Merchants who’ve been labeled high-risk usually find themselves needing to find payment processors that are willing to provide them account services at an affordable rate, and that’s not always easy to find. Major banks tend to charge exorbitant credit card processing fees for high-risk merchants, while many other U.S. payment processors have strict processing limits in place.
If your business operates within a high-risk industry or is labeled high-risk due to previous processing problems or a poor personal credit history, there are several features you should look for in a new payment processor. Here are some of the most important ones:
1. Affordable Credit Card Processing Fees
While the banks and many mainstream payment processors charge high rates for high-risk merchants, assuming they approve them at all, there are some high-risk credit card processors that do offer affordable rates. When shopping for a high-risk merchant account, it’s best to look for one that works with your budget. In many cases, you can find high-risk merchant accounts that charge fees below 10%.
2. Specializing in High-Risk Processing
There are plenty of payment processors that advertise to high-risk merchants. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s their specialty. A processing company that works exclusively with or specializes in the unique needs of high-risk merchants is the best choice for payment processing. One that does is better able to advise its clients on how to protect itself from chargebacks and fraud, as well as provide better account management and coordination.
3. Terminals and Other Hardware Should Be Part of the Package, and So Should E-Commerce Software
If you operate your business in a physical store and not just online, you’ll need a payment terminal, and possibly other hardware, to process payments. While you might not receive your hardware for free, your payment processor should be able to provide you with the machines you need to effectively accept credit and debit cards. Ideally, you’ll be able to rent or lease something that enables you to process cards with chips or “tap”, otherwise known as pinless debit, functionality. Additionally, your payment processor should provide you with the tools you need to operate your business and accept payments online, as well as the support you need to set things up and ensure they continue to run smoothly.
4. Round-the-Clock Support
Depending on the business you’re operating, you may need to process payments day and night, meaning that you need access to continual, 24/7 support from your payment processor. This is something you require most when conducting business online, but there are some cases that businesses with physical storefronts also accept payments late into the night or early in the morning. It’s important that you’re able to contact your processor if things go wrong so that you don’t lose out on potential business.
5. A Strong Network of Offshore Solutions
Offshore payment processing is the hallmark of the high-risk industry, so it’s important that the payment processor you choose to work with has a good network of banks that are willing to work with the merchants it signs up. The best high risk merchant accounts come with the option to process payments across multiple banks, so make sure to find one that works with several banks that are located outside of the U.S.
6. Reasonable Contracts
Most payment processors offer a standard three-year contract that auto-renews. In some cases though, you may be able to find a processor that can provide you with a shorter-term or a month-to-month contract. It’s important to ask questions about what type of contract is offered and to make sure that the payment processor is providing contracts within the industry standard or better.
To learn more about what a high-risk merchant account provider can do for you and your business, contact PayDiverse and speak to one of our payment processing professionals today.
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