Donald Trump Made Millions on Multilevel Marketing Firms

Sep 30, 2015

Donald Trump is coming under fire this week for supporting ACN Inc., a multilevel marketing firm that has been under investigation in three separate countries. Trump has not only supported ACN Inc. he also featured the company on “The Celebrity Apprentice” twice. The presidential candidate was paid over $450,000 a piece for the last 3 speeches he did for ACN. Robert FitzPatrick is a critic of multilevel marketing companies. He and others that have analyzed the company state that only participants at the top of the pyramid of the multilevel structure actually make money. Most participants end up losing money. However, the President of ACN refutes those statements as baseless and careless. Still these recent business dealings have many wondering if Donald Trump has integrity and if multilevel marketing firms are legitimate.

ACN charges all representatives $499 initial fee, plus they are charged a $149 annual renewal fee. Sometimes representatives also pay $39.99 a month for a package of technology and marketing materials. And there are even more fees to attend company meetings and conferences. Some former and current ACN reps state that they signed up for the company based on Trump’s endorsement. Jamie Gardner of San Diego was an ACN representative for 3 years and said Trump’s endorsement was “a major selling point” he used to entice new recruits into ACN. But eventually the ACN model was not sustainable for Gardner, and he wound up spending around $150 a month for only a $10 return.

Gardner’s story is only one of many that claim that ACN’s misrepresentation should be investigated. In August 2010, the securities commissioner in Montana filed for a cease-and-desist order against ACN, calling it an “illegal pyramid scheme. In the end, ACN resolved the matter by agreeing to retrain the state’s representatives.

Because of bad press, legitimate marketing firms find it difficult to find credible payment processing. In addition, marketing firms are considered “high risk.” This means that traditional payment processors, like banks, will avoid opening a marketing firm’s merchant account. is an experienced payment processor that will provide marketing firm payment processing.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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