Schneiderman Resignation: What Does it Mean for U.S. High Risk Merchant Services?

Schneiderman Resignation: What Does it Mean for U.S. High Risk Merchant Services?

American consumers are well aware of the certainties in life:  death, taxes and philandering politicians.

Though our home office is located in coastal New England, we are disappointed in the news that led to Eric Schneiderman’s resignation as the Attorney General of New York State because of his advocacy in the U.S. high risk merchant services industries of event ticketing and medical collections, along with daily fantasy sports.

Attorney Schneiderman was instrumental in the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act, signed into federal law in 2016, as well as negotiating between the credit bureaus and debtors to improve the way medical collections are handled in the U.S. Atty. Schneiderman was hardly a fan of daily fantasy sports, however, when he proclaimed it was gambling (New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo disagreed, thus daily fantasy sports is legal in New York).

With Atty. Schneiderman‘s resignation, we’re curious if his interim replacement, Barbara Underwood, will be as active in high risk industries regulation. His alleged conduct notwithstanding, Atty Schneiderman did good things for U.S. high risk merchant services industry.

Use of ticket bots is now illegal

Ever log on to a ticket reseller website to purchase tickets for a concert, sporting event or theater production only to find the cost of tickets is ungodly expensive? Ever been to a sold out concert, sporting event or theater production where, strangely, certain blocks of seats are empty? Such circumstances are likely the results of the use of ticket bots.

Back in 2016, we read an article about how tickets for the likes of U2 and Bruce Springsteen as well as the production Hamilton, were being scooped up by independent ticket resellers by the thousands and sold at a huge markup. Such occurrences were the impetus for Atty. Schneiderman’s report titled Obstructed View: What’s Blocking New Yorkers From Getting Tickets, which detailed the use of ticket bots gobbling up online ticket sales only to mark them up later – modern day ticket scalping.

Atty. Schneiderman’s report led to enacting of the BOTS Act, signed into law in December of 2016 that made illegal the use of bot technology for the resale of event tickets.

Consumers have more of a voice with medical collections

Among the many U.S. high risk merchant services for which we offer credit card processing is medical collections, and industry that can grow contentious between consumers (debtors) and collections agencies (creditors). To deviate from the he-said, she-said culture of disputes, Atty. Schneiderman negotiated between debtors and three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to establish a better mode of settlement. Three changes came as a result:

  • Equifax, Experian and TransUnion now play the judge and jury in disputes.
  • The credit bureaus have agreed to a 180-day waiting period before including overdue medical bills to consumer credit reports.
  • Once the debtor makes good on payment, it is removed from the debtor’s credit report (instead of remaining for the ensuing seven years, as was prior protocol).

It is/was a needed, welcome solution.

Daily fantasy sports: it’s gambling

Daily fantasy sports are among the highest of the U.S. high risk merchant services for which we offer payment processing. While the gambling vs. skill debate continues (we agree with Atty. Schneiderman, who believed it is gambling), its legality remains on a state-by-state basis.

After a long absence, however, Fanduel ads have been appearing during sports telecasts we’ve been watching, especially English Premier League soccer and the NHL and NBA Playoffs. Coupled with states that are increasingly drawn to legalized gambling, we think the industry of daily fantasy sports is here to stay and will steadily grow.

U.S. high risk merchant services: What we can do for these industries

Instabill grants merchant account approvals on a case-by-case basis and has solutions in place for all three of the industry types:

  • Daily fantasy sports: For a fantasy sports merchant account approval we recommend $100,000 in payment processing per month; six months of payment processing history; and a business registration outside the U.S.
  • Medical collections: For an ACH or check solution, we require a completed application, 3-6 months payment processing history, and the necessary KYC documentation.
  • Ticket agencies: For legal and legitimate ticketing agencies abiding by the regulations in place by their government, Instabill requires 3-6 months of credit card processing history along with required KYC documents.

The recommended KYC documents for all U.S. high risk merchant services accounts such as valid identification (driver’s license, passport), business banking statements, voided check or business bank letter and documents of incorporation are mandatory. A complete list can be found here.

Our merchant account managers always encourage an introductory conversation to chat about the possibilities. Have that conversation today by calling us direct at 1-800-530-2444.

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