A merchant account is an account that’s used to process payments, usually from debit cards or credit cards. Businesses need merchant accounts so that they can make sales. Some businesses for one reason or another are considered to be too risky for standard merchant accounts, so they can only get high-risk merchant accounts.
If your business is struggling to get an ordinary merchant account and a high-risk merchant account is all that you qualify for, then you are probably wondering how they work. This post will tell you everything that you need to know about these accounts.
What Industries Are High Risk?
Before explaining how these accounts work, it’s first important to give a little insight into what makes a business high risk. There are two main reasons that a business could be considered risky, and they are if the business is in a high-risk industry, or if the business is at more of a risk for financial failure than other similar businesses. Adult entertainment businesses are a type of business considered to be very risky, which is why it is possible to get a specialist merchant account for an adult entertainment business, much in the same way that it is possible to get specialist gambling accounts. The industry is the main reason that businesses are deemed unsuitable for low-risk merchant accounts.
How Do These Accounts Work?
A high-risk merchant account is very similar to a low-risk merchant account. In terms of how these accounts operate, they are identical. Money is sent from a client to the merchant bank’s holding account, where a fee is deducted, and it is then processed and sent over to the business’s account (your account). As far as opening an account goes, however, they are different from low-risk accounts.
What Makes Them Different?
The main difference between low and high-risk accounts is that the holders of high-risk accounts often have to pay higher fees and processing rates than low-risk accounts do. It is also common for banks to request a reserve when they are dealing with high-risk businesses.
It is worth noting, however, that just because high-risk accounts have higher fees, that’s not to say that you can’t still shop around and find one that offers affordable fees. You should always take time, do research, and find an account that has reasonable fees and processing rates.
Advantages of High-risk Accounts
There are some advantages associated with high-risk accounts, as you might expect. If they were all bad, then millions of businesses around the world wouldn’t be using them. High-risk accounts give business owners the ability to accept a broad range of different payment methods and accept international transactions. The ability to accept international transactions makes it a lot easier for businesses to spread their proverbial wings and conquer new markets. It should also be said that in order to spread internationally, businesses have to accept different payment methods since different countries have different payment methods.
If you have been told that you are only going to be able to open a high-risk merchant account, then you don’t need to worry. These accounts are exactly the same in terms of operation and have many advantages associated with them. The only downside is that you may have to pay slightly higher fees, which is why you should shop around.