High risk merchants will say the darndest things.
Recently, we received a telephone inquiry from a North American merchant seeking a high risk payment gateway for his visa document preparation business.
It didn’t go well.
As we always do, we asked him some basic questions about his business.
- Did he have prior credit card processing history?
- Was he a startup or had he been shut down?
- Did he have a website?
We explained that visa document preparation is a very high risk industry due to many factors, and detailed the only non-credit card processing solution we had, of which he didn’t approve. He wanted a high risk payment gateway for credit card processing. As much as we pride ourselves on our solutions for hard-to-place merchants, we couldn’t provide him one.
Here’s where it went further south:
Merchant: Well, can’t you list me as a travel agent? It’s kind of similar.
Instabill: No sir, we cannot do that. You will be MATCH-listed (blacklisted) and unable to process credit card transactions in the future.
Merchant: I don’t understand why you can’t just list me as a similar industry.
Instabill: That would be fraud. Without a website, no acquiring bank will approve your business. It would never pass through underwriting.
Obviously frustrated, the merchant hung up the phone.
This is why we engage merchants in a conversation in the very first step in the process of finding a high risk payment gateway. Within 60 seconds of our exchange with this merchant, Not only did we know that we didn’t have a solution for him, but we quickly realized he was not a merchant with whom we should partner. When he asked to be coded as a travel merchant – which is blatant transaction laundering – there was no reason to continue the conversation.
The reasons visa document preparation businesses are considered high risk
In the current political climate, immigration and emigration are hotly contested issues which directly impact the business of travel visas and whom is traveling in and out of the country. It has been this way since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Getting a high risk payment gateway for a travel visa business, or anything related, such as document preparation, is difficult to get done nowadays.
When a consumer needs a travel visa for an international vacation, the most logical places to turn are the U.S. embassy in the nearest city or the ‘city hall’ in the community in which they live.
Some banks feel having a third party prepare visa documents for a tourist or traveler doesn’t send the best message. Why wouldn’t a tourist go through an embassy or notary public? Perhaps to hide something or perhaps even to flee or reenter the country illegally. Additionally, with a third party handling the document preparation, there is also room for error.
Travel visa and document preparation merchants exist, and many process transactions for their services without a hitch. However, these are the reasons acquiring banks hesitate – as we did – when faced with such an inquiry. Such merchants can expect a thorough underwriting process. The slightest sign of non-transparency will give cause for each acquirer to turn away.
High risk payment gateway services with Instabill
Securing high risk payment gateway services is what we do. We’ve long been an advocate for legal and legitimate businesses and merchants who are classified as high risk – they have as much the right to process credit card transactions as any other merchant.
Our pledge to merchants is to exhaust each of our acquiring banking partners to find the best payment gateway solutions for their businesses. With a 10-minute conversation to find out more about your business, we can detail the best options we can provide to get you processing transactions.
That conversation is waiting at 1-800-530-2444.