In April, MasterCard announced a policy change set to take effect on October 15 requiring “the banks that connect merchants to our network…to certify that the seller of adult content has effective controls in place to monitor, block and, where necessary, take down all illegal content.”
The idea of payment processors and banks rejecting tech platforms, causing them to struggle to survive, is nothing new.
Alternative social network Gab has struggled to be able to maintain a bank account and has faced constant deplatforming by payment processors. It has also been blacklisted from the Visa payment processor.
While such groups as National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) have praised the payment processor crackdown on platforms such as OnlyFans, it’s clear that there’s an obvious exploit in how platforms work – that payment processors, with enough pressure, can shut down entire platforms overnight. This is especially a problem when there’s a Visa and MasterCard duopoly in the payment processor market and simply two companies ultimately deciding what’s allowed to exist online.