Condoms Same As Porn Says Chase Bank, Won’t Handle Payments For Female Entrepreneur

Condoms, a product used prevent unwanted pregnancy as well as to guard against sexually transmitted diseases, including the potentially fatal AIDS-causing HIV virus, are no different than any other “adult-oriented product,” and to process payments for condoms sold online would be a “reputational risk” for the JPMorgan Chase bank if it allowed its payment processing arm to handle those transactions.

That is what a representative of Chase Paymentech told grad student and entrepreneur Tiffany Gaines when she tried to use the Chase service to receive payments for her line of condoms marketed specifically for purchase by women. Gaines’ fledgling online company, LovabiltyCondoms.com, is intended to remove what she calls the “masculine” stigma attached to the product.

“For years, condoms have been marketed as a masculine product. Because of this, they’re often associated with macho-sexuality, promiscuity, and conquest,” Gaines, a graduate student at New York’s School of Visual Arts, said. “Although these connotations have helped many men feel more confident buying and carrying condoms, this messaging has had the opposite effect on women.”

In an online video, Gaines describes her brand as “the first ever condom brand that’s been exclusively designed by women, for women, to meet women’s needs.”

JPMorgan Chase, a bank that was recently slapped with a record $13 billion in fines for various forms of financial misconduct that helped cause the 2008 economic crisis and subsequent recession, told Gaines that it can’t get on board with her female-empowerment project because it doesn’t want to risk its reputation.

“I wanted to let you know that we actually will not be able to move forward regarding processing with Chase Paymentech, as processing sales for adult-oriented products is a prohibited vertical,” the bank told Gaines in a e-mail following up her phone call, in which she was told that it was a “reputational risk” to process payment for condoms.

The term “adult-oriented product” is usually reserved for pornography, sex toys and other sexually explicit entertainment and devices. But Chase told Gaines that it puts condoms in that category as well.

“Chase is putting its values on us and controlling our ability to buy and sell products based on its own perception of what’s appropriate,” Gaines said. “And its perception of what’s appropriate is very misogynistic, one-sided and selfish. For Chase to protect its reputation, it’s belittling the importance of us protecting ourselves.”

Gaines has now launched an online petition with the slogan, “condoms are not naughty,” to pressure Chase to change its policy regarding payment for condoms.

Image: LovabiltyCondoms.com via YouTube