High-risk merchants tend to be those that operate in industries that payment processors view as having a higher level of risk. These can be industries that have age restrictions, legal gray areas, or other complications. Some examples of high-risk industries include online gaming and medical marijuana.
Unfortunately for high-risk merchants, finding a high-risk payment processor can be challenging. This is particularly true if you’re on a budget and don’t want to pay too much in fees. To ensure you’re able to secure the appropriate merchant account, consider the following tips.
Tip #1: Research Top High-Risk Merchant Services Providers
One of the most important tips for high-risk merchants is to do your research when it comes to service providers. You will want to find a merchant services provider that has been successful working with other high-risk customers, especially those in your same industry.
Avoid payment processing providers that utilize predatory, inflated fees when dealing with high-risk clients. While charging higher fees in this situation can be common, it’s at the discretion of the provider, and is often unnecessary.
To successfully avoid predatory processing providers, take the time to read online reviews. Look for a high-risk merchant account provider that has a clear, high-quality website. Their website should either include pricing on it or a link to get you a quote. If the website is low-quality, this may indicate a limited budget on the part of the payment processing provider, which may translate to poor ease of use and unreasonably high fees if the provider needs to recoup losses.
You should also carefully read the terms and conditions found on the merchant application and ask questions when necessary. This will help prevent unpleasant surprises further down the road.
Tip #2: Be Up Front with the Merchant Service Provider
When you have narrowed down your options and settled on a high-risk merchant account, be honest with the merchant service provider. You should let them know about your industry and the nature of your business from the start. They will not be able to help you if you are not honest, and being less than forthcoming can also lead to inaccurate quotes on rates.
When requested, provide the merchant service provider with the relevant information. Examples of details you will likely be asked to supply include your credit history, financial statements, and merchant account history.
Tip #3: Choose a Payment Processor that Offers Services Meeting All Your Needs
When choosing your payment processor, you should make sure they are able to meet all of your needs related to payment processing, so you will not have to sacrifice services you think you need or work with multiple payment service providers.
Some of the most important payment processing services that should be offered include credit card terminals, POS systems, mobile payment solutions, payment gateways, and integrations. Remember that these do not all need to be included in the base rate for your high-risk merchant account, so long as they are all offered by the service provider and are reasonably priced.
Tip #4: Choose a Provider That Does Not Require Long-Term Contracts
As you explore the various payment processing providers, you’ll notice that some require long-term contracts, particularly in the case of high-risk merchants. You do not want to choose a company that requires this since you don’t know how the needs of your business might change in the future.
Many merchant service providers lock their merchants into long-term contracts. There may also be an automatic renewal clause that catches you by surprise. Avoid this by asking outright about contract length and reading the fine print. Ideally, you should look for a provider that delivers flexibility via month-to-month contracts. This way, you can change your services if the needs of your business change.
Tip #5: Choose a Provider That Values Service
Finally, ensure that the payment processing provider you select values service. Instead of only caring about your company until you sign the contract, these providers will continue to provide ongoing services such as 24/7 support, troubleshooting, training, and maintenance. You can also get a feel for whether a provider values service based on their reviews.
BankCard Services has experience working with high-risk merchants. We specialize in solutions for credit card processing specifically for high-risk merchant accounts. Our services also include chargeback fraud protection, management tools, and chargeback mitigation tools.
We also offer specialized high-risk reseller programs. Bankcard works with resellers and agents who have previously experienced declined accounts or access high-risk industries.