You may consider hiring an offshore payment processor if you have a growing business and aspire to expand globally. By acquiring offshore accounts, you can accept diverse credit card payments, simplify processing, and mitigate the risks of chargebacks and fraudulent transactions.

However, before making any decisions, it is crucial to clearly understand offshore merchant account services, their importance, and how to choose the correct merchant account for your business. Shark processing is here to help.

What Is An Offshore Merchant Account?

An offshore merchant account is a type of bank account specifically designed for businesses outside their home country. It allows merchants to accept and process payments in foreign currencies, typically through online transactions.

Offshore bank accounts offer benefits such as lower taxes, increased privacy, and expanded global reach. They are commonly used by international e-commerce businesses or companies seeking to access international markets.

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What Is A High-Risk Offshore Merchant Account?

High-risk offshore merchant accounts are accounts in offshore banks specifically tailored for the “high-risk” industry. Businesses that serve global customers and accept payments in multiple currencies typically need an offshore merchant account.

International offshore merchant accounts understand the unique challenges of “high-risk” businesses, i.e., high chances of chargebacks, frauds, and other legal ambiguities. They offer high-risk merchants access to specialized payment processing services that allow higher processing volumes.

Offshore payment processors typically provide these high-risk merchant accounts in a foreign country. They offer online businesses a secure payment gateway, thus minimizing the risks associated with high-risk businesses.

What Makes a Business High Risk?

High-risk businesses are those businesses that are highly likely to experience financial losses and chargebacks. These businesses primarily operate online and serve customers worldwide. These merchants face a higher probability of transaction cancellations, product returns, and customer refund requests. A business operating in a sector associated with legal ambiguities may be considered high-risk.

How Do Offshore Merchant Accounts Differ from Domestic Merchant Accounts?

Offshore merchant accounts are specifically designed for businesses operating outside their home country. They enable businesses to accept and process payments in foreign currencies, cater to global customers, and provide benefits like lower taxes, increased privacy, and expanded market reach.

On the other hand, a domestic merchant account is meant for low-risk merchants and businesses operating within their native country and processing payments in the local currency.

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How to Choose a Reputable Offshore Merchant Account Provider?

When selecting a reputable offshore merchant account provider, consider their industry experience, reputation, and track record. Look for providers with solid security measures, compliance with regulations, and excellent customer support.

Compare fees and contract terms, ensuring transparency. Read reviews, seek recommendations, and assess their ability to handle your specific industry requirements. Conduct thorough research and due diligence to make an informed decision.

What Industries Are Considered As High-Risk Offshore Merchants?

Due to their elevated risk factors, several industries are commonly classified as high-risk offshore merchants. These include:

  • Payday loans
  • Kratom
  • CBD
  • Hemp
  • Adult entertainment, products, and services
  • Digital products and vouchers
  • Travel merchant account
  • Tech support merchant account
  • Alcohol
  • Automotive
  • Charter
  • Firearms
  • Forex
  • Guns and ammunition
  • Jewelry
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Pharmacy
  • Property management
  • Subscriptions

However, the classification of high-risk industries may vary among different offshore merchant account providers.

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What Are The Documents Required For an Offshore Merchant Account?

To apply for an offshore merchant account, you typically need to provide the following documents:

  1. Business registration documents
  2. Valid identification proofs of the business owner or director
  3. Financial statements or bank statements
  4. Processing history or previous merchant account statements
  5. Websites or business documentation, such as terms of service and privacy policy
  6. Product or service descriptions
  7. Business licenses or permits, if applicable

The specific documents required may vary depending on the offshore merchant account provider and your business’s industry and location. Ensure you have these documents ready and in the required format for a smooth application process.

What are the Most Common Reasons a Business might Need Offshore Merchant Accounts?

Businesses that are highly vulnerable to chargebacks and bad credit scores, i.e., businesses regarded as “High-risk,” such as casinos, gambling, or gaming, travel and tourism, telemarketing, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, subscription services, adult entertainment, etc., may need to hire an offshore payment processor.

In addition, if a business operates using any of these lead acquisition processes, it may need to collaborate with offshore credit card processors:

  • eCommerce sale
  • Lead-based advertising
  • Pay-per-action advertising
  • Inbound calls or infomercial
  • Online Upsell tactics
  • Outbound calling via call center

How To Get Fast Offshore Merchant Account Approval?

To obtain fast offshore merchant account approval, ensure all required documentation is ready and accurately completed.

Provide clear and comprehensive information about your business, financials, and processing history. Respond promptly to any additional inquiries from the account provider and maintain open communication to expedite the approval process.

Does Shark Processing Offer Advanced High-Risk Offshore Merchant Account Solutions At Low Fees?

Shark Processing offers advanced high-risk offshore merchant account solutions at competitive fees. Their services cater specifically to businesses operating in high-risk industries, providing robust payment processing solutions while keeping fees affordable.

Consider contacting Shark Processing to explore their offerings and determine the best solution for your business.

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Applying For A High-Risk Offshore Merchant Account

Applying for a high-risk international merchant account may seem daunting, but a few tips can make it easier.

Research reputable providers specializing in high-risk industries.

Make sure you have all the necessary documents, such as business licenses, financial statements, processing history, and identification proofs, as mentioned by the service provider.

Check for guidelines as mentioned by the service provider. Complete the application accurately, provide detailed information about your business, and submit the required documents.

Respond promptly to any follow-up requests from the provider, and maintain open communication throughout the application process. This will ensure that your application process is smooth and hassle-free.

Offshore merchant account FAQ

What Industries Does Shark Processing Accept As Clients?

Shark Processing accepts clients from various industries, including but not limited to e-commerce, online gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, travel, subscription services, tech support, and online dating.

They specialize in providing high-risk merchant account solutions, making them an ideal choice for businesses operating in industries often deemed high-risk by traditional payment processors.

What type of payments can I accept with my Offshore merchant account?

Offshore or international merchant accounts allow you to accept various payment types. They enable offshore credit card processing for your business and other offshore payment processing like debit card payments, net banking, UPI, etc. This typically includes major card networks like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Additionally, you may accept alternative payment methods, such as e-wallets, digital currencies, and bank transfers, depending on the capabilities of your offshore merchant account provider. Check with your payment processor to ensure they support the specific payment methods you wish to accept.

How do payment processors decide to consider your business as Offshore?

Technically, any business which operates outside its home country is an offshore business. This means it serves customers residing in different parts of the world. Payment processors consider your business offshore based on factors such as your business entity’s location, your customers’ location, and the currency used for transactions. If these factors indicate that your business operates outside its home country, payment processors may classify it as an offshore business.

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How to Find An Offshore Merchant Services Provider?

To find a reputable offshore merchant services provider, follow these steps:

  • Research online and compile a list of reputable providers.
  • Read customer reviews to gauge their reliability.
  • Seek recommendations from other businesses.
  • Assess their experience and expertise in serving offshore businesses.
  • Compare fees, transaction rates, and contract terms.
  • Evaluate their security measures and data protection policies.
  • Contact potential providers to discuss your specific needs and ask relevant questions.
  • Consider their customer support availability and responsiveness.
  • Verify their compliance with industry regulations and certifications.

Shark Processing has long been regarded as one of the most trustworthy offshore processing service providers. With us, you can be assured of receiving secured payment gateways and a high monthly processing volume.

How can Offshore merchant accounts find payment processors?

Offshore merchant accounts can find payment processors by researching specialized offshore payment processing agencies. They look for providers experienced in serving offshore businesses and catering to high-risk industries.

How can offshore businesses increase security in processing online payments?

Offshore businesses can enhance security in processing online payments through several measures:

  • Implementing robust encryption using secure socket layer (SSL) encryption technology to protect sensitive customer data during transmission.
  • Using multi-factor authentication, such as passwords, security questions, or SMS verification, to ensure authorized access to payment systems.
  • Utilizing fraud prevention tools and services that can identify and prevent suspicious transactions and fraudulent activities.
  • Regularly keeping all software and systems up to date with the latest security patches and fixes to address vulnerabilities.
  • Conducting periodic security audits to identify any weaknesses in the offshore payment processor systems and address them promptly.

By implementing these security measures, offshore businesses can significantly reduce the risk of security breaches and protect both their own data and their customers’ sensitive information during online payment processing.

Do You Provide Offshore Merchant Services For Non-US Clients?

Yes, at Shark Processing, we try to accommodate clients from different parts of the world. We offer our offshore credit card processing services for Non-US clients. We pride ourselves in our excellent customer service that would help you with all the answers you need about your inquiries about our services and offerings for non-US clients.

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Payment Channel

What are things to consider when choosing an offshore merchant account provider?

When choosing an offshore merchant account provider, consider the following:

  • Research the offshore banking service provider’s reputation, reviews, and industry experience.
  • Ensure the provider adheres to relevant regulations and offers robust security measures.
  • Confirm if the provider supports the countries you operate in and offers multi-currency processing.
  • Compare fees, transaction rates, and any hidden costs.
  • Evaluate the provider’s customer support availability and responsiveness.
  • Check if the provider integrates smoothly with your existing payment systems and platforms.
  • Determine the range of payment options supported by the provider.
  • Assess if the provider can accommodate your business growth and changing needs.
  • Inquire about the settlement period for funds to reach your account.
  • Review the contract terms, including cancellation policies and contract duration.

How to increase your offshore merchant account threshold?

To increase your offshore merchant account threshold, you must communicate with your account provider and demonstrate a track record of responsible and successful payment processing.

Provide evidence of your business’s financial stability, low chargeback rates, and regulation compliance. This can help build trust and credibility, leading to potential threshold increases over time.

Can my start-up get instantly approved for an offshore merchant account?

Approval for high-risk merchant services can take time. The approval process involves risk assessment by the account provider. Service providers will evaluate your start-up on factors such as industry type, business model, credit history, and compliance requirements. Thus, it can be a few weeks before you get a decision from the high-risk merchant service provider.

Is my offshore merchant account high or low risk?

To determine if your offshore merchant account is high or low risk, consider factors such as your industry classification, chargeback rates, compliance history, and financial stability. You recommend contacting your account provider and discussing these factors to clarify the risk level assigned to your account.

Why does my offshore merchant account have a monthly volume limit?

An Offshore account has a monthly volume limit to ensure risk mitigation and regulation compliance. By imposing a limit, the account provider can monitor and manage potential risks associated with high transaction volumes, helping maintain the stability and security of the account and the overall payment processing system.


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