As a merchant, one of the biggest perks of using Stripe is the ability to start accepting payments immediately after you sign up. All you have to do is fill in basic information about your business and bank account, and your account will be approved.
However, because Stripe doesn’t make merchants go through an initial approval process, it’s not uncommon for business owners to find out that their account has been restricted shortly after they’ve signed up and started collecting payments. So, what do you do if your Stripe account gets restricted or suspended?
This is one of the most common questions we receive from our customers — and although ChargeStripe has no control over Stripe’s platform and how they handle restrictions and suspensions, we’ve learned enough over the years to help point you in the right direction if you end up receiving one of those daunting emails. To help you recover your account and start collecting payments again, we’ve put together some tips on how to not get your stripe account rejected — and if it happens — how to resolve the issue.
Why you need to connect your Stripe account to use ChargeStripe
ChargeStripe is a partner platform of Stripe that allows you to accept mobile payments from anywhere by scanning credit cards with a phone’s camera, typing in card information, or swiping with a card reader. All you have to do is download the ChargeStripe app and sign in to your Stripe account. Without a Stripe account, users are unable to login and use the app, but ChargeStripe makes it easy for first-timers to set up a new Stripe account directly from the app. If you already have a Stripe account, it takes only a couple of minutes to be up and running on ChargeStripe.
The process for connecting a Stripe account:
Simply logging in with your Stripe account credentials will connect the Stripe account to the ChargeStripe app. If you do not have a Stripe account when you sign up for ChargeStripe, you will need to set one up. Keep in mind, it takes around 30 minutes to complete Stripe’s signup process. As we’ll discuss in a bit, one of the common reasons why Stripe ends up suspending or rejecting accounts is because account information is incomplete or inaccurate, so make sure to thoroughly and accurately fill out the following details when you sign up for a Stripe account:
- Business email address
- The street address for your business
- Business phone number
- Customer support phone number
- Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number
- Your business’s website or social media profile
- Full name, street address, and date of birth
- Last four digits of your Social Security Number
- Checking account routing number and bank account number
Why your Stripe account might become suspended or rejected
Unfortunately, having your account suspended or restricted by Stripe is not uncommon. And worse, it can be frustrating and confusing for merchants who are unsure which term they have violated.
Account suspensions and restrictions are up to Stripe’s discretion. Suspensions are typically due to Stripe needing more business information, while restrictions are due to suspected fraudulent activity (Stripe is not clear what it deems as fraudulent).
However, Stripe is clear on their policy for restricting what they consider “high-risk businesses,” which are:
- Businesses that are located in or provide goods/services to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Crimea Region, and Syria
- Industries that have a higher likelihood of chargebacks and fraud, including bankruptcy lawyers, door-to-door sales, medical benefit packages, telemarketing, remote technical support, etc.
You can view the full list of restricted businesses on their website, which also includes illegal products and services that get rejected by Stripe (adult content, gambling, counterfeit goods, etc).
Stripe might also consider your business high risk if you are selling digital products and services with no footprint or paper trail to prove that customers actually received their purchase, or if your business is selling its products or services in countries outside of your residence. This is because these types of sales are harder to track and tend to receive more customer complaints.
How to make sure your Stripe account doesn’t get rejected
The good news is — if you’re running a legitimate business and have provided Stripe with accurate details and payment information, the chances of your account getting shut down are much less likely. However, it’s a good idea to make sure all your bases are covered when you start using the platform. Here are a few tips to minimize the risk of your account being rejected:
- Fill out all of the necessary information when you create your Stripe account. Do not leave anything blank, and make sure all the information is accurate.
- Update all of the information on your Stripe account as it changes. According to Stripe’s Know Your Customer (KYC) obligations, “We may also reach out periodically to confirm that information on your account is still accurate.”
- Be aware of multiple failed payments. If you’re experiencing repeated chargebacks and declines, Stripe will review your account to determine if it should be suspended.
- Use an accurate website listing for your business. We’ve seen people use generic website urls like instagram.com, AAA.com, and website.com as their business’s website URL, which may cause Stripe to flag your account. If your business doesn’t have a website, don’t worry. You can also use a company social media profile. If you don’t have either, take a few minutes to set up a Facebook or Instagram business account.
- Don’t forget to have a customer support phone number. Your business may not have a dedicated support number, but leaving this part blank or filling out a 000-000-0000 isn’t an option. Instead, set up a free Google Voice phone number.
- Make sure you aren’t on their list of restricted businesses. We mentioned above that Stripe has rules against the usage of their platform by certain industries and locations.
How to resolve an account issue if your account is rejected
Stripe will communicate to merchants (typically through email) to notify them of the rejection, why it was rejected, and what will happen to the funds in the account. Typically, this involves a 90-day holding period before funds are released to ensure there is no fraudulent activity. If you believe your account was rejected incorrectly, Stripe recommends reaching out to their customer support team to resolve the issue.
Getting your account rejected or suspended is never fun, but if you haven’t violated one of Stripe’s terms and conditions, you have a good chance at getting your account back up and running after appealing it. For more information on how ChargeStripe and Stripe work, check out How to Accept Mobile Credit Card Payments on Stripe.