A key part of your operations as an ecommerce (or e-commerce) business owner is accepting transactions via credit card and other methods. To do this, you require an ecommerce merchant account. It allows you to process different types of payments from your customers.
Ecommerce is considered as a “high-risk” business by many merchants account providers. This makes opening a merchant account complex but possible. With a little help from Fast Offshore, ecommerce payment solutions can be found for your business.
Some entities work with high-risk ecommerce businesses and are ready to work with you. Fast Offshore can help you get approved if you comply with due diligence, requirements, and processes that are needed.
Why is Ecommerce Considered as High-Risk?
You might not think that something as simple as operating an online shop could be considered as “high-risk”. However, there are several reasons ecommerce payments are considered high-risk, here are the main ones.
Card is Not Physically Present
Sadly, identity theft can happen to users anywhere in the world. Typically, identity theft is where someone steals an individual’s credit card and personal details to make transactions. Users are more likely to fall victim to online fraud and identity theft via the internet than in a brick-and-mortar store where they actually need to physically present their card, hence the high-risk associated with ecommerce.
A chargeback happens when a customer doesn’t recognise the transaction name, or they are unhappy with the product. There are also situations where they may have made an impulse buy and cannot actually afford the item. They will then request a chargeback or instigate one with their bank/card provider. While the reason for chargebacks may be legitimate, too many can hurt the standing of an ecommerce company.
If your business is successful, you will likely have a high number of transactions. If you exceed a certain amount in monthly sales, your business may be categorized as high risk. The number of transactions you receive and higher average transaction values also contribute to this.
Offering your customers the chance to pay in different currencies is great customer service. Unfortunately, it also increases the perceived risk to the e-commerce merchant account provider. Therefore, companies offering ecommerce with multi-currency payment options are considered high-risk.
If you’re a startup and have no processing history, you’re at a disadvantage with merchants account providers. Typically, they will want to see a good historical chargeback ratio or they will consider you high-risk. If this is your first business, you cannot provide this and therefore need to work hard with your e-commerce payments to build a good standing.
Why Do I Need Expert Help to Get an Ecommerce Merchant Account?
There are many ecommerce payment solutions out there, but not each will be available to you. Ecommerce payments are necessary and ensuring you partner with a professional like Fast Offshore will ensure you get the best option for you and your clients.
It is impossible to have an e-commerce business without any kind of online credit and debit card payments. But as a high-risk company, this can be tricky. Instead of wasting time applying and getting refused, working with a specialist can greatly increase your chances of approval.
Partnering with a professional increase your chances of approval and makes the process seamless, efficient, and hassle-free. Fast Offshore has worked with countless high-risk companies and has helped them find the ecommerce payment solutions they need. We understand the industry, the process, and the obstacles. This means there are no nasty surprises and we can guide you through it from start to finish, giving you the best chance at getting the merchant account you need.
Requirements to Open an Ecommerce Merchant Account
Every case and e-commerce company is different, therefore the requirements can vary slightly. As a general rule, the following documents are required but financial entities may request additional information. These are the requirements to open a merchant account. Please note that additional documentation may be required on a case-by-case basis:
- Company certificate of registration
- Memorandum of articles of association or an equivalent document
- Register of shareholders dated within the last 3 months and signed by the director of the company
- Certificate of Good Standing
- Register of directors dated within the last 3 months and signed by the director of the company
- Certificate of incumbency or equivalent
- Provide information regarding the specific nature of your business and transactions, anticipated account activity, origin and destination of funds, the reason for receipt and sending of funds.
Additionally, any Officer(s), Director(s), Officer(s), Shareholder(s) and Ultimate Beneficiary(ies) of the company must provide the following documents:
- A certified copy of your passport. In some cases, the bank may request that it’s apostilled by the country of origin.
- A certified copy of a utility bill as proof of residential address that contains the full name and full residential address (issued within the last 3 months). This includes electricity, water, fixed phone line, fixed internet bills as well as bank statements or official government correspondence. Mobile bills or mobile internet bills will not be accepted.
- A bank reference is also required in the format of a letter, on the bank’s official letterhead. Typically it includes information relating to the length of the banking relationship (which should be a minimum of 2 years), the nature of the accounts held, and whether the account holder has been an upstanding client. This letter must have been issued within the last 3 months.
- A professional letter of reference (issued within the last 3 months) of a character nature by a lawyer or accountant of which the shareholder has been a client for at least 2 years. Account-holders can also provide a second bank reference from another bank.
- Updated Curriculum Vitae (resume) duly signed
How Much Does an Ecommerce Merchant Account Cost?
With Fast Offshore it´s totally free to apply for a merchant account but getting together the documents needed can incur costs. These can include apostilles, certifications, and courier services. Once your application has been approved, there are costs to get set up and go live.
Then, you’ll have to pay transaction fees. Your fee schedule will be dependent on volume, average transaction size, the geographical location of customers and various other factors. These will be quoted on a case-by-case basis.
The minimum monthly volume for opening a high-risk merchant account for an ecommerce business, with the expert guidance of Fast Offshore, is 50,000 euros. We are ready and waiting to help you acquire the right e-commerce merchant account for your business. Contact us today to find out more about your options and the process.
Tips To Keep Your Ecommerce Merchant Account in Good Standing
- Use the same business name in your descriptor as in your website, order confirmations and all communications with customers. If a customer does not recognize your descriptor, he’ll think there’s an error and request a chargeback
- Keep all customer transaction records available until after the chargeback window has closed
- The full legal name of the company, contact information and location must be clearly visible at the bottom of your site.
- Be transparent about your products, features, product pictures, sizes, quality, etc
- Stick to your delivery timeframes and any customer service promises
- Use delivery confirmation as proof of delivery for every shipment of physical goods
- If possible (and applicable), make a follow-up call or send a satisfaction survey a day or two after arrival to ensure the user is content
- Implement risk management and compliance procedures
Contact Fast Offshore to Get Your Ecommerce Merchant Account
Acquiring ecommerce payment solutions can be a tricky process but it doesn’t have to be with the help of Fast Offshore. Using our decades of experience in this area, we can guide you through the process in a professional, comprehensive, and efficient manner. Working with us will give you the best chance of getting the ecommerce payment solutions that you want, and need. Contact us today to start the conversation!
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