Square deactivated our account!

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02/07/2019

On day three of taking reservations, we got hit with this bombshell e-mail from Square:

"Our Account Services team has reviewed your account and determined that we are no longer able to support processing your payments. Starting today, your account with Square is deactivated. Any funds currently in your account balance will be held for a period of 90 days, and are due to be released to you within two business days after May 30, 2019. Please be advised that the release date and amount available for release are subject to change based on factors that include receiving additional chargebacks after this notice. In addition, chargeback activity on payments unrelated to these funds will result in additional debits from your linked bank account."

This came completely from out of nowhere and their customer support hasn't been helpful. What's frustrating is that we already integrated everything with ResKey and were processing payments. We are located about a half-mile from the local football stadium, so people pay quite a premium to stay at our B&B on home game weekends. Thus, we've been taking a $200 deposit to book a room for any of those games. Maybe they found that to be unusual? We have really not been told exactly WHY our account was deactivated.

Has that happened to anyone here before? Any advice?

Morticia's picture
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Gomez & I had a chat about this. He's wondering if you set up as a business using a TIN or as a private individual using a SSN. You may have triggered money laundering flags.

Were all of the deposits taken automatically or by hand?

I think it's a combo of being a new business owner, new TIN, new reservation system, new Square account and a sudden influx of money. Altho, if they don't want you to make money why be in business?

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Lee2014's picture
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12/11/2014

  I hope you can get this fix!

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Morticia's picture
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You might want to post this over in the RK forum. There may be others experiencing the same issue. It seems unlikely you'll get your Square account back, but you might alert others to the possibility of losing theirs.

Morticia's picture
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My guess goes along with what On the Shore said - too many online transactions for the exact same amount. Although, because this is not a manual entry, it does make me wonder what triggered it.

We take deposits and have done so since the beginning. However, ours were mixed immediately with in-person transactions.

Their terms do say this is not for taking deposits. But, I think it's meant more for long term deposits where you would need to refund a year after, which you cannot do.

The chargeback thing is interesting.

Customer service, in re speaking with an actual person, is tough to find thru their website. Half the time I need the community forum to answer a question it's not available.

I use the word 'deposit' in the notes field, to distinguish those from fully paid accounts. When I refund, I say the order was cancelled.

Because you need immediate access to a payment system, try PayPal. You might try Stripe for your payment system down the road. Check to see if they have an invoicing piece so the guest is entering their info directly into Stripe.

I contacted Square last week to ask about the cost of processing thru RK and the response I got back was they do not partner with RK, even tho you can set it up to work together.

OnTheShore's picture
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Yeah, I am a bit dubious on RK's Square integration... I haven't really looked into it, but it just doesn't strike me as something that's fully developed. When this come up here a couple of weeks ago, I looked for documentation on RK's site, and I looked in the discussion forum, and there really wasn't anything in depth there either...

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JimBoone's picture
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NRV Runner wrote:

"Our Account Services team has reviewed your account and determined that we are no longer able to support processing your payments. Has that happened to anyone here before? Any advice?

Sorry you are having this stress when trying to get started in your new business, as On-the-Shore said you probably triggered some sort of fraud filter in their system, think about it from their end, brand new account and all the charges are large online deposits, no track record with them, they don't know you.

Questions:

I don't know how Square works with RK, are your guests providing their info through the system (charging their own card) or must you manually key in their info (card not present) to make the charge?

Is there any way to get past the front line customer support folks to a supervisor, fraud department, or anyone that is in charge? I'm just wondering if there is a fraud department if that would be a back door way to speak to a real person with an answer.

Me, I'm cheap as the next guy, pinch pennies and don't want to waste money, but my time and peace of mind is worth something to me, dislike the stress of dealing with folks long distance, exactly why I am willing to pay a bit more in fees to deal with a local guy who has physically been to my business.

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OnTheShore's picture
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So it seems maybe there is something about the nature of the transactions that have been processed that has triggered Square's "filters."

Maybe the notice is a generic one, but it does mention "additional chargebacks...."   Any account that receives an unexpectedly high rate of chargeback activity would be suspect.... 

Have you used one of the square card readers to actually process a card-present charge yet, or has all of the activity on your account so far been online?

You're using the Square integration in ReservationKey, if I remember correctly? Maybe there is something about that that triggered Square's filters?

In addition to our cottage business, we have a boat rental business, for which we also have a Square account. Initially we were charging a security deposit as a separate transaction, in addition to the boat rent, and would then refund the security deposit when the boat was returned, Square didn't like that, and threatened to close our account (apparently the card networks prohibit charging security deposits on their cards).

Above in your post, you describe the down-payments you are collecting on your reservations as "deposits" -- Is that word used in the transaction description?  Maybe square is responding to that.

My suggestion would be to use ResKey's PayPal integration for collecting reservation down-payments (don't call them deposits).  Then if you can get a Square to reactivate your account (or let you open a new account), use a Square reader to take a "swipe" or "dip" or "tap" of the guest's cards for the balance when they arrive at your property.

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

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02/07/2019

OnTheShore wrote:

So it seems maybe there is something about the nature of the transactions that have been processed that has triggered Square's "filters."

Maybe the notice is a generic one, but it does mention "additional chargebacks...."   Any account that receives an unexpectedly high rate of chargeback activity would be suspect.... 

All we've done is taken reservations for 24 hours - there have been no chargebacks yet.

Quote:

Have you used one of the square card readers to actually process a card-present charge yet, or has all of the activity on your account so far been online?

All of the charges so far have been online.

Quote:

Above in your post, you describe the down-payments you are collecting on your reservations as "deposits" -- Is that word used in the transaction description?  Maybe square is responding to that.

My suggestion would be to use ResKey's PayPal integration for collecting reservation down-payments (don't call them deposits).  Then if you can get a Square to reactivate your account (or let you open a new account), use a Square reader to take a "swipe" or "dip" or "tap" of the guest's cards for the balance when they arrive at your property.

That's a great idea. Thanks for the feedback.

OnTheShore's picture
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Another possible trigger may be that all of your charges so far have been for the same large amount, $200, which is probably suspect. Probably most if not all of the businesses that Square supports would be expected to have transactions of varied amounts.

In our cottage business, the amount of the downpayment that we collect is 25% of the booking, and since guests stay for different lengths of time, and the rates for the different cottages are different, the amounts of these charges vary.

 

All of the charges so far have been online.

Square was originally designed for small businesses charging cards in person using a smart phone with their plug-in device. When you set up an account with them, they are expecting your business to do the same. Most of Square's product development has been in the area of Point of Sale systems, consistent with their original mission.

In contrast, PayPal was originally designed for online transactions (i.e., eBay auctions).

Good Luck.

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