There’s nothing that’ll stop a business in its tracks quicker than having their merchant account frozen or worse, shut down.
But it happens more than most business owners would like to see. When PayPal freezes your account, they put a hold on all of your funds. If they close your account, you can't accept payments, so you can't make any sales. This puts the business under significant hardship. Most businesses can’t afford to have their revenue held for even 30 days, let alone 180. When PayPal shuts you down, it leaves you scrambling to find a new high risk merchant account, and quickly.
Why do businesses get shut down by PayPal so often?
PayPal is one of the largest and most popular payment processing platforms in the world. Businesses often turn to PayPal first to accept payments instead of opening a dedicated merchant account. PayPal is an easy alternative to traditional merchant accounts. It’s quick and easy to set up and start accepting payments right away. The rates are reasonable, and they don't require any long-term contracts.
For this reason, they are often the first stop when an eCommerce merchant is ready to begin accepting payments for sales. But it's this quick approval that ultimately leads to PayPal closing or freezing the business’s merchant account. With PayPal, merchants do not have a dedicated merchant ID and account. Instead, PayPal holds a master merchant account that the entire portfolio of businesses processes payments through.
This allows them to quickly approve merchants without performing a complete review and underwriting of the business. The problem with this is that PayPal is very conservative about the amount of risk they are willing to take. They don't reveal this from the get-go and end up approving businesses they would not otherwise process for. Ultimately, the underwriting process does catch up, and they freeze or close the account.
Some business models and product types are too risky for PayPal.
PayPal really only wants to work with businesses that don't carry a lot of risk for them. They’re not equipped to take on the risks associated with high-risk business models. Some businesses bring greater risk to the processor. Business models that are associated with a higher incidence of fraud, have a lot of credit card chargebacks, or sell products that are deemed morally questionable are a high risk for PayPal.
PayPal retains its right to cancel merchants, as well as protects itself from risk, by including fairly vague language regarding what they will not accept in their Acceptable Use Policy.
The policy states you may not use their service for “products or services identified by government agencies to have a high likelihood of being fraudulent,” or “items that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.” They go on to list a slew of prohibited products. Cigarettes, items that are considered obscene, ammunition, firearms, firearms parts or accessories, weapons or knives regulated under applicable law, and products that present a risk to consumer safety all made the list. Adult, dating, gambling, nutraceuticals, subscription sites, even travel, software and IT services are considered high-risk with PayPal. All of these account types are subject to merchant account shut down without notice!
As you can see, some of these terms can be up to interpretation. In addition, they don't display this information boldly when signing up to accept payments.
A business has much more control when they have a dedicated merchant account.
Businesses experience quicker funding with a dedicated merchant account. With aggregate accounts, merchants must wait for funds to go to the account holder first. The master account holder then divides the funds and distributes them to the merchants in the portfolio. But with a dedicated merchant account, transaction funds are deposited straight into your business bank account.
When you open a dedicated merchant account, you have more control over your security. Your merchant account will come with a PCI DSS compliant payment gateway. The gateway, equipped with robust fraud detection, helps to protect you, your customer, and the provider.
High risk merchants can also choose to employ strong fraud and chargeback prevention tools. High chargeback ratios are one of the main reasons a bank will label a business as high-risk. These tools can help you keep fraud in check, lower your chargeback incidence, and save you money.
You will also have better communication and customer service when you have your own merchant account. In addition to reaching out to your advisor, 24/7 customer service is always there to help you troubleshoot any issues. Your dedicated merchant services advisor will be there to support your current and future business needs. As your business changes and grows, your advisor will help you update your solutions as the needs arise.
It's time to align your business with a dedicated high-risk merchant account.
It’s time you open a merchant account with an experienced high risk merchant account provider such as Bankcard International Group.
We have extensive experience working with and placing high risk business models and product types. We’ve built solid relationships with the solutions needed to service your industry. We’re dedicated to placing high risk businesses with solutions that understand their unique business challenges.
Before your application goes to the underwriting team, we review it with our own in-house underwriting team. We make sure that the application that goes to the bank is complete and presents your business in the best light possible. This helps to ensure quick approval.
When you open a dedicated merchant account, you know that your business has been thoroughly underwritten and fully verified. Both you and the merchant account provider understand what to expect from each other. There are no surprises after you start processing. With this kind of transparency, you know your solution is a stable one.
Give your business the opportunity it deserves by partnering with an experienced high risk merchant service provider to accept payments. We understand that high-risk businesses are often preyed upon by other providers. We want to show that legitimate and transparent merchant services can be true for high-risk industries. At Bankcard International Group, we want to put the “service” back in merchant services.
Call us and “Experience The B.I.G. Difference”!