Applied for Shopify Capital Payments Put On Hold

Shawna_Jeneen
Explorer
48 0 12

The title pretty much says it all, but I'll include a bit more context.

Received an email early yesterday morning from a "Risk Analyst" named Raymond. He said my payments were on hold because my site, SheairButters.com, was in violation of Shopify's terms, specifically dealing with my use of the words HEAL and TREAT,  two words I did indeed use to describe the uses for the Shea Butter I am selling. He said I needed to remove those words to continue using Shopify Payments, or directed me to EMB, a company that deals with "high risk" sellers. Yep, saying Shea Butter can "treat" or "heal" things like eczema is considered high risk.

Now, here is where I have a problem with Shopify, while my store is still open and purchases can be made, Raymond never said which product(s) were the problem and was overall quite vague. Nevertheless, I removed the offending words and 24 hours later Raymond finally answered my previous email, by simply saying his "banking partners would review the changes and be in contact if more was required." This got me to thinking that the recent funding request I made was why, after 3 years, my little site came to Shopify's attention. Also, wanted to add, I have not heard back from EMB either. So, basically, people continue to shop from my store, but when or if I will ever see that money, is anyone's guess.

The short and vague responses from Raymond are unprofessional. The lack of overall care and knowledge from the general Shopify customer service agents is also nothing short of disturbing. There is a pandemic going on. People need their money. Shopify should be more forthcoming with their sellers. I am disgusted. So very disgusted. 

Also ended up not needing their funding. Go figure. 

Replies 4 (4)

Shay
Shopify Staff
2830 442 576

Hi @Shawna_Jeneen 

My name is Shay and I am a support advisor for Shopify. I understand that you have been in contact with our Risk team regarding some products on your store and that your experience attempting to resolve this situation was less than ideal. 

I sincerely appreciate the feedback you have shared here about your support experiences and I want to let you know that I have passed that onto the appropriate teams for review. While I don't have the ability to see your open tickets or review your conversations with Raymond, I can ensure that your feedback here is provided to our Risk team.

You mentioned that they didn't provide you that much information on why this was an issue or what products this was related to. I can definitely share some additional info about why some products are considered high risk pseudo-pharmaceuticals and why they aren't supported on the Shopify Payments gateway.

Pseudo-pharmaceuticals refer to products that make some type of health claim, but aren’t a prescription or regulated over-the-counter medication. This means that if you are selling a cream and your product description details how it can heal something or make you healthier, that item is now not a standard beauty product but a medication for treatment. The reason this then is classified as a high risk item is that if your product does not deliver on the treatment promised, you could be open to legal action. An example of this that comes to mind for me is when Skechers (a shoe company) released a shoe that was supposed to promote weight loss. It was later proved that they didn't and they were forced to refund their customers over $40 million USD in compensation.

Our Risk team is not able to provide too much context on situations such as this because of the legal issues that could potentially come into play regarding these products. It is the merchant's responsibility to understand the classification of their products and to have the correct documentation available to provide to their payment gateway and customers to back up any medical claims their items might offer. 

Because of the inherent risk involved with selling items with promoted health benefits, our banking partners that power Shopify Payments do not support transactions with these items being processed through the Shopify Payments gateway. Please know that not being able to use Shopify Payments for your business does not mean that your business is not welcome on Shopify. Many of our merchants use alternative payment gateways for their items quite successfully! EMB and Authorize.net are great gateways to consider if you don't feel that Shopify Payments is going to be a good fit for you moving forward. 

I hope this information provides the clarification you were missing before. I am happy to answer any other questions you have about what items could be considered high risk or processing payments through other gateways. I want you to know that we value you and your business and that our support is here to help.

-Shay

Shay | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Shawna_Jeneen
Explorer
48 0 12

My issue is not why the payments were put on hold, but the vague way in which my emails have been responded to. For instance, do I ship out orders while this is going on? How long will the payments be held? I asked a number of questions Raymond just skipped over when he finally responded to my email over 24 hours later. Seriously, how long are my payments going to be held in limbo while Raymond's "business partners" scrutinize my site? This is unacceptable. No excuses.

Shay
Shopify Staff
2830 442 576

I completely understand Shawna. While there is no set timeline on when the review will be completed (once in contact with our team it is usually 3-7 business days) I can help you understand what the next steps should look like regardless of the review outcome. 

For your payments, please rest assured that you will receive your funds paid to you by your customers. The funds are held while the review is processing and unless your orders are considered at a high risk for chargebacks, the payouts are usually released once the review is complete. In a worst case scenario, our banking partners will let us know that your business can't be supported and once you disable Shopify Payments on your store, the payouts will be released and paid out to the account you had connected with Shopify Payments. 

Please continue to process your orders as per normal if you are able to do so while the payouts are pending. You can also disable Shopify payments and ask your customers to process payments through PayPal or an alternative gateway while this review is processing. It is VERY important that if you choose to do this that you email your Risk analyst and let them know. Disabling Shopify Payments could halt the review process, which we don't want to have happen. 

I know that having your payouts being held by your gateway is not an ideal situation. It is important to know that this is something that all payment gateways have the right to do and is something agreed to in the terms of service for Shopify Payments. I hear your feedback on how frustrating this situation is. This is an industry standard that can be experienced on any payment gateway out there.

Please feel free to share any additional questions you might have about this process. 

-Shay

Shay | Social Care @ Shopify 
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 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

alazandra
Tourist
5 0 0

Hi @Shawna_Jeneen Im in the same situation at the moment, and very stressed! Did the issue end up being resolved or did you end up going with a different payment provider?