On June 6, after nearly two months of fighting to solve the payout problem with Chaturbate they provided a final working solution… Bitcoin! Yes, I am now being paid out in bitcoin! Below I have a video in Youtube where I talk about where everything stands now.
Why I Chaturbate
I have been a webcam model exclusively for Chaturbate for nearly 2 years, and I love it! In fact my camniversary will be 3 days from now. That is considered to be a fairly long time by most people in this industry, and if I have my way I will continue doing this for many more years to come. I do this work because I enjoy it. I enjoy the people that Chaturbate connects me with, I enjoy entertaining those people, and as often as possible putting smiles on their faces. I also do this work because it supports me financially. If it didn’t, I would obviously have to dedicate my time to other pursuits.
Industry-wide Payment Problems
I am a Panamanian citizen living in Panama, Central America. Unfortunately, there have been serious problems recently for cam models outside of the United States receiving payment. This problem started with the termination of services from FirstChoice Pay, the company that provides payout services for most non-USA based cam models across the entire industry. This crisis began earlier this month when Choice Bank Ltd in Belize was halted from doing business by regulators forcing them to cease providing card services to not only FCP, but also Paxum (another major payment provider for non-USA models).
In an attempt to fill the gap left by Choice Bank, the whole cam industry has been scrambling for alternative solutions.
I come from a country where scammers and thieves are waiting around every corner. Therefore it shouldn’t be surprising that I am not the most trusting person in the world. So naturally I feel a need to research anyone I will be doing business with, especially if they are going to be providing me with critical payment services. That research has led me to discover a lot of very disturbing information. For example, one of the top suggested options, a company called ePayments, has an avalanche of negative reviews on their Facebook page. As of this writing, 38 one star reviews, many of which include a detailed description from angry customers who’ve allegedly been treated very poorly by the company. The overall 3.5 star rating is unconvincing considering the 48 five star reviews of which almost none include any text description at all. Like most people I am fully aware of the old trick where companies have employees and other fake accounts giving fraudulent reviews of their services, and the patterns there are highly suspect. I see similar patterns for some of their competitors.
When it comes to doing business in the 21st century, my country is living in the past, and apparently has little interest in modernization. Panama is disconnected from the world. You can’t even send money to a Panama bank from PayPal. In fact, bankers here don’t even know what PayPal is!
I visited the local branch for my bank last week in an attempt to confirm that I could or could not receive a wire transfer from Chaturbate’s parent company. The customer service rep informed me that they would accept it, provided the amounts stayed under a certain monthly level. Afterwards, I immediately configured an international wire transfer payment option, and Chaturbate attempted to send a wire. And in typical form, my bank rejected the transfer, stating in email that they do not receive transfers from online platforms (insert face palm here).
This has now forced me to attempt a check by mail option, which my bank informs me will definitely be accepted (we’ll see). Of course they tell me the check will take “15 to 20 days to clear” (I forced them to clarify BUSINESS days… sigh! :/).
Complicating matters even more for me, Panama being a third world country, has no postal system. So to receive post I need to have mail forwarded through Florida, USA. That means I need to provide a USA address to acquire my check. And of course that creates problems with virtually all platforms that see this as “USA person who needs to be taxed to death, and must provide all the necessary tax ID documents”. So naturally this was also a problem in Chaturbate. Fortunately their support resolved this by having me state my address with Panama as the country and they have changed it manually to United States in their system. It’s that kind of flexibility that really makes them great to work with.
The Good News, Chaturbate Service
Ok, so as you might imagine this has been incredibly stressful for me. Trying to get this train back on the rails has not been easy. But honestly, I haven’t been doing it alone. Chaturbate support staff have been far more helpful and attentive than I would ever have expected. While the effort hasn’t gone perfectly smooth (at one point my account was banned in error, then unbanned a couple hours later) they have been responsive and flexible, and continually providing intelligent suggestions and solutions for my particular situation. They have convinced me that they care.
The reason I am writing this article is that I think other models and users need to know how they have handled my situation. Though I have yet to confirm my problems are fully resolved, at least one check needs to clear my bank. I know they have done everything that they could to meet me half way to working out the solution.
A Better Solution
In addition to the above I want to share a solution that may cover those still lacking a working solution, including people in countries like Colombia and Venezuela. Chaturbate support staff have informed me that they can provide direct ACH transfers to a service called “Transferwise“. This service may or may not provide the complete solution, depending on your country. For example, I signed up and they tell me they have no debit card yet for people in Panama. However, they can ACH transfer to Payoneer. And Payoneer absolutely does provide a debit card to people here in Panama and in Colombia as well. Both Transferwise and Payoneer are companies that have pretty reasonable reputations. So one can configure a solution whereby Chaturbate sends payment via ACH transfer to Transferwise, and then the model uses Transferwise to send payments via ACH to Payoneer, and finally retrieves the money via the Payoneer debit card at any atm in the world. I am personally working toward configuring the above solution for my own situation. In the meantime, I will go with the antiquated check deposit method.
UPDATE – May 2, 2018: I have discovered that Transferwise does not provide a means of ACH USD transfers for people in Panama (also Colombia and Venezuela). So there is no way for me to receive money to a Transferwise account at all. Essentially Transferwise is just a big waste of time for people in my region.
In addition to this, Paxum is not verifying accounts for a long time now.
Currently our only available options for receiving payments in this region are checks and wire transfers.
The live webcam industry is going through a tough time right now and those of us international models who intend to stick with it are being challenged to find new ways to keep getting paid for what we do. This situation is not the fault of webcam platform providers, but it is their problem. They, and we models, must solve it together. I want to thank Chaturbate support staff for their competence in helping me get things back on track.