Merchant account termination can happen for a number of reasons and is not rare within the direct selling and MLM industries. If you’ve received a termination notice from your merchant account provider, don’t panic. In some cases, the termination may be preceded by extreme scrutiny of your account by your provider. In other cases, the termination comes seemingly out of the blue by a provider who determines that they can no longer serve your business model or industry.
Regardless of the reasons for termination, there are steps you can take to get up and running again. Losing processing privileges can be daunting, but it is not un-fixable. Re-enabling credit card acceptance can be done if the merchant is willing to get things in order. The following outlines steps to take to begin accepting credit card payments again.
- Do your homework – MLMs and direct selling merchants may have an inkling as to why their merchant account was terminated, but it’s important to get all the details about the termination from the original merchant account provider. As for a written, official statement that includes the details and also inquire as to whether you or your business was added to the Terminated Merchant File (TMF). These facts may be scary, but they are necessary and you will have to be upfront about them when courting a new processing partner.
- Track down your statements - You’ll need to supply at least 6 months of processing statements to your new processing partner. Try to obtain your statements from the terminating processor as soon as possible and download the records from your online portal if you are able to before you lose access
- Make a list and check it twice – Put together a list of high risk payment processors with whom you’d like to partner. There are plenty of merchant account providers that fit this bill, so you should make sure that your list contains those that offer features aligned with your business’ unique needs. You can view common considerations here. After termination, it is highly unlikely you’ll be able to obtain processing privileges from traditional payment processors, and that’s fine. Understanding your limitations can work to your benefit.
- Transparency is king – Be honest, responsible and accountable when approaching new processing partners. Don’t try to hide details about your business or your processing history. At this stage, it’s very important that you find the right processing partner, so it’s better to be turned away upfront rather than sign on with a processor that will terminate you again 6 months down the road. Provide complete and accurate information so that any potential partnerships get off on the right foot and build trust. Building trust can also help you get the best rates possible.
- Get organized – There is going to be a lot of paperwork to fill out and it could be beneficial to hire a digital payments advisor or merchant services expert to aid you in the process. Underwriting high-risk merchant accounts is like a tight-rope walking act. There must be balance between regulations, banking relationships, compliance and business objectives and it all requires a ton of paperwork. Get it done right and be prepared to be scrutinized.
Having your merchant account terminated can be very scary; it’s a threat to your business’ existence, but it is not irreparable. By getting organized, having patience and being totally transparent, you can get your MLM or direct selling business back on track.
The biggest obstacle to finding a new high risk merchant account provider is the time commitment. Many MLMs don’t have the resources to expend on the full-time job of researching, data collection and vetting it takes to build a new merchant account relationship. Fortunately, there are professionals that specializing in working with MLM and direct selling companies who understand the ins and outs of the industry and have long-standing relationships with merchant account providers both domestically and internationally.
Not sure where to start? Contact us today to get a free consultation – we’ll discuss your business model and your unique needs in a processing partner.