Square. Mathematically defined as a rectangular quadrilateral with four equal straight sides and four right angles.
Used in various ways, the word explains many things, and describes countless places. Think of New York’s famous Times Square, Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, and London’s Leicester Square.
Baby Boomers remember people being labeled “square” for not being hip enough. Then Huey Lewis came along in the mid ‘80s to spread the news that it’s Hip to Be Square.
Parents ensured their kids ate three squares a day and expected fair and square treatment for everyone, always. And no matter how hard you tried, forcing a square peg into a round hole just didn’t work.
As Anthony T. Hincks wrote, “If you’re a square peg in a society full of round holes, it’s time to change the playing board.”
Which provides the perfect segue for high risk merchants who can’t help but wonder who else will shriek Square closed my account today, while they try to pick up the pieces of tattered ecommerce dreams.
Fortunately, options exist to help merchants recover and accept payments again. Let’s take a look at how to change your payments playing board, and be treated fair and square today and tomorrow.
Why and How Square Closes Accounts
In case you feel singled out, search online for Square closed my account. As of this writing, a Google search resulted in more than five pages of results, full of sad tales and angry rants — including specific sites highlighting problems with Square.
Most tell the tale of receiving an email from Square informing the merchant of account deactivation. It goes something like this: “Our account services team has reviewed your account and found a pattern of transactions associated with high risk activity.”
This happens even though merchants declare their business type during the application process. No real underwriting takes place, Square simply says “yes” and merchants start processing payments.
Note the phrase “pattern of transactions that Square believes points to high risk activity. In fact, the phrases “in our opinion” and “in our sole discretion” occur often in Square’s general terms and payment terms.
Section 3. Prohibited Industries (in the payment terms lists 28 sectors specifically banned from processing payment transactions using Square — including a generic “high-risk products and services” (number 20). How helpful is that?
Any question why merchants squeal, Square closed my account?
Unhappy merchants report these recurring problems:
- Square deactivates your account without warning and notifies you by email. They proclaim you’re engaging in prohibited activities of some kind, even though you were approved for an account after declaring your type of business.
- At the same time, Square suspends payouts to your merchant bank account and holds your funds in a Reserve account for 30-90 days. From Section 14 of the payment terms: “We may require a Reserve for any reason… in an amount as reasonably determined by us to cover potential losses to Square.”
- Perhaps most egregious is the lack of access to customer support (such as it is) to request an explanation or determine a solution. Square cuts off phone access immediately with account deactivation — and emails go unanswered — so merchants never know what really happened.
What can you learn from this? Read carefully all of the terms, and note what others have to say before you sign up.
Payment aggregators may be simple to start with, but frequent account terminations, and frozen funds held in reserve prove the death knell of many an ecommerce business.
Better Options Exist
Don’t want to lose your voice from bawling Square closed my account? If this happened to your business for any reason, you should know that there are better options available. Process payments again while also protecting your business from chargebacks and fraud.
High-risk merchant accounts (both domestic and offshore) provide unique benefits unavailable from payment aggregators like Square, PayPal, and Stripe. You’ll also receive the revenues you’ve earned more rapidly (usually 48 hours).
Look for a full-service payment solution provider to help find the right merchant account for your business, based on your unique business needs. The right provider cultivates many banking relationships, which they’ll leverage to help you land a dedicated merchant account.
And that account will cost you less over time than an account with a payment aggregator like Square.
Take the Next Step: Give MerchACT a Call
Reach out to a specialized high-risk payment processor after you’re weary from crying Square closed my account. MerchACT specializes in high risk payment processing for all sorts of industry sectors.
Far from being a “me too” kind of processor, we offer decades of payments industry experience and expertise — both domestic and international — along with a stellar industry reputation that sets us apart from our competitors.
In addition to ecommerce payment processing services, we leverage industry relationships and payment processing expertise to offer consultative services and guidance tailored to your specific needs.
Our ecommerce merchant processing clients are great business partners for us. Each is more than just an account number.
Because we want to be your business partner, MerchACT not only meets your current needs, but also sticks around to ensure that the payments solution you choose provides the flexibility desired to scale up for future growth.
So you’ll never have to say, Square closed my account again.