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The world of financial services and trading is constantly changing, with new products being introduced regularly. The Forex market remains a highly popular and potentially profitable one. This industry can grow even more if you become a Forex broker, and you’ll need to work with a company familiar with establishing a Forex Merchant Account.
There are many challenges within this industry. One such example is accessing merchant account services, meaning being able to process financial transactions with your customers. Under a normal business, there are many ways to take payments, including via credit card payment gateways or ACH payments. Forex accounts are often high-risk ones. This can add additional cost burdens to your business and cut into your profit margin.
Fundamentally, this means that you have to find a Forex merchant account provider who has experience in working with high-risk merchants. Your vendor will be able to help identify your risk, find ways to reduce it and ultimately save you money.
If you are starting a Forex business in the United States, you will need to overcome some unique licensing hurdles and challenges. There are many steps that you will need to take. Some of these are standard to any business and involve creating your own LLC, registering for taxes and applying for any state and local license requirements. You will also face additional requirements if you are opening a physical office. If you aren’t, you will need to find a meeting space for client meetings.
Critical to starting any business is also accessing merchant account providers. Merchant account providers will be responsible for processing credit cards and transferring money. These industries have access to secure financial tools and can transfer money from your customer’s bank account to yours. Some businesses face unique financial challenges and there is no question that a Forex business is among those.
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In addition to the above regulatory challenges, there is no question that your Forex business may be considered a high-risk one by a merchant account processor. This can create major problems if you are attempting to process order and credit card payments from your customers for who you are executing trades.
A high-risk business has been statistically determined to be a higher risk for merchant account providers to provide certain services, including credit card processing, ACH payments and more. The nature of this risk may vary, but generally speaking, it exists because merchant account providers have found that businesses within this industry are more likely to experience fraud or chargebacks.
Chargebacks can be deadly for any business. They occur when the holder of a credit card or financial account seeks a refund on a credit card charge or bank payment. The reason for this refund may vary and it can include everything from fraud to dissatisfaction with a service to a lack of transparency about why they were charged in the first place. Businesses do have many ways to reduce chargebacks, but for some industries, chargebacks are simply a fact of business life.
Chargebacks are so problematic because they result in a loss of revenue and additional processing time for both the business in question and the merchant account provider. As such, your business must do everything it can to reduce or eliminate these chargebacks.
High-risk merchants are often international ones or ones that do business in many foreign currencies. This is because these businesses are often more likely to be subjected to fraud and when fraud is discovered, a vendor has to return the money. The nature of Forex is foreign-based and does business in foreign currency. In many cases, businesses simply can’t implement stringent international security checks and protocols the way they can enforce domestic ones and as a result, there is more fraud. This helps to lead to a high-risk classification.
One of the highly problematic aspects of the Forex industry is its use by certain individuals who are involved in money laundering. The news is replete with instances of individuals laundering their ill-gotten money via the Forex industry. As such, your business will need to be extra careful to take any risk-reduction measures that are necessary to prevent this laundering from happening. Unfortunately, even the most well-prepared business can unintentionally participate in a money-laundering scheme and this helps to explain why many merchant account providers have classified the Forex market as a high-risk one.
This industry also seems to have a comparatively high percentage of investors who ultimately are unhappy with their transactions and try to nullify them by claiming fraud and pursuing a chargeback. This adds to the risk of the industry.
So, what does this mean? The biggest challenge for your Forex business is that you will face higher-than-average credit card and bank processing fees. The high nature of these fees is meant to offset the risk that a merchant account provider will theoretically be engaging in by doing business with a high-risk merchant.
The specifics vary depending on the contract that you negotiate with your vendor, but there is no question that these fees can eat into your profit margins and make operating a Forex business much more expensive.
Yes. Despite the difficulties presented by creating a Forex business, you will still be able to access merchant account services. You will have to look extra hard to find a vendor who is experienced in this area and capable of understanding the unique needs and challenges of your business. This means that you will likely have to pay a higher fee for these services and this makes it even more important that you look as hard as possible for a merchant account service that can provide you with access to a maximum amount of services at an affordable price. Failure to do so may result in unnecessary charges and headaches for your business.
In a high-risk business like Forex trading, accessing Forex merchant account services simply isn’t enough. You need to find someone to help you manage your account who is experienced in dealing with high-risk vendors and can help provide you with a variety of products and services that can drive your costs down. Remember, when there is a chargeback or fraud, it doesn’t just cost your vendor money – it costs you money, too! As such, it’s in your own best interest to identify a high-risk vendor who can help you reduce your costs. This means that you have to approach finding a merchant account provider with a different mindset than many other businesses. This isn’t about simply processing transactions, but reducing your risk, saving you money and allowing you to reinvest those dollars into your business.
Bankcard Connect integrates seamlessly with ISV software to simplify payment processing for merchants: any payment type, on any device, anywhere.
Bankcard integrates with over 99% of the tools you are already using, including popular accounting software and e-commerce apps, regardless of your industry. Our payment services were designed to be adaptable to provide seamless integrations for our customers.
Paid Memberships Pro
911 Software, Inc.
Aldelo Systems, Inc.
Applied Micro Technology
Advanced Retail Management Solutions (ARMs)
Data Business Systems
Datacap Systems, Inc.
Epicor (CRS, NSB)
Gateway Ticketing Systems
Main Street Softworks
MBS Textbook Exchange
/n Software, Inc.
RATEX Business Solutions
Retail Data Systems
RTL Payment Systems
Sicom Systems, Inc.
Tender Retail Systems
The Software Mills
Total Computing Solutions
TouchNet Information Systems
XProtean, Inc. (C-Payment Software)
Vista Entertainment Systems
911 Software, Inc.
Data Business Systems
Datacap Systems, Inc.
Main Street Softworks
Menusoft Systems Corp.
Midnite Express, Inc.
/n Software Inc.
Sicom Systems, Inc.
XProtean, Inc. (C-Payment Software)
Elavon (previously Southern DataComm and Global Card Services)
Fiscal Systems, Inc.
Main Street Softworks
VeriFone Ruby System
911 Software, Inc.
Hotel Software Systems
Government organizations face a growing need for secure payment processing services while managing highly specific needs for content management and security.
We can work with popular technology products government agencies prefer, like Ciber and Cubic, to create an integrated solution that meets all your needs for processing payments, managing information, and more.
Instant everything. Amazing technology.
Friendly, US-based support from our headquarters in Michigan.
Some of the ways that a merchant account provider should work with a Forex brokerage are screamingly obvious. Most important, of course, is the need to take payments.
Payments can occur in many ways.
First, they can happen via a credit card, meaning that your merchant provider will need to have excellent and secure merchant account processing software. Alternatively, there are ACH payments, which are payments that occur directly from one bank to another. Depending on the size of the transactions and the specific interests of your client, it may be preferable for you to make a payment this way – indeed, this is how many other brokerages operate. In some cases, you may also need to be prepared to work with physical checks or eChecks. You may also need to be prepared to work with other payment processors, like Stripe or PayPal.
All of the above isn’t enough.
This is because of some of the unique challenges of the Forex industry.
Forex business often occurs internationally.
This means that your merchant account provider will need to be prepared for alternative and less frequently used forms of payment. For example, the use of crypto in making Forex payments is becoming increasingly popular. Depending on the size of your business and specific customer demand, it may be worth it for you to pursue this option of accepting financial payment. You may need to find a merchant account provider who can handle accepting payments from offshore merchant accounts. This can ensure that your clients and customers can make payments in a manner of their choosing.
Your merchant account provider must be capable of taking payments in foreign currency.
There will be added fees for you, here, as you will ultimately need to exchange that money back into U.S. currency. As such, you should inquire about these fees with your merchant account provider.
All of the above is the bare minimum you should expect out of any merchant account provider and there is no question that a provider who can give you all of these services will be able to help you process transactions. Competition for your business is fierce and you should expect much more out of any provider.
Fraud prevention and chargeback protection will be critical to your success as a business – particularly if you are in the Forex industry. As such, when considering your merchant account providers, ask what sort of expertise they have in fraud prevention and chargeback protection. How much do they charge you in chargebacks? What happens if there is a fraudulent charge and what will repeated instances of fraud do to your processing rate? What advice and expertise can they offer you in terms of reducing your fraud? How robust is their security? Have they ever had any data breaches? If so, how were those managed?
What sort of eCommerce options do they have and how will these various eCommerce options alter your final rate of payment? Do they have a preferred merchant that they have connections with, resulting in savings that they can pass along to you?
Some Forex businesses still operate physical locations. If this is the case, can they provide you with the necessary point of sale equipment? How is a physical transaction rate different from a digital purchase?
What sort of integration assistance can a merchant account provider offer to you? When they provide your records of transactions that they have run and fees that they charge you, does that information easily integrate into your already existing records? How easily can you export the transaction information for accounting, tax, and regulatory purposes? If they don’t have the already existing integrations with whatever software you use, do they have the programming expertise that will allow them to create an API for this integration? How much will they charge you to do this?
Does your merchant account provider go above and beyond what you need? For example, if you are a business that is looking to expand, can they provide you with the necessary access to capital that will enable you to grow your footprint and enter more industries?
Your Forex business needs a merchant account provider who can do more than just process credit cards. You need a vendor who has experience at high-risk markets, experience in the Forex market and the knowledge to help you reduce your risk and keep as much of your money as possible. At Bankcard, we are experts in all of these areas and can help translate our expertise into more money for you. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.
The industries we accept for high risk merchant accounts include, but are not limited to the below industries.
Bankcard can provide merchant accounts to customers in the below countries. Kindly note that many payment solutions are regulated based on location.
Being a start-up business will not hinder a business from getting approved for a merchant account. While having a processing history helps your likelihood of getting approved, the lack of processing will not necessarily stop you from getting an approval. Consult an experienced Account Executive today to learn more.
There are never guarantees when it comes to the approval of a merchant account. However, we do work with merchants that have low credit scores. Reach out to an Account Executive today for a consultation.
If you’re a United States citizen applying for a merchant account for a United States registered business, a social security number is required.
A merchant account can be labeled high risk for many reasons. You can be labeled as such due to high average tickets, being in an industry that historically has high chargebacks, or an industry that tier one banks do not support.
To apply for a high-risk merchant account, you need to complete our pre-qualification form and upload all required documentation. Once the pre-qualification is complete your Account Executive will locate the best placement for your account, and send you a final agreement. Once that final agreement is signed, underwriting will complete a full package review for approval.
There is no fee to apply for a merchant services account with Bankcard. However, If you get approved with us there may be a small setup fee for your gateway account.
Square, Stripe, and Paypal are all payment facilitators and do not accept high-risk merchant accounts. Signing up with Bankcard gives you a direct merchant relationship with a sponsor bank. The approval process requires more documentation, but you’re at a significantly lower risk of getting terminated.
This depends upon how quickly you, the merchant, completes our pre-qualification form. Once we have all of your documentation, we get to work. We can typically locate placement for your merchant services account in 48 hours.
Once you get an approval, you’ll be able to accept credit card payments within 24 business hours.
Depending upon the program, you will receive your funds anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after the batch is settled.
The industry type is a major determining factor when it comes to risk levels of merchant services. But, other factors such as credit, card-present vs not present, and chargeback ratios can also push an account into the high-risk category as well.
Your legal business name should match the business name on the state business registration or licensure. However, if you are a sole proprietor, your name would be the legal business name.
If you’re not sure how much processing you’ll do, we recommend applying for $5,000 to $10,000 monthly. You don’t need to hit that number each month, but if you’re close to going over, reach out to your Account Executive for assistance.
Your average transaction amount should be the average of all transactions you would accept with your merchant account. Your maximum transaction should be the anticipated maximum amount accepted in one transaction. If you attempt to process a transaction that is higher than the maximum amount provided, additional proof of purchase may be requested.
You may provide personal bank statements in lieu of bank statements if your business bank account is new or does not have any activity.
If you’re applying for a merchant account for ecommerce processing you will need a fully functional website with products or services listed with associated pricing.
Yes, a credit check is required in order to obtain a high-risk merchant account. Once a final agreement is signed, a hard credit pull is done. Credit scores are taken into consideration when underwriting reviews a full application for merchant services.
If you’re a United States citizen applying for a merchant account for a business registered in the United States, your social security number will be required to apply.
The first step to applying for a high-risk merchant account is completing the pre-qualification form. Three months bank statements, three months processing statements (if applicable), a voided check or bank letter, and driver’s license or passport will be required to apply.
If your business does not utilize checks, we can accept a bank letter that includes your full account and routing number as well as the business or account holder’s name. The letter should be on bank letterhead, be dated within the last 30 days, and be signed by a bank representative.
If you don’t have three months of business bank statements, don’t fret. We can accept three months’ personal bank statements from a business owner, or director.
Bank statements show a lot about a prospective merchant, namely, processing activity, and the average monthly ending balance. If a merchant is currently processing, we want to know why they’re switching, if we know a merchant’s pain points we can find better solutions for their needs. The average monthly ending balance is also relevant to show financial stability within the business as well as validating the monthly volume requested.
If a merchant is currently processing credit card payments and successfully managing a merchant account this can increase the likelihood of getting approved. Some payment facilitators such as Paypal, Stripe, and Square might not supply monthly processing statements. Underwriting may request login credentials so they can get an overview of the processing activities.
For in-person retail card acceptance, Bankcard can provide equipment that will arrive programmed and ready to accept payments. Discuss your equipment options with your experienced Account Executive.
Here at Bankcard, we do offer our own gateway solution that’s exclusive to merchants that sign up with us. Of course, if there’s a gateway you prefer we are willing to work with you as long as integration is possible. Please reach out to your dedicated Account Executive for details.
Bankcard integrates with NMI, Authorize.net, and more. For specific gateway integration questions reach out to an experienced Account Executive.
Your merchant account will be set up to accept Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and ATM cards.
Load balancing is the strategy of spreading transactions over more than one MID. It’s not necessary for all high-risk accounts, but can be considered as a way to manage chargeback ratios with high-risk merchants.
Not to worry, this number can be increased as needed. However, the bank underwriting your merchant account needs to be aware of the expected monthly volume to ensure they have capacity available for all merchants processing with that bank.
If you go over by a small amount you might be asked for a copy of the invoice or receipt. However, if you go over the monthly limit by a large amount there is a chance your excess funds might be held temporarily.
When it comes to high-risk accounts, banks ideally want chargeback ratios below the 3% threshold. If you can provide long term processing history the bank may take this into consideration. Lower chargeback ratios are ideal. Consult your knowledgeable Account Executive for assistance in lowering your chargeback ratio.
Rolling reserves are a way to financially protect the processing bank from potential losses from chargebacks or refunds. Not all high-risk merchant accounts require a rolling reserve. The risk department will determine if and when a rolling reserve is required.
Interchange fees refer to the issuing credit card brand fees such as Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American express. These fees vary depending on the card type, American Express tends to be the most expensive card to process. Interchange rates can range from 1% to 2.5%.
Of course! Once you’ve established a healthy processing history, you may reach out to your Account Executive for a rate review. We recommend only doing this if your processing history shows low chargeback ratios and relatively low refund activity.
You may request an increase in your monthly volume at any time. However, it’s recommended to wait until your merchant account reflects healthy processing history as well as financial stability from your bank statements.
Reach out to our support team, or your dedicated Account Executive for any account-related updates you may need.
Depending on the program your merchant account fees are either taken at the beginning of each month. Some programs require daily discounts. Program details will be notated on your final agreement and if you have further questions you can always consult your Account Executive.
Bankcard can assist with ACH or eCheck services. An application and approval process still applies to this service, or it can be an added service with your processing account. Reach out to your Account Executive for details.
The approval process requires less documentation than applying for a merchant services account. And if you’re already processing with Bankcard an approval can be expedited.
Every account is different, however, most programs allow next-day settlements for ACH transactions.
ACH payment acceptance can be integrated into most website platforms. Reach out to a dedicated Account Executive for more information.
High-risk merchant accounts are priced higher than low-risk accounts because fewer banks are willing to work with businesses labeled “high risk”. Banks also need additional financial protections from loss on these accounts.
Bankcard will always provide fair pricing based on the risk level of every merchant. And if a current processing statement is provided we’ll do everything in our power to beat the merchant’s current rates.
While we love working with merchants that are considered high risk. There are limitations put in place by bank and card brand rules. If a merchant does not abide by the specific program rules described by the Account Executive assisting them we cannot ensure an approval.
Think of merchant accounts as a loan or a line of credit. And processing banks take on the risk of transactions getting charged back. Banks can end up liable for the actions of merchants, a problematic merchant can damage the reputation of the bank funding and processing the transactions.