In the past few years, many businesses have opened up or completely transitioned to online stores. It makes a lot of sense to make that kind of move since most of the customers in every market are constantly connected to the Internet. It is also easier for them to buy and easier for a business to sell. However, to sell products and services or to hold a store online, you will need a high-risk merchant account. Unfortunately, acquiring one is not easy. This is why it is important to find a reliable payment service provider.
Such a merchant account is a high risk for a lot of banks which is why the chances of acquiring one are lower than expected. If you do not manage to find a reliable and a good account provider, your chances of obtaining one are very low.
This is why I believe it is very important to do your research beforehand and to figure out just exactly which provider you should go for. To help you with that, here are a few tips that will help you make a better choice.
1. Do you really need one?
Before I provide you with several tips on choosing the best high-risk merchant account provider, I think it would be smart to consider whether you really need one. There is an alternative out there that might suit the needs of your business much better.
For example, if the volume of your average monthly sales is not over $20,000, there probably is no need to go with a high-risk account. You should also consider your average credit card transaction. If most of the transactions on your credit card are lower than $500, you are a low-risk merchant. In other words, there is no need to bother acquiring the other type of account.
However, if you are in need of subscription-based payments, access to different currencies, or accepting a lot of chargebacks then you are definitely in need of a high-risk merchant account.
2. Don’t settle for long-term contracts
Often I hear people suggesting to sign a long-term contract whenever this topic comes up, but I think that is the opposite of what you should do. There is no need to tie yourself to any provider, especially if you are running a young/new business. Who knows what might happen in the next few weeks or months? A lot of things could change.
This is why I always recommend looking for a provider that accepts short-term contracts. Keep in mind, you might have a hard time finding a company that will not try to lock you in for a longer-term.
But, if you do proper research and if you invest enough time, I am sure that you will manage to find a company that will satisfy your requirements for contract length.
3. Dedicated customer support
Most of the time, you probably won’t have any kind of trouble with your newly opened high-risk account. But, there is always the possibility that something might wrong. In those moments, you should look for immediate assistance.
Unfortunately, many companies do not understand that the implementation of proper customer support goes a long way. Even the “perfect” payment processor you have chosen might not have good customer support.
It is essential to look for services that offer dedicated and 24/7 customer support as suggested by iPayTotal.
It does not matter what kind of problem you have, the company should aim to help you as best as they can. Whether you are calling on Sundays or at 5 am, there needs to be support ready to assist you.
4. Check out online reviews
Even with all the tips and help you can find on the Internet, it can still be complicated to find a reliable and trustworthy payment processing provider. Their website might look legitimate and everything sounds good on paper, but will they really provide you with what they are offering? Will the company stick to its promises?
That’s the problem. You can’t know the answer to that question unless you start talking to previous clients.
However, instead of wasting huge amounts of time chasing down contacts of previous clients, it is probably much better to just check out online reviews of the website. Here, you will be able to see honest opinions and ratings of the company.
Naturally, if the company is mostly positively reviewed then you probably do not have to worry about anything. Although, if you notice a large percentage of low-rated reviews, that might be a red flag.
You should also keep in mind that there are bots that can leave fake positive or negative reviews.
5. Talk about fees
All of the online sales and transactions of your business will go through that newly opened high-risk merchant credit card. In other words, most of your profits will go through that credit card.
As a business owner, it is your job to ensure that you are getting the most profit out of the products that your company is selling. However, if a payment processing provider has high fees, you won’t be getting the most out of your sales. Those fees take out a percentage of your transactions.
Some companies out there can take a 10% fee or even more on your monthly transactions. That is a lot and you probably should not settle for such a contract.
To avoid those kinds of fees, I suggest contacting the provider you have considered and see whether they are ready to talk openly about their fees. Monthly, chargebacks, setup fees, etc. Most providers will gladly provide you with all the information you require.
However, if they are not willing to talk openly on this topic, I suggest you avoid them. That is a red flag and there are probably some hidden fees in their contract.
There are a probably few factors here and there that you could consider ensuring that you have chosen the right payment processing provider, but if you follow these five tips, I’m sure you will manage to make the right decision.