Finding the best merchant services provider doesn’t happen by simply typing ‘best merchant account provider’ into your search engine bar. Although we do recommend this approach (more on that further down), there are so many other variables to finding the best payment processing solution custom to your business.
Be prepared: you may be categorized as a high risk merchant
Many merchants are stunned by this because, initially, they may not like the answer.
If your business is centered around selling products or services online or through mail-order/telephone-order, your business is likely to be categorized as high risk for several reasons. The biggest reason is because you plan to accept credit card payments online. Online transactions draw significantly more fraudulent activity than point-of-sale transactions do, and that makes banks nervous.
Know your industry – We mean really know your industry
Simple question: What are you selling?
As one can imagine, the reaction of a merchant is predictable when they discover they are branded as high risk. Among all the types of industries for which we process payments, it is the tech support merchants that give us the most push-back about the high risk label.
Finding the best merchant services, however, means fully knowing your product and industry. The tech support industry traditionally has high chargeback rates. Instabill has also developed a large clientele of e-cigarette merchants, who are considered high risk because of health concerns related to e-cigarettes. Industries such as online gambling and online dating also suffer from chargebacks but are also categorized as high risk because banks have reputational concerns with them.
The catch with high volume
The higher the volume, the more business, more revenue, and everyone’s happy, right?
Hardly. Merchants who deal in high volume – multi-level marketing, CBD and nutraceuticals – make banks nervous. Since domestic merchants are paid out daily from their acquiring bank, merchants must have healthy financials (i.e., money in their merchant account) to cover returns and chargebacks at the end of each month. If there are no funds to cover a high rate of chargebacks, the bank is on the hook, and the merchant will lose their merchant account.
It explains why an acquiring bank may be hesitant to offer credit card processing to a high volume business.
Finding the best merchant services: Utilize search tools
Whatever your industry is, you want to make certain your future merchant services provider has history and experience in offering payment processing not just for high risk industries, but for your particular industry.
Using Google and Bing search engines to research the best merchant services providers are highly recommended. However, merchants can take it a step further.
We recommend scouring payment processing reviews sites such as CardPaymentOptions.com and Merchant Maverick, which are independent entities that rank and review merchant services providers as well as the best providers for specific industries. Once a pool of prospective merchant account providers is established, merchants should also check the Better Business Bureau website to see if the provider is registered and has been given a grade.
Let’s go even further…
There are specific forums and search engines we utilize on a regular basis for content ideas, that can be used for soliciting opinions and advice on finding the best merchant services providers.
We’re a huge fan of Reddit, and recommend researching its many subgroups to ask questions and get feedback from others (Reddit has a ‘merchant services’ subgroup). We also recommend using Quora Digest, a hugely popular forum for reviews and opinions, as well as FAQFox.com, which gathers the most searched items of a particular subject.
Or, just call us for a free quote
We promote our customer support on a regular basis because, we think, we’re among a dying breed. When prospective merchants and partners call us at 1-800-530-2444, our merchant account managers answer the phone. We do not employ call centers or automation. With a 10-minute conversation, we’ll detail your options and get the merchant boarding process started.
Do you have 10 minutes for us?