The 10 Best Fantasy Sports Merchant Account

A fantasy sport is a game, usually played online, where players form imaginary teams of real players of a professional sport. The teams then compete based on the statistical performance that the players achieve during actual games.

American fantasy football is definitely the top-rated and most popular in the world. ESPN has noted that the fantasy sports industry has generated a whopping $3-4 billion in annual revenue in 2010. The Fantasy Sports Sports Trade Association (FSTA) reported that, in 1988, there were half a million fantasy sports players in both the US and Canada. The number surged to 41.5 million fantasy sports players in 2014.

Clearly, this market will continue to grow, especially with the use of social media. As many lucrative industries have experienced, this type of business will struggle to acquire a merchant account because it is considered high risk.

From the controversial sports betting that ensues, the massive transaction volumes, and the high chargebacks, all these issues make banks back away from this industry.

Fortunately, these 10 merchant service providers are not only supportive of fantasy sports businesses, but are knowledgeable and willing to get you on track and get you processing. Take a look at these providers to determine which will benefit your business.

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High Risk Solutions

Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Plantation, Florida, High Risk Solutions specialises in providing payment solutions for a wide range of high risk merchants, including fantasy sports merchants.

The Pros

They have an extensive network of partners to prescribe the best payment solution to benefit the merchant’s business.

Other benefits include: reliable on-time payouts, processing in 150 currencies, gateways are secure/ PCI compliant, and real-time technical support.

The Cons

The company only offers a contact form in which they say they will get back in touch within 24 hours. A lot can happen during this time frame in a business and therefore, this is not a helpful option. It also provides an email address. When they will respond to that is anyone’s guess.

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Web Merchant

Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Kingston upon Hull, UK, Web Merchant is platinum accredited partners with major UK, European, and Worldwide banks.

The Pros

Some of their benefits include powerful risk management tools, full reporting interface, adapted payment solutions. Dedicated support for gaming operators, sophisticated anti-fraud systems, multiple payment methods, PCI DSS specialism, transaction optimisation, 24/7 support, comprehensive anti-fraud solutions, multiple acquirers in one solution, payment solutions adapted to your needs.

The Cons

Web Merchant partners with a vast number of acquirers and banks and therefore makes it virtually impossible to know what offerings, fees, and services from the start. It is critical to know this information and not get hit with unexpected fees, courtesy of the acquiring bank.

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Payline

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and founded in 2009, Payline offers its merchants the following benefits: access to a virtual terminal, no cancellation or termination fees, next day deposit of funds, direct integration with Quickbooks, and a chargeback prevention platform.

The application process is quick and painless in which their high risk experts work to create a customised solution.

They also offer a dedicated support team to navigate the different options available to high risk merchants.

The Pros

Their virtual terminal alone, has a vast array of features, including: invoicing, a hosted payment page, billing plans and scheduled payments, shopping cart integrations, ACH payments, Mobile App, securely stored customer data, in-depth reporting, emailed receipts, void and refund capabilities, free PCI compliance, and unlimited users.

The Cons

The few complaints filed against the company include withheld funds, product malfunctions, and slow customer service.

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Total Processing

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Manchester, UK, Total Processing offers customised payment solutions for businesses. They specialise in high risk merchant accounts for fantasy sports merchants.

The Pros

Their expertise lies in the following: high availability account servicing, high availability and redundancy, scalability and change speed reactivity, independent from an acquiring bank, dedicated expert support, robust and simple integrations, cost effective solutions, PCI level 1 compliant, and business critical cash flow delivery timescales.

Additional benefits for their merchants include: a secure payment gateway, hotlists, flexible card verification, security tools, enhanced reporting functions, fixed bonds, rolling reserves, deferred payments, online risk analysis, and recurring payments. Accepting all traditional and alternative payments, including ApplePay ( a total of 198 payment methods).

They also provide great customer service and chargeback prevention.

The Cons

Although there is a phone number, search bar and chat feature for questions, the live chat feature is only available during office hours, which doesn’t help if there are emergencies after office hours. Having 24/7 support is key to putting out any potential fires.

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iPay Total

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in London, iPay Total is a payment processor that offers end-to-end high risk merchant solutions to fantasy sports merchants around the world.

The Pros

Some features offered on fantasy sports merchant accounts include: multi-bank processing (including offshore), secure payment gateway, chargeback alerts, chargeback disputes, ACH/Check 21 processing, repeat/recurring billing, fraud prevention and protection, and competitive processing rates (below 6%), as well as 24/7 support online or by phone.

The Cons

High risk merchant account contract terms are not disclosed to the public. iPay Total also claims to charge a set up fee of up to £4,500, an incredibly exorbitant and prohibitive amount, especially for small businesses starting out.

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Instabill

Located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Instabill was founded in 2001 by CEO Jason Field to help high risk merchants secure credit card payment solutions.

The Pros

Massage and sauna boutique merchant benefits include the following: easy person to person transfers, no debit/credit card or PIN use, a convenient storage solution on your PC or smartphone, traceable transactions to deter fraud.

The Cons

Due to Instabill’s focus on high risk accounts, it may feature tiered pricing, early termination fees, and PCI Compliance fees. Most complaints against Instabill are about the company’s fraud prevention policies. Merchants report cancellation of their merchant accounts or withholding funds.

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eMerchantBroker

Based in Los Angeles, California, eMerchantBroker offers high risk processing solutions. They offer unique payment solutions for fantasy sports businesses.

The Pros

EMB offers custom-made paid solutions, excellent customer service, approval rates between 24 and 48 hours, chargeback management tools, PCI-compliant payment gateways, as well as fraud filters.

The Cons

Very little information about the standard contract. This could only mean that the contract terms vary widely from merchant to merchant. There are early termination fees that are up to $295 for 1 year contracts and up to $595 for 3 year contracts.

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Radiant Pay

London-based Radiant Pay is an agency offering payment solutions to merchants across all “legal” industries, including fantasy sports merchants. It is a leading payment solution provider in the UK, European, and Asian countries.

The Pros

Some of the advantages offered include quick approvals, partnership with banks around the world, round the clock support, affordable pricing plans, quick payouts, minimal transaction charges, no deductions from revenues, uncapped transaction volumes, multi-currency processing, low taxes, risk management solutions, and personalized consultations.

The Cons

Some complaints about the company have to do with sales agents imposing highly undesirable contract terms. It is best to read the fine print thoroughly before signing anything with this company.

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Durango Merchant Services

Founded in 2004 and located in Durango, Colorado, Durango Merchant Services works with many gateway processors and suppliers with sponsor banking relationships that offer credit processing solutions for both the US-based and internationally based companies.

The Pros

Features in the contract include: variable contract lengths (month-to-month), free application processing, direct financing with regular deposits (daily or weekly, depending on whether onshore vs offshore), recurring billing, competitive rates, acceptance of multiple currencies and deposits, compatibility with major gateways and shopping carts, integration assistance with more than 100 shopping carts, chargeback prevention tools and advice, eCheck processing, gateway includes fraud detection and prevention tools.

The Cons

The only complaints received about this company were about Durango’s inability to get approval for a high risk merchant account and about a partnering bank withholding a merchant’s funds.

Provider of the Month

It is important to determine which merchant service provider has the necessary expertise in the fantasy sports business. They should provide both you and your customer a wide range of alternative payment methods. Your solution should also be catered to your individual business.

Another key is to ensure that your business has a decent business model that will not contribute to a high volume of chargebacks and refunds. Along with having a decent credit history and a healthy bank account and balance, these things will go a long way in securing a merchant service account.