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Male enhancement products are increasing in popularity each year, and the numbers tell the story. According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 23 percent of men use male enhancement supplements. Likewise, the sexual enhancement supplements market is expected to reach 324 million USD by 2025. For male enhancement businesses, the economic forecast is skyrocketing — yet these business owners continue to find increasing obstacles in getting even basic payment processing services.
If you’re the owner or operator of a male enhancement supplement business, you’re probably already aware of how difficult it is to get a male enhancement merchant account. As part of the supplements and nutraceutical industry, male enhancement businesses are considered to be high-risk by merchant service providers. However, one payment gateway provider, Bankcard, specializes in providing high-risk merchant account services to these industries. By using Bankcard, male enhancement business owners can offer their customers a full range of credit card payment options as well as a variety of online payment methods to choose from. In addition, Bankcard offers convenient tools like automated billing, payment tracking, and other solutions to help high-risk industries streamline their business operations.
Why are male enhancement companies considered high-risk? The answer has everything to do with financing and underwriting, which we’ll discuss in a moment. Ultimately, it has nothing to do with how successful your business is because, as you can see from the list below, scores of successful industries are also categorized as high-risk, including:
These are all highly successful industries in today’s global eCommerce market. In particular, the supplements industry is booming, with Americans spending around 2.1 billion USD on weight-loss supplements alone. Yet, these are all considered to be high-risk businesses for lenders, banks, and payment processors. And essentially, the reasons have nothing to do with sales success, but have everything to do with chargebacks.
What is a chargeback, and how does it damage your business? A chargeback is a credit card charge that has to be refunded by the merchant. Chargebacks occur when a customer either wants to be reimbursed for an unsatisfactory product (or service) or claims that they never made the charge in the first place. For any type of business, chargebacks are inevitable. It’s only when they reach above-normal proportions that they start impacting an industry’s reliability score.
Chargebacks are also used in a type of scam known as “friendly fraud,” where customers make credit card charges and then later deny having made them. In many cases, customers may commit friendly fraud unintentionally, such as when they contact a credit card company directly rather than handling a return through a merchant. However, some customers might purchase a male enhancement product, and then be embarrassed if the bill or invoice is discovered by a spouse or significant other. This may cause them to deny making the purchase altogether, and in some cases, even call the credit card company and claim the charge was unauthorized.
In other scenarios, scammers use friendly fraud transactions to defraud merchants out of products, services, and money. In some instances, these fraudsters may claim that a product was never delivered when it actually was.
No matter how it’s committed, friendly fraud is a major problem for businesses and payment processors. Recent statistics show that eight out of 10 business owners have seen an increase in friendly fraud chargebacks, and by 2023, analysts estimate that one in 10 credit card chargebacks will be due to friendly fraud.
When it comes to standard refunds, these are unavoidable in any business. However, some types of industries lead themselves to a higher chargeback ratio simply because of their business type. In the case of male enhancement products, as well as supplements and nutraceuticals, business-savvy merchants and manufacturers typically offer a money-back guarantee because it’s the right thing to do in a competitive market. However, some customers — particularly those who are skeptical of holistic products — might be too quick to return these products without even giving them a fair chance. Likewise, some customers might not bother to read the label or follow the instructions, or they may not get the full benefits because they didn’t take the correct dosage. Essentially, when it comes to supplements and male enhancement products, people can sometimes give up too easily and demand a refund.
On the other hand, some customers expect too much out of a product. In these cases, they may actually expect a “miracle cure” from a supplement. Sometimes this can happen because of over-hyped marketing (which we’ll discuss below), but in many cases, it happens because the customer simply doesn’t have expectations that are based on reality.
Since reputable supplements merchants typically offer a money-back guarantee on their products, this type of “expectations vs. reality” scenario can lead to high chargeback rates, and it’s a prime reason why male supplements are part of a high-risk industry. These high chargeback ratios, as well as their potential for fraud, make credit card processors, banks, and financial institutions increasingly reluctant to provide merchant account services to nutraceuticals businesses.
High chargeback rates aren’t just costly in themselves; they also force merchant account processors to charge higher fees for their services. And if chargebacks keep increasing, these processors might even suspend a merchant account altogether.
If you’ve been denied payment processing services for your male enhancement business because of unusually high chargeback rates, Bankcard can help you get approved for credit and debit card payments, as well as convenient e-check and mobile payments for your customers. In addition, we provide payment solutions that can help you reduce chargeback rates while increasing your sales.
But chargebacks are only one part of the equation. Another has to do with reputational issues, and how the male enhancement supplement industry is perceived by financial underwriters.
When Viagra appeared on the scene in 1998, many supplements manufacturers began to focus on creating all-natural alternatives to pharmaceutical male enhancement pills. Unfortunately, these manufacturers included a number of scammers who decided to take advantage of the market boom, while paying little attention to the effectiveness of the products they were peddling.
When these bad actors still occasionally emerge on the market with their fake products, they can cause some consumers to be suspicious of the entire industry. Added to this, many male enhancement supplements aren’t approved by the FDA. These reputational concerns greatly affect the willingness of banks and financial institutions to provide underwriting for male enhancement merchant accounts.
Ultimately, all of these concerns relate to underwriting, which is simply a banking term for financial backing. Merchant account companies, as well as credit card companies, partner with banks and financial institutions for their funding. Just as lenders look for good credit and collateral, payment processors prefer working with industries that don’t pose risks. Risks aren’t just expensive for banks; they’re also costly for merchant account providers as well as the banks and financiers who underwrite them.
Here’s what you can do to help prevent chargebacks in your male enhancement supplement business:
Chargebacks happen when a customer’s expectations aren’t met. To counter this, be sure to provide detailed descriptions, as well as full label and dosage information, for every product you sell. In addition, give a clear explanation of the benefits that customers can realistically expect.
If customers feel that they’ve been overcharged, they’ll ask for a refund. Be sure to display prices where they can be seen, and make it clear exactly how much product customers will be getting for that price.
A picture really can be worth a thousand words when it comes to product descriptions, so include multiple photos of each product and its labeling. Also, it helps to include a video explanation of how products should be taken for optimum effect.
Make sure that customers can see your refund policy, and word everything clearly so there won’t be any misunderstandings.
Customers get frustrated if they can’t access your contact information. Be sure to include your company name and phone number on each page of your site. Also, include your full contact information on bills, invoices, and all customer transactions.
You can sometimes prevent a chargeback by offering an alternative product. Be sure to have a list of alternative supplements that you can offer, in case a product doesn’t work out for a customer.
The No.1 rule of customer support is being there. When customers call or email, make sure someone is on hand to answer phone calls or emails right away and deal with questions knowledgeably. If customers can’t get answers to their questions, they might go straight to the credit card company for a chargeback.
When refunds are necessary, issue them promptly, and send the customer a letter or email to let them know that the refund has been issued. This level of attention and service can help you garner a customer’s loyalty and retention, even if a product didn’t work out for them.
As a vendor of male enhancement products, it’s important for you to gain a level of reliability and trust with your customers. Here’s how a high-risk merchant account can help:
According to surveys, 90 percent of consumers prefer buying from merchants that can offer a variety of payment options. With a high-risk merchant account, you can offer your customers an entire range of credit, debit card, and mobile app payment methods, as well as e-check payments so you’ll never have to chase down bounced checks again.
Tracking payments is essential for any business; but without the right tools, this can take valuable time away from your customers. A high-risk merchant account can give you the latest generation tools that can track every payment from point of sale to completion.
There’s nothing more tedious or time-consuming than handling monthly invoices; but with a high-risk merchant account from Bankcard, you’ll be able to send out automated bills and invoices with a click of the mouse.
With a reputable high-risk merchant account, you can rest assured that payments will be encrypted and encoded to protect your safety, and the safety of your customers.
If you’re trying to get male enhancement merchant account services, Bankcard can help. As an industry leader for high-risk businesses, Bankcard specializes in providing male enhancement and nutraceuticals industries with a full roster of credit card payment solutions, including VISA, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express, as well as convenient mobile app and e-check payment options. In addition, Bankcard can help you streamline your business with:
Bankcard also offers a fair pricing structure, with reasonable fees that your company can afford. Plus, Bankcard charges the same rates for every major credit card, no matter which ones your customers decide to use.
If you’re ready to make your male enhancement business more successful, contact Bankcard to find out how we can help you generate more sales, boost your ROI, and increase customer satisfaction with your company.
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.
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Regardless of your industry, we can help you get approved for a high-risk merchant account.
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.