International Merchant Account

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If you’re a business in the here and now, the internet is the place to be. With over two billion unique buyers shopping and paying for products and services on the web, any business that wants to max out its sales would do well to get online. Of course, that also entails taking payments through the web by setting up an international merchant account.

Merchant accounts are a solid necessity for businesses hoping to make the shopping experience as convenient as possible. By allowing you to process and accept payments through the internet, an international merchant account creates a safe channel for both you and buyers to transact with real money in real time.

What is an International Merchant Account?

An international merchant account might sound a little daunting if you’re new to the online ballgame. But it’s really just a type of business bank account that lets you accept and process payments through the internet. You establish a merchant account by partnering up with a bank, or in this case, a merchant acquiring bank that facilitates the communication behind every transaction.

If you’re looking to cater to buyers from all around the globe, then you might consider an international merchant account. Unlike a basic merchant account, international accounts let you accept payments from patrons across the world. This includes added features like currency conversion and extra security measures to protect against fraudulent activity.

Establishing an account with a merchant acquiring bank can be a tedious process, especially if you’re operating in a high risk industry. But once you find a banking institution that’s a match for your venture, you can establish your merchant account with an agreement detailing the terms and specifics of your relationship. This includes fees and per-transaction costs that the bank might charge.



Types of International Merchant Accounts

Not all businesses have the same needs. Depending on the size and nature of your business, and the kinds of transactions that your venture expects, you can choose between one of two different kinds of international merchant accounts.

Aggregator Merchant Accounts

Also called a payment service provider (PSP) merchant account or a payment facilitator (PF) merchant account is ideal for small to medium sized enterprises. They provide payment solutions for businesses in a pooled master merchant account.

The payments provider stands as the main merchant, with your business acting as the sub merchant. This means that the payment provider takes the risk since their name will be the one that appears on record.

An aggregator merchant account is best for businesses that don’t need a lot of flexibility. They’re also developed for ventures that don’t expect such large transactions.

ISO Merchant Account

Independent sales merchant accounts work best for large businesses and enterprises. Unlike aggregate accounts, these are unique to the merchant, with all records reflecting the name of your business.

They’re ideal for bigger ventures because they allow a more customized experience. With an ISO merchant account, you get dynamic currency conversion, customized credit and transaction limits, and more diverse currency options. That also means you get to cater to a much wider audience.



What are High Risk International Merchant Accounts?

Before you get to set up your merchant account, you’re going to be asked for loads of business information. This includes your transaction history, the nature of your business, and the kind of industry you’re in, to name a few factors. This is how banks measure your level of risk.

High risk merchants are those that are more likely to experience fraudulent activity and chargebacks, so not a lot of payment partners want to pair up with them. This can make it especially difficult for these businesses to establish a merchant account, limiting their ability to serve clients and customers online.

What Makes a Business High Risk?

Banking institutions don’t just calculate risk out of thin air. On the contrary, there are a number of factors that they look into to determine the kind of risk that their prospective partners might pose.

    • Industry

There are certain industries that are generally recognized as involving a greater risk than others. These include travel, payday loans, automotives, and tobacco to name a few. With businesses like these more likely to experience fraudulent customer activity, they’re also at higher risk of chargebacks. This is perhaps the single most important consideration that banking institutions make prior to partnering up for a merchant account.

    • Card-Not-Present Transactions

Any business operating online will have to make do with card information in place of the actual card. These card-not-present transactions make a venture more prone to chargebacks, particularly when people try to use someone else’s card information. If you’re opening an international merchant account hoping to accept payments online, this becomes an obvious risk.

    • Business Reputation

This one applies on a case to case basis, so it’s important to clean up your act. Businesses that have a reputation for lots of chargebacks — regardless of whether they happened by mistake — are more likely to get rejected by banking partners. In general, businesses need to maintain a chargeback rate of 0.9% or less of your total number of transactions.

    • Credit Rating

This factors in to any financial transaction. As a business, your credit score is what helps lenders, banks, and other financial institutions determine where you stand and how well you can meet your financial obligations. Unfortunately, chargebacks and fraudulent activity can weigh down on your credit rating, lowering your chances of getting approved for a merchant account.



Finding the Best International Merchant Account

If you find yourself in a high-risk industry, or if you tick the boxes for any of the other factors that qualify a business as high-risk, then you might have a hard time setting up an international merchant account.

Fortunately, there are services out there who work to make the process easier, aiming to bring you together with trusted banking partners who will take on the business relationship despite the risks.

But how do you choose a service provider that won’t leave you hanging? Here’s what you might want to look out for:

  • Proven track record – You can’t go wrong with a provider that’s established itself as providing effective solutions for the businesses they work with. Good choices should showcase their history of making good match ups between clients and banking partners. A proven track record just goes to show that you’re in good hands
  • No fees – International high-risk merchant accounts can be expensive enough to maintain as they are. So there’s no need to compound the cost with expensive fees at sign-up. There are only a handful of trustworthy services out there that would help you set up your online storefront without the added costs.
  • Trusted banking partners – Don’t be fooled — there are financial institutions out there that will partner up with you, but won’t necessarily have your best interest at heart. Expensive charges, extended contracts, and unreasonable penalties can trap you in what might feel like a bad deal.
  • Tailored solutions – No two businesses are the same. It’s important to understand all of the ins and outs of your venture to come up with solutions that actually address your unique concerns. Services that approach the task of setting up a merchant account minus the cookie cutter mentality are at a better advantage to help you succeed.
  • Safe placement – What is it all for if you end up with a bank that won’t keep your finances safe? While fast is definitely an advantage, safe placement should be your highest priority. Only work with services that can prove their capacity to keep your valued venture protected throughout the process.

It’s easy to list down the factors that make a reliable service. But the big question here is — where can you find a provider that fits the bill?

Shark Processing International Merchant Accounts

If you’re working on finding the best provider to help you set up your international high risk merchant account, you can’t go wrong with Shark Processing. With our experienced staff and excellent customer support, you can cut through the red tape and find a reputable bank partner to grow your business and expand your market.

We offer fast, tailored, and safe services that empower your venture to take the next step and face the cut-throat e-commerce scene. Find your perfect banking partner with our list of well-established, legitimate merchant acquiring banks that won’t weigh down on your growth.

✔ 24 hour approval
✔ No fees for most industries
✔ Available solutions for every high-risk business
✔ Reputable banking partners with proven records
✔ Excellent customer support
✔ Tailored solutions for each individual client

Your business means a lot to you — we know that. And we understand how important it is to provide reliable, effective solutions that help you safely expand your venture, especially when it comes to payments.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you take and process payments online so you can reach the world market in a click.


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