As a growing business, we’d like to think we could make our online invoicing and payment processing options available to everyone. However, since we provide business payment services as well as work with payment networks like Visa and Mastercard and banking partners all over the world, we are governed by a strict set of regulations and most remain compliant in order to provide many of the payment services we offer. While these restrictions are detailed in our Services Agreement, it is important that we provide the bigger picture around why Due isn’t for everyone.
There are two primary reasons we why we cannot work with certain businesses. First, our banking and payment network partners have specific rules about who they can and cannot work with so we must adhere to those same rules if we want to partner with them. Second, certain types of businesses may create a level of financial risk that we do not want to expose our customers or our business to at any time.
Prohibited or Restricted Business Categories
Here is a list of business categories where we are restricted or prohibited from accepting payments:
- Businesses that sell illegal products or services, such as counterfeit items, pirated music, medical marijuana (since it is illegal at the federal level) and illegal drugs;
- Regulated businesses tend to involve a lot of rules that can be difficult to follow and enforce online. While many of these businesses can be supported, such as online pharmacies, marketplaces, and alcohol, it tends to take a lot more effort on our part to ensure all the regulations are met.
- Questionable businesses are those that may leave customers dissatisfied due to the actual result of a product or service not being what it was actually sold as, which often happens with multi-level marketing companies or get rich quick systems. This businesses must be assessed individually by examining how they market themselves, what they are selling, and how many disputes they have with customers. We do not support any business that deceives its customers.
- Financially risky businesses tend to involve those activities that collect money upfront while then promising to deliver products or services at a later date. However, there can be a very long wait time or the risk that the company goes out of business before delivering the products or services. This can lead to numerous chargebacks where Due loses money. While we are somewhat accepting of crowdfunding models, we do spend considerable time assessing certain pre-order campaigns and concert pre-sales to determine the level of financial risk that’s potentially involved.
- Businesses that have a higher risk for fraud or money laundering include gift cards, drop shipping, and more. These types of businesses actually attract fraud while others may mask the origin of funds. This means that we have to be more diligent in determining where the funds are coming from so that we can ensure we are not encouraging these criminal activities by doing business with them.
- Businesses that adversely impact the brand and reputation are those involving pornography, sex toys, and anything else where our financial partners may not want to be linked to them. Right now, it feels as though these are somewhat moral decisions versus true brand risks, given the changes in perception in society. However, since we must balance the requirements of our financial partners with our own desire to support as many legitimate businesses as possible, we base our decisions currently on the wishes of our financial partners. Over time, we hope to support more of these in-demand businesses that shouldn’t be put in such a highly subjective category.
Due’s Philosophy and Recent Successes
Our philosophy is that we are in business to support as many businesses as possible, particularly other entrepreneurs like ourselves, and help expand the global online commerce environment. At the same time, we want to protect our own business interests and understand that we need to leverage technology to conduct risk assessments on certain types of businesses to ensure we can work with those industries or niches in a way that doesn’t compromise our own sustainability or that of our financial partners.
In certain areas, we’ve been successful in working past certain restrictions or prohibitive regulations imposed by our financial partners due, in part, to using various risk assessment tools, business information, transaction history, and machine learning.
For example, we have been able to move past our partners’ apprehension of online marketplaces, such as crowdfunding, on-demand services, and commerce platforms. They now realize that these marketplaces are legitimate businesses that provide a convenient service for consumers. We use technology that ensures that the money involved in marketplace transactions is paid out correctly and all compliance measures are followed.
Internet pharmacies are also now able to work with us despite the previous stigma that they were illegal businesses dealing in fraudulent prescriptions. However, new businesses and technology is illustrating how online pharmacies can be legitimate businesses that willingly follow specific requirements related to licenses, certifications, controls, registration and verification of prescriptions and of those using the service.
Similarly, we are in the process of doing the same for other legitimate business niches around the world that can benefit from the new fintech and regtech tools that are available to illustrate full compliance. Additionally, attitudes are changing about certain industries and business categories, allowing us to work with more of these companies and provide a transparent and compliant payment process.
We’re Here for You
Our objective remains focused on helping as many businesses as possible despite all the regulations and restrictions that sometimes stand in our way. Our team of risk and compliance experts, financial partners, and support staff are here to continually identify ways that can help us breakthrough many of these outdated restrictions and provide innovative solutions that allow us to work together.
Contact us today to learn more about how we might still work together or if you want to share any new ideas on how Due can support your business. Even if your idea falls into one of the aforementioned categories, let’s talk anyways. Putting our thoughts together can mean a way towards a new working relationship!