One Simple Trick to Dodge Downtime After Losing Your Merchant Account

May 24, 2018 · 3 min read

For online sellers and more specifically subscription business owners, a lost merchant account is the worst case scenario. What many don’t know is that there is a way to continue business in the event of a lost merchant account. So, here’s our guide on how to completely avoid downtime after losing your merchant account.

Be prepared

Before you stomp off thinking this is a gimmick, we’ll walk you through three steps that ensure you’re prepared. If you never want to lose another penny to a lost merchant account again, you should:

  1. Vault payment card data. Your transaction and customer data should never be held hostage. Yet some payment gateways make it very difficult for you to get your data out when you need it — like when you lose your merchant account and need to set up a different gateway. To circumvent this, work with a billing software who securely vaults your payment card data so that you have it when you need it. (Read more about why data portability matters here.)
  2. Have a backup merchant account. Preparedness isn’t just for Boy Scouts. If you have a backup merchant account (or several), you can continue accepting payments if one account goes down. The more accounts you have, the less chance you’ll ever have to deal with losing sales to downtime.
  3. Work with an agnostic billing software. Before you select a provider to manage your payments, ask them if they are gateway agnostic. This means they’ll allow you to integrate as many payment gateways as you’d like, so that the software can send subsequent transactions onward to one of your backup merchant accounts after one goes down.

If you’re doing these things, as well as working with subscription billing software that allows you to:

…then there’s simply no reason you’ll ever lose money to a lost merchant account again.

Bonus points: Follow up on why

If losing merchant accounts has been a recurring problem for your business, there may be some underlying issues. Oftentimes, it’s due to a high number of chargebacks, customer disputes with the payment gateway, or sometimes it’s just a matter of transactions from around the world flagging an internal algorithm. Take some time to assess why your account was closed, and then make adjustments as necessary. In the long run, it’ll result in a healthier business, and hopefully fewer headaches for you.

One way that you can reduce the risk of losing your merchant account? Reduce chargebacks and fraud. If you aren’t sure where to start with that, our guide can help:

Reducing Chargebacks

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