Categorise your business with care

It’s really important that you categorise your business correctly, especially within merchant accounts, banking and with national bodies. It ensures that you appear in the right places and that you are dealt with under the correct rules.

Here’s what happened this evening…

The call

This evening I had a call from our corporate credit card provider. A 16 second voicemail that gave me two numbers to call (said at the speed of sound)

I called them back.

Eventually (that’s how bank call centres work), I was connected to a voice on the end of the phone.  He explained that a transaction had been flagged for fraud and had been rejected.

He explained who the transaction was from and why is was rejected.

“It was a gaming or gambling transaction and that’s not allowed on corporate cards anymore.”

“That’s wrong”, I said. “You’ve accepted that in the past. It’s a SEO business – educational and training. It’s related to Quicksprout one of the biggest SEO businesses in the world? Not gaming not gambling?”

“It was under video games / arcades and we can’t accept that type of transaction. Policy has changed on your type of card and it’s not allowed anymore.”

We went on a seemingly infinite loop of this point.

Then it hit me – we are a SaaS business too, so I wanted to understand how we were categorised. If Quicksprout were affected by this – could we be too?

The Manager

Things escalated and I ended up talking with a Manager.

He explained that the merchant registered themselves as ‘video gaming and arcades’

I’ve got no idea why they would do that? I’ve raised that question to them, and they’ve changed merchant accounts so that might explain that.

How is your business categorised?

But it raises a bit question that online businesses, and e-commerce need to be aware of.

How are you categorised by the payment providers and the regulators?

I know the temptation is to just get the damn form filled in when you start a business or change bank accounts but….

‘Oh we will just put it there’ when the exact category doesn’t exist – might cause you some serious headaches down the road.

You will be segmented and policy will be applied by financial institutions based on this categorisation.  We know all about segmentation, we help our clients apply that with their customer data every day.

The manager checked our registration and confirmed the process. In the UK its the SIC code that counts.

So I’ve posted this as a heads up, based on a 45 minute call tonight.

Get yourselves checked out, so you can keep your cash flow moving.