The Challenge to the Public Square
Social media providers like Facebook and Twitter have pioneered a whole new definition of what constitutes ‘the public square.’ The concept of a town square, where individuals can go to proclaim their thoughts and concerns, is an old one. It is rooted deeply in our pre-industrial past. It is a powerful concept that has endured through the industrial and digital revolutions. In today’s business environment, this public square of social media and alternate payment solutions has never been more important. Your success or failure on these platforms can have a significant impact on your business’s future. Learn about merchant provider deplatforming, its consequences and how to diversify your payment acceptance solutions to help mitigate losses.
In the modern era, we have watched the “public square” expand through the development of radio, telephone and television. With each technological leap, the size of the public square and the relative reach of those speaking within it has grown. The process has continued – and accelerated – with the development of social media.
The consequences of communication within the digital public square were drawn in sharp relief with the 2016 US federal election. Democrats charged that foreign powers like Russia and China took advantage of the relative openness of the digital public square. They charged that these nations used it to unduly influence and interfere with the election results.
The resulting public acrimony displayed by both sides in public media has led to bans. Individuals and organizations expressing views that violate individual providers’ ‘terms of service’ have been deplatformed. This type of merchant provider & payment acceptance deplatforming has ignited a renewed debate on the limits of free speech.
But the issue of payment acceptance deplatforming is no longer confined to freedom of expression. The “deplatforming” (i.e., banning) of individuals and organizations now includes not only social media, but payment processing platforms as well.
Financial Deplatforming: A Brief History
In October 2018, Robert Bowers left a hate-filled message on social media platform Gab. He then went and murdered 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Gab was swiftly cut off by a number of online financial service providers, including PayPal and Stripe. Gab is now only accepting payments via bitcoin, check and e-check.
PayPal recently deplatformed all providers of online pornography.
In November 2019, online commentator and so-called ‘white nationalist’ Stefan Molyneux was deplatformed not only by YouTube but also PayPal.
Similarly, the 1776 shop, an online venue that sells Proud Boys merchandise and memorabilia, was cut off by Square, PayPal and Chase Paymentech.
All of the above are examples of a trend that gives every indication of increasing and accelerating payment acceptance deplatforming. As the political and philosophical battles of our time rage, we can expect that challenges to social media access will continue. We can also be assured that politics will be a factor in seeking to block access to online financial services.
Communication and finances are the lifeblood of any political movement. And so the political battle has translated itself into the online world.
Merchant Provider Deplatforming at the Core
Online service providers are the first in line in the world of online finance. What companies like Square, PayPal, and others do is furnish a payment gateway & virtual terminal to the so-called “core.” These providers partner with major online financial players such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express. These well-established giants of banking and finance provide the pillars of the internet economy. Merchant provider deplatforming by any one of these associations will have devastating effects on your business.
These large payment providers have denied service (or, “deplatformed”) individuals and organizations in the past for a variety of reasons. Large banks and credit card providers are subject to federal law. Where entities have violated that law, large providers have taken action.
MasterCard and other associations have deplatformed merchants for a variety of reasons. Some, such as embargoed nations like Iran or terrorist organizations like ISIS, have been denied service for political and legal reasons. Purveyors of porn and other adult services have been deplatformed out of moral concerns. Organizations such as anti semitic or anti-GLBT entities have also been denied service.
As the online world of payment acceptance continues to deepen as a political and ideological battlespace, we can expect financial deplatforming to continue.
Merchant Provider Deplatforming Implications
What we are likely to see going forward is a ‘turf war’ between online service providers. The time has come to sort and apportion the field of available clients. For example, PayPal will no longer deal with Gab due to Bowers and the synagogue shooting. And yet Gab remains in business because of the availability of alternative service provider platforms. These alternate platforms help merchants mitigate losses by offering alternatives, as opposed to choosing only one nig name provider.
Similarly, Stefan Molyneux continues to release his talks on the alternate platform BitChute. He is also now able to process payments via alternative means. The same is true of porn providers.
If you are deplatformed by one group of payment processors or online processing companies, there are always alternatives. The need for online businesses to provide payment methods to clients is, itself, the core of the online financial industry. Payment gateways are essential to this enterprise. Multiple merchant account payment processing and intelligent transaction routing is the future. Help mitigate losses due to the standard relationship of the one merchant account-to one gateway solution, by running multiple merchant accounts simultaneously.
As social and political pressure continues to build, it is likely that these battles will extend to the large providers noted above.
Intelligent Payment Gateways
Deplatforming is a trend that is likely here to stay. We are likely some years out from the ‘final battle’ at the core platforms. These will likely be over definitions of hate speech and domestic terrorism. Until then, small business merchants and larger business entities seeking to provide online payment options for their customers will need help. Accepting credit card payments, processing online monthly fees, transaction fees and providing credit and debit card services, require intelligent payment gateway services and multiple merchant account payment processing to help mitigate losses.
SecureGlobalPay remains your best bet for navigating the world of online merchant services. If you seek to integrate your merchant bank account into your online presence, we can help. We can provide point of sale systems aka, pos systems to customers that enable you to accept credit and debit card payments. We have the staff and expertise to assist your efforts and a call at 800-419-1772 and talk with one of our seasoned professionals. We guarantee it will be an eye opening experience and worth your time.