Payment Platforms

Who Cannot Use Stripe?

Stripes banned industries
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Josh Phelps
May 05, 2023


There are many types of businesses that cannot use Stripe because they are on Stripe’s banned or restricted items lists. These companies are called “high risk” and have to use alternative methods to obtain payment processing . Luckily, high risk banking solutions like Zen Payments exist to help these merchants get the credit card processing resources they need for their business.

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What Are Stripe’s Banned Industries?

Stripes banned industries include adult websites, cbd stores, firearms dealers, and more. They break this down under two types of lists: Prohibited Businesses and Restricted Businesses.

Below is a detailed list of seven types of companies that cannot use Stripe is below with reasons as to why they are not allowed:

  1. Illegal Items – If you sell anything that is considered illegal or is used to assist in illegal activities, then your company cannot use Stripe as a payment processor. However, it’s important to note that state laws differ from federal laws. So if you’re selling a product like cannabis, it may be legal in some states and not others. Nonetheless, Stripe wouldn’t be your payment processor of choice, but a high risk provider would be able to get you the credit card processing capabilities you need.
  2. Breaches of Trademarks and Copyrights – Any items that attempt to steal a business identity or sell items without explicit permission from a company whose goods they’re selling would not be allowed. There are many examples of this that are actually quite common. For example, if you sell Apple watches and aren’t a licensed retailer, then you’d be going against Stripes regulations . More apparently, if you sell knock off items like fake Rolex watches or Prada purses that are not from the actual company, then you’re out of luck.
  3. Ponzi Schemes and MLM – Multi-level marketing is a deal-breaker when it comes to Stripe’s rulebook. If you’re operating a company that is structured without legitimate product offerings and instead sells the ruse of independence at a cost, then you’ll have to have an alternative payment processor.
  4. Adult – Although there continues to be a high demand for Adult streaming, products, and enhancement medicine, these industries are considered high risk. The good news is that although you can’t process with Stripe , there are many choices to serve your business with alternative banking channels.
  5. Gambling and Online Gaming – Another state-by-state industry, online gaming continues to gain traction around the country with a widening legal landscape. In addition, the allure of a big one and well-placed sports bets draws more gamblers each year. Skip Stripe and contact Zen Payments if you’re interested in processing in the online gambling industry.
  6. Location Exclusions – There is a long list of different countries that have their own rules when it comes to merchant accounts. If you’re selling international items you’ll want to see what’s allowed according to your specific location.
  7. Pharmaceuticals – These are companies that sell medication online. There are certain restrictions you must follow such as HIPAA guidelines and script certifications.

Are There Other Solutions For Stripes Banned Industries?

Yes, there are a number of alternatives to Stripe such as Zen Payments. As a high risk provider we help you through the onboarding journey and give you the best options for getting the processing you need.

Keep in mind aggregate providers like PayPal or Square are not the best way forward. They also have restricted items lists that your company will most likely land on. They offer instant approvals, but will review your company later on and drop your account if you don’t meet the Terms and Conditions they outline.

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Our merchant service specialists are the best in the business and will work with you from start to finish to get your account approved!

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Josh Phelps is an experienced sales professional with eight years of expertise, including four years in payment processing. Throughout his career, Josh has successfully secured approvals for thousands of businesses, demonstrating his skill in navigating and optimizing the payment processing landscape.


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