Offering your customers the option to pay via credit card is crucial for your business. Especially in case of online businesses, card payment is the only option customers have. Third party agencies offer merchant processing services that include credit card processing to businesses. But herein lies the catch. While everyone is willing to support low risk businesses, businesses that are risk do not get as much support from merchant service providers to help them open a merchant account.
They are offered only by specialized service providers.
Are You a High Risk Merchant?
You qualify for this services if your business is categorized as a high risk business. The online businesses that come under this category typically include those in the following areas- adult entertainment sites, those related to health and beauty such as websites selling weight loss, skin care, muscle enhancing and other similar products including nutritional and beauty supplements. Detective services, online dating sites, lotteries sites, sports consulting sites etc are some other examples of this businesses. These businesses are inherently risk for obvious reasons.
This type of merchant services are also required for high volume businesses, because these are more susceptible to credit card fraud. Small companies with low volume sales are also considered because they cannot afford the necessary fraud screening tools.
The individual business/ business owner characteristics are also important. Businesses not accredited with the local business bodies, those with poor/inconsistent credit histories, or where the business or the owner has been blacklisted due to any reason are considered high risk.
If you are a merchant, you will find it difficult to get a merchant account, which is crucial to enable credit card transactions. Hence you need the assistance of merchant service providers who especially cater to the needs of these type of merchants.
High Risk Merchant Services – What You can Expect
These type of merchant account providers charge enormous fees for their services. Merchant service fees are way higher than those charged for regular businesses.
For setting up a regular merchant account, often the set up fees are negligible or even nil. In case of these type of merchant accounts, your high fees start right from this point and include very high processing fees.
However, considering that enabling payment by credit card is crucial to the success of your business, you have no choice but to give in to the demands of merchant service providers. But as always, you must choose your service provider wisely and make sure you are not being taken for a ride.
How to Choose a High Risk Merchant Services Provider
Ask around and choose a provider with well established reputation in the field and who is well spoken of for the range and quality of services offered.
Choose someone who caters to your specific needs. For instance, depending on the nature of your business, you may require 24×7 support.
Insist on a breakdown of the fees and don’t sign up unless you are convinced about the fee structure.