Merchant Terms & Conditions
MERCHANT PROCESSING AGREEMENT
This document, “Merchant Processing Agreement” (the “Agreement”), accompanies the document “Merchant Application” (“Merchant Application”) and includes the Terms and Conditions set forth below (the “Terms and Conditions”) together with the terms and conditions of the Merchant Application. The bank (“Bank”) identified in this Agreement is a member of Visa Inc. (“Visa”) and Mastercard International, Inc. (“Mastercard”), and is Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Sterling Payment Technologies, LLC d/b/a Sterling (Sterling) is a registered independent sales organization of Visa and a member service provider of Mastercard. This Agreement is between STERLING, Bank, and the merchant (or “you”) identified in the Merchant Application (“Merchant”). Merchant and STERLING agree that the rights and obligations contained in this Agreement do not apply to Bank with respect to Discover and American Express transactions. To the extent Merchant accepts Discover cards, the provisions in this Agreement with respect to Discover apply if Merchant does not have a separate agreement with Discover. In such case, Merchant will also be enabled to accept JCB, Diners Club International (“Diners Club”), and UnionPay International (“UnionPay”) cards under the Discover network and such transactions will be processed at the same fee rate as Merchant’s Discover transactions are processed.
Merchant desires to accept credit cards (“Cards”) validly issued by members of Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. Bank and STERLING desire to provide credit card processing services to Merchant. Therefore, Merchant, STERLING and Bank agree as follows:
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
1. Honoring Cards.
A. Without Discrimination. You will honor, without discrimination, any Card properly tendered by a Cardholder. “Cardholder” (sometimes referred to as “Card Member” in some Payment Card Network materials) means a person possessing a Card and purporting to be the person in whose name the Card is issued. You may establish a minimum amount of $10 per transaction as a condition for honoring Cards. You will not establish a maximum transaction amount as a condition for honoring Cards, and you will not establish a minimum or maximum amount for debit card transactions.
B. Cardholder Identification. You will identify the Cardholder and check the expiration date and signature on each Card. You will not honor any Card if: (i) the Card has expired, (ii) the signature on the sales draft does not correspond with the signature on the Card, or (iii) the account number embossed on the Card does not match the account number on the Card’s magnetic strip (as printed in electronic form) or the account number is listed on a current Electronic Warning Bulletin file. You may not require a Cardholder to provide personal information, such as a home or business telephone number, a home or business address, or a driver’s license number as a condition for honoring a Card unless permitted under the Laws and Rules (defined in Section 14, below).
C. Card Recovery. You will use your best efforts to retain any Card: (i) if you are advised by STERLING or Bank (or a designee) or the issuer of the Card or the designated voice authorization center to retain it; (ii) if you have reasonable grounds to believe the Card is counterfeit, fraudulent or stolen, or not authorized by the Cardholder; or (iii) other circumstances as documented by STERLING or as appear in applicable payment network rules that exist in the public domain.
D. Surcharge/Swipe Fee. You will not add any amount to the posted price of goods or services you offer as a condition of paying with a Card, except as permitted by the Rules. This paragraph does not prohibit you from offering a discount from the standard price to induce a person to pay by cash, check or similar means rather than by using a Card.
E. Return Policy. You will properly disclose to the Cardholder, at the time of the Card transaction and in accordance with the Rules, any limitation you have on accepting returned merchandise.
F. No Claim Against Cardholder. You will not have any claim against or right to receive payment from a Cardholder unless STERLING and Bank refuses to accept the Sales Draft (as defined in Section 3) or revokes a prior acceptance of the Sales Draft after receipt or a chargeback or otherwise. You will not accept any payments from a Cardholder relating to previous charges for merchandise or services included in a Sales Draft, and if you receive any such payments you promptly will remit them to STERLING and Bank.
G. Disputes With Cardholders. All disputes between you and any Cardholder relating to any Card transaction will be settled between you and the Cardholder. Neither STERLING nor Bank bear any responsibility for such transactions.
H. Limited Acceptance. You will elect to accept (full acceptance) or not accept (limited acceptance) certain credit and/or debit Cards for payment. You will accept all valid Cards unless you provide 30 days prior written notice to STERLING and Bank requesting limited acceptance and specifying which Card types you elect to accept. Limited acceptance is not applicable to non US issued cards.
A. Required on all Transactions. You will obtain a prior authorization for the total amount of a transaction via electronic terminal or device before completing any transaction, and you will not process any transaction that has not been authorized. You will follow any instructions received during the authorization process. Upon receipt of authorization you may consummate only the transaction authorized and must note on the Sales Draft the authorization number. Where authorization is obtained, you will be deemed to warrant the true identity of the customer as the Cardholder.
B. Effect. Authorizations are not a guarantee of acceptance or payment of the Sales Draft. Authorizations do not waive any provisions of this Agreement or otherwise validate a fraudulent transaction or a transaction involving the use of an expired Card.
C. Unreadable Magnetic Stripes. When you present Card transactions for authorization electronically, and if your terminal is unable to read the magnetic stripe on the card, you will obtain an imprint of the card and the Cardholder’s signature on the imprinted draft before presenting the Sales Draft to STERLING and Bank for processing. Failure to do so may result in the assessment of a transaction surcharge on non-qualifying transactions.
3. Presentment of Sales Drafts.
A. Forms. You will use a Sales Draft (“Sales Draft”) or other form approved by STERLING and Bank to document each Card transaction. Each Sales Draft will be legibly imprinted with: (i) Merchant’s name, location and account number; (ii) the information embossed on the Card presented by the Cardholder (either electronically or manually); (iii) the date of the transaction; (iv) a brief description of the goods or services involved; (v) the transaction authorization number; (vi) the total amount of the sale including any applicable taxes, or credit transaction; and (vii) adjacent to the signature line, a notation that all sales are final, if applicable.
B. Signatures. Each Sales Draft must be signed by the Cardholder unless the Card transaction is a valid mail/telephone order Card transaction which fully complies with the requirements set forth in this Agreement. You may not require the Cardholder to sign the Sales Draft before you enter the final transaction amount in the Sales Draft.
C. Reproduction of Information. If the following information is not legibly imprinted on the Sales Draft, you will legibly inscribe on the Sales Draft before submitting it to STERLING and Bank: (i) the Cardholder’s name: (ii) account number (iii) expiration date of the Card and (iv) the Merchant’s name and place of business. Additionally, for Mastercard transactions you will legibly inscribe the name of the bank issuing the Card as it appears on the face of the Card.
D. Delivery and Retention of Sales Drafts. You will deliver a complete copy of the Sales Draft or credit voucher to the Cardholder at the time of the transaction. You will retain the “merchant copy” of the Sales Draft or credit memorandum for at least 3 years following the date of completion of the Card transaction (or such longer period as the Rules require).
E. Electronic Transmission. In using electronic authorization and/or data capture services, you will enter the data related to a sales or credit transaction into a computer terminal or magnetic stripe reading terminal no later than the close of business on the date the transaction is completed (unless otherwise permitted by the Rules). Failure to do so may result in the assessment of a transaction surcharge on non-qualifying transactions and, at STERLING’s sole discretion, the deposit of the funds received for such sales or credit transaction into the Reserve Account. If you provide your own electronic terminal or similar device, such terminal must meet STERLING and Bank’s requirements for processing transactions. Information regarding a sales or credit transaction transmitted with a computer or magnetic stripe reading terminal will be transmitted by you to STERLING and Bank or their agent in the form STERLING and Bank from time to time specify or as required under the Rules. If STERLING or Bank requests a copy of a Sales Draft, credit voucher or other transaction evidence, you will provide it within 24 hours following the request.
4. Deposit of Sales Drafts and Funds Due Merchant.
A. Deposit of Funds. i. Deposits. You agree that this Agreement is a contract of financial accommodation within the meaning of the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 365 as amended from time to time. Subject to this Section, Bank will deposit to the Designated Account (defined in section 6 below) funds evidenced by Sales Drafts (whether evidenced in writing or by electronic means) complying with the terms of this Agreement and the Rules and will provide you provisional credit for such funds (less recoupment of any credit(s), adjustments, fines, chargebacks, or fees). You shall not be entitled to credit for any indebtedness that arises out of a transaction not processed in accordance with the terms of this Agreement or the rules and regulations of the Card Payment Networks. You acknowledge that your obligation to STERLING and Bank for all amounts owed under this Agreement arises out of the same transaction as STERLING and Bank’s obligation to deposit funds to the Designated Account. ii. Provisional Credit. Notwithstanding the previous sentences, under no circumstance will STERLING or Bank be responsible for processing credits or adjustments related to Sales Drafts not originally processed by STERLING and Bank. All Sales Drafts and deposits are subject to audit and final checking by STERLING and Bank and may be adjusted for inaccuracies. You acknowledge that all credits provided to you are provisional and subject to chargebacks, recoupment, adjustments, fines and fees: (i) in accordance with the Rules; (ii) for any of your obligations to STERLING and Bank; and (iii) in any other situation constituting suspected fraud or a breach of this Agreement, whether or not a transaction is charged back by the Card issuer. STERLING and Bank may elect, but are not required, to grant conditional credit for individual or groups of any funds evidenced by Sales Drafts. Final credit for those conditional funds will be granted within STERLING and Bank’s sole discretion. iii. Processing Limits. STERLING and Bank may impose a cap on the volume and ticket amount of Sales Drafts that they will process for you, as indicated to you by STERLING or Bank. This limit may be changed by STERLING or Bank upon written notice to you.
B. Chargebacks. You are fully liable for all transactions returned for whatever reason, otherwise known as “chargebacks”. You will pay on demand the amount of all chargebacks. Authorization is granted to offset from incoming transactions and to debit the Designated Account, the Reserve Account (defined in Section 7, below) or any other account held at Bank or at any other financial institution the amount of all chargebacks. You will fully cooperate in complying with the Rules regarding chargebacks.
C. Excessive Activity. Your presentation to STERLING and Bank of Excessive Activity will be a breach of this Agreement and cause for immediate termination of this agreement. “Excessive Activity” means, during any monthly period: (i) the dollar amount of chargebacks and/or retrieval requests in excess of 1% of the average monthly dollar amount of your Card transactions; (ii) sales activity that exceeds by 10% of the dollar volume indicated on the Application; or (iii) the dollar amount of returns equals 20% of the average monthly dollar amount of your Card transactions. You authorize, upon the occurrence of Excessive Activity, STERLING and Bank to take any action they deem necessary including but not limited to, suspension of processing privileges and establishment or increase in the amount allocated to the Reserve Account and a reduction in the amount of provisional credit remitted to you in accordance with this Agreement.
D. Credit. i. Credit Memoranda. You will issue a credit memorandum in any approved form, instead of making a cash advance, a disbursement or a refund on any Card transaction. STERLING or Bank will debit the Designated Account for the total face amount of each credit memorandum submitted to STERLING and Bank. You will not submit a credit memorandum relating to any Sales Draft not originally submitted to STERLING and Bank, nor will you submit a credit memorandum that exceeds the amount of the original Sales Draft. You will within the time period specified by the Rules, provide a credit memorandum or credit statement for every return of goods or forgiveness of debt for services which were the subject of a Card transaction. ii. Revocation of Credit. STERLING or Bank may refuse to accept any Sales Draft, and STERLING and Bank may revoke prior acceptance of a Sales Draft in the following circumstances: (a) the transaction giving rise to the Sales Draft was not made in compliance with this Agreement, the Laws or the Rules; (b) the Cardholder disputes his liability to STERLING and Bank for any reason, including but not limited to a contention that the Cardholder did not receive the goods or services, that the goods or services provided were not as ordered, or those chargeback rights enumerated in the Rules; or (c) the transaction giving rise to the Sales Draft was not directly between you and the Cardholder. You will pay STERLING and Bank any amount previously credited to you for a Sales Draft not accepted by STERLING and Bank or where accepted, is revoked by STERLING and Bank.
E. Reprocessing. Notwithstanding any authorization or request from a Cardholder, you will not re-enter or reprocess any transaction which has been charged back.
F. Miscellaneous. You will not present for processing or credit, directly or indirectly, any transaction not originated as a result of a Card transaction directly between you and a Cardholder or any transaction you know or should know to be fraudulent or not authorized by the Cardholder. You will not sell or disclose to third parties Card account information other than in the course of performing your obligations under this Agreement.
5. Other Types of Transactions.
A. Debit Card Processing Services. You may elect to accept debit cards, and said election should be made by you on the accompanying Merchant Application. If you elect to accept debit cards, the following terms and conditions apply to you. Debit Sponsor shall act as your sponsor with respect to the participation of point-of-sale terminals owned, controlled, and/or operated by you (the “Covered Terminals”) in each of the following debit card networks (“Networks”): Accel, AFFN, Alaska Option, Interlink, Maestro, NYCE, Pulse, Shazam, Star, CU24, and Tyme, which Networks may be changed from time-to-time by Debit Sponsor or STERLING without notice. You may also have access to other debit networks that do not require a sponsor. STERLING will provide you with the ability to access the Networks at the Covered Terminals for the purpose of authorizing debit card transactions from cards issued by the members of the respective Networks, and STERLING will provide connection to such Networks, terminal applications, settlement, and reporting activities (collectively, the “Services”). You will comply with all federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations and ordinances (“Applicable Laws”) and with all by-laws, regulations, rules, and operating guidelines of the Networks (“Network Rules”). You will execute and deliver any application, participation, or membership agreement or other document necessary to enable Debit Sponsor to act as sponsor for you in each Network, and you shall obtain all consents, approvals, authorizations, or orders of any governmental agency or body required for the execution, delivery, and performance of this Agreement. You agree to utilize the debit card services in accordance with this Agreement, its exhibits or attachments, and STERLING’s instructions and specifications, and to provide STERLING with the necessary data in the proper format to enable STERLING to properly furnish the Services. Copies of the relevant agreements or operating regulations shall be made available to you upon request. You will provide prompt written notice to STERLING in the event that you are subject to any of the following: i. Conviction for a felony offense or any other crime involving moral turpitude; ii. Restraining order, decree, injunction, or judgment in any proceeding or lawsuit alleging fraud or deceptive practice on your part; iii. Bankruptcy filing or petition; iv. Federal or state tax lien; v. Any material adverse change in your assets, operations, or condition, financial or otherwise; vi. The threat or filing of any litigation against you, the outcome of which reasonably could have a material adverse effect on your continuing operations; vii. Administrative or enforcement proceeding commenced by any state or federal regulatory agency, including any banking or securities agency or entity operating an EBT Network, that reasonably could have a material adverse effect on your continuing operations; or viii. Any disciplinary action taken by any Network against you or any of your principals. STERLING may terminate or suspend in its discretion Debit Sponsor’s sponsorship of you in any Network or modify the provision of Services to you: i. Immediately upon notice to you of the occurrence of any of the conditions set forth in items (i), (ii), (iii), (v), or (viii) in the immediately preceding paragraph or if Debit Sponsor’s authority to participate in such Network or act as your sponsor in such Network is terminated by such Network; ii. Thirty (30) days after written notice by STERLING to you of the occurrence of any of the conditions set forth in items (iv), (vi), or (vii) in the immediately preceding paragraph or if Debit Sponsor terminated its membership or participation in such Network; iii. Immediately upon notice to you in the event any financial statement, representation, warranty, statement or certificate furnished is materially false or misleading; or iv. Immediately upon notice to you of the occurrence of any other circumstance with respect to this Section that may reasonably be expected to have an adverse effect on STERLING. The parties hereto acknowledge and agree that STERLING shall pay Debit Sponsor any and all fees related to Debit Sponsor’s sponsorship of you in the Networks; provided, however, that in the event STERLING fails to pay such amounts, Debit Sponsor shall be entitled to recover all such amounts directly from you and you agree to pay all such amounts. You shall not in any way indicate that Debit Sponsor endorses your activities, products, or services. Debit Sponsor and you are and shall remain independent contractors of one another, and neither they, nor their respective individual employees, shall have or hold themselves out as having any power to bind the other to any third party. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to create or constitute a partnership, joint venture, employer-employee, or agency relationship between Debit Sponsor and you. You shall indemnify and hold harmless STERLING and its affiliates (including parents and subsidiaries), and their respective officers, directors, employees, successors and assigns, from and against any and all direct or contingent losses, costs, claims, demands, and causes of action (including, without limitation, the cost of investigating the claim, the cost of litigation, and reasonable attorney’s fees including those of in-house counsel, whether or not legal proceedings are instituted) paid or incurred by or on behalf of STERLING as a result of your violation of any of the terms of this Section, Network Rules, or Applicable Laws, or otherwise arising from or related to Debit Sponsor’s sponsorship of you in any Network. In the event that Debit Sponsor’s sponsorship of you in any Network is terminated prior to the termination of this Agreement, STERLING may assign Debit Sponsor’s rights and obligations hereunder to a third party. All provisions in this section necessary to enforce the rights and obligations of the parties contained in this section shall survive the termination of Debit Sponsor’s debit sponsorship of you under this Agreement.
B. Mail/Telephone Order. STERLING and Bank caution against mail orders or telephone orders or any transaction in which the Cardholder and Card are not present (“mail/telephone orders”) due to the high incidence of customer disputes. You will obtain the expiration date of the Card for a mail/telephone order and submit the expiration date when obtaining authorization of the Card transaction. For mail/telephone order transactions, you will type or print legibly on the signature line the following as applicable: telephone order or “TO” or mail order or “MO”. You must promptly notify STERLING and Bank if your retail/mail order/telephone order mix changes from the percentages represented to STERLING and Bank in the Merchant Application. STERLING and Bank may cease accepting mail/telephone order transactions, or limit their acceptance of such transactions, or increase their fees if this mix changes. Bank will release funds to Merchant five (5) business days after the transaction date for mail/telephone orders. Merchant agrees to use and retain proof of a traceable delivery system as means of shipment of product to the customer. Merchant agrees that transactions will not be processed until products are shipped to the Cardholder. Merchant agrees to pay a charge of $0.05 per AVS transaction, if applicable. This agreement may be immediately terminated by Bank if Merchant fails to comply with any of the terms of the agreement.
C. Recurring Transactions. For recurring transactions, you must obtain a written request from the Cardholder for the goods and services to be charged to the Cardholders account, the frequency of the recurring charge, and the duration of time during which such charges may be made. You will not complete any recurring transaction after receiving: (i) a cancellation notice from the Cardholder, (ii) notice from STERLING or Bank, or (iii) a response that the Card is not to be honored. You must print legibly on the Sales Draft the words “Recurring Transaction”.
D. Multiple Sales Drafts. You will include a description and total amount of goods and services purchased in a single transaction on a single Sales Draft or transaction record, unless (i) partial payment is entered on the Sales Draft or transaction record and the balance of the transaction amount is paid in cash or by check at the time of transaction, or (ii) a Sales Draft represents an advance deposit in a Card transaction completed in accordance with this Agreement and the Rules.
E. Partial Completion. i. Prior Consent. You will not accept for payment by Card any amount representing a deposit or partial payment for goods or services to be delivered in the future without the prior written consent of STERLING or Bank. Such consent will be subject to Bank’s final approval. The acceptance of a Card for payment or partial payment of goods or services to be delivered in the future without prior consent will be deemed a breach of this Agreement and cause for immediate termination, in addition to any other remedies available under the Laws or Rules. ii. Acceptance. If you have obtained prior written consent, then you will complete such Card transactions in accordance with the terms set forth in this Agreement, the Rules, and the Laws. Cardholders must execute one Sales Draft when making a deposit with a Card and a second Sales Draft when paying the balance. You will note upon the Sales Draft the words “deposit” or “balance” as appropriate. You will not deposit the Sales Draft labeled “balance” until the goods have been delivered to Cardholder or you have fully performed the services.
F. Future Delivery. You will not present any Sales Draft or other memorandum to Bank for processing “whether by electronic means” which relates to the sale of goods or services for future delivery without STERLING or Bank’s, prior written authorization. Such consent will be subject to Bank’s final approval. If STERLING or Bank have given such consent, you represent and warrant to STERLING and Bank that you will not rely on any proceeds or credit resulting from such transactions to purchase or furnish goods or services. You will maintain sufficient working capital to provide for the delivery of goods or services at the agreed upon future date, independent of any credit or proceeds resulting from sales drafts or other memoranda taken in connection with future delivery transactions.
G. Electronic Commerce Transactions. You may process electronic commerce (“EC”) transactions only if you have so indicated on the Application, and only if you have obtained STERLING’s consent. If you submit EC transactions without our consent, we may immediately terminate this Agreement. If you have indicated on the Application that you will be submitting EC transactions, you acknowledge that you have reviewed the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), Visa’s Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP), Mastercard’s Site Data Protection Program (SDP), and American Express’ Merchant Data Security Requirements (MDSR) and to the extent that they apply to you, you agree to comply with, and ensure such transactions comply with, the terms of each. You understand that transactions processed via EC are high risk and subject to a higher incidence of chargebacks. You are liable for all chargebacks and losses related to EC transactions, whether or not: i) EC transactions have been encrypted; and ii) you have obtained consent to engage in such transactions. Encryption is not a guarantee of payment and will not waive any provision of this Agreement or otherwise validate a fraudulent transaction. All communication costs related to EC transactions are your responsibility. You understand that STERLING will not manage the EC telecommunications link and that it is your responsibility to manage that link. All EC transactions will be settled by Bank into a depository institution of the United States in U.S. currency. i. Requirements. For goods to be shipped on EC transactions, you may obtain authorization up to 7 calendar days prior to the shipment date. You need not obtain a second authorization if the Sales Draft amount is within 15% of the authorized amount, provided that the additional amount represents shipping costs. Further, your web site must contain all of the following information: i) complete description of the goods or services offered, ii) returned merchandise and refund policy, iii) customer service contact, including electronic mail address and/or telephone number, iv) transaction currency (such as U.S. or Canadian dollars), v) export or legal restrictions, if known, and vi) delivery policy. If you store cardholder account numbers, expiration dates, and other personal cardholder data in the database, you must follow PCI DSS, CISP, SDP, and MDSR guidelines on securing such data. ii. If you accept EC transactions, you must: install and maintain a working network firewall to protect data accessible via the Internet; keep security patches up-to-date; encrypt stored data and data sent over open networks; use and update anti-virus software; restrict access to data by business “need-to-know”; assign a unique ID to each person with computer access to data; not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters; track access to data by unique ID; regularly test security systems and processes; maintain a policy that addresses information security for employees and contractors; and restrict physical access to Cardholder information. When outsourcing administration of information assets, networks, or data you must retain legal control of proprietary information and use limited “need-to-know” access to such assets, networks or data. Further, you must reference the protection of cardholder information and compliance with the PCI DSS, CISP, SDP, and MDSR Rules in contracts with other service providers. You understand that failure to comply with this Section may result in fines and you agree to indemnify and reimburse STERLING and Bank immediately for any fine imposed due to your breach of this Section.
H. JCB, Diners Club and UnionPay Transactions. Upon your request, STERLING will provide authorization and/or data capture service for JCB, Diners Club and UnionPay transactions. By signing this Agreement, Merchant agrees to abide by the terms and conditions of Diners Club, JCB and UnionPay. Merchant understands that the Diners Club Agreement will be sent to the business entity indicated on this application. By accepting the Diners Club Card for goods and/or services, Merchant agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions of the Diners Club Agreement. STERLING and Bank are not responsible for funding such transactions. Initial setup fees may apply.
l. Cash Advances, Script, Money Service Businesses and Manual Cash Disbursements. Merchant will not deposit any transaction for purposes of obtaining or providing a cash advance. You will not accept a Card to purchase travelers checks, script, Foreign Currency, Visa Travel/Money Cards, or other prepaid cards redeemable for cash or cash equivalent. You agree that any such deposit or transaction shall be grounds for immediate termination. Money Service Businesses that charge a service fee or commission must include such fee or commission in the transaction amount and not collect it separately. Financial institutions performing manual cash disbursement services are subject to all membership requirements, core rules, and operating regulations applicable to manual cash disbursement services, including, but not limited to the Visa prohibition against accepting Visa Electron or Travel/Money Cards for manual cash disbursements.
6. Designated Account.
A. Establishment and Authority. Merchant will establish and maintain an account at an ACH receiving depository institution approved by Bank and STERLING (“Designated Account”). Merchant will maintain sufficient funds in the Designated Account to satisfy all obligations, including fees, contemplated by this Agreement. Merchant irrSterlingcably authorizes Bank and STERLING to debit the Designated Account for chargebacks, recoupments, adjustments, fines, fees and any other penalties or amounts owed under this Agreement, and irrevocably authorizes Bank and STERLING to debit the Designated Account for any amount owed to Bank and STERLING under this Agreement other than the amounts directly attributable to the settlement of transactions. You also authorize STERLING and Bank to debit the Merchant Account for any fees due such vendor or agent under this Agreement. This authority will remain in effect for at least 2 years after termination of this Agreement whether or not you have notified STERLING and Bank of a change to the Designated Account. Merchant must obtain prior written consent from Bank or STERLING to change the Designated Account. If Merchant does not get that consent, STERLING or Bank may immediately terminate the Agreement and may take other action necessary, as determined by them within their sole discretion.
B. Deposit. Bank will deposit all Sales Drafts to the Designated Account subject to the other provisions of this Agreement. The funds represented by Sales Drafts will be deposited 3 business days following STERLING’s receipt of the Sales Draft, except for mail order/telephone order and electronic commerce transactions, which will be deposited 5 business days following receipt of the Sales Draft. “Business Day” means Monday through Friday, excluding holidays observed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Merchant authorizes Bank and STERLING to initiate reversal or adjustment entries and initiate or suspend such entries as may be necessary to grant Merchant provisional credit for any entry. You authorize and appoint Bank and STERLING to act as your agent to collect Card transaction amounts from the Card issuing bank. As the collecting agent, Bank and STERLING in their sole discretion, may grant you provisional credit for transaction amounts in the process of collection, subject to receipt of final payment by Bank and subject to all chargebacks.
C. Asserted Errors. You must promptly examine all statements relating to the Designated Account, and immediately notify STERLING and Bank in writing of any errors. Your written notice must include: (i) Merchant name and account number. (ii) the dollar amount of the asserted error, (iii) a description of the asserted error, and (iv) an explanation of why you believe an error exists and the cause of it, if known. That written notice must be received by STERLING and Bank within 30 calendar days after you received the periodic statement containing the asserted error. Your failure to notify STERLING and Bank of any error within 30 days constitutes a waiver of any claim relating to that error. You may not make any claim against STERLING or Bank for any loss or expense relating to any asserted error for 60 calendar days immediately following our receipt of your written notice. During that 60 day period, STERLING and Bank will be entitled to investigate the asserted error.
D. Indemnity. You will indemnify and hold STERLING and Bank harmless for any action they take against the Designated Account, the Reserve Account, or any other account pursuant to this Agreement.
E. ACH Authorization. You authorize STERLING and Bank to initiate ACH debit/credit entries to the Designated Account, the Reserve Account, or any other account maintained by you at any institution, all in accordance with this Agreement and the ACH Debit/Credit Authorization set forth in the attached Merchant Application. The ACH Authorization will remain in effect beyond termination of this Agreement. In the event you change the Designated Account, you hereby authorize STERLING and Bank to initiate ACH debit/credit entries to the new Designated Account.
7. Security Interests, Reserve Account, Recoupment and Set-Off.
A. Security Interests. i. Security Agreement. This Agreement is a security agreement under the Uniform Commercial Code. You grant to STERLING and Bank a security interest in and lien upon: (i) all funds at any time in the Designated Account, regardless of the source of such funds; (ii) all funds at any time in the Reserve Account, regardless of the source of such funds; (iii) present and future Sales Drafts; and (iv) any and all amounts which may be due to you under this Agreement including, without limitation, all rights to receive any payments or credits under this Agreement (collectively, the “Secured Assets”). You agree to provide other collateral or security to STERLING and Bank to secure your obligations under this Agreement upon STERLING or Bank’s request. These security interests and liens will secure all of your obligations under this Agreement and any other agreements now existing or later entered into between you and STERLING or Bank. This security interest may be exercised by STERLING or Bank without notice or demand of any kind by making an immediate withdrawal or freezing the secured assets. ii. Perfection. Upon request of STERLING or Bank, you will execute one or more financing statements or other documents to evidence this security interest. You represent and warrant that no other person or entity has a security interest in the Secured Assets. Further, with respect to such security interests and liens, STERLING and Bank will have all rights afforded under the Uniform Commercial Code, any other applicable law and in equity. You will obtain from STERLING and Bank written consent prior to granting a security interest of any kind in the Secured Assets to a third party. You agree that this is a contract of recoupment and STERLING and Bank are not required to file a motion for relief from the automatic stay in any bankruptcy proceeding in order for STERLING or Bank to realize on any of its collateral (including any Reserve Account). Nevertheless you agree not to contest or object to any motion for relief from the automatic stay filed by STERLING or Bank. You authorize STERLING or Bank and appoint STERLING or Bank your attorney in fact to sign your name to any financing statement used for the perfection of any security interest or lien granted hereunder.
B. Reserve Account. i. Establishment. A non-interest bearing deposit account (“Reserve Account”) has been established and is maintained at Bank or one of its affiliates with sums sufficient to satisfy your current and future merchant obligations as determined by STERLING and Bank. You authorize STERLING and Bank to debit the Designated Account or any other account you have at Bank or any other financial institution to establish or maintain funds in the Reserve Account. Bank or STERLING may deposit into the Reserve Account funds it would otherwise be obligated to pay you, for the purpose of establishing, maintaining or increasing the Reserve Account in accordance with this Section, if it determines such action is reasonably necessary to protect its interests. ii. Authorizations. STERLING and Bank may, without notice to you, apply deposits in the Reserve Account against any outstanding amounts you owe under this Agreement or any other agreement between you and STERLING or Bank. Also, STERLING and Bank may exercise their rights under this Agreement against the Reserve Account to collect any amounts due to STERLING or Bank including, without limitation, rights of set-off and recoupment. In the event you submit a merchant application to STERLING through the use of Insta-App, and STERLING does not receive a completed written merchant application within 2 business days, you authorize STERLING or Bank to hold all of your funds in the Reserve Account until the completed written merchant application and other required documentation is received by STERLING. iii. Funds. Funds in the Reserve Account will remain in the Reserve Account for 270 calendar days following the later of termination of this Agreement or the last activity in your account, provided, however, that you will remain liable to STERLING and Bank for all liabilities occurring beyond such 270 day period. After the expiration of the 270 day period STERLING will provide you with written notification via nationally recognized delivery service advising you that the 270 day period has expired, requesting that you provide STERLING with an address where the funds you have remaining in the Reserve Account should be delivered, and stating that in the event you fail to respond to this notification within 30 days, STERLING will begin deducting a flat fee of $95 each month from the funds you have remaining in the Reserve Account. In the event you fail to respond to the notification, the $95 fee will then be deducted each month from the funds you have remaining in the Reserve Account. This fee will offset the administrative, clerical, legal, and risk management costs incurred by STERLING to monitor the funds you have remaining in the Reserve Account beyond the 270 day period, and includes all monthly minimums and any other contractual fees that would ordinarily be assessed against your account pursuant to the terms of this Agreement. You agree that prior to the expiration of the 270 days, you will not use any funds you have in the Reserve Account for any purpose, including but not limited to paying chargebacks, fees, fines, or other amounts you owe to STERLING and/or Bank under this Agreement. STERLING and Bank (and not Merchant) shall have control of the Reserve Account. iv. Assurance. In the event of a bankruptcy proceeding and the determination by the court that this Agreement is assumable under Bankruptcy Code § 365, as amended from time to time, you must maintain funds in the Reserve Account in an amount satisfactory to STERLING and Bank.
C. Recoupment and Set Off. STERLING and Bank have the right of recoupment and set-off. This means that they may offset or recoup any outstanding/uncollected amounts owed by you from: (i) any amounts they would otherwise be obligated to deposit into the Designated Account; (ii) any other amounts Bank or STERLING may owe you under this Agreement or any other agreement; and (iii) any funds in the Designated Account or the Reserve Account. You acknowledge that in the event of a bankruptcy proceeding, in order for you to provide adequate protection under Bankruptcy Code § 362 to STERLING and Bank, you must create or maintain the Reserve Account as required by STERLING and Bank, and STERLING and Bank must have the right to offset against the Reserve Account for any and all obligations which you may owe to STERLING and Bank, without regard to whether the obligations relate to Sales Drafts initiated or created before or after the filing of the bankruptcy petition.
D. Remedies Cumulative. The rights and remedies conferred upon STERLING and Bank in this Agreement, at law or in equity, are not intended to be exclusive of each other. Rather, each and every right of STERLING and Bank under this Agreement, at law or in equity, will be cumulative and concurrent and in addition to every other right.
8. Fees and Other Amounts Owed STERLING and Bank.
A. Fees and Taxes. You will pay STERLING fees for services, forms and equipment in accordance with the rates set forth on the Application. In addition, you will pay STERLING a fee for research it performs at your request in an amount equal to $200 per hour, or $5 per statement. Such fees will be calculated and debited from the Designated Account once each business day or month for the previous business day’s or month’s activity or will be netted out from the funds due you attributable to Sales Drafts presented to STERLING and Bank. STERLING and Bank reserve the right to adjust the fees set forth on the Application and in this Section, in accordance with Section 16.H, below. If you do not have an active account at the time of the request, payment by certified check or money order must be received prior to the release of the requested document copies or research results. You are also obligated to pay all taxes, and other charges imposed by any governmental authority on the services provided under this Agreement. With respect to Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express products, you may elect to accept credit cards or debit/prepaid cards or both. You shall so elect on the Merchant Application being completed contemporaneously herewith. You agree to pay and your account(s) will be charged pursuant to Section 6.A of this Agreement for any additional fees incurred as a result of your subsequent acceptance of transactions with any Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express product that you have elected not to accept.
B. Other Amounts Owed STERLING and Bank. You will immediately pay STERLING and Bank any amount incurred by STERLING and Bank attributable to this Agreement including but not limited to chargebacks, fines and penalties imposed by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express (including but not limited to fines and penalties related to PCI DSS), non-sufficient fund fees, and ACH debits that overdraw the Designated Account or Reserve Account, or are otherwise dishonored. You authorize STERLING and Bank to debit via ACH the Designated Account or any other account you have at Bank or at any other financial institution for any amount you owe STERLING or Bank under this Agreement or under any other contract, note, guaranty, instrument or dealing of any kind now existing or later entered into between you and STERLING or Bank, whether your obligation is direct, indirect, primary, secondary, fixed, contingent, joint or several. In the event STERLING or Bank demand sums due or such ACH does not fully reimburse STERLING and Bank for the amount owed, you will immediately pay STERLING and Bank such amount.
9. Application, Indemnification, Limitation of Liability.
A. Application. You represent and warrant to STERLING and Bank that all information in the Merchant Application is correct and complete. You must notify STERLING in writing of any changes to the information in the Merchant Application, including but not limited to: any additional location or new business, the identity of principals and/or owners, the form of business organization (i.e. sole proprietorship, partnership, etc.), type of goods and services provided, how sales are completed (i.e. by telephone, mail, recurring payment, installment payment, credentials on file, electronic commerce, or in person at your place of business), and changes to the CARDHOLDER DATA SECURITY, PAYMENT APPLICATIONS & SERVICE PROVIDERS section on page 1 of the Merchant Application including your use of any service provider with access to merchant systems (i.e. QIR) or cardholder data (gateway, hosting provider, shopping cart, or wallet). The notice must be received by STERLING within 10 business days of the change by fax, email, or mail.
Mail: STERLING Payments International
320 Cumberland Avenue
Portland, ME 04101
You will provide updated information to STERLING within a reasonable time upon request. You are liable to STERLING and Bank (as applicable) for all losses and expenses incurred by STERLING and/or Bank arising out of your failure to report changes to STERLING. Bank and/or STERLING may immediately terminate this Agreement upon notification by you of a change to the information in the Merchant Application.
B. Indemnification. You will hold harmless and indemnify STERLING and Bank, their employees and agents (i) against all claims by third parties arising out of this Agreement, and (ii) for all attorneys’ fees and other costs and expenses paid or incurred by STERLING or Bank in the enforcement of the Agreement, including but not limited to those resulting from any breach by you of this Agreement and those related to any bankruptcy proceeding.
C. Limitation of Liability. Any liability of STERLING or Bank under this Agreement, whether to you or any other party, whatever the basis of the liability, shall not exceed in the aggregate the difference between (i) the amount of fees paid by you to STERLING and Bank during the month in which the transaction out of which the liability arose occurred, and (ii) assessments, chargebacks, and offsets against such fees which arose during such month. In the event more than one month is involved, the aggregate amount of STERLING and Bank’s liability shall not exceed the lowest amount determined in accord with the foregoing calculation for anyone month involved. Neither STERLING, Bank nor their agents, officers, directors, or employees shall be jointly liable to you under this Agreement or liable for indirect, special, or consequential damages. Neither STERLING nor Bank will be responsible or liable for any damages you incur that arise from a terminal that has been downloaded by a third party.
D. Performance. STERLING and Bank will perform all services in accordance with this Agreement. STERLING and Bank make no warranty, express or implied, regarding the services, and nothing contained in the Agreement will constitute such a warranty. STERLING and Bank disclaim all implied warranties, including those of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. No party will be liable to the others for any failure or delay in its performance of this Agreement if such failure or delay arises out of causes beyond the control and without the, fault or negligence of such party. Neither STERLING nor Bank shall be liable for the acts or omissions of any third party.
E. Representations By Salespersons. All salespersons are independent contractors, and are not agents, employees, joint venturers, or partners of STERLING or Bank. Any and all representations and/or statements made by a salesperson are made by them in their capacity as an independent contractor, and cannot be imputed to STERLING or Bank. STERLING and Bank have absolutely no liability or responsibility for any representations and/or statements made to you by any sales representative.
10. Representations and Warranties.
You represent and warrant to STERLING and Bank at the time of execution and during the term of this Agreement the following:
A. Information. You are a corporation, limited liability company, partnership or sole proprietorship validly existing and organized in the United States. All information contained on the Merchant Application or any other document submitted to STERLING or Bank is true and complete and properly reflects the business, financial condition, and principal partners, owners, or officers of Merchant. You are not engaged or affiliated with any businesses, products or methods of selling other than those set forth on the Merchant Application, unless you obtain the prior written consent of STERLING and Bank.
B. Entity Power. Merchant and the person signing this Agreement have the power to execute and perform this Agreement. This Agreement and your performance hereunder will not violate any law, or conflict with any other agreement to which you are subject.
C. No Litigation or Termination. There is no action, suit or proceeding pending or to your knowledge threatened which if decided adversely would impair your ability to carry on your business substantially as now conducted or which would adversely affect your financial condition or operations. You have never entered into an agreement with a third party to perform credit or debit card processing which has been terminated by that third party.
D. Transactions. All transactions are bona fide. No transaction involves the use of a Card for any purpose other than the purchase of goods or services from you nor does it involve a Cardholder obtaining cash from you unless allowed by the Rules and agreed in writing with STERLING and Bank. STERLING may choose to cancel Merchant’s Supply/Replacement Program at any time without notice. This program is non-transferable without written consent. Maintenance is not available for any wireless terminals.
E. Rule Compliance. You will comply with the Laws and Rules. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, each sales transaction submitted hereunder and the handling, retention, and storage of information related thereto, will comply with the rules and regulations of Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and any other Payment Card Network related to cardholder and transaction information security, including, without limitation Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), Visa’s Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP), Mastercard’s Site Data Protection Program (SDP), American Express’ Merchant Data Security Requirements (MDSR), and Payment Application Best Practices.
11. Audit and financial information.
A. Audit. You authorize STERLING or Bank to audit your records to confirm compliance with this Agreement, as amended from time to time. You will obtain, and will submit a copy of, an audit of your business when requested by STERLING or Bank.
B. Financial Information. i. Authorizations. You authorize STERLING or Bank to make any business or personal credit inquiries they consider necessary to review the acceptance and continuation of this Agreement. You also authorize any person or credit reporting agency to compile information to answer, those credit inquiries and to furnish that information to STERLING and Bank. ii. Documents. You will provide STERLING or Bank personal and business financial statements and other financial information as requested from time to time. If requested, you will furnish within 120 calendar days after the end of each fiscal year to STERLING and Bank a financial statement of profit and loss for the fiscal year and a balance sheet as of the end of the fiscal year.
12. Third Parties.
A. Services. You may be using special services or software provided by a third party to assist you in processing transactions, including authorizations and settlements, or accounting functions. You are responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements of any third party in using their products. This includes making sure you have and comply with any software updates. STERLING and Bank have no responsibility for any transaction until that point in time STERLING or Bank receive data about the transaction.
B. Use of Terminals Provided by Others. You will notify STERLING and Bank immediately if you decide to use electronic authorization or data capture terminals or software provided by any entity other than STERLING and Bank or its authorized designee (“Third Party Terminals”) to process transactions. If you elect to use Third Party Terminals or payment software provided by others you agree (i) the third party providing the terminals will be your agent in the delivery of Card transactions to STERLING and Bank; and (ii) to assume full responsibility and liability for any failure of that third party to comply with the Rules and this Agreement. Neither STERLING nor Bank will be responsible for any losses or additional fees incurred by you as result of any error by a third party agent, or a malfunction of your credit card terminal, including but not limited to Third Party Terminals.
13. Term and Termination.
A. Term. This Agreement shall become effective (“Effective Date”) only upon acceptance by STERLING and Bank, or upon the submission of a transaction by you to STERLING, whichever event shall occur first. The Agreement will remain in effect for a period of three (3) years (“Initial Term”) and will automatically renew for successive one (1) year terms (“Renewal Term”) unless terminated as set forth below.
B. Termination. The Agreement may be terminated by Merchant at the end of the Initial Term or any Renewal Term by giving written notice of an intention not to renew at least ninety (90) calendar days before the end of the Initial Term or any Renewal Term. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Agreement or your Merchant Application, this Agreement may be terminated by STERLING or Bank at any time with or without notice and with or without cause. Visa may limit or terminate this Agreement at any time.
C. Alternate Term and Termination. In the event your Merchant Application or existing Merchant Processing Agreement contains term and termination provisions that differ from Sections 13.A and 13.B above, the term and termination provisions in your Merchant Application or existing Merchant Processing Agreement shall control.
D. Action upon Termination. i. Terminated Merchant File. You acknowledge that Bank is required to report your business name and the name of Merchant’s principals to Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express when Merchant is terminated due to the reasons listed in the Rules. ii. Designated Account. All your obligations regarding accepted Sales Drafts will survive termination. You must maintain in the Designated Account and the Reserve Account enough funds to cover all chargebacks, deposit charges, refunds and fees incurred by you for a reasonable time, but in any event not less than the time specified in this agreement. You authorize STERLING and Bank to charge those accounts, or any other account maintained under this Agreement, for all such amounts. If the amount in the Designated Account or Reserve Account is not adequate, you will pay STERLING and Bank the amount you owe it upon demand, together with all costs and expenses incurred to collect that amount, including reasonable attorneys’ fees. iii. Equipment. Within 14 business days of the date of termination, you must return all equipment owned by STERLING and immediately pay STERLING, any amounts you owe them for equipment costs. iv. Improper Termination and Breach. If you terminate this Agreement in any manner other than as set forth in Section 13.B above or 16.H below, or if STERLING or Bank terminates this Agreement based upon your failure to comply with the Terms and Conditions contained herein, you will immediately pay STERLING, as liquidated damages, a closure fee in an amount equal to $50 or the closure fee set forth on the attached schedule of General Fees (if any), whichever is less. You agree that this closure fee is not a penalty, but rather is reasonable in light of the financial harm caused by your improper termination of this Agreement.
14. Compliance With Laws And Rules.
You agree to comply with all rules and operating regulations issued from time to time by Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express (“Rules”), and any policies and procedures provided by STERLING or Bank. You further agree to comply with all applicable state, federal and local laws, rules and regulations (“Laws”), as amended from time to time. You will assist STERLING and Bank in complying with all Laws and Rules now or hereafter applicable to any Card transaction or this Agreement. You will execute and deliver to STERLING and Bank all instruments it may from time to time reasonably deem necessary. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, you agree to comply with and be bound by the rules and regulations of Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and any other Payment Card Network related to cardholder and transaction information security, including without limitation, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), Visa’s Cardholder Information Security Program, Mastercard’s Site Data Protection Program, and American Express’ Merchant Data Security Requirements. You agree to cooperate at your sole expense with any request for an audit or investigation by STERLING, Bank, a Payment Card Network in connection with cardholder and transaction information security. You may also be assessed a monthly or annual PCI fee, which will appear as a separate item on your monthly statement. This fee is assessed by STERLING in connection with STERLING’s efforts to comply with the PCI DSS and does not ensure your compliance with the PCI DSS or any law, rule or regulation related to cardholder data security. The payment of such fee shall not relieve you of your responsibility to comply with all rules and regulations related to cardholder data security, including without limitation the PCI DSS. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, you agree to use information obtained from a cardholder in connection with a card transaction solely for the purpose of processing a transaction with that cardholder or attempting to re-present a chargeback with respect to such transaction. You will indemnify and hold STERLING and Bank harmless from any fines and penalties issued by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, or any Payment Card Network and any other fees and costs arising out of or relating to the processing of transactions by STERLING and Bank at your location(s) and will reimburse STERLING and Bank for any losses incurred by STERLING with respect to any such fines, penalties, fees and costs. You also agree that you will comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations related to the truncation or masking of cardholder numbers and expiration dates on transaction receipts from transactions processed at your location(s), including without limitation the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act and applicable state laws (“Truncation Laws”). As between you, on the one hand, and STERLING and Bank, on the other hand, you shall be solely responsible for complying with all Truncation Laws and will indemnify and hold STERLING and Bank harmless from any claim, loss or damage resulting from a violation of Truncation Laws as a result of transactions processed at your location(s).
A. Prohibited Transactions. You will not accept or deposit any fraudulent or illegal transaction and you may not, under any circumstances, present for deposit directly or indirectly, a transaction which originated with any other merchant or any other source. You will not accept a Card to collect a dishonored check, for the purchase of script, or to refinance an existing debt that has been deemed uncollectible. You will not, under any circumstances, deposit telemarketing transactions unless you obtain Bank and STERLING’s prior written consent. Such consent will be subject to Bank’s final approval. If you process any such transactions, you may be immediately terminated and STERLING or Bank may hold funds and/or increase the amount allocated to the Reserve Account and/or deduct from the amount of provisional credit that would otherwise be allocated to you. Further, you may be subject to Visa, Mastercard or Discover reporting requirements.
B. Merchant Prohibitions. You will not require the completion of any postal instrument on which the card account number, card expiry date, cardholder signature, or any other card account data is in plain view when mailed. You will not add sales or use tax to transactions unless permitted by applicable law. If added, it must be included in the transaction amount and not collected separately.
15. Use of Trademarks and Confidentiality.
A. Use of Trademarks. Your use of Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express trademarks must fully comply with the Rules. Your use of Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, or other cards’ promotional materials will not indicate directly or indirectly that Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, or others endorse any goods or services other than their own and you may not refer to Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, or others in stating eligibility for your products or services.
B. Merchant is hereby granted a limited non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use Discover brands, emblems, trademarks, and/or logos that identify Discover cards (“Discover Program Marks”). You are prohibited from using the Discover Program Marks other than as expressly authorized in writing. You shall not use the Discover Program Marks other than to display decals, signage, advertising and other forms depicting the Discover Program Marks that are provided to you pursuant to this Agreement or otherwise approved in advance in writing. You may use the Discover Program marks only to promote the services covered by the Discover Program Marks by using them on decals, indoor and outdoor signs, advertising materials and marketing materials; provided that all such uses by you must be approved in advance in writing. You shall not use the Discover Program Marks in such a way that customers could believe that the products or services offered by you are sponsored or guaranteed by the owners of the Discover Program Marks. You recognize that you have no ownership rights in the Discover Program Marks and shall not assign to any third party any of the rights to use the Discover Program Marks.
C. Confidentiality. i. Cardholder Information. You will not disclose to any third party Cardholders’ account information or other personal information except to an agent of yours assisting in completing a Card transaction, or as required by law. You must destroy all material containing Cardholders’ account numbers, Card imprints, Sales Drafts, credit vouchers and (except for Sales Drafts maintained in accordance with this Agreement, Laws. and the Rules). Further, you must take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure Cardholder information is not disclosed or otherwise misused. ii. Prohibitions. You will not use for your own purposes, will not disclose to any third party, and will retain in strictest confidence all information and data belonging to or relating to the business of STERLING and Bank (including without limitation the terms of this Agreement), and will safeguard such information and data by using the same degree of care that you use to protect your own confidential information. iii. Disclosure. You authorize STERLING and Bank to disclose your name and address to any third party who requests such information or otherwise has a reason to know such information.
D. Return to STERLING. All promotional materials, advertising displays, emblems, Sales Drafts, credit memoranda and other forms supplied to you and not purchased by you or consumed in use will remain the property of STERLING and Bank and will be immediately returned to STERLING upon termination of this Agreement. You will be fully liable for all loss, cost, and expense suffered or incurred by STERLING and Bank arising out of the failure to return or destroy such materials following termination.
16. General Provisions.
A. Entire Agreement. This Agreement, as amended from time to time, including the Rules and the completed Merchant Application, all of which are incorporated into this Agreement, constitute the entire agreement among the four parties hereto (other than any prior agreements to which Merchant is not a party), and all prior or other agreements to which Merchant is a party or representations, written or oral, made to Merchant are superseded. This Agreement may be signed in one or more counterparts, all of which, taken together, will constitute one agreement.
B. Exclusivity. During the period of time that this Agreement is in effect, you will not enter into an agreement with any other entity that provides credit card or debit card processing services similar to those provided by STERLING and Bank as contemplated by this Agreement without STERLING and Bank’s prior written consent.
C. Construction. The headings used in this Agreement are inserted for convenience only and will not affect the interpretation of any provision. The language used will be deemed to be the language chosen by the parties to express their mutual intent, and no rule of strict construction will be applied against any party. Any alteration or strikeover in the text of this pre-printed Agreement will have no binding effect, and will not be deemed to amend this Agreement. This Agreement may be executed by facsimile, and facsimile copies of signatures to this Agreement shall be deemed to be originals and may be relied on to the same extent as the originals.
D. Assignability. This Agreement may be assigned by STERLING or Bank but may not be assigned by Merchant directly or by operation of law, without the prior written consent of STERLING and Bank. Any such assignment in breach of this provision shall be null and void, ab initio. If Merchant nevertheless assigns this Agreement without the consent of STERLING and Bank, the Agreement shall be binding upon the assignee. Bank will be immediately informed in writing of any such assignment.
E. Notices. Any written notice under this Agreement will be deemed received upon the earlier of: (i) actual receipt or (ii) five calendar days after being deposited in the United States mail, and addressed to the last address shown on the records of the sender.
F. Bankruptcy. You will immediately notify STERLING and Bank (i) of any bankruptcy, receivership, insolvency or similar action or proceeding initiated by or against Merchant or any of its principals and (ii) if it could reasonably be expected that any such action or proceeding will be initiated by or against Merchant or any of its principals. You will include STERLING and Bank on the list and matrix of creditors as filed with the Bankruptcy Court whether or not a claim may exist at the time of filing. Failure to comply with either of these requirements will be cause for immediate termination or any other action available to STERLING and Bank under applicable Rules or Law.
G. Choice of Law/Attorney’s Fees/Venue/Jury Trial Waiver. Should it be necessary for STERLING or Bank to defend or enforce any of its rights under this Agreement in any collection or legal action, you agree to reimburse STERLING and/or Bank, or any agent acting on their behalf, as applicable, for all costs and expenses including reasonable attorney’s fees, as a result of such collection or legal action. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, you agree to reimburse STERLING and/or Bank, or any agent acting on their behalf, as applicable, for all costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, incurred by STERLING, Bank or their agent in any action arising out of, relating to, or in connection with this Agreement, without regard to whether there has been an adjudication on the merits in any such action. You waive trial by jury with respect to any litigation arising out of, relating to, or in connection with this Agreement. STERLING, Bank, you, and Guarantor agree that any and all disputes or controversies of any nature whatsoever (whether in contract, tort or otherwise) arising out of, relating to, or in connection with (i) this Agreement, (ii) the relationships which result from this Agreement, or (iii) the validity, scope, interpretation or enforceability of the choice of law and venue provisions of this Agreement, shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York, notwithstanding any conflicts of laws rules (other than NY General Obligations Law Section 5-1401), and shall be resolved, on an individual basis without resort to any form of class action and not consolidated with the claims of any other parties. STERLING, Bank, you, and Guarantor agree that all actions arising out of, relating to, or in connection with (a) this Agreement, (b) the relationships which result from this Agreement, or (c) the validity, scope, interpretation or enforceability of the choice of law and venue provisions of this Agreement shall only be brought in either the courts of the State of New York sitting in Suffolk County or in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and hereby irrevocably and unconditionally submit to the personal jurisdiction of those courts in any such action.
H. Amendments. STERLING will notify you on your monthly statement of any amendments to this Agreement, including any new or increased fees (collectively an “Amendment”). Except for any fee increases imposed by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express or any other credit or debit network, you may cancel the Agreement without charge if you object to any Amendment in writing within 30 days after notice thereof from STERLING. If you do not object during this 30-day period, you will be deemed to assent to the Amendment.
I. Severability and Waiver. If any provision of this Agreement is illegal, the invalidity of that provision will not affect any of the remaining provisions and this Agreement will be construed as if the illegal provision is not contained in the Agreement. Neither the failure nor delay by STERLING or Bank to exercise, or partial exercise of, any right under this Agreement will operate as a waiver or estoppel of such right, nor shall it amend this Agreement. All waivers must be signed by the waiving party.
J. Independent Contractors. STERLING, Bank and Merchant will be deemed independent contractors and will not be considered agent, joint venture or partner of the other, except as provided in 6.C and 7.A(ii).
K. Employee Actions. You are responsible for your employees’ actions while in your employment.
L. Survival. Sections 4.A, 4.B, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13.C, 15, and 16.G will survive termination of this Agreement.
M. No Third Party Beneficiaries. Except as set forth in Section 13 (B), nothing in this Agreement is intended or shall be construed to give any person, other than the parties hereto, their successors and permitted assigns, any legal or equitable right, remedy, or claim under or in respect of this Agreement or any provision contained herein.
A. Merchant Account Statement and IRS Form 1099K. Upon opening a merchant processing account you will automatically have access to your monthly merchant account statement electronically (an “E-statement”) by viewing it on line. Your annual IRS Form 1099K (“Form 1099K”) will be provided in the same manner as your monthly statement. This Agreement governs the electronic availability of your E-statement and Form 1099K. You agree to abide by the terms and conditions stated herein, and to access E-statements, Form 1099K’s, as well as all notices and initial and future disclosures regarding your E-statement and Form 1099K online.You acknowledge that by the fifth business day of each month, your E-statement will be available online. You will be notified via e-mail of the website where you can access your E-statement and Form 1099K. Your E-statement and Form 1099K will be accessible only through a secure Log In screen which requires the use of a unique User ID and Password. You understand that you will not receive a monthly merchant account statement or annual Form 1099K by U.S. postal mail, and that making your E-statement and Form 1099K available online constitutes STERLING’s compliance with delivery of your monthly merchant account statement and annual Form 1099K. You can print the E-statement and Form 1099K or save the file to your computer’s hard drive or other disk in order to retain a copy of the E-statement and/or Form 1099K. Your E-statement can be accessed through the E-statement link for six consecutive months from the date the E-statement is first made available. Your Form 1099K can be accessed through the website for 3 years from the date that it is first made available. You further agree to receive all initial and periodic account disclosure information in an electronic format. All such disclosures shall be provided in a clear, conspicuous manner that you can print and/or save using the hardware and software specified below. You are also entitled to obtain a paper copy of all disclosures, E-statements and Form 1099Ks upon written request, however such a request does not constitute a withdrawal of consent to receive monthly E-statements and electronic disclosures and Form 1099K’s. You will be charged a fee of $2.95 per month for STERLING providing paper copies of disclosures and E-statements. Paper copies of 1099K’s will be provided upon request without charge. On condition that you have elected to obtain paper copies of all disclosures, E-statements and Form 1099Ks, you may withdraw your consent to receive such documentation electronically, or change your email address, upon 30 days written notice to STERLING. Please note that a withdrawal of consent does not apply to a disclosure, E-statement or electronic Form 1099K that was furnished before the date on which the withdrawal of consent becomes effective. PC Requirements: Viewing your E-statement or Form 1099K on line requires a personal computer with Adobe Acrobat and internet access through a standard web browser. The product version levels must be supported by the respective vendors (i.e., Adobe, Apple, Mozilla, and Microsoft). STERLING is not obligated to ensure that your E-statements or Form 1099Ks are accessible through outdated vendor products. In the event you are unable to access any of the information that has been made available by STERLING in electronic format, it is your obligation to notify STERLING in writing immediately.
B. Reporting Of Errors. You must promptly view all E-statements, and immediately notify STERLING in writing of any errors. Your written notice must include: (i) Merchant name and account number; (ii) the dollar amount of the asserted error; (iii) a description of the asserted error; and (iv) an explanation of why you believe an error exists and the cause of it, if known. That written notice must be received by STERLING within 30 calendar days after the E-statement containing the asserted error is first made available. Your failure to notify STERLING of any error within 30 days constitutes a waiver of any claim relating to that error. You may not make any claim against STERLING for any loss or expense relating to any asserted error for 60 calendar days immediately following STERLING’s receipt of your written notice. During that 60 day period, STERLING will be entitled to investigate the asserted error and we will notify you of the results of our investigation.
C. Miscellaneous. STERLING shall not be responsible for: (i) consequential or incidental damages caused by services performed by STERLING, its agents, or your Internet Service Provider (“ISP”); (ii) damages arising from unauthorized access to E-statement services; or (iii) any costs associated with updating, modifying or terminating your software or hardware. STERLING may change, suspend, or terminate all or any aspect of this service upon written notice to you.
18. Electronic Signatures.
Under the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (“E-Sign”), this Agreement and all electronically executed documents related hereto are legally binding in the same manner as are hard copy documents executed by hand signature when: (a) your electronic signature is associated with the Agreement and related documents, (b) you consent and intend to be bound by the Agreement and related documents, and (c) the Agreement is delivered in an electronic record capable of retention by the recipient at the time of receipt (i.e., print or otherwise store the electronic record). This Agreement and all related electronic documents shall be governed by the provisions of E-Sign. By pressing Submit, you agree: (i) that the Agreement and related documents shall be effective by electronic means, (ii) to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement and related documents, (iii) that you have the ability to print or otherwise store the Agreement and related documents, and (iv) to authorize STERLING or Bank to conduct an investigation of your credit history with various credit reporting and credit bureau agencies for the sole purpose of determining the approval of the applicant for merchant status or equipment leasing. This information is kept strictly confidential and will not be released.