I've been through my fair share of Credit Card Merchant providers. It's a mess of an industry. If you are new to e-commerce you may be scratching your head in frustration.
I'll first describe some of the common issues I've dealt with then I'll give you the solution.
Table of Contents
Sorry, You Need Signatures
Yep, had a provider a few years ago start to hold back 20% of my money in a reserve account because I don't get customer signatures. Have you ever heard of the internet?
Sorry, We Don't Support Your Industry
Yep, I'm in the firearm industry and way too many hipster startups in silicone valley and most of the other moron credit card companies hate guns and anything associated with them. My industry isn't the only one on the no-charge list either.
Sorry, You Need To Connect The Processing Gateway to A Merchant Provider and Then Maintain PCI Compliance With This Other Provider
You would think the government runs this industry with the amount of confusing stuff you have to deal with. It's sometimes like trying to juggle 3 plates at the same time. Forget dropping them I can't even remember which plate does what.
Sorry, You Have To Respond To This Chargeback Via Fax
Sometimes customers don't recognize your company on their card statement or they hate you or you legitimately have been taken advantage of by a con artist who has used a stolen card to buy something on your site. When this happens the Card company sends you the Chargeback paperwork via snail mail and expects you to respond within 2 days explaining why you charged the person's credit card and include proof like signatures (remember it's the internet) and shipping tracking info etc. My last 2 providers gave me 2 days to respond and required I do so via fax. Follow up info about these chargebacks was also send via snail mail. I had spreadsheet just to keep track of this nightmare.
Sorry, You Have To Be Approved By The Underwriting Department
At the point of initial application merchant providers love to pretend they are considering giving you to secret clearance. The application process reminds me of getting a home loan. Recently our company changed company names and I was informed this required submitting a new application for which I was NOT approved.
Sorry, We Don't Work With / Connect With That Software
There are endless shopping cart applications and our company has 4 different systems that capture customer credit card information for purchases. There are only a few credit card gateways that work with ALL of those systems. This question of compatibility is sometimes more complex as a software system may show it works with your provider only to find out some features are not supported with your gateway.
Sorry, Your Charge Activity Has Grown Too Much/Too Fast
Remember these companies make money when you make money so you might think they would send me a bonus gift and lower my rates when my charge volume increases. I had one provider increase my reserve and make me get emails from customers confirming they did indeed authorize charges.
My Solution? Stripe
I opened a Stripe account about a year ago and at first I didn't think it could be legit because they didn't run be through any sort of complex approval process. Despite this we decided to use it for a few of the applications where it was the only option and it worked.
Further there is no question about gateways, merchants, and compliance partners. Its just Stripe.
When we did our company name change I contacted their support… and they changed it. End of story.
They connect with everything because one of their core company “dealios” is an awesome API. My developers LOVE Stripe and apparently every other application dev team does too.
Chargebacks? No more letters in the mail. They send an email and I respond online via an interface!
Life is good again. What are you using? Do you love or hate it?