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What to do when Stripe shuts you down and holds your money

How to respond to a “Closure of your Stripe account” or "Shopify Payments on hold" email

by Organic Payment Gateways

If you recently received an email from Stripe informing you that your account has been closed and they are holding your money for 90 days, or one from Shopify Payments stating your account is on hold, you’re not alone.

This article can help you get your website’s payment processing back online.

Stripe, Shopify Payments, and even WooCommerce Payments shutdown emails are sent to businesses of all types, from nutritional supplements, pipes and glass, adult toys, and even online coaching businesses.

Why Stripe sends out closure emails

There are a few reasons why Stripe might terminate your account. Sometimes, it may be because your business is engaged in prohibited activities, such as selling goods or services on Stripe’s Prohibited and Restricted Business Type List. In other cases, it may be because your business has a high risk of chargebacks or fraud. Your perceived risk may be based on – fairly or not from your perspective – others in your industry and how they have historically managed their Stripe accounts.

If you think your account has been terminated in error, you can contact Stripe to request a review. However, it’s important to note that Stripe is not required to reinstate your account. If your account is terminated, you may need to find a new payment processor.

Sample Stripe Closure Email Notification
Sample Stripe Closure Notification Email

What to do if your Stripe account is terminated

If your Stripe account is terminated, here are some tips:

  • Review Stripe’s prohibited list. Is your business prohibited from using Stripe? Find out by carefully reviewing their prohibited list here: https://stripe.com/legal/restricted-businesses
  • Contact Stripe immediately if you think there is an error. If you think there was an error, you can request a review. The best way to do this is to log into your Stripe dashboard here https://dashboard.stripe.com/login.
  • Find a new payment processor. You must find a new payment processor if your Stripe account is terminated for risk or prohibited activities like selling CBD, adult products, or weapons.
  • Update your website and other online platforms. If you need us to set up a new payment processor, you must update your shopping cart to reflect your new payment processing credentials. We can help you do this.
  • Export your rebills and recurring transaction data. If you maintain cardholder data for recurring billing or card-on-file accounts, you must export that information into a new payment gateway. This is also a service we assist with.
  • Review your business practices. If your Stripe account was terminated due to a high risk of fraud, you might need to review your business practices to reduce future fraud risk. This may include implementing new security measures or partnering with a third-party fraud prevention service. We are happy to provide suggestions.

Having your payment gateway put on hold, shut down, or worse yet, having your account shut down and your merchant account deposits withheld can be extremely stressful for any website owner.

The team at Organic Payment Gateways is ready to provide you with a replacement for your Stripe, Shopify Payments, or WooCommerce Payments account if needed. Click Start at the bottom of this page to begin.

Did Shopify Payments or WooCommerce Payments close your credit card processing?

Shopify Payments and WooCommerce Payments are both, to varying degrees, under the Stripe Payments umbrella. Generally, the rules regarding what can and cannot be sold – and their basic loss prevention policies – are similar.

There are some subtle differences between Shopify Payments and WooCommerce Payments, though.

Shopify Payments, although “Powered By Stripe,” seems to have a bit more autonomy than some other Stripe partners – which makes sense based on Shopify’s staffing, infrastructure, and gigantic footprint in the e-commerce space – especially in the US and Canada.

WooCommerce Payments appears to operate more like a straightforward white-labeled Stripe payment processing partner. Therefore the advice concerning a WooCommerce Payments shutdown tends to mirror that of a Stripe termination.

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What to do if Shopify Payments payments put your account on hold

Unfortunately, a Shopify Payments hold is commonly followed by a termination or a request to remove a product or service essential to your e-commerce site’s profitability. 

The next steps after a Shopify Payments hold, suspension, or termination, including reviewing your sales and marketing practices, are similar to those listed above for a Stripe termination. Still, there are a few differences which we detail below.

Make sure your products and services are not prohibited by Shopify Payments by reviewing their terms. If Shopify Payments puts your account on hold and your products are on their prohibited list – you should apply for new payment processing.

You can review the Shopify Payments banned products and services here: https://www.shopify.com/legal/terms-payments-us#prohibited-businesses

Contact Shopify Payments and ask them to reconsider. Assuming your product or service is not prohibited per the link above, you can request a review. If your Shopify Payments account is on hold, generally, you will see a clickable red banner when logging in to your Shopify dashboard. Additionally, you can contact Shopify support here: https://help.shopify.com/en/support#/contact/.

Find a new processor that works with your Shopify website’s plug-ins, apps, and features. If you do need a new payment gateway/ merchant account, take the time to confirm that your new processing will work with your existing Shopify apps. 

If your website markets a high-ticket item like coaching or a regulated product like CBD or nutritional supplements, you can greatly reduce the chances of having your payment gateway put on hold again by using a properly integrated high-risk provider. This is especially important if you process rebills and card-on-file transactions, as disruptions can be particularly damaging to your company’s cash flow.

Luckily, most Shopify recurring billing apps, including ReCharge and Bold, work seamlessly with our 3rd party payment processing solutions. You can click Start at the bottom of this page or call Organic Payment Gateways’ free e-commerce support line at 800-570-1347 to learn more about your website’s compatibility with 3rd party Shopify payment processing.

What to do after a WooCommerce Payments termination

Because WooCommerce Payments is basically Stripe in WooCommerce clothing, your next steps if your WooCommerce Payments account is put on hold or shut down are essentially the same as the steps we outlined for Stripe earlier in this article. Even the WooCommerce Payments prohibited activities page, which can be found at https://woocommerce.com/document/woocommerce-payments/our-policies/restricted-products/, ultimately links to Stripe’s restricted use policies.

Plug-in compatibility. Because of WooCommerce’s open-source nature, we find that website owners who need to transfer to another payment gateway, like a high-risk Authorize.Net or NMI account, generally have no serious issues with their existing plug-ins.

Rebills and recurring charges on WooCommerce after a payment processing shutdown. Like most WordPress website augmentations, recurring billing within WooCommerce is generally handled by 3rd party plug-ins with broad integration compatibility. This means transitioning to another payment gateway and merchant account is usually pretty straightforward. If, for some reason, your WooCommerce rebills are stored on Stripe’s servers, we can help facilitate a secure transfer of cardholder data to new payment processing and help you keep your rebill program intact.

Organic Payment Gateways can help you accept credit cards again

If you received a Stripe, Shopify Payments, or WooCommerce Payments hold or account closure email and need a new payment gateway/merchant account, we are happy to help you find the best solution for your business.

Contact us and tell us a little about your business by clicking the Start arrow at the bottom of this page. We will work hard to get you back up and running quickly.