QuickBooks is a market leader in accounting software and is typically the first choice for new businesses looking to set up a point-of-sale system. For most businesses, we recommend using Intuit’s Merchant Services, which allows your business to process credit cards within the QuickBooks Point-of-Sale system, fully integrated with your QuickBooks Desktop back office software.
However, there are a number of industries that are excluded from Intuit Merchant Services Acceptable Use Policy. These industries are considered “high risk industries” due to a higher likelihood of fraud. These industries include marijuana sales (even in States where marijuana is legal), sex shops, online gun sales, dating apps, occult businesses (psychics, palm readers, and occult supply stores), travel booking, and pawn shops. At POSWarehouse/Fourlane, we think all businesses deserve great accounting systems, and we still often set up QuickBooks for high risk industries. So we’ve prepared a brief blog post for some of the most common high risk industries. In this blog post you’ll learn:
- How to determine if you might qualify for Intuit Merchant Services
- Alternative merchant service options that still allow you to leverage QuickBooks for high risk industries (including Point-of-Sale)
QuickBooks for Gun Stores & Shooting Ranges
Gun stores are eligible to use Intuit Merchant Services, so long as they don’t sell online. Firearm sales are not mentioned in Intuit’s Acceptable Use Policy, however we know from experience that online gun stores will not be approved by Intuit. So if selling online is a core part of your business, you may want to look at an alternative credit card processing solution.
You can still use QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Point-of-Sale, you will just need to link to an outside credit card processor. This is a relatively easy process, but we can help get you set up. These outside processors will work well, but expect a slightly higher rate.
QuickBooks for Sex Shops
Intuit Merchant Services Acceptable Use Policy does not allow shops that sell “adult novelties” or “adult services.” This includes massage parlors without licensed massage therapists, passion parties, etc. However, when we speak with many owners of adult shops, we often find that their primary business is selling lingerie. Clothing sales are allowed and thusly, your business would be eligible for Quickbooks for high risk industries. If your business primarily sells other novelties, you would also be eligible under the “novelty shop” classification.
We recommend working with us to help you apply for Intuit Merchant Services. If you don’t believe you meet these qualifications, we can also help you find an alternative processor that works with QuickBooks Enterprise and Point-of-Sale.
QuickBooks for Marijuana Dispensaries & Related Businesses
Intuit is quite strict when it comes to marijuana-related businesses. They won’t do business with them, even if they are a licensed medical marijuana supplier, or operating in a one of the 9 states in which marijuana is 100% legal.
However, Intuit is quite happy to do business with hydroponics business. So if you use a hydroponic system, you may be able to be approved. Unfortunately, if you are a “weed store” you will likely not be able to use Intuit. You can still use QuickBooks Enterprise and QuickBooks Point-of-Sale, you will just be unable to process credit cards using Intuit Merchant Services. Luckily, as the marijuana industry has quickly grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, and is legalized in many of the largest, wealthiest states, there are a host of options for credit card processing, and interest rates are generally pretty low.
QuickBooks for Occult Businesses
Less frequently, we run into stores that sell esoteric goods like candles, herbs, crystals, and other “occult based” items. As long as these stores aren’t advertising services like psychic readings or snake oil cures, they can typically get approved under the classification of “novelty shop.” Again, we recommend working with us to submit your merchant services application to ensure you define your business in the right way and include all relevant information.
Credit Card Processing Rates For High Risk Businesses
The only thing that may be different is the rates. Intuit Merchant Services typically offers a pretty low rate – around 1% + $0.99. We do rate audits for all types of companies and 9 times out of 10 Intuit the lowest – hence why so many businesses use them.
With high risk businesses, rates start at 0.39% but can go as high as 5%. This is due to the higher incidence of fraud in these businesses, and also due to liability. However, our team has recommendations for quality providers that can work with you on rates, and ensure your business is up and running quickly. You may even want to apply to multiple companies to see who offers the best rates. We can walk you through this process.
What You’ll Need To Apply For Credit Card Processing in a High Risk Industry
There are a number of documents you’ll need to apply for any credit card processing, Intuit or an alternative.
- Merchant Services Application (we can help you choose which provider will work best)
- Your ID (Drivers License or Passport)
- Voided Check/Bank Letter
- Articles of Incorporation
- Link to your website, or if no website, a piece of your marketing materials
- 3-6 months bank statements
- 3-6 months processing statements
Your Fourlane representative will work with you to gather all the required materials and fill out your Merchant Services application correctly. Alternative credit card processing companies do take a little longer to process and approve applications. So make sure you give yourself ample time – at least 10 business days.
QuickBooks For High Risk Businesses
In summary, we still recommend using QuickBooks Desktop (Pro, Premier, or Enterprise, depending on your size) and QuickBooks Point-of-Sale. You may qualify for Intuit Merchant Services, but if not, you still have options! We work closely with Payment Cloud, a processor that specializes in securing credit card processing for high risk industries. For most other credit card processors it will be as simple as plugging in the credit card reader to your POS system and swiping/inserting cards there. You can then process the transaction through the alternative provider, but still record the transaction in QuickBooks. QuickBooks for high risk industries is possible, and we can help you make the process easy and painless!