Merchant Alert: Please Be Aware Of The Risk Of Termination Fees And Its Implications!

FinTelegram and PayRate42 warn against Termination Fees
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In the complex world of high-risk payment processing, merchants face the murky waters of termination fees. Recent cases, such as T1 Payments LLC v. New U Life Corp., have shed light on a concerning trend where some high-risk payment processors employ termination fees to unjustly profit at the expense of merchants. We strongly caution merchants against accepting termination fees, as this is a motivation for payment processors to collect them.

Understanding Termination Fees

Termination fees, in essence, are charges levied on merchants for ending their payment processing agreement before the contract term expires. While these fees are standard across many industries, they can become tools of manipulation and deceit in the high-risk payment segment.

Suppose the payment processors are entitled to charge a termination fee as part of the agreement. In that case, this motivates them to try to terminate the business relationship if there is a lot of money in the account. We have seen this with the U.S. high-risk payment processor T1 Payments from Donald Kasdon.

The Abuse of Termination Fees

T1 Payments and complaints about its termination fee approach

In some alarming instances, payment processors are seen terminating business relationships under dubious pretexts, such as a sudden change in the merchant’s risk profile. This termination then triggers substantial fees, leaving merchants financially burdened. The court case of T1 Payments LLC v. New U Life Corp. is a prime example, highlighting how these fees can be exploited. Complaints lodged on platforms like the Better Business Bureau further illustrate the extent of this malpractice.

The Impact on Merchants

For merchants, particularly those in high-risk sectors, this practice can have devastating effects. Beyond the financial strain, it can disrupt business operations, affect cash flow, and tarnish their market reputation.

Read more about Termination Fees here on PayRate42.

Preventative Measures for Merchants

To safeguard against such exploitation, merchants must exercise caution when entering into payment agreements:

  1. Check PayRate42 rating: Merchants should check the rating of the payment processor and the comments on the cyber rating agency PayRate42.
  2. Thoroughly Review Contract Terms: Understand every clause, particularly those related to termination, fees, and risk assessment criteria.
  3. Seek Legal Counsel: Before signing any agreement, have it reviewed by a legal expert familiar with payment processing contracts.
  4. Negotiate Terms: Where possible, negotiate the terms of termination fees, or seek to eliminate them altogether.
  5. Monitor Processor Conduct: Stay vigilant for any signs of unfair practices by the payment processor.
  6. Have a Contingency Plan: Prepare for the possibility of switching payment processors without disrupting business operations.
  7. Leverage Industry Resources: Use resources like the Better Business Bureau to research potential payment processors and read reviews and complaints from other merchants.


Misusing termination fees in the high-risk payment sector is a serious concern requiring merchants to be well-informed and cautious. By understanding the potential risks and taking proactive steps to protect their interests, merchants can avoid falling victim to these unscrupulous practices. It’s essential for the integrity of the payment processing industry that such exploitative behaviors are highlighted and challenged.

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