Small Business

Exploring the Best Merchant Providers for ‘High-Risk’ Businesses

We have little control over how our businesses are perceived by banks. Many factors come into play when a company is categorised as either a ‘low-risk’, ‘moderate-risk’, or ‘high-risk’ enterprise.

The most common cause of having your business labelled as ‘high-risk’ is down to experiencing larger volumes of chargebacks. A chargeback occurs when a company is forced to hand out a full refund on a product, and as a result, loses a chunk of their profit margin as well as the goods that were shipped out, and will be responsible for paying a ‘chargeback fee’ as an added penalty.

Additionally, your venture could be deemed ‘high-risk’ because of its industry or through having poor credit ratings. You could also be a brand new company with very little credit card processing history.

The bottom line is that, however, you got there, being a ‘high-risk’ business puts you in a difficult spot with many merchant providers. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of merchant account and payment processing companies that cater for companies that otherwise have difficulty finding banks that will trust them. Here, we explore some of the best options for you and your venture.

1. Verotel

With 20 years of experience in helping ‘high-risk’ companies establish themselves, Verotel is a name to trust in giving businesses a fresh lease of life.

Verotel is highly secure and offers transparent pricing structures that are easy to follow. There’ll be no signs of any third-party sales reps trying to muscle in on the action with vague offers for services here.

This merchant account provider is one of the few larger name organisations out there that are willing to cater for the industries that others are unwilling to, whether those may be adult, nutraceuticals or weapons industries.

With over 50,000 ‘high-risk’ businesses to their name, Verotel was recently provider of its kind to be awarded with the status of an official Payment Institution – which enables your money to be held in a third-party Escrow account, which is subject to European governmental regulations, thus ensuring greater safety over your payments.

However, it’s worth noting that Verotel’s impressive emphasis on security in dealing with ventures that are deemed riskier than usual means that their charges are considerably higher than their competitors. In some cases, Verotel charges up to 15.5% per each credit card payment to your business.

2. Instabill

Instabill prides itself on its reputation, which is especially important to consider when you take into account the poor and exploitative reputations of some companies that look to take advantage of ‘high-risk’ businesses.

The great thing about Instabill is that it offers bespoke packages for business ventures that are looking to establish themselves in riskier industries, and generally aren’t shy of approving any competent application.

Much like Verotel, Instabill’s prices are higher than some competitors, but it’s worth remembering to be wary of other organisations that offer suspiciously low prices.

Instabill is a UK company with over 12,000 active accounts and has a good reputation for taking new businesses on board and looking after them. You’re even able to process payments in Bitcoin, and there’s a healthy amount of fraud protection to ensure that your transactions are safe.

3. Bitpay

Cryptocurrency is a hot topic in this day and age, and Bitpay has forged a pioneering relationship between the likes of Bitcoin and businesses that are deemed ‘high-risk’ by other merchant providers.

If you’re looking for the lowest transaction fees for your business, then Bitpay’s flat 1% rate will be of particular appeal, as it’s significantly cheaper than other established competitors.

There are also no chargeback fees, which bodes well for companies that deal with higher volumes of returns for products.

Bitpay provides users with the ability to convert Bitcoin into US Dollars, which makes the handling of transactions much more fluid and thanks to its specialism in cryptocurrencies, you’ll be able to sell to anyone from anywhere provided that they’re using Bitcoin.

With esteemed clientele such as Microsoft, Shopify and Virgin Galactic all trusting Bitpay’s services, your business is in good company. However, it’s also worth stating that the company has a poorer reputation for customer service than the likes of Verotel and Instabill.

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Dmytro Spilka is a CEO at Solvid and founder of Pridicto, a web analytics startup that enables users to forecast web traffic, monitor vital metrics in one place and set visual traffic aims. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including Entrepreneur.com, HuffPost, TNW, Business.com and B2C.

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