KBB retailers too high risk for a merchant account?

I RECENTLY received a telephone call from Worldpay, our merchant card provider for all of the 13 years we have been in business. The call was to inform me that a business review had taken place at Worldpay and they consider KBB companies like ourselves “high risk” and therefore they were giving us two months’ notice to close our account and fi nd another provider. Worldpay stated their reason for this was that we take large deposits and then it can be several months before the product and services provided are complete, therefore leaving them (Worldpay) at risk of charge-backs should we close down between taking the deposit and receiving the balance. They said they would put this in writing, which they have not done. We then had had quite a few phone calls and e-mails from our phone/broadband provider XLN, asking us to take up their merchant service. We obviously contacted them back to apply for their service, only to be told several days later that our application has been refused due to us being “a high risk because of the nature of our business”. Since then, we contacted our business bank, the Co-op, which uses a company called First Data. The representative visited our studio and he was very impressed with the set-up. We went through the application and he was confi dent it would not be a problem as he said we had never had a charge- back and had an excellent payment history with Worldpay. He also stated he would come back

with the new card terminal for a training session. When I didn’t hear back from him, I called

Worldpay said large deposits put them at risk of charge-backs

him and he said that due to our being in a high- risk industry, they were unable to provide a card payment service and, due to the application process, we would not be able to apply for another one for six months. We contacted the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), of which we are paid-up members, and they said the only thing we can do is appeal to Worldpay to reconsider, as there is nothing the FSB can do for us. Worldpay said it would not reconsider there stance. This has left us in a very diffi cult

position, as our business runs on between projects of three to eight weeks and people want to pay by credit and debit cards for various reasons, including security and collecting points. Have any other KBB retailers been for news, views, blogs, jobs, features and subscriptions Editorial Editor

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experiencing the same issues and, if so, how have they gotten around the situation? Also, Worldpay are a massive company and I am sure they deal with some of the larger multiple KBB businesses who would also have a lengthy time period between deposit and completion. Some, I know, take full payment up front

before they order, which leaves the merchant company fully exposed for the whole project amount rather than just a deposit. Are we the only industry then that is high-risk? What about travel companies, given the recent events where airlines and travel companies have gone bust leaving the credit card companies paying back many millions of pounds? Then there are other non-KBB high-street companies going bust,

surely exposure there too?

Russell Buckley, managing director, Stuart Henry Kitchens, Birkenhead

there will be a fi nancial

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