Chase Paymentech is a global leader in credit card processing. However, they refused to process payments for our business Lovability Inc: a female friendly condom brand with the intention of empowering women to take responsibility for their sexual health.
Why? Because condoms fall into the "Adult" category, which is "strictly prohibited."
According to my conversation with Chase Bank, the Risk Management Department at J.P. Morgan Chase believes that processing payments for condoms is a “Reputational Risk.”
However, the real risk that I see from this comes from the classification of condoms as “adult-oriented products”, and the support of the harmful stigma against condoms. Defining condoms this way sends a harmful cultural message to men and women everywhere. Condoms need to be taken out of this category so that people, young and old, feel entitled to use them. Specifically, this “adult product” could prevent 300,000+ unwanted teenage pregnancies a year in the U.S.
Ironically, J.P. Morgan Chase debit/credit cards can be used at virtually any store that sells condoms. The same stores that also sell alcohol, tobacco, and other such "adult-oriented" products, which would also presumably put their “reputation at risk.” When speaking with a Chase representative, she mentioned that our company will “probably run into this same issue with other large banks.”
Lovability Condoms actively encourages women to take control of protecting their sexual health. To achieve optimal social impact, and continue providing products to support this mission, Lovability Inc. has been forced to use a less efficient and more expensive processing service due to this issue.
According to the 2013 Centers for Disease Control findings, in the U.S. alone there are over 20 million new sexually transmitted infections diagnosed per year — and 3.2 million unintended pregnancies per year. This results in over 16 billion dollars in health care costs annually. As of now 1 in every 4 adults suffer from an STD, and these rates are rising exponentially among teens and young adults. This is more than just an ethical issue, it's an epidemic.
We need to stand up for sexual health and not allow large corporations like J.P. Morgan Chase to advance negative stigmas that compromise our wellness. Chase Bank’s attempt at “protecting their reputation” should NOT disable us from buying and selling important products like condoms that protect our sexual health.
By signing this petition, we can make Chase Paymentech remove condoms from the "prohibited adult " category, and join the new era in which condoms are classified as the protective sexual health product that they are, for anyone that chooses to partake in sexual activity. Large corporations, start-ups, brands and individuals should work together to empower more people to take responsibility for their sexual health.
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