Ian Garfinkel — who manages the dexterous CWA, which in-sources all of its processing, banking, law, risk and chargebacks — notes his Muay Thai background, and explains that he’s in the process of writing his first book.

(NOTE: This story appears in the January 2024 issue of ED Magazine.)

Adult clubs value efficiency and discretion both for their own operations and for their customers. When choosing a processor, it would be comforting to find a company that could accomplish all their needs, to keep business as quietly productive as possible. 

Ian Garfinkel, the Business Development Manager of CardWorks Acquiring Merchant Services (CWA), is a spiritually-guided professional Muay Thai fighter and boxer and truly a jack-of-all-trades. From the many wisdoms Garfinkel of CWA could offer, as a business development manager in charge of overseeing ALL high-risk and progressive industries, as well as a diverse hobby enthusiast, read what Garfinkel has to share here before pre-ordering his eventual self-help book.

ED: What’s your role in your company? Were you personally responsible for the development of your company’s POS system?

GARFINKEL: I am a business development manager in charge of overseeing ALL high-risk and progressive industries including adult e-comm, adult clubs, CBD, guns & ammo, gambling and other niche sectors. I was not responsible for the development of CWA’s processing capabilities.

ED: What’s one trait about yourself that people you conduct business with wouldn’t know about you or would be surprised to find out?

GARFINKEL: I am deeply rooted in a spiritual foundation of life, and, although I project a rugged exterior, I am an introverted sensitive mush.

ED: When you’re not working on new installs or helping clients, how do you enjoy spending your time? What are your favorite hobbies?

GARFINKEL: I am a professional Muay Thai fighter and boxer and am attempting to become a published author for spiritual guidance/self-help books.

ED: What are some of the things on your personal ‘bucket list’? Places you’d like to visit, things you’d like to do?

GARFINKEL: A wellness retreat in Phuket. My personal ‘bucket list’ consists of starting a Big-Brother program for underprivileged children and introducing them to sports, art, museums and open opportunities for them.

ED: What’s the best part of your job, or what makes it fun for you?

GARFINKEL: Meeting a plethora of different people ranging from all ages, creeds, backgrounds and interests while developing strong relationships with them.

ED: What attracted you to the POS industry in the first place?  

GARFINKEL: I was already interested in the banking aspects and how they operated and conducted business in progressive and reputational industries. I knew there was a need for a premium payment provider to penetrate the industry and handle the current issues that seem to plague merchants with other processors.

ED: What’s one of the biggest issues clubs face with POS systems, and how does your company address this issue?

GARFINKEL: Chargebacks are the clearly the biggest issue. Our chargeback department has a skilled individual who has been in chargebacks for over 25 years, and we’ve been able to minimize companies who had over $2,000,000 a year in chargebacks to virtually $0. CWA understands the necessary and definitive legal jargon to fight the credit card companies.

ED: What’s your most memorable industry-related experience (either EXPO, or outside of EXPO)?

GARFINKEL: Eating breakfast at this past EXPO with roughly 50 strangers discussing all of our memorable childhood experiences before cell phones dominated the world.

ED: What separates your company’s POS system from other systems that club operators may have used in the past?

GARFINKEL: We are currently one of the only few processors in the country that has their OWN private -affiliate bank; ours is Merrick Bank. We do all of our own risk, underwriting and chargebacks IN-HOUSE. We’ve monopolized 99% of all adult e-comm, including OnlyFans, Adult Friend Finder as well as the entire MindGeek corporation. We are one of the sole few companies who actually understand how to correctly process with zero hassle or issues. CWA has an entire chargeback department with lawyers who fight the card brands on the merchant’s behalf.  We are completely agnostic with integration abilities, as well as have two partners on call 24-7 to handle all needs.

For more information, please cwamerchantservices.com.

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