Most offshore merchant accounts to accept credit cards that are provided by high risk merchant service providers are generally a last resort option for many businesses.
Offshore merchant accounts are generally provided to high risk industries, business owners with bad credit, Terminated Merchant File merchant accounts, MasterCard Alert To Control High-risk Merchants (MATCH), or accounts that have a history of high chargebacks. All too often legitimate businesses are caught between having to close the doors or having to work with a high risk merchant services provider who may be unreliable or unscrupulous. So, how does one find a dependable high risk merchant service provider who has the experience and knowledge to establish a high risk merchant account for your business?
Many merchants who cannot get approved for a domestic high risk merchant account are often forced into seeking an offshore high risk merchant services provider.
Unfortunately, working with offshore merchant accounts can have a number of pitfalls ranging from outrageous pricing to fraud. So how does your you avoid the numerous unethical high risk offshore merchant service providers? Vetting a credible high risk merchant services provider doesn’t have to be a time consuming and arduous process. Before picking up the phone to make that first call don’t just randomly pick from your search results. Don’t let people tell you what you want to hear – instead work with a company that will tell you what you need to understand. Eliminate any high risk merchant account providers that make too good to be true promises such as:
No Chargeback Guarantees
If you have been operating your high risk business for some time now you have probably gotten pretty adept at managing and fighting chargebacks. It’s a frustrating and expensive reality for many high risk merchant accounts. There are programs that are highly effective in notifying of an imminent chargeback which can empower you to address it before it actually happens, however, there is never a guarantee!
24 Hour Approvals
High risk merchant accounts require a much more in depth underwriting process and generally cannot be approved within 24 hours like traditional merchant accounts can. When you are against a wall and in desperate need of merchant services to accept credit cards a fast approval sounds great, but the reality is that a dependable high risk merchant account will require at least a couple days to review and a thorough application package.
Rates that seem too good to be true.
Due to the nature of high risk merchant accounts you can expect to pay higher rates which help the bank to mitigate risk and to support their high risk department to constantly monitor accounts for potential fraud or abuse. This costs money. If you are being promised rates that seem abnormally low be wary.
Now that you have narrowed down your list of potential high risk merchant account providers take a few more steps before making that first call.
Offshore Merchant Account Providers without domestic representation
If your business does not qualify for a domestic high risk merchant account or requires international services and is looking for an offshore merchant account – ensure that the merchant account provider or broker is registered domestically. When you are dealing with offshore banks whether it is in China, Korea, the UK or anywhere else in the world it is incredibly important to recognize that the bank you are ultimately working with is operating under a different legal system. It is not uncommon for overseas banks to close accounts, seize funds, or get shut down by the card brands. Your business will have no recourse in this event. By working with a domestically registered high risk merchant account provider you’re able to communicate seamlessly and ask questions that will help to insulate your business from these events. Make sure that the high risk merchant services broker has long standing relationships with their providers. Ask them where the account will be established. Ask how many clients they have with this particular bank.
High risk merchant accounts without domestic service centers
Make sure to establish your high risk merchant account with a credible provider who offers domestic service centers. Ask where the service center is located and what hours they are available. It is important to have a domestic service center who has a direct line of contact with the funding bank when you are in need of assistance. Offshore service centers are notoriously inefficient and slow to respond and your business deserves better than that.
Offshore merchant accounts with no minimum monthly volume requirements
Not having a monthly volume requirement may sounds like a great benefit, however, most dependable offshore providers will have monthly minimum sales amounts from $50,000 to $100,000. The banks that are willing to work with high risk businesses doing less than $25k/month are generally less dependable than those with higher requirements.
The decision to establish an offshore high risk merchant account for your business is generally considered a last resort. If your business requires high risk merchant services look to Bankcard Brokers. We not only provide numerous domestic high risk merchant account options but we have long standing relationships and portfolios with dependable offshore banks. Our friendly ETA Certified Payment Professionals are happy to transparently guide your business to the best available transparent high risk merchant account that your business will be able to depend on for years to come!