Stripe Canceled My Account Today

4 minute read Updated

They accused me of using their service to sell a "controlled substance".

I received an email from Stripe today. In the letter I was told they are canceling my account:

While we hate to give you anything less than a great experience, it does seem that your business is in violation of the Stripe Services Agreement, section A.7.b (“Restricted Businesses and Activities”). Specifically we are unable to receive payments for controlled substances as mentioned here:

These regulations are firm, so we sadly have no flexibility with them. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to accept new charges on your acount, but we will continue making payouts to your bank account until you receive all of your funds.

We’re very sorry that we have to turn away your business, and wish you the best of luck moving forward. If you think you are receiving this message in error, please let us know and we will be happy to re-review your account.

Update 2020-02-20: Stripe got back to me regarding the situation, unfroze my account after an appeal. Thankfully, unlike TransferWise, the appeal was carried out much more professionally.

I want to be clear with Stripe that they have made a mistake. There has been no activity on my Stripe account — now almost 7 years old — which could be misconstrued as me accepting payment in exchange for what they erroneously consider to be a “controlled substance”. I’ve already contacted Stripe regarding their error and can easily prove them wrong. But what if they decide they won’t give me my account back?

This Stripe account termination follows in the wake of a TransferWise account termination a few months ago, the reasons with which TransferWise would not be transparent about. When pressed, all they would give me was the name and contact info for a UK company they outsource this decision to.

The TransferWise termination ended up requiring me to use Bitcoin to send money to myself so I could fund my bank account here in Bali as I needed money to pay for housing and food.

There are two probable ways with which this termination was made possible, and both of them involve Twitter:

  1. Before opening a Kratom e-commerce website I confirmed with Stripe Support they were not able to support Kratom-related businesses. My exchange with Stripe Support occurred over a Twitter DM. It’s possible the support specialist flagged me as a possible risk and put me on a blacklist.

  2. About a week ago Twitter canceled my four month-old Kratom Twitter account called @jamupuri which I kept to help me promote my e-commerce website. According to Twitter the account was suspended as it did not follow “Twitter Rules”. No information was given as to what specifically was wrong and Twitter will not allow me to log-in to the suspended account nor request its data.

For those who are not familiar with Kratom it’s a tree leaf indigenous to Southeast Asia which contains an alkaloid called Mitragynine. I discovered Kratom accidentally when I was purchasing herbs in northern Bali a year ago as it had a profound benefit to my health where Western medicine failed me.

It’s shame the world we live in is so deeply connected and so callously run that an honest person trying to make a living while promoting natural medicines like Kratom has to fight with a consolidation of powerful companies just to be able to pay the bills. FinTech companies like Stripe and TransferWise, who skimp on due diligence, can affect the lives of real people out there in the world. People like me. But thankfully Bitcoin is changing that.

Kratom is a life-saving plant. I use it because it is a Bronchodilator which helps me breathe better. If you know someone that has a chronic cough, please give them some Kratom to try. Because I don’t want to lose financial accounts for nothing. But I will if I can at least turn a few heads.

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