Wednesday, October 13th, 2021
Finding the right payment service provider can be intimidating. There is so much to consider. Things get more complicated if you happen to be a high risk merchant. It is a known fact that high risk merchants must contend with a different pricing structure (higher prices) and contract terms (usually longer).
Why High Risk Merchant Accounts Differ From Traditional Merchant Accounts
High risk merchant accounts differ drastically from traditional merchant accounts. The reasons why are as follows, high risk businesses typically have:
- High chargeback or fraud rates
- Legally questionable products and services
- Questionable sales and marketing practices
- Poor personal credit score
- High average ticket sales
Low risk or traditional merchant accounts are considered more “financially safe” in that they enjoy a lower statistical likelihood of attracting high incidences of fraud, thereby costing the bank money.
Bottom line, low-risk merchant accounts are considered a safe financial investment so they enjoy more benefits from their provider: lower pricing and fees, reasonable contract terms, etc.
How To Choose The Best Payment Service Provider
Just because you have been labeled as a high risk merchant does not mean you will be lacking choices in providers. Rest assured that there are plenty of high risk specialists willing to work with you.
One thing you must brace yourself for is paying a lot more than a traditional merchant account. Account fees and processing charges will be steep and the contracts will be considerably longer. Once you have researched and familiarized yourself with the average prices, it’s time to consider a few more tips on your search.
1. Check out the company’s website
If a prospective provider has a website that has not been updated since the last century, it is time to move along. Companies that don’t invest in their website are likely “predatory providers” and it is best to avoid them entirely.
If they don’t have the budget for something as basic as their online presence, they certainly don’t have what it takes to process high-risk payments.
2. Research their online reputation
In today’s online landscape, there is no shortage of reviews and comments by people willing to tell their experience with a company and their service. Find what other customers have to say about this provider. If you find absolutely nothing, this too is a sign that this provider should be avoided.
3. Seek the provider’s terms and conditions
Although difficult to find, try to access a copy of the provider’s terms, conditions, and even a sample application. Read the fine print on your own. If things are not spelled out clearly or even withheld, this is definitely a reason to pause.
When You Are Ready To Apply For A High Risk Merchant Account
At the beginning of the application process, you will be asked what the nature of your business is as well as your industry.
Here are a couple of tips for increasing your chances of getting your application for a high risk merchant account approved:
- Get familiar with your industry – the more you know about what makes your industry high risk and the subsequent challenges in payment processing, the better you can make a case for your business’s ability to mitigate any potential risk.
- Be honest about your credit history – Your credit history plays a vital role in determining approval for a merchant account. Know your credit history and credit score. Banks and credit card processors will perform a credit check. If you have a non-existent or even poor credit history, consult with your provider to determine how to proceed.
Finding a reputable high risk payment provider is one of the most critical business decisions you will ever make. Seek a provider that views their services as a partnership and that it is willing to invest in your success.