How Can You Find The Best Merchant Account?
There are thousands of merchant account providers and all of them claim to provide the best merchant account services. Selecting the best solution for your company can be difficult and time consuming.
10 Guidelines Why Merchants Partner With Instabill
Below are 10 guidelines that can help any merchant make the best decision for their business. The team here at Instabill selected these traits because this is what our company values
- Direct, P2P contact: We’re wary of merchant account providers that advertise 24-hour support, but instead utilize call centers who merely take messages rather than solve issues. At Instabill, we’re available by telephone (1-800-530-2444) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. U.S. eastern time. Inquiries after hours are always addressed the next day.
- We solve problems: Our merchant account managers don’t just get merchants accepting online payments; we remain on hand as consultants for the life of the account relationship with the merchant and are available directly at the information listed above.
- No substitute for experience: Check a provider’s profile. How long has it been in operation? Instabill brings the best of two worlds in finding the best merchant account solutions, having begun in 2001 in London, relocated in the U.S. in 2007, and fostered partnerships with many domestic, offshore and international acquiring banks in between.
- Check the references: Ask the merchant account provider for client references as recommendations from others. Over the last five years, Instabill has been lauded by industry analysts such as CardPaymentOptions.com, Merchant Maverick and Merchant Negotiators for best high risk merchant accounts and best services in many industries.
- Not just the major card brands: The best merchant accountmust be able to accept not just the four major brands, but also UnionPay, JCB and a host of alternative brands that are the preferred in specific regions and countries.
- Affordable fees: The best merchant account processors have detailed transaction fees that are fair and affordable. At Instabill, merchants don’t pay anything until they begin processing transactions over their website. We’ll detail these fees with you in our initial phone conversation so that there are no surprises.
- Easy sign-up: The application and onboarding process should be uncomplicated and easy to complete. As we’ve said, we’re big on direct contact. Thus if there are any snags or issues, we’re on hand to guide merchants through the process.
- Free application: Merchant account providers should provide a free application form and process. Charging application fees without a guarantee of a merchant account is a fast track to a chargeback, and simply sends the wrong message to a merchant.
- Secure funds and information: In the current climate, the best merchant account providers have reliable banking partners that not only secure funds and transactions, but merchants’ sensitive information.
- Custom solutions: Every merchant’s needs are different. We provide customized merchant account solutions on a case-by-case basis with plenty of communication. Our merchant account managers take into consideration the industry, where a business is registered, payment processing history and other key variables to find the best merchant account option to help a merchant thrive and expand.
Instabill merchant account managers are always up for a conversation at 1-800-530-2444 to discuss your needs. Within 10 minutes, we’ll have a solution in mind.
3 areas of concern that merchants need to address immediately
Additional setup fees: Most payment processors, such as Instabill, have their own, one-time setup fees (ours is $199 for a domestic merchants account; $499 for an international or offshore merchant account). Prospective merchants shopping for the best merchant account they can find need to remember to ask if the acquiring bank, with which the PSP matches for their business, has its own setup fee. Too often, additional setup fees come as a surprise to the merchant – a fact of which merchants and PSPs should be aware.
Rolling reserve: What we call a ‘necessary evil,’ a rolling reserve is a safety net of sorts used by the acquiring bank when offering banking services to merchants and industries that are considered high risk. For example, when a nutraceutical merchant with imperfect credit or lack of processing history needs a merchant account, the acquiring bank will likely mandate s/he pay into a rolling reserve for six months to cover chargebacks and returns that may occur should the business fail. On the flipside, merchants who succeed begin to recoup funds in the rolling reserve incrementally after six months.
Virtual terminal access: Virtual terminals are not easy to obtain. The days of merchants accepting payment straight from mail order and telephone order might be over, simply because an acquiring bank, truthfully, has no idea what a merchant may be selling. Thus, a website with detailed products as well as sterling processing history and healthy capital seem to be the minimum requirements for virtual terminals in the current climate. It is also the formula to receiving the best merchant account solutions.
3 quick points that cause skepticism
When looking for the best payment processing solutions, merchants should be wary of:
- Astronomically low rates: From our experience, when merchant services providers advertise rates at 2-3 percent, it should raise red flags. Such advertising usually means where the MSP is advertising low rates, it is reciprocating in fees, unadvertised and hidden. The best merchant account providers are transparent with fees with web pages dedicated to their fee structures.
- Application fee: Many MSPs charge a fee to merchants to merely complete and submit an application even with no guarantee of a solution — something we’ve never understood. Our on-boarding process has always had a no-fee policy unless the merchant earns an approval from one of our acquiring banking partners.
- List their services in an ambiguous manner: Some merchants bill themselves as high risk, but are unable to provide merchant accounts for industries such as CBD, kratom, online pharmacies and nutraceuticals — in our opinion, the most popular high risk industries at the moment. Merchants should seek an acquiring bank and/or a MSP that offers offshore and international acquiring — without such, on-boarding high risk businesses is surely to be very difficult.
We encourage prospective merchants to do their homework to find the best merchant services providers and acquirers. There are plenty of merchant account watchdog and ratings websites merchants and partners should consult.