Have you heard about the huge scandal at Wells Fargo? Well, it’s huge – in fact, millions of fake accounts huge. Yup – employees were setting up fake accounts and credit applications without customers’ knowledge. This can be damaging to any consumer, and merchants, as credit reports typically list any loan or credit card inquiry.
The inquiry concluded that almost 2 million accounts were opened without customer knowledge by over 2,000 employees. This helped their monthly “quota”, that most bank employees have in regards to opening new accounts and credit inquiries. Additionally, Wells Fargo employees also submitted applications for 565,443 credit card accounts without their customers’ knowledge or consent. Roughly 14,000 of those accounts incurred over $400,000 in fees, including annual fees, interest charges and overdraft-protection fees. While the bank is going to reimburse those who have been affected, this cannot repair their credit damage.
Not only can this damage consumers, but also merchants. If you have noticed anything odd in your banking, and you use Wells Fargo, contact their fraud department to report it. But, what happens if you are a merchant and due to these issues have been placed on the TMF list? You look for a high risk merchant account provider.
Looking to EMB or another high risk merchant account processor is your best bet of obtaining your much-needed merchant account – but not all are created equally. Some are focused solely on the “high risk” industries (i.e. adult toy sales, e-cig sales, etc.) and not issues that come from bad credit. You need to make sure that whomever houses your merchant account is familiar with your issue, and can help guide you along the way. Another thing you need to look for are fees. Many who claim to cater to “high risk” merchants jack up processing fees. This is not right, but thankfully there are a few who do not do this.
The Wells Fargo saga is far from over – especially for the consumers and merchants who have been affected. If you think you have been contact their fraud division as soon as possible, and if you are a merchant contact your merchant account provider to see where you stand. If your rates are going to jump, perhaps it is time to leave.