You’ve just been cut off from credit card processing by Stripe.com, and you’re in panic mode. There’s no time to waste—you need to get your gateway back up ASAP.
Here’s the only guide you need to start processing credit card payments again after Stripe shuts down your account.
1. Open Another 3rd-Party Account
Hear us out: we know how often we tell you to never use Stripe and how bad they are for the longevity of your business. And you’ve already suffered at the their hands. Trust us when we say we’re not sadists.
You won’t be able to open an account back up. After Stripe account closure, that’s it. Stripe’s decision is final, even if you try to contact the Stripe support team for help. There’s a simple solution:
Open another Stripe account. Or PayPal. Or Square. There are tons of 3rd-party payment processors you can choose from. You know how fast it is to open an account since you’ve done it already.
This is the first step in sustainable online payment processing for your business. Open an account and within 24 hours, you’ll have a working payment gateway.
Keep in mind, this is temporary. You don’t want to get shut down again. So immediately after you open a new account with your chosen 3rd-party processor, you need to start working on Step 2.
2. Contact 3 Merchant Account Providers
Once you’ve got your short-term Stripe account waiting for approval, you can go ahead and look for real merchant accounts.
The Reason Your Stripe Account Is Shut Down
The reason your Stripe account was shut down is because the company is very strict when it comes to what type of business they support.
They aren’t a merchant account provider. In fact, they have their own merchant account with which they allow you to use as a sub-merchant.
Know Your MCC
Your merchant category code is what labels your business. You actually need one with each application, even on the one for Stripe. Some providers choose one for you or ask you a series of questions to have one chose automatically.
Knowing this code will help you understand the high-risk industry you operate in. If you’ve been shut down by Stripe and need credit card processing fast, you’re likely in a high-risk industry.
Those industries can be anything from coaching to dropshipping to adult content to subscription business models.
Seek High-Risk Merchant Service Providers
You are also free to get in touch with financial institutions about opening a high-risk merchant account on your own, but a payment service provider will have better connections and can streamline the process.
You should contact 3 separate providers because each provider has their own connections to credit card processors and banks. You want to maximize your reach so you can quickly get a real merchant account as soon as possible without too much compromise on rates and pricing.
Make Sure Banks Don’t Overlap
3 providers means 3 opportunities. You don’t want to contact 3 and have all of them give you an offer from the same bank. Or worse, a decline.
The more declines your business has, the less likely you’ll be able to successfully open a merchant account. Be cautious.
What you can do is contact the first one and ask which bank they’ve chosen. Then get in touch with the second provider and inform them to not use that same bank. The same for #3, informing them of the other two banks you’ve applied with.
3. Prepare an Application Package
This step should be performed at the same time as Step 2 because you’ll want to use it with each provider. But when you need credit card processing ASAP, getting in touch with a good provider without an application package if the opportunity arises is perfectly fine.
Every time you apply for a merchant account, there are several things that you always need. You might as well create a folder to easily access these files so you can submit them faster and get a response about your merchant account application quickly.
Since Stripe shut down your account, you don’t want to waste any time gathering the same documents for every contact.
What to Include
Here’s what you want to include in your package:
- Bank letter or voided check to confirm where funds will be deposited.
- Previous processing history, which means you should download your Stripe processing history while you still have access to your account. CSV files are not accepted, it has to be a PDF with a summary of monthly sales, chargebacks, customer disputes, etc.
- Bank statements so the provider can see your previous 3 months history.
- Business info “cheat sheet“. If you have a member’s area on your site, you should provide a login for the provider. If you sell multiple packages or a lot of products, this is where you can provide a brief overview of what’s going on in your business. The cheat sheet is no more than 1 page.
All of these documents help to give the merchant account provider a quick and easy way to confirm if they can support your business or not without risking a decline.
4. Don’t Worry About the Tech Stuff
Stay focused on simply getting that temporary Stripe account open and your merchant account applications going.
There’s Always a Solution
Of course, you want the processor you end up with to be compatible with your gateway and so on, but that’s always possible with a plugin or API integration. As long as the processor works with the credit card companies (Mastercard, Visa) and payment options your customers use most, then there’s no technical stuff to worry about.
So don’t worry if you work on Shopify, which has limited direct plug-and-play functionality with gateways and other payment functions. You’ll be able to connect you cart in one way or another.
Focus on the Merchant Account
Get the new merchant account, get approved, and then you can deal with the tech stuff.
If you get bogged down early on, then the process of getting a long-term solution to processing credit card payments on your online store gets further out of reach. You need to prioritize the merchant account, and then tackle the little things.
5. Prep a Licensing Agreement
This is an if-all-else-fails plan. If your closed account on Stripe leads to a ban, no one is accepting your merchant account applications, extremely high chargebacks, or you get MATCH-listed, this is your last hurrah.
You want to keep selling, you have a profitable business, but you’ve unluckily reached this worst-case scenario. That’s where a licensing agreement can help.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with your affiliates or potential partner business owners and ask them to sell the products for you.
You would license out your product or service to these other people, they would sell on your behalf for a percentage of the sales.
We know it doesn’t sound appealing, but if you believe in your ecommerce business and want to get it back on its feet, you should be willing to take the hit for a few months.
Take Your First Step Now and Connect with a Merchant Account Provider
In the end, time is of the essence – you don’t want your business to miss out on valuable sales just because Stripe has frozen your account. Follow the steps in this blog to get back online successfully.
You can start Step 2 now by getting in touch with the team here at DirectPayNet. We specialize in providing merchant accounts for high-risk businesses and will be able to connect you with a payment processor and bank that will support your account.