America's Choice Can Affect Your Merchant Account - DirectPayNet

America’s Choice Can Affect Your Merchant Account

The Presidential race affects many aspects of daily life. As a high-risk merchant, did you realize it can affect your website's payment processing? Read on to learn more and prepare your online business.


With less than a week until polling closes for Americans voting in the 2020 US presidential election, much of the Western world watches on with bated breath. Wo will come out on top? Will be former vice president Joe Biden? Or will US President Donald Trump secure another four years in office?

Many of you may be concerned about the handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Or perhaps how to bridge the divide in racial relationships. However, for those of you in high-risk business verticals, your interest is likely more focused on how a Democratic or Republican victory would affect your company moving forwards.

Key policy decisions such as the decriminalization of marijuana or the tighter regulation of sex work will significantly impact the businesses operating in these sectors. Regardless of whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, this article will examine the likely outcomes should either Joe Biden or Donald Trump win the 2020 US presidential election.

In this two-part examination, we will focus on each of the presidential candidates’ impact on high-risk categories of adult entertainment (sex workers), cannabis, telemedicine, and financial services.

How will financial and merchant services be affected by the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election?

Wall Street has been keeping a close eye on developments for obvious reasons. For investors, an election day victory for the Trump administration would send stock markets up. Biden has been seen as a threat to the post-pandemic rally. However, his previous record has shown that he has previously favored banks and credit-card companies in his legislative work.

The Pennsylvania native has taken flak from Democrats for his role in the 2005 bankruptcy legislation, making it more difficult for consumers to shed their debts. However, for those of you in the financial services vertical, it’s important to note that the democratic candidate appears to have changed his stance.

While the presidential nominee has remained coy during his presidential campaign, there are signs that he is moving to the left with his financial policies. In speeches made in battleground states during this presidential race, such as Colorado, New Hampshire, and even traditionally republican states such as Georgia, Texas, and Arizona, he has hinted at changes he would like to make to current regulations.

For instance, he would like to revive and strengthen the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He has also floated the idea of creating a public credit-reporting agency. This would expand access to loans by eliminating racial discrimination in credit scoring. In a virtual town hall meeting back in March, he also mentioned that he endorsed fellow Democrat Ms. Warren’s bankruptcy plan. Such a law would repeal much of the bankruptcy law he voted for in 2005. It would make it much easier for customers to shed their debts from banks and credit card companies. Thus, credit repair and financial/tax advisory merchants take note.

For those in forex (FX) or crypto spaces, you should pay attention too. Joe Biden has suggested that he would recognize and regulate the crypto industry. Many in the industry have been crying out for such a move. Ripple has already threatened to move operations out of America over the United States government’s hands-off attitude. With currencies such as Bitcoin legitimized, merchants in this space may find it easier to secure merchant accounts from acquiring banks. And customers may start using their bitcoin to pay merchants which will have an impact on credit card merchant accounts.

There are also points of note if Donald Trump secures his re-election. The current resident of the white house is known to be hands-off when it comes to regulation. In that regard, his policies have hurt merchants in the blockchain space. Payment services providers still take a dim view of cryptocurrencies. This is mainly because several different bodies under the Trump administration have tried to impose their laws upon financial service providers in this space. Some of those Congress and Senate-backed bodies have even imposed fines and threatened criminal charges for operators who refuse to reveal their customers.

More broadly, Trump is unlikely to bring in any laws that side with the individual over banks or credit card companies. The same goes for tax. He is unlikely to bring in any legislation that closes loopholes. This much was as good as confirmed by the New York Times investigation into his tax affairs. The report showed that the President reported huge losses to avoid paying income tax on his salary. This will be good news for tax advisory merchants who use legal methods to reduce tax burdens for their clients.

As mentioned, the re-election of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence is expected to send markets soaring. Good news if you are a merchant that offers products and services relating to trading stocks. A buoyant stock market is bound to drive interest. As you can see, there are pros and cons to whoever manages to win enough electoral college votes in early November if you are a merchant in this space.

With the ramifications of the 2020 US presidential election taken care of, let’s turn our attention to the medical industries.

How does the American election day result affect the health industry in a post-COVID world?

It will come as no surprise that the pandemic has focused attention on how the presidential candidates look to reshape the industry over the next four years. There are significant differences in how each nominee wants to proceed within this industry. However, interestingly, they both agree on one aspect – telehealth.

Both agree that telehealth should play an increasingly-important role in the delivery of medical services moving forward. The Trump administration has already taken steps to give telehealth a broader role under Medicare. The President signed an executive order that serves as a call for Congress to make doctor visits via personal technology a permanent fixture of the program. Biden has also remarked in fundraising speeches that he also sees telehealth playing a crucial role in leveling the medical playing field for rural communities.

The widespread adoption of telehealth is set to occur regardless of whether America has a Democratic or Republican sitting in the White House on November 4th. This is great news for merchants who have benefitted from the current boom in demand. Those who deliver medical services either remotely or online should notice that acquirers and payment processors will take a softer approach during applications for credit card processing, for example. However, a demonstration of HIPAA compliance, a reliable processing history, and a move to include alternative payment methods (such as ACH) should remain pillars of your strategy.

Perhaps the most significant difference of opinion between the two candidates comes down to the Affordable Care Act. Brought in by Barack Obama, Donald Trump has tried his best to dismantle many of the key provisions. Many of those have fallen at the last hurdle of the Supreme Court. However, the rushed-through election of Amy Coney Barrett as a replacement for the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg puts the ACA under real threat. While Biden would expand and strengthen the law, Donald Trump has promised to do everything within his power to get rid of it.

If you’re in the pharmaceutical space, then it’s important to note that there is once again agreement on drug pricing. Both presidential nominees want to use their governmental powers to step in and lower prices. Joe Biden wants to give Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices with drug companies, as private insurers do. Currently, federal law bars Medicare from negotiating prices on behalf of the 67.7 million Americans who use it.

Similarly, President Trump signed a new executive order on Sunday to lower drug prices in the United States by linking them to other nations’ costs. Thus, if you’re in the drug or pharma space, government-mandated drug price reductions are on the horizon regardless of the results of national polls come November 3rd.

That’s where we are going to leave our analysis of the 2020 US presidential analysis for now. Make sure to join us for part two, where we’ll take a look at how each political candidate views the critical industries of cannabis and adult entertainment (including sex work).

In the meantime, if you’re concerned about how the 2020 US presidential race will affect your ongoing payment processing, don’t hesitate to speak to a member of the experienced DirectPayNet team today to discuss your options!

About the author

As President of DirectPayNet, I make it my mission to help merchants find the best payment solutions for their online business, especially if they are categorized as high-risk merchants. I help setup localized payments modes and have tons of other tricks to increase sales! Prior to starting DirectPayNet, I was a Director at MANSEF Inc. (now known as MindGeek), where I led a team dedicated to managing merchant accounts for hundreds of product lines as well as customer service and secondary revenue sources. I am an avid traveler, conference speaker and love to attend any event that allows me to learn about technology. I am fascinated by anything related to digital currency especially Bitcoin and the Blockchain.