OMG, Stripe closed my account. Like the refrain to a bad 80’s song, it’s been running through your head over and over again. Ever since you received that middle-of-the-night email from Stripe telling you they would no longer process payments for your account.
And the funny thing is, you thought your business was running smoothly after your launch date a few weeks back. Establishing Stripe processing was quick and painless, and didn’t cost anything up-front.
The first twenty credit card transactions worked just fine… and then BOOM. Stripe closed my account. No warning, no explanation, just that canned robotic-sounding email saying:
Thanks for signing up with Stripe!
Unfortunately at this time we will need to stop offering service for yourbusiness.com. Currently Stripe can only support users with a low risk of customer disputes. After reviewing your submitted information and website, it does seem like your site presents a higher level of risk than we can currently support. Unfortunately we will be unable to accept any additional payments on your behalf.”
To make it even worse, they put a hold on your funds for the next 90 days just in case someone files a chargeback with their issuing bank. Is it any wonder all you can think about is Stripe closed my account?
Why and how it happened hardly matter now — but let’s review anyway to see what lessons can be learned. After all, you need to figure out what to do and how to avoid problems next time.
Why Stripe May Close Your Account
Lest you feel miserably alone, a quick Google search on “Stripe closed my account” results in a long list of businesses with whom you may commiserate. Many of the sad tales date back a few years, but some are quite current often echoing the above scenario.
Two recurring problems appear repeatedly:
- Stripe declares you’re engaging in prohibited activities of some kind, even though you were approved for an account after declaring your type of business.
- Stripe suspends payouts to your merchant bank account without warning, reverses payments without explanation, and/or puts your funds on hold for 30 days or more.
Note the “prohibited businesses” section of their terms of service (section A, item 7) includes: “any businesses we believe poses elevated financial risk, legal liability, or violates card network or bank policies.”
They may also determine in their sole discretion a business is “unfair, deceptive, or predatory towards consumers”.
Regarding merchant payouts, Stripe reserves the right to “change the Payout Schedule or suspend payouts to your Bank Account should we determine it is necessary…” But they do a poor job explaining to merchants that their funds will be held in a reserve account.
Lesson learned? Read carefully the terms and conditions of service, and research what others have to say before you sign up.
How Does Stripe Close Accounts?
Repeated complaints in payments industry blogs and with the BBB mention “no warning” and “no understandable explanation.” Common frustrations include being approved for an account… set up for processing… processing a few transactions… then cancellation.
To make matters worse, there is no recourse and no one to speak to. Customer service telephone numbers aren’t available, and all customer service — if you call it that — happens via email. Stripe promises to respond within 24 hours but often does not according to reviews.
Oddly, the current BBB rating is A+. Payments experts at www.cardfellow.com provide a good summary of 25 negative reviews submitted to the BBB and Merchantmaverick.com’s expert review included this:
“Stripe also has 35 reviews on the BBB page, only one of which is positive. That is disappointing, but not exactly surprising (for a payment aggregator)…
“These complaints come up most often in reviewing the chatter:
- Account holds and terminations
- Unresponsive customer service
- Lack of fraud protections”
(How’s Stripe closed my account sounding now — hearing the drumbeat too?)
There ARE Better Options Available
If you were terminated by Stripe for any reason, you can be certain there are better options available to process payments — while also protecting your business from chargebacks and fraud.
A high-risk domestic or offshore merchant account provides unique benefits that services like Stripe, Square and PayPal don’t. Merchant accounts also provide quicker access to funds so you receive the revenues earned more rapidly.
For help finding the right merchant account for your business, look for a full-service payment solution provider. The best in the business have cultivated many banking relationships, which they’ll leverage to help you land a dedicated merchant account.
A dedicated merchant account will also cost you less over time than an account with a payment aggregator like Stripe. So you can get that “Stripe closed my account” refrain out of your head for good.
After Stripe closed your account, take the next step to get your payments processing up and running again smoothly and seamlessly. Reaching out to a specialized high-risk payment processor is the right next step and can be the best move for your business.
Choose a processing partner with proven account experience and a great reputation who offers a secure, reputable, and stable solution. A partner that will ensure a secure payment gateway is up and running quickly so you can start accepting credit card sales again.
You want to work with someone who will stick around to make sure that not only are your current business needs met, but also that the payments solution provides your desired flexibility and can scale up for future growth.
So you won’t risk hearing Stripe closed my account again.