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Old 07-30-2009, 11:24 AM
Michael Michael is offline
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Default Prohibited Merchant Accounts
These are the business types which are prohibited with most US processors. Some processors may allow a few of these assuming they have business history, but generally these businesses won't be able to process with a US provider.
  • All Sexually Oriented or Pornographic merchants including:
    • Adult Book Stores
    • Adult Telephone Conversations or video text
    • Companion/Escort Services/Dating Services
    • Massage Parlors
    • Topless bars/clubs
    • Modeling agencies
    • Misc entertainment (not elsewhere classified)
  • Aggregators (third party payment processors)
  • Audio/video text
  • Airlines
  • Cruise Lines
  • Any Illegal products/services or any service or product providing peripheral support of illegal activities
  • Auction Houses
  • Bail Bondsmen
  • Cellular Phone/Beepers (Services, not equipment)
  • Chain Letters
  • Charities (other than well known)
  • Check Cashing
  • Collection agencies or firms involved in recovering/collection past due receivables
  • Credit Repair
  • Credit Card Protection or Identity Theft Services
  • Currency Exchanges
  • Drug Paraphernalia
  • Extended Warranty Companies
  • Flea Markets (with no lease and phone availability) (Virtual terminal/Wireless consider High Risk)
  • Fortune Tellers
  • Merchants offering free gifts, prizes, sweepstakes or contests as an inducement to purchase a product/service
  • Get Rich Quick Schemes
  • Health Membership Clubs (Extended Memberships)
  • Import/Export (Non Mag Stripe or MO/TO)
  • Investment Programs/ Opportunities
  • Non face-to-face pharmacy sales (non-institutional)
  • Non face-to- face tobacco/cigarette sales
  • Lotteries, Gambling, internet Gambling, contests or sweepstakes
  • Sports forecasting or odds making
  • Mortgage Reduction Services
  • Taxi/Limousines (singletons) Virtual terminal/Wireless consider High Risk)
  • Pseudo-pharmaceuticals (anti-aging, sex nutrients, etc.)
  • Prepaid Cards/quasi cash
  • Real Estate Seminars
  • Shippers/forwarding Brokers
  • Timeshare
  • Travel Agents/Tour Operators/Travel Clubs
  • Merchants engaged in Door to Door Sales
  • Pyramid or multi-level marketing distribution
  • Third party order fulfillment
  • Merchants engaged in Outbound Telemarketing
  • Infomercial merchants or other inbound telemarketers engaged in upsell
  • Merchants offering rebates or special incentives
From : merchantaccountblog
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:40 AM
liquidroofcoatings liquidroofcoatings is offline
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Useful information
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:51 AM
jamesfu jamesfu is offline
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Default Ecpss
ECPSS credit card payment processor can accept high risk products,you can contact James to learn more details his skype is cedarfu568
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:18 AM
mamentor mamentor is offline
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This list describes highrisk merchants, but they are not prohibited
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:39 AM
Ecfy Ecfy is offline
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Originally Posted by mamentor View Post
This list describes highrisk merchants, but they are not prohibited
What do you mean by ''not prohibited''?
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:34 PM
mamentor mamentor is offline
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A prohibited merchant is one which Visa and Mastercard will NEVER knowingly allow a company to process for these industries. The original post contains a list of industries which are mostly not prohibited or not banned but instead just considered high risk by the card brands.

Here is a smal list of "prohibited" merchants:

- Animals
- Body Parts
- Child Pornography
- Narcotics
- eWallets
- Money Transfer Businesses
- Online gaming or Gambling in the USA (USA Cards must be blocked 7995 MCC)
- Pharmacy: Controlled Substances (There is a grey area here and it can be "doable")
- Prostitution (Directories are OK)
- Tobacco (when sent outside of your country... but also another grey area that has wiggle room)
- Weapons
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:27 AM
LindseyWithLaskey LindseyWithLaskey is offline
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I'm in complete agreement, that first list is much more in the high-risk arena, they're not all prohibited. My company places high-risk high-volume companies with merchant processing accounts. As MultitaskerVic said, Nutraceuticals, Adult Content, and travel companies are all high-risk, not prohibited. We actually specialize in those areas, and have both domestic, offshore, and EU banks that we work very closely with. If you're having a hard time placing a company with an account, let me know, I can definitely help.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:02 PM
brentknopp43 brentknopp43 is offline
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Default One exception
This is a great list, however, I want to add an exception. While "Collection agencies or firms involved in recovering/collection past due receivables" made this prohibited list- it isn't always the case. Yes, they are considered high risk- but there are companies that will gladly handle their credit card processing needs.

One company I know of in particular has worked with my small collection agency in the past, Zeno Tools, zenotools.com Not only do they work strictly with collection agency merchant accounts but they integrated our existing software with theirs and made it W3C Coding Standard Compliant which is important for any collection agency.

Just wanted to add a little silver lining for any collection agency owners or start-ups that are running into the problem of adding credit card processing to their website.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:02 AM
BenG BenG is offline
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Smile High Risk & Off Shore Accounts Available!
Hello, I also specialize in high risk payment processing with over 25 direct banking relations around the world. We have been in the industry since 2000!Send me a message for more info!
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:15 AM
newwebsites newwebsites is offline
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I was surprised at how incredibly strict they are when I read the first post, so I appreciate the corrections. Obviously there are more hurdles for high-risk businesses to get a merchant account in the US, but it's not impossible.

From what I've read the main factor is the financial stability and profitability of the applicant, though from above it appears they also have bias against businesses that could bring them into disrepute. (Fair enough, is my personal opinion, btw).

I wonder how safe the 'high-risk' merchant account providers are to deal with? I know I wouldn't trust one who uses a Gmail address. At least they would have to have a website where I could check what they publicly state their business is and its credentials.
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