You spent months pouring blood, sweat and tears into your business only to be informed that it falls under section B5 for “Prohibited Businesses”, which reads: “Any product, service, or activity that is deceptive, unfair, predatory or prohibited by one or more Card Networks”. After investing so much time and money into your startup, you have been denied a payment gateway to process debit/credit cards. Operating without this ability is simply not an option. So, now what?
It is true that vitamins, herbs, supplements, botanicals, etc. fall under the category “pseudo-pharmaceuticals”, which is “prohibited by one or more Card Networks”. For example, according to Stripe Inc., online pharmacies fall under regulated products and services (along with marijuana dispensaries, e-liquid, weapons and ammunitions, fireworks, and toxic, flammable and radioactive materials. Just like high-risk businesses, traditional processors will simply not touch you.
To make matters worse, these types of accounts have been attracting attention from the FTC recently because what are often advertised as ‘free’ trial offers often turn out to be not so free. Dishonest merchants charge billings to the customer’s account that were not agreed to upfront. And what about trying to offer customers trial offer products? Since this involves billing of the full amount to the same account at a later date, finding a processor willing to setup an account that allows this is next to impossible.
When they find themselves in this situation, some merchants turn to their bank to create a merchant account. However, this can involve even more money in setup fees and monthly gateway fees. Likewise, an option like Paypal includes high-risk credit card processing fees. To find the right merchant services provider for your business, there are a few considerations you should make:
- The key factor to look for is reliability. It would be catastrophic for your business if your credit card processing suddenly failed after launching a new product.
- The second factor is trust. Due to the current concerns of the FTC and credit card companies, it is important to make sure your business and your merchant account provider are playing within the rules to avoid any legal problems.
If your business is struggling to secure the payment processing it needs, consider applying for a continuity merchant account with eMerchantBroker. As a high-risk specialist, EMB offers access to a variety of solutions specifically designed to help your business type. This includes businesses who need a merchant account for trial offers or recurring billing and also want to sell high volumes. With EMB, the application process can be completed in a matter of minutes and setup in as little as 48 hours. High volumes, recurring billing, trial offers and chargebacks are not a problem.