We’ve seen a major change in the merchant services industry over the last year: We’re getting domestic merchant accounts for high risk industries far more often than we used to. There was a period when high risk merchants would contact us, we would set them up with an offshore acquiring banking partner 80-85 percent of the time.

That is no longer the case. We’re getting high risk merchants domestic merchant accounts (some with approvals in as little as 3-4 days) with a new acquiring banking partner.

While we’ve reported that getting high risk merchant services is not as easy as it once was — at the very least, more KYC is required — we’ve worked alongside this particular partner well and have secured merchant services for a plethora of high risk merchants.

High risk merchants prefer familiarity

Nothing against our acquiring banking partners that offer offshore merchant services, but we’ve always found that high risk merchants in the U.S., by and large, prefer to do business with domestic banks rather than offshore. We feel it’s a familiarity issue. 

Of all the merchant account inquiries we receive each month, many merchants aren’t even aware they’re considered high risk by a bank, which we find disturbing. Couple in the fact that, years ago, the most common cost-effective option was to align them with one of our offshore acquirers. For some merchants, it was quite a lot to digest in one telephone conversation. Merchants generally were confused as to why they were unable to process transactions through a domestic bank. It often took some explaining that an offshore merchant account was the merchant’s best, most cost-effective option, with tax breaks and an acquirer that was more tolerant of high risk businesses. 

Conversations like those have become less and less frequent. The surge in domestic merchant accounts for high risk merchants can be attributed to acquirers ramping up their KYC during the vetting process before taking a chance on merchants with solid history and chargeback/fraud management. 

Alternative merchant account solutions

We’ve even come across alternative credit card processing solutions for high risk merchants over the last year, including:

  • ECheck solution: Our new echeck solution is open to merchants of all risks and works well for e-commerce websites as an alternative to accepting credit card payments. 
  • Gift card payments: Our gift card payment solution is a viable option for those merchants who have difficulty getting a merchant account; who have imperfect processing history; and who want to offer customers anonymity when making online payments.

More options for high risk merchants

Right before the holidays, we established a new partnership with several acquiring banks and competing payment service providers, each based in the U.S. One banking partner in particular impressed us with its accepted industries list, in which we found several business types for those:

  1. We haven’t been able to find solutions in several years;
  2. We’ve never known solutions.

It has proven a point we’ve long believed: By establishing partnerships with different banks and even competing merchant services providers, we’ve significantly broadened our menu of options for domestic merchant accounts.

Domestic merchant accounts: Chances are, we have your solution

With a wealth of domestic merchant accounts for high risk businesses, chances are more than favorable that we’ve got a viable payment processing solution for just about any online or storefront business. 

With a 10 minute conversation with one of our merchant account experts, we can discover whether or not your business is a good fit for us, and detail the domestic merchant account solutions we have. 

Have that conversation today at 1-800-530-2444.

There’s Been a Shift: Domestic Merchant Accounts for High Risk Industries from Instabill.