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2020 is turning out to be one of the most challenging years for business. With many people trading out new for used, and firearm sales at record highs, a common issue is beginning to surface…the dreaded held ticket. Read More

2020 is turning out to be one of the most challenging years for business. With many people trading out new for used, and firearm sales at record highs, a common issue is beginning to surface…the dreaded held ticket.   


Basically, when a business charges a card for more than their approved processing parameters, the processor can hold that transaction to ensure it isn’t fraudulent or something that could lead to a chargeback.   

Held tickets can be incredibly frustrating for the business owner. However, the processor must do this because of various obligations and to protect themselves financially.  What most business owners don’t realize is that when an account is set up, there is a large amount of due diligence a processor does to ensure that the account is set up correctly.   


  • The processor makes sure that the average and high-ticket amounts are accurately represented at set up.   
  • If a business owner is requesting a high ticket, then the processor may request additional supporting documents such as the three most recent bank statements, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and possibly sample invoices and contracts.   
  • In the event a processor approves your account and you were to get chargebacks, and those chargebacks weren’t able to be funded for your business back to the cardholder, then the processor is liable to return those funds to the cardholder. 

Note: While it can vary by business type, a high ticket is generally defined somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000. 


  1. Let’s say you sell a Rolex watch for $8,500 and ship it an out of state customer.  
  2. Let’s say that out of state customer gets the watch and doesn’t like it for whatever reason. Rather than calling you and asking for a refund, they dispute the charge with their bank. 
  3. A processor is required to pull the $8,500 out of your bank and put it in a Suspend account while it goes through the chargeback process.  
  4. If your business doesn’t have the $8,500, then the processor is required to post that money on your behalf since they underwrote the account.  
  5. Let’s say this happens with many items throughout a month or months. The financial risk to you and the processor increases exponentially.  

A customer can do a chargeback for up to 6 months after the time in which products or services are received, so the processor is on the hook for 6 months after the item is sold. Theoretically, you could have exposure for tens of thousands of dollars (or more).  

Although the process can be a bit frustrating and it may even feel intrusive, processors ask for information and stick to a due diligence process for held tickets in order to protect all parties involved and ensure that accounts are set up correctly.  The ultimate goal is to help make sure that if a charge goes bad, the processor has done what is necessary to keep the business running and mitigate the negative impact of a pending chargeback.    


About the Author: 

Ron is the President & CEO of BLUEDOG (, which he founded in 2010.  BLUEDOG  serves thousands of customers throughout the United States, ranging in size from small startups to multibillion-dollar enterprises.  Ron’s track record in the payment space has quickly enabled BLUEDOG to become one of the fastest-growing companies in the payments space.  Ron is responsible for the overall direction and growth of the organization in addition to large business development opportunities.  BLUEDOG  has also achieved national recognition, qualifying as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) by Inc Magazine.   
Prior to forming  BLUEDOG, Ron served as Founder & CEO of Eliot Management Group ( (1998 – 2010), where he was responsible for growing the company from a startup with $0 in revenue to over $100M in revenue before selling the company to First American Payment Systems (  Under his guidance, Eliot Management Group became the 23rd largest payment processing company in the U.S.  Eliot was recognized as one of the top 100 fastest-growing companies in Utah for 6 straight years and prior to it being sold was the #6 fastest growing company in Utah. 
Ron’s payment processing experience started in 1996 when he began working for a company in Utah called Electronic Processing and once he graduated with a BS Consumer Finance & Economics degree from the University of Utah, he started his first payments company, Eliot & Associates, which became the largest sales organization for Heartland Payment Systems, which was later sold to Global Payments.


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