It is not overtly evident, but the impact that the Super Bowl has on domestic high risk merchant services is significant. With our hub in Portsmouth, N.H., about 50 miles north of Boston, folks can imagine how thrilled we are of the outcome of Sunday night’s result, especially since, only a few weeks ago, American football enthusiasts everywhere all but declared the New England Patriots reign of terror over.
Between the NFL playoffs and March Madness, there will be millions upon millions of dollars spent on sports betting – fantasy sports, office pools, squares, and NCAA brackets – and the industries spawned by such.
Back in the fall, we received a domestic merchant services application from a merchant categorized as fantasy sports, who offers advice, insight and general information for fantasy sports enthusiasts in the four major U.S. leagues as well as NCAA football and basketball. The merchant affords fantasy owners, across several sports, with injury reports, trade rumors and other useful bits of information.
The business is even partnered with a well-known fantasy sports label in the U.S., and we were thrilled to get them a high risk domestic merchant services account.
We love how the success of industries leads to spin-off or ‘satellite’ businesses.
Industries breeding industries
Back in August of 2016, we received a merchant account inquiry from a merchant who sold wine – online. Immediately, we searched for a solution. It was a tricky proposition, because different states have different laws about shipping alcohol such as:
- Caps on shipping amounts
- Required signature upon receipt
- Risk of recipient is under the age of 21 – and must show valid identification
It is definitely a balancing act of sorts for the merchant in knowing all the nuances of shipping alcohol. But through our due diligence in working among our many domestic partners, we got him a merchant account.
The niche business types keep coming. Among the latest we’ve arranged for domestic high risk merchant services include:
- Menu design: Just when we’ve though we’ve seen it all, this was a new one for us. We receive plenty of inquiries from web design merchants (which is considered high risk), and this was a similar industry. Menus change daily and there are strict deadlines for such. And our menu design merchant is able to deliver changes and upgrades at a moment’s notice.
- Digital marketing: Speaking of web design, we recently got a domestic high risk merchant services approval for a digital marketing merchant, who handles SEO, content strategy and social media for clients. It doesn’t sound like digital marketing presents a risk, but it does. Google and Bing are often unpredictable and a bit of a mystery – truthfully, no one outside their offices knows exactly how to ascend in their search engine ranking pages (SERPs). A client entrusting a digital marketer is going to expect results, and they’re never guaranteed. It’s true that Google makes small updates to its algorithms twice a day, as well as significant changes each year, that often leaves digital marketers scrambling to make the necessary updates to their websites, so as not to descend in SERPs.
- Deep sea fishing tours: We liken our deep sea fishing tours merchant to a travel agency or time share business. Deep sea fishing tours are viewed as high risk for several reasons. Chargebacks and returns in the travel and tourism industry are most often the result of losing down payments on a credit card because of last minute cancellations. Additionally, what if the fish aren’t biting that day? The customer is going to want a refund, or file a chargeback, regardless of any waiver that is signed prior to the excursion.
- Online coffee: Our new coffee merchant is taking the old school coffee model into modern times. The older model – which still exists in some corners – is a subscription-based delivery to homes and offices, with a coffee maker included. Our coffee merchant ships its coffee anywhere worldwide with a subscription option – which categorizes it as high risk – or a simple, one-time online sale. What we love most about our coffee merchant is its return/refund policy front and center on its website.
A lesson in domestic high risk merchant services
We’ve written ad nauseam about how we prefer direct communication and conversation with prospective merchants, banking partners and merchant partners. When we receive a lead through our Customer Retention Management system (CRM), we do our best to respond with a phone call, primarily, to connect with the merchant, find out their needs and see if we have a fitting solution for their business.
That goes for any business.
The great thing about domestic high risk merchant services (and offshore) is helping launch a business. We love the challenge that a niche business – such as those mentioned above – presents us: finding a suitable payment processing solution and keeping them processing transactions.
If you have 10 minutes for an introductory conversation, we’d love to hear about your business and discuss our many custom domestic high risk merchant services solutions with you. We’re available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. (US eastern time), at 1-800-530-2444.