is essential to avoid losing out on potential sales.
Unfortunately, many acquiring banks will refuse to accept online dating merchants as they are considered high risk. However, as a specialist in high risk payment processing, T1 Payments understands the problems experienced by online dating merchants and offers access to a merchant account to allow your customers to make credit card payments.
Many online dating services offer their customers a free limited service with the option to upgrade their account to a premium membership. These paid memberships remove any limits and allow access to a lot more features. However, the offering of free trials is something that can result in a high percentage of chargebacks. In fact, 91% of consumers are said to willingly accept legal terms and conditions without reading them before installing a mobile app.
Consumers may register for a free trial without the understanding that unless they cancel before their trial period ends, they will be billed automatically and put on a paid subscription plan. If a consumer either forgets to cancel or is unaware of this agreement, it can lead to attempts from the consumer to try and get their money back.
T1 payments understands the importance of preventing chargebacks, which is why all our high-risk merchant accounts include chargeback mitigation tools, which help merchants maintain a good standing with the card networks.
A snapshot of the online dating business opportunity…
As of 2016, there are now over 1,500 online dating services available around the world. With constant technological improvements and ownership of mobile devices increasing year-over-year, both the demand and success of online dating is showing no signs of slowing down.
In fact, a report by Allied Market Research states that the global online dating market was worth $6.69 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $9.20 billion by 2025.
Customers are likely to share a wide range of personal details about themselves when creating their profile. Most online dating services use a match-based system to help their customers find other people who share similar interests, views, or personality. This system encourages customers to share as much information as possible to improve the accuracy of their results.
For customers to browse through their potential matches, most dating apps have adopted the “swipe” approach. The swipe feature involves customers using their finger to swipe left or right on the screen. Through the act of swiping, customers can easily approve or disapprove any profiles that the app has presented to them. No contact or messages can be exchanged, unless both profiles approve of one another, at which point they will become a “match”.
There are many variations of the swipe feature, with apps such as Bumble requiring women to send the first message and Happn, which only shows profiles that have recently been within a 250-metre radius. While each of these online dating apps have a slightly different take, the overall concept of “swiping for matches” is something which continues to be commonly used throughout the industry.
While once considered taboo, online dating has seen a huge surge in popularity over the last decade, caused mainly by the introduction of online dating apps. Traditional dating websites have been available as early as the 1990s. However, lengthy, and complicated account setups, slower internet speeds and a requirement to use a stationery device (such as a desktop PC or laptop) made it difficult for the concept to truly revolutionise the world of dating.
In 2009, smartphones had started being introduced to the world and their potential was quickly realised by many software developers. By offering consumers a more streamlined and straight-forward approach, online dating apps had the potential to provide a simple solution that could be easily managed from any location.
The growing popularity of these apps has forced most traditional dating sites to invest in a mobile app offering as a part of their services, to stay relevant during a time when the industry is experiencing its fastest growth.
As the popularity of online dating has continued to grow, the creation of fake profiles has proven to be an ongoing challenge for the industry. Otherwise known as catfishing, fake profiles are designed to take advantage of real customers, usually for the purpose of stealing their information and/or money.
Those behind these profiles have been known to go to great lengths to create convincing fake identities. In recent years, an effective solution against this problem has been for companies to invest in new identification technology via the submission of selfies. These selfies require specific poses or actions from customers to prove their identity.