Questions & Answers

Merchant Account and Credit Card Processing Q & A

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  1. Gladys Brierley


    I have been having some strange luck lately. After 12 years of never having a charge back on my pay pal account, a woman successfully committed theft of services in spite of my iron clad contract and tons of proof the services were provided according to the terms of the contract.

    Then I signed up for the Square, used it a couple of times with no problem then all of a sudden I get hit with a huge list of additional credential verification even though I operate a fully legal LLC and all this in the middle of an important transaction with a client. They have the clients money and I don’t have any way to deal with it, since I disagreed with their credentialing terms even while complying and they made a decision to deactivate me probably because of this one charge back and also my disagreement.

    I believe they waited to get me on the hook and then they forced me into providing confidential bank statements and wanted me to provide transaction details even though they already had them. I was not going to provide my contract as the details of the services were listed in their and that was very confidential. However I did give them communication with the clients credit card number. I cannot believe this company is still in business after all the reviews that are so negative. I am really feeling hoodwinked and at a loss of what to do at the moment.

    Any advice? I cannot use their nifty pass code to call them it is expired and they have not provided another and I cannot refund the customer myself because I cannot use the site. I probably should make a formal complaint to someone in the federal government who overseas this industry.

    I have already posted on Twitter which I learned was founded by the same person not sure if he is still a major shareholder.

    The fact that they do not want emails or phone calls except under their terms and control tells me that they are not consumer friendly and won’t probably make it to the Forbes best companies list any time soon.

    I don’t know what the client will do and this is a good sum of money for a small business person like me.

    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi Gladys,

      Unfortunately, Square’s agreement with which you agreed when using their services and is legally binding, allows them to further verify your identity if you are running transactions that flag their risk algorithms. It also allows them hold your money until they deem that it is safe to release. Refusing to supply the documentation they requested has likely complicated the matter, so the quickest resolution will be sought by complying with their request. An attorney may be able to accelerate the process, but it may be cost-prohibitive to do so. Best of luck to you!

  2. Tina

    Can a vendor not ship a paid item or offer a refund if their credit card processor has put a hold on their funds?

    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi Tina,
      In most cases these decisions are up to the vendor, not the processor. If the vendor’s funds for the transaction are being held, it may choose to wait for the funds to clear before shipping an item. This is understandable as it is in vendor’s best interest to make sure that the funds will ultimately be released prior to shipping the merchandise. Generally speaking, a vendor can issue a refund on held funds. However, there may be cases where this is not possible because fraud is suspected.

  3. Janice

    Can square be used on multiple phones for the same account? Do all the phones used need the same app downloaded and registered? This is for a school store where different volunteers work on monthly schedules. What would be the best card reader to use for this environment?

    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi Janice,

      Yes, the same Square account can be used on multiple phones. The volunteers will just need to sign-in with the account used for your store. However, this method is not recommended as it can lead to problems with volunteers accidentally charging sales for their own business to your account because they forget to log out of your account. Square also doesn’t separate the login credentials by user, so it can be difficult to track which volunteer charged particular sales. If you have a need for multiple users, it is best to use a service that allows you to issue unique login credentials for each user. Here is a list of providers that may better suit your needs: Best Credit Card Processing Apps For Real Businesses

  4. Paul Cangelosi

    I have been overwhelmed by credit card processing companies. The latest have been Central Payments whom i’ve read about on your site but also North American Card Services, LLC. I am not able to find anything on your site about NACS. Should that worry me? It doesn’t sound like Central Payments is a great option and to be honest he lied to me not saying that I didn’t need a contract if I had all my equipment. Plus their PCI fees are $85 and NACS doesn’t charge at all with no contract. Is it better to have a contract (doesn’t seem like a good option)? What is the advantage of a contract? Especially if it’s a three year one. Also, when I asked the guy from CP about getting out of the contract he said it would be $100 but after reading the contract it was way more than that. I’m assuming I should be worried that he’s lied already. I stupidly had signed the contract but they haven’t set up the equipment yet. He’s from my local Chamber of Commerce and hoping that I will be able to get out of it if need be. But I would like to know more about NACS if that’s possible.
    Thank you for any help you can give me. My mind has been spinning.

    1. Phillip

      Hi Paul,

      North American Card Services appears to be a very young company, possibly founded within the last two years. So far there hasn’t been any evidence surfacing to indicate any serious issues, but it may be too early to tell. If you already signed a contract, you may be stuck if there is a three year agreement. Most companies will not let you out and your agent may have little to no authority to help you get out of it. Most agents are paid on a commission-only basis, so they has no incentive to help you back out of your contract.

      As for your other concerns, there is usually no benefit to you for signing a three year service agreement. Most of the contracts allow the processor to change fees while you are under contract and charge you an early termination fee for cancelling service before the contract expiration. In most cases, the contracts are used as a tool to keep merchants from switching providers. If an agent is lying about, or omitting, important details regarding costs and cancellation, you should cease doing business with him immediately. It’s usually a clear indicator that he does not have your best interests in mind.

  5. Geri

    A month ago an agent for Cardience came into my shop and gave me a great sell on her company, since I was unhappy with the fees from my current company I listened to her. She compared fees and told me how much money I would save & even told me she would cancel my old processor without a fee because they raised my rates. I said ok, sounds great and I would go ahead. Her company didn’t have a cancellation fee, lower rates and an easier swipe. I signed a contract (unread) and then the trouble started. I got my swipe (it didn’t work) I had questions and difficulties and she never came back I never got my contract (I didn’t even know the company I signed up for I thought it was Cardience and it’s not) they are independent agents. Well, I know have 3 companies that have a signed contract from me. American Express, Fortis and Piviotal. I got out of AE, & Fortis but Piviotal doesn’t believe me. I don’t have a copy of my contract, I don’t know who I’m dealing with, I don’t know who now has my personal information, SSI, Name, DOB & Address and a voided check from my bank. I feel voilated and scammed and don’t know where to turn any suggestions?

    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi Geri,

      It sounds like you dealt with an unscrupulous independent agent that lied to you and basically committed fraud. I would suggest to first contact the agent (if you can) and let her know that if she doesn’t take care of the problem that you will report her to the police and take her to small claims court to recover your losses. As an independent agent you can hold her personally responsible for committing fraud by intentionally misleading you into signing up with other third party services. If that doesn’t solve your issue, use the tactics in this article to influence Pivotal to give you what you deserve: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee

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