The bail bond industry has raised many brows over the years. In other countries, the practice of pledging money or property so an agency can bail you out of jail gets categorized as an illegal activity. But in the United States, it’s a thriving marketplace.
It’s so widely patronized in fact, that the bail bond industry makes some $2.4 USD billion in profits annually. But despite the apparent success of bail bond agencies, banks, and financial service providers tend to step away from partnerships with them, leading to challenges in securing bail bond merchant accounts.
These days, everyone’s taking cashless payments — even bail bond agents. But in order to do that, you’ll need a merchant account. Obtained from banks and other financial institutions, merchant accounts open the doors to digital payments.
These specialized accounts facilitate transactions conducted with a credit card, debit card, eChecks, and ACH payments, and serve as a holding place for customer payments made through these methods.
In today’s world, where 70% of customers prefer paying with a card, merchant accounts become a vital necessity for any business in any industry. The only problem is that they’re not that easy to set up, especially if you’re a high-risk merchant.
Banks and traditional financial service providers shy away from partnerships with merchants who risk becoming a liability. They predict this by checking a number of factors that could determine how susceptible a merchant is to chargebacks or fraud.
|FACTOR||LOW RISK||HIGH RISK|
|Location||Within the US, EU, Canada, Japan, or Australia||Everywhere else|
|Average transaction cost||Under $500||More than $500|
|Average monthly revenue||Under $20,000||Over $20,000|
|Transaction type||Card present||Card not present|
|Payment scheme||One-time||Subscription or recurring|
|Industry||Low risk industries include furniture, apparel, groceries, food, etc.||High risk industries include cannabis, hemp, online casinos, adult products and services, etc.|
Bail bond merchants come with unique risks that make conservative merchant account providers perceive them in a negative light. These factors make it difficult for bail bond agencies to secure merchant accounts with traditional providers.
All banks have a reputation to protect. Working closely with businesses and individuals to protect and grow finances, banks and financial institutions need to maintain a professional, reliable, and trustworthy reputation. Otherwise, they’d struggle to gain and keep clients’ confidence.
These institutions go to great lengths to keep their reputation clean, but it takes much more than just branding, marketing, and customer support. Even choosing their roster of client partners contributes to the overall image they project.
Working with bail bond agencies might cast a negative light on their reputation. Often perceived as a shady industry, bail bond merchants may impose a reputation risk that many conservative, conventional banks and financial service providers aren’t willing to take.
Banks and conventional merchant acquirers love working with uncomplicated merchants in low-risk industries like furniture, apparel, and groceries. That’s because aside from having a remarkably low risk for fraud and chargebacks, these industries hardly ever get involved in legal intricacies.
The bail bond industry is inevitably and entirely tangled in a web of legislative complications. And not every provider has the capacity to conduct the underwriting necessary for such a sensitive industry.
Plus, working too close to potential criminal activity reeks of liability to conventional, conservative banks. So all together, bail bond merchants just don’t really look too attractive to merchant acquirers who want to avoid any sort of mess.
If you’ve tried applying for a bail bond merchant account through traditional acquirers, you might find the whole process taxing. Aside from asking for mountains of requirements, they also take a long time to assess your business and get back to your calls and emails.
What’s worse is that after the long, arduous wait, it’s possible that you’ll get slapped with rejection. Although it’s not unheard of for high-risk merchants even in the bail bond industry to get approved for their merchant account from a traditional merchant acquirer, that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods after approval.
Conventional merchant account providers will impose steep fees, penalties, and difficult contract terms to mitigate the risk they’re taking on. These challenges fall heavily on the bail bond merchant, and may severely reduce the chances of growth and financial success.
So if you’re in a high-risk industry and you want to improve your chances of landing a flexible contract, then Shark Processing should be the way to go.
Here at Shark Processing, we believe everyone deserves a fair chance at cashless payments. We do what we can to advocate for hard-to-place merchants and connect them with a wide network of merchant acquirers that put their best interest front and center.
Our merchant account processing services deliver tailored solutions that carefully match your business with a provider that’s a fit for your needs. We also champion our partner high-risk merchants by negotiating contract terms and fees so you get the best possible conditions to grow your business.
No one likes taking risks, but when you partner up with Shark Processing, there’s nothing to lose. We offer you our placement services at no cost, so you can get your coveted high-risk bail bond merchant account minus having to pay shockingly expensive placement charges.
Enjoy rapid results that bring you guaranteed placement in as little as 24 hours when you choose Shark Processing. Contact us to find out more about our range of services, or send in your pre-application form to get started on your high-risk bail bond merchant account.