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Many telemarketing businesses rely almost exclusively on credit card purchases but in order to conduct credit card sales, a legitimate business must first enter into a merchant account agreement with a bank which agrees to process their credit card transactions.
In most retail credit card transactions, the business provides the merchant bank with a sales slip (draft) representing the customer's credit card information and signature authorizing the charge.
The bank then transfers this amount into the business's merchant account. The business may then draw from that amount or transfer the money to other accounts. The merchant bank then contacts the issuer of the customer's credit card (issuing bank), presents the sales draft and requests reimbursement.
The card-issuing bank then bills the customer for the purchase. If the customer returns the purchased item or challenges the charge, a "charge-back" results and the issuing bank credits the customer's account and asks the merchant bank for a refund.
The merchant bank is then only entitled to recoup its loss from the "business", not the credit card customer. If the business refuses, lacks sufficient funds, or is no longer functioning, the merchant bank absorbs the loss.
One bank review revealed that a single telemarketing operation deposited almost $1,000,000 into various merchant accounts. As a result of charge-backs, the bank lost $663,456 resulting from multiple sales credits of $399.50.
Due to the high charge-back ratios and lack of signed sales slips prevalent with fraudulent telemarketing companies it is difficult for the scammers to find merchant banks willing to accept their credit card transactions.
This restriction led to the development of "factoring" where the telemarketer uses a "reputable" third-party, non-telemarketing business (factoring merchant) as a conduit for depositing credit card sales for a percentage fee of around 15%. This factoring merchant processes the transaction either through his account or through a separate one created for the telemarketing company.
Telemarketers will induce acquaintances, friends and reputable merchants to open a merchant account with promises of easy money, neglecting to mention the personal liability involved. They may advise them not to deposit too substantial an amount of sales in a single day, or deposit too many sales using the same dollar amount, as this may raise suspicion at the bank.
Section 310.3(c) of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, which prohibits credit card laundering or factoring, provides that:
Except as expressly permitted by the applicable credit card system, it is a deceptive telemarketing act or practice and a violation of this Rule for:
(1) A merchant to present to or deposit into, or cause another to present to or deposit into, the credit card system for payment, a credit card sales draft generated by a telemarketing transaction that is not the result of a telemarketing credit card transaction between the cardholder and the merchant . . . .
Shaw Capital Management and Financing offer a complete line of factoring services, purchase order funding, and asset based financing, accounts receivable management, and other related financial services.
Shaw Capital Management and Financing offer funding for a wide range of industries and flexible funding requirements that most businesses can easily qualify for.