Unqualified/Unacceptable Business

Created by Hitesh Mehta, Modified on Tue, 26 Mar at 10:11 AM by Hitesh Mehta

1. Unqualified/Unacceptable Business

The following industries are considered unacceptable merchant processing candidates due to Card Brand prohibition; illegal or likely to be deemed illegal activity; high fraud potential; high potential for excessive chargebacks; or excessive risk exposure. These merchants should not be solicited. Waivers may be considered for some industries under certain circumstances (see note at the bottom of this Unqualified/Unacceptable Business section) subject to approval by the appropriate authorised individuals/level.

Industries that must not be solicited and for which no waiver is available:

  • All sexually oriented or pornographic merchants:
  • Adult telephone sex adult conversations or Internet
  • Adult websites and content
  • Adult Misc. entertainment (not elsewhere classified)
  • Adult book stores, video stores, toys
  • Any illegal activity (e.g. child pornography, bestiality etc)
  • Any products on the internet containing graphic or nude content
  • Companion/Escort Services
  • Dating services aimed at “sex contact” or similar, or with sexually explicit pictures
  • Fetish products
  • Gentleman’s clubs, topless bars/clubs
  • Massage parlors
  • Memberships, clubs, subscriptions
  • Modeling agencies (adult)
  • Prostitution
  • Video (web-based sexually oriented video)
  • Any illegal products/services or any service providing peripheral support of illegal activities (e.g. drugs)
  • Decryption and descrambler products including mod chips
  • Digital Game Reseller Services
  • Fake references and other services / products that foster deception (including fake IDs and government documents)
  • Jammers or devices that are designed to block, jam or interfere with cellular and personal communication devices/signals
  • Illegal lotteries and/or illegal gambling, including internet gambling (any 7995 SIC)
  • Illegal medical marijuana or affiliated services (e.g. “How To” instructions on growing etc)
  • Illegal marijuana, marijuana products, marijuana services and marijuana related businesses
  • Merchants engaged in activities prohibited by MasterCard and Visa
  • Merchants that have ransom-like or extortion-like basis for their business model (e.g. mugshot removal)


Credit Policy Manual

Confidential and proprietary. No reproduction without written consent of Fiserv

  • Merchants physically located outside of Australia other than where permitted by MasterCard and Visa rules (e.g. under the International Airline Program)
  • Merchants, principals or related entities previously identified by any card Brand for deceptive practices or any violation of Card Brand rules
  • Merchants that use tactics to evade Card Brand excessive chargeback or fraud monitoring programs
  • Merchants up-selling or cross selling products of other merchants and then sharing the cardholder data with the third party or receiving cardholder data from third parties
  • Merchants offering a negative renewal option following a free or low cost purchase or any other deceptive or questionable billing practice (e.g. hidden disclosures, bogus claims and endorsements, pre-checked opt-in boxes, refund/cancellation avoidance)
  • Products/services that promote hate, violence, harassment or abuse
  • Replica or counterfeit products that infringe on copyright or similar
  • Sale of Government-issued Licences
  • Substances designed to mimic illegal drugs and/or other psychoactive products (e.g., K2, salvia divinorum, nitrite inhalers, bath salts, synthetic cannabis, kratom, herbal smoking blends & herbal incense)

Industries where waivers may be considered, subject to the approval by the appropriate authorized individuals/level as specified at the end of this section:

  • Advance payments greater than 1 year, including lifetime subscriptions (any product or service)
  • Any broker for or lender of small value loans over a short payment period, attracting very high interest rates (including “Pay Day” loans) *
  • Audio/Video text
  • Airlines/Cruise lines
  • Cash advances (other than financial institutions)
  • Cash gifting* (ponzi scheme similar to chain letters where consumers are encouraged to “gift” a payment to another party and then solicit others to gift funds to them)
  • Chain letters*
  • Check cashing
  • Collection agencies or firms involved in recovering/collecting past due receivables*
  • Credit card protection (including identity theft protection)
  • Credit repair/credit restoration
  • Currency exchange
  • Debt/ interest consolidation services or reduction services
  • Drug paraphernalia*
  • Extended warranty companies
  • File sharing services/cyberlockers
  • Credit Policy Manual
  • Confidential and proprietary. No reproduction without written consent of Fiserv
  • Foreclosure protection/guarantees services (including instructional guides/books)
  • Free gift, prize, sweepstakes or contest as an inducement to purchase a product/service
  • “Get-rich-quick” schemes
  • Health clubs (extended/lifetime)
  • High Risk Securities, including but not limited to the following*: -
  • Binary Options Trading
  • Contracts For Difference (CFD)
  • Foreign Exchange (FOREX) Currency Options Trading
  • Cryptocurrency Options Trading
  • Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)
  • Internet Search / Advertisement Optimization
  • IT services help desk
  • Investment programs/Opportunities
  • Lottery Clubs
  • Merchants or principals on MATCH OR VMTS
  • Merchants in a Card Brand excessive chargeback or fraud program or merchants with chargeback or fraud rates over 1%*
  • Merchants splitting sales across multiple transactions*
  • Merchants offering rebates or special incentives
  • Merchants trading (buying/selling) in gold and other precious metals
  • Money Transfer Services (other than authorized Western Union agents)
  • Money services businesses
  • Mortgage / credit / debt reduction /consulting services
  • Mortgage or loan modification services (includes merchants offering “short sale” services and/or instructional guides/books)
  • Multi-level marketing or pyramid schemes where the primary objective is the solicitation of new distributors and not the sale of products/services
  • Non face-to-face sale of firearms/weapons*
  • Non face-to-face sale of prescription drugs, contact lenses or medical devices (non-institutional)*
  • Non face-to-face sale of tobacco products (including e-cigarettes/smokeless cigarettes)*
  • Non registered Charities
  • Nutraceuticals (e.g. acai berry, health related teas, herbal remedies or drinks etc)
  • Private Detectives
  • Products that contain CBD and/or THC*
  • Pseudo-pharmaceuticals (e.g. weight-loss, diet pills, anti-aging pills, anti-wrinkle creams, teeth whitening products, muscle building, sexual stimulants supplements, sex nutrients, male enhancement products, colon cleansers, detox products, glucose strips, hCG, HGH-like substances, etc.)
  • Social media “click farms” (e.g. the sale of clicks/likes/reviews/endorsements on social media)
  • Sports forecasting or odds-making/gambling advice
  • Third Party Payment Processors /payment services companies (e.g. bill pay services, crowd funding, peer-to-peer payments, digital wallets, commissary accounts etc) Aggregators falling outside of MasterCard/Visa approved program requirements (Payment Facilitators)* 
  • Ticket Agencies 
  • Virtual currency / Quasi-cash (that can be monetized, resold, converted, traded into physical/digital goods and services outside the virtual world) 
  • Businesses with the following methods of operations: 
    1. Merchants engaged in outbound telemarketing or facsimile
    2. Solicit cardholders when they contact call centers to purchase products of other direct marketers (“up-sell”) 


NOTE: Under ordinary circumstances, FDMS Australia would not do business with the merchants noted above. FDMS Australia may consider entering into or maintaining a relationship in this segment only to the extent that the account presents an extraordinary revenue opportunity and/or there is an existing significant Fiserv relationship and:

  • Where applicable, Fiserv legal approval is obtained 
  • Documentation requirements as stipulated in the section ‘Restricted Business’ applies. Any waiver to these documentation requirements must have the Vice President, International Credit or higher approval
  • Meets all Card Brand registration & content requirements 
  • Any waivers to prohibited industries require sign-off from a direct report of the Vice President, International Credit Risk Management or higher. Industries with an asterisk mark (“*”) require a Vice President or higher approval. 
  • Evidence of all waivers must be documented in electronic or file format.

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