Recently we noticed some online media buzz regarding what appears to be a change in the terms and conditions of the highly popular credit card acceptance company Square (Squareup), the online community is tying this, rightly or wrongly (I am guessing only Square knows for sure) to the department of justice program known as Operation choke point. Here is an obligatory “grain of salt” Wikipedia article for those of you unfamiliar with Operation Choke Point.
As a payment gateway provider and e-commerce services company we, as a normal part of our day regularly recommend credit card processing services to our clients, and even to folks who simply pick up the phone for some free friendly advice. Sometimes we are affiliates, sometimes a trusted independant agent handles the application process from start to finish for merchants, and sometimes (like when we recommend square) we simply recommend it when it is the best fit for a merchant. It appears that a very important change may have occurred to the Square terms. Historically our understanding was that Square did allow face to face firearms and ammunition sales which worked out well for many folks who occasionally sold at gun shows and small shops. Square seems to always (or at least for a long time) have prohibited online and telephone order gun sales, but online is not their niche so that was never surprising. What seems to have changed it the apparently crystal clear language in their terms prohibiting any gun, ammunition or weapon sales of any kind, even face to face.
We strongly recommend that any merchant using Square for any high risk category including firearms carefully review their user agreement and make sure you are not breaking their rules. Violating a payment processing companies terms can often result in suspended accounts or worse. Guns.com has a direct link to Square’s terms in this article. http://www.guns.com/2013/05/14/square-payment-processing-no-longer-supports-firearms-transactions/. We still think Square is a really nice solution for many folks, but like everything it is not a one size fits all solution.
Please contact us any time if you have any questions about how your business fits in the ever changing world of payment processing, we are always happy to help.