Businesses can establish a merchant high risk account domestically or get a merchant account offshore. Some companies obtain both domestic high risk accounts and offshore merchant account processing.
Payment processing rates for a merchant account offshore are sometimes less expensive than domestic high risk accounts. Lower regional interchange rates are one reason a merchant account offshore may have lower discount rates. This is true whether or not a particular business type is in a merchant high risk account category. Oftentimes, merchant high risk accounts offer other business benefits such as reduced costs for cross-border transaction processing or elimination of foreign exchange fees.
A company does not have to be in a merchant high risk accounts category to benefit from a merchant account offshore. But, there is little doubt that a merchant account offshore is uniquely beneficial to certain types of business. For example, adult merchant accounts can realize significant advantages from a merchant account offshore in Europe.
In other cases, domestic high risk accounts can be cost-efficient and satisfy payment processing requirements. Ultimately, the choice of merchant high risk account jurisdictions depends upon the strategic goals of your business.
Setting up merchant high risk accounts, whether for domestic high risk accounts or a merchant account offshore, requires a business history. Most banks verify companies will process at least $50,000 per month in order to accept an application for a merchant high risk account.
It takes 3-5 days from the time documents are received for merchant high risk accounts to be approved. Companies receive agreements directly from the bank with which the merchant high risk account or merchant account offshore is established.
After agreements are authorized, the company can integrate payment processing with a simple-to-use API. Most companies do not require technical help with integration with high risk accounts. But, if needed, technical support is provided free as part of all merchant high risk accounts and merchant account offshore packages.
Due diligence documents that are submitted along with the application for a merchant high risk account include identity verification such as a passport or drivers license, business formation documents, bank statements, and marketing materials. Payment processing history is useful but not always required. Of course, businesses need a website or detailed marketing materials detailing the product, services, and pricing offered by the business establishing the merchant high risk account.
For companies setting up a merchant account offshore, a corporation will be required in the jurisdiction where the acquiring bank is located. Companies can wait until the merchant account offshore is approved before completing incorporation paperwork.
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