In this season’s mad rush of gift giving, stores are hoping to finish the year with a bang; however, those sales may not materialize if your merchant account limit is unknowingly exceeded. Not only is it frustrating to lose sales when an account is shut down, but a merchant account provider may tie up money for months.
Protect Yourself, and Know All the Account Details
This tip may seem like common sense, but know your limits based on the original agreement, and keep that in mind as sales roll in. If the total sales in a given month are exceeded by mid-month, the merchant may choose to cut off additional credit card transactions until the start of the next month. This leaves you with cash or check only payment options and customers may choose to shop elsewhere.
Credit card processing companies may also shut down accounts and hold back significant funds if they notice a very large surge in total sales, or a marked increase of per sale dollar limits. For example, if a normal month is $20,000 in sales, and suddenly transactions reflect a total of $10,000 in one day, the merchant may think the charges are fraudulent.
This is especially true for online or mail order business. As a result, they may hold back a lot of money to cover any fraud-based charge backs. This can create a problem if money from those sales was supposed to go towards new inventory or employees.
Connect with your Merchant Account Provider to Avoid Confusion
To ensure everyone is clear, contact your provider to double check the limit, or raise it if necessary. Perhaps it fluctuates by season, so talk with them about a plan that allows you to do that – but give them a few weeks’ notice at least. Also let them know if you plan to change what products or services you are selling, as it may lead to increased sales. In this case it’s important to get merchant approval first.