Merchant Account Spain

August 29, 2022

As a business, it’s always important to understand who your buyers are. In Spain, surveys have found that a whopping 85% of the population carries at least one credit or debit card, always at the ready to make a purchase. So for most businesses operating in the country, now is the perfect time to set up a merchant account in Spain.

This specialized bank account is the doorway to accepting online payments, making it possible for businesses to process credit and debit cards. And because cards are becoming more and more popular across Spain, it might be high time you considered setting up your own merchant account.



What is a Merchant Account in Spain?

The thing about standard deposit accounts is that you can’t configure them as a destination for electronic payments. And that’s precisely why merchant accounts in Spain were developed in the first place. These specialized bank accounts are funded by payments made through credit or debit cards. They’re established by merchant acquiring banks that oversee the entire process.

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A Spanish merchant account can come in handy whether you’re operating on or offline. For brick-and-mortar, the merchant account in Spain can be used through a point-of-sale terminal that lets buyers insert their cards to perform the process. Online, your buyers can make their electronic payments by filling out a form with their card information.

Most of the steps involved in processing payments through a merchant account are performed by the acquiring bank, and here’s how it happens:

  • The acquirer takes the information to the card issuer’s payment gateway. After the buyer sends their information forward, the acquiring bank takes the data to a payment gateway.
  • Information is checked for correctness. This is how card issuers protect their clients from fraud. This step also involves checking to make sure the buyer’s account is sufficiently funded.
  • The card issuer gives their approval. Once they deem that all information is correct, then they give the acquirer the go signal to reach into the account and perform the debit.
  • Money is disbursed into the business’ Spanish merchant account. Sometimes, disbursal can happen immediately. But it still depends on your contract. Most banks prefer funneling all of the accumulated payments into the Spanish merchant account at the end of the day, but some will schedule disbursal once a week.


What Does It Cost?

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Some banks will ask for an initial deposit to get your merchant account in Spain up and running. But aside from just that, there are fees associated with the use of your Spanish merchant account. Of course, your bank won’t offer these elaborate processing services for free.


It’s important to note though that rates vary from contract to contract. There is a range of factors that can affect the rates that you get, and these can include:

  • Your business risk
  • Your relationship with your chosen bank
  • How well do you negotiate

Another thing to remember is that some banks will naturally charge more than others. This highlights the importance of shopping around to choose the best partner institution before you decide to sign a contract.

On average, you can expect to pay 0.5% to 5.0% of the total transaction cost in fees. Keep in mind though that these fees are taken from the amount that you charge your buyers. So the bank won’t be imposing an added 5.0% on the transaction. That means you will be taking a bit of a hit each time a buyer chooses to pay with the card.

Some businesses however have implemented their own methods to offset the deduction. That’s why when transacting with certain brands, they’ll charge an extra 5% on your payment total if you decide to pay with the card.


Chargebacks on Your Merchant Account in Spain

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One thing about electronic payments is that refunds aren’t always as easy. Unlike cash transactions that let you just hand back the payment if your buyer isn’t happy, performing a refund through a merchant account in Spain involves the service of the bank yet again.

Unfortunately, banks frown upon chargebacks because they also end up having to incur penalties and charges for payments they have to reverse. So what they do is they impose a steep fine on chargebacks so that businesses do what they can to prevent them from happening. Fees can span anywhere from US$20 to US$100 per chargeback.


Another important thing to remember is that some banks will actually terminate your contract if you exceed a designated number of chargebacks. So businesses end up having to get creative so that buyers won’t push through with a refund.

For instance, some brands offer to give buyers store credit instead. Others replace products at no added cost. Then there are those that provide refunds using other methods, like bank transfer or cash, so they won’t have to involve their acquirer.


Spanish High-Risk Merchant Accounts

One of the deciding factors for the rates you get is your risk rating. A high-risk merchant account in Spain is essentially a business that’s at a higher risk of incurring chargebacks. Banks measure this risk rating by performing their fair share of due diligence to understand where a business stands.

Some factors that increase a business’s risk level include:

  • Payments accepted in different currencies
  • Most transactions are card-not-present
  • Transactions cost US$500 or more
  • Monthly revenue averages US$20,000
  • Buyers from around the globe
  • Operating in high-risk industries (see our list of recognized high-risk markets)
  • Headquarters outside of the US, Canada, EU, Australia, or Japan
  • Recurring payment structure (subscriptions)
  • High frequency of chargebacks amounting to 0.9% or more of total transactions
  • Low personal or business credit rating

image of spanish high risk merchant account

Unfortunately for high-risk businesses, getting approval for a merchant account can be near impossible. That’s because banks are conservative and tend to shy away from contracts with businesses that might turn out to be a liability.


Do You Need a Merchant Account in Spain?

Low risk or high risk — every business can benefit from a merchant account in Spain.

With most buyers inclined to pay with a card, a Spanish merchant account is a no-brainer for businesses that want to keep their products and services accessible.

  • Reach global buyers. A Spanish merchant account paves the way for electronic, card-not-present transactions that anyone around the globe can use to pay for your products and services.
  • Fulfill orders faster. No need to wait for payment confirmation. Electronic payments provide instant confirmation so you can ship out orders faster than ever before.
  • Provide a seamless shopping experience. Take out the roadblocks that stand in the way of your buyers and their purchase. Electronic payments are the preferred method for 85% of the Spanish population, so it helps to meet your buyers where they stand.


Need to Set Up a Merchant Account in Spain?

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No doubt, a Spanish merchant account can significantly improve your business performance. But with a high-risk level, it may be close to impossible to get bank approval on your own. The solution? Shark Processing.

We’re a merchant account specialist that offers assistance to high-risk merchants in Spain. Our objective is to help you find a banking partner that fits the bill, examining the different aspects of your business to find you a bank that won’t only take on your venture but will also keep your welfare at the core of your contract.

We’ve teamed up with a long list of international banking partners who openly accommodate partnerships with hard-to-place merchants. This gives us the leverage to provide placement for businesses of all shapes, sizes, and risk ratings.


What We Do

Shark Processing is all about establishing healthy partnerships between our clients and our partner banks. We do this by meticulously assessing your business profile to determine which of our partner banks would best fit your need.

We also make sure to negotiate on your behalf to get the best rates and flexible, client-centered contracts that keep your best interest at the core. Shark Processing is invested in your future, and we do what we can to carefully place you with a bank with the same interest in mind.

Enjoy low rates, fast results, and VIP treatment with Shark Processing.

  • FREE set-up and application
  • 24-hour approval
  • Guaranteed placement for all applications
  • Trusted international banks
  • Reliable customer support
  • Tailored solutions
  • Easy applications
  • Expert merchant account specialists
  • Tried, trusted, and proven

At Shark Processing, we understand the struggles of high-risk merchant accounts in Spain facing poor payout terms and stifling contracts that feel more like a bad deal than a partnership. So we do what we can to place you with reputable banking partners under contracts that protect your venture and your payments.


Contact Us Today

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Ready to take the next step? Contact Shark Processing today to learn more about our services. Or go ahead and fill out our form to get started on your application. Keep your lines open and wait for our call — we’ll get your merchant account in Spain up and running in 24 hours or less, guaranteed!

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