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Growth vs. merchant restrictions

e-commerce restrictions

     
8:04 am on Jul 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hello all,

I have been developing a group of service sites for the legal industry (B to C) for over a year and I am finally nearing launch, however I am semi-stumped as how to respond to merchant account vendors requests as to monthly volume.

The following quote from payquake seems to sum up the merchant requirement industry as a whole:
_______________________________________________
"You are not limited to any monthly volume, however, please consider your monthly volume carefully. A high monthly volume will require additional information to approve your account. A low monthly volume may be easier to approve, but if you exceed that volume in actual processing, then your funds can be subject to withholding by our backend processors for fraud mitigation."
________________________________________________
This is pretty much the same language I am hearing from my bank, primary CC merchants, and third party (if payquake is third party) merchants.

I realize we all have to prove our business models over time as to being low or no charge back risks, but I don't know how to get started regarding volumes. I have 5 different products that I was planning to release over a 5 month period to allow for establishing metrics on each product on an individual basis (PPC costs, + other media = ROI) plus expect growth on each of these sectors through affinity and partner marketing.

Anyway, to round out my question, how have you e-commerce pro's handled this requirement. Should I quote out volume estimates on the high side? Maybe split vendors (I am planning parent/child sites for each product) or leave my fate to having my accounts frozen because a had a great month or two with each product and ..GASP.. actually grew my business.

Please help!

[edited by: DaveAtIFG at 1:41 pm (utc) on July 27, 2004]
[edit reason] Side scrolling [/edit]

3:04 pm on July 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I would go for the highest possible amount. Because if they decide to freeze your account suddenly, you may get into cashflow problems.
7:14 pm on July 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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That was my first thought, but I hate to pay a higher rate and jump through additional hoops to get approved.

Anyone reccommend a merchant that understands growth and is easy to work with?

2:39 am on July 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Wells Fargo
2:53 am on July 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I second that, Wells Fargo is great. Over $100,000 a month through them (started with about $15,000) and never any threat of being turned off.
4:41 am on July 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the replies.

I actually set up my corporate account with wells fargo to help facilitate their merchant services, but after meeting with their people they basically said they would not be able set up CC merchant services without 6 months data from a previous merchant, or setup a rather large security deposit against possible chargebacks.

This surprised me as I have perfect credit, an instant download after payment business plan (no shipping) and 20 years experience in the same market as the new e-business. I also keep a low 5 figure balance in my corporate account for the last 6 months.

Of course they claim to really want my business 6 months down the road but I suspect so will every other bank on the planet after I have imperical data as to risk.

Who (north of PayPal) would you guys go with in the interim.

Thanks in advance

5:42 am on July 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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You've got to be kidding.
My first merchant account was with them, and they opened it in two business days over the Internet. I never even had to fax anything or put down any deposits. Just my SSN and the company EIN.

Try asking for a low limit, like 50-100k a year, and then ask for a review and a lower rate in 6 months or whenever you reach 2x of that limit. If you don't get too many chargebacks, you'll be fine.

Of course, all that depends on the industry you are in.

5:54 am on July 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I use Wells Fargo and am very happy - no monthly limit and great customer service. I don't know why you had problems... maybe it had to do with meeting with them?

My brother just set up an account with them through their web site. He had no problems and all it took was a couple of days.

I would try again, but apply online.

6:10 am on July 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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bcc1234,

That was my impression of Wells Fargo over the last few years but I am assuming they have tightened up requirements due to fraudsters.

I may try going through the WF web site and see if I get a different response.

 

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