Bankful (formerly Pinwheel Pay) payment gateway alternatives for high-risk websites.

Tower Payments provides high-risk credit card processing to e-commerce websites that major payment gateways, including Bankful, have declined. Bankful is a popular service that works well for most businesses – but it is not a fit for everyone.

Depending on their exact products and marketing methods, online business owners who sell adult toys, headshop items like pipes and bongs, cannabis processing equipment, or that offer subscription programs and recurring billing payment plans often have difficulty accepting credit cards online.

“Declined by Bankful” may be different than being declined by Stripe, Square, or PayPal

Because standard payment gateway providers like Stripe, PayPal, and Square often do not allow high-risk merchants, website owners can find themselves searching online and applying for services they may not fully understand.

Words like high-risk payment gateway and high-risk merchant account are often used interchangeably, but there is a real difference between the two. The term payment gateway refers to software that interfaces with your shopping cart and a merchant account is a banking relationship that connects to that payment gateway and processes your customer’s transactions.

If an online business owner applies for a payment gateway through PayPal, Stripe, or Square, what they are really applying for is a seamless payment gateway merchant account combination that is always sold together and cannot be separated.

If you apply for payment processing directly through Authorize.Net or Bankful, your payment gateway may be provided by the gateway, but the merchant account piece could be underwritten by one of the gateways’ merchant processing partners. This is where issues can arise.

Confused? Please reach out to us, we love helping online businesses. We will explain everything to you in plain English and provide you with a free, fair quote.

PayPal, Square, and Stripe’s terms can be restrictive, but they may be more clear than Bankful’s

PayPal, Stripe, and Square all have prohibited activities or restricted product type lists that outline what goods and services they allow. For example, Square’s banned items list explicitly prohibits subscription offers. PayPal’s list of prohibited uses effectively bans common headshop items under the paraphernalia header. Stripe’s blacklist of banned products and services specifically lists adult toys and “cannabis-related” items as restricted from using their services.

Complicating things, even more, is that Bankful, formerly Pinwheel Pay, has been sold as a “Gateway Only” and then connected to any one of hundreds of merchant account providers by merchant processors, payment consultants, and independent credit card processing sales offices and agents.

This all means that although you may think you were declined for a Bankful merchant account, depending on the reseller, you could have actually been declined by a separate merchant account provider. Bankful’s terms do mention some obvious items, like a prohibition on using their service for illegal activity. Still, the bulk of their restrictions may actually be handled by a merchant account provider’s compliance and loss prevention departments – behind the scenes.

If Bankful has turned you down, we’d love to help you accept credit cards

Tower Payments can help your high-risk website accept credit cards on dozens of website shopping carts, including WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Wix.  With Tower Payments’ expert guidance, upfront terms, and clear pricing, your will know exactly who you are applying with and how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

When there are decisions that need to be made, we will go over all the details by phone, email, or both. We’re different than the big high-risk credit card processors and all-in-one payment gateways.

Click the start arrow below for a free, fair quote – we think you’ll be happy you did.