Merchant Account | Credit Card Processing | 3rd Party Billing Solution | High-Risk High Volume E-Commerce Solutions

The Basics

First thing's first. You need to decide if you want to apply for your own merchant account. In the market, there are mainly two categories: 1) you apply for your own merchant account; or 2) you subscribe to a ready-to-go 3rd party billing solution. If you apply for your own merchant account, you can choose your own bill descriptor to be displayed in your online customers' credit card statements. For example, you might want to use your website URL and your customer service phone number as your bill descriptor. If you subscribe to a 3rd party billing solution, you will be using the providers' merchant accounts to process your orders.

Basic Document Requirement

Most solutions would require the following document: copy of your identification document such as passport or driver license, copy of company paper such as Certificate of Incorporation, copy of utility bill such as phone bill, processing history, volume projection, reference letter from attorney / accountant, bank reference letter, marketing plan. For example, if you plan to apply for a European solution, your company must be incorporated in Europe, and you would need to provide copies of your European passport plus utility bill showing your European address.

Not all solutions require the above document. However, the more documents you can provide the better your chance, and the better the rate. For ID document, digital scanned copies are more preferable than old traditional fax copies. Please scan it with high resolution then send via email. Usually a regular merchant account with your own merchant ID can take 2-4 weeks to setup. 3rd party billing solutions are much faster, normally just a few days, and you are good to go.

Setup Fee

For each business category, there are a number of solutions. Setup fees range from $0 to over $10k. Certain high-risk gaming account would cost over $10k each. Setup fee is determined by a number of factors including your business category, monthly volume, average ticket size, chargeback rate, and processing history. Sometimes, setup fees could be waived due to promotions, or high-volume accounts. Please note that we do not collect setup fees on behalf of our acquiring banks, payment gateways or payment providers, you must submit your fees to the acquirers directly. For certain solutions, setup fee could be deducted from your first payout. However, for most solutions, you would have to pay your setup fee upfront. Some solutions might also require an offshore company setup; in that case, merchant account setup and company formation will be combined into one complete package.

Discount Rate & Fee

As there are a number of solutions for each business category, discount rates and fees also vary quite a bit. Normally, US solutions got the best rate, and then European and other offshore solutions are somewhat higher than the US solutions. If your business type is mainstream e-commerce, we strongly suggest that you should try talking to your local banks first. Usually, they can give you the best rate. But of course, for various reasons such as tax or operation cost, you might still want an offshore merchant account somewhere. To save both of our time, when you fill up our "Get a Quote" form, you can specify your acceptable discount rate, e.g. some merchant would give us information like, require adult merchant account, 3M monthly volume, 2 years history, low chargeback, acceptable rate around 4%, in that case, we can easily match a solution for this merchant.

We understand that no matter you are new to e-commerce or not, you will always try to shop for the best price, so there is no point in selling you an expensive solution and expect you to leave after a few months. However, please bear in mind that the rates for 3rd party billing solutions are higher than direct merchant accounts. For example, the rate for a European pharmaceutical merchant account could be around 4-5%, while the rate for a pharmaceutical 3rd party account might go as high as 9-11%. You might ask why there is such a big difference. Well, if you are incorporated in Europe, and you can provide pharmaceutical license (i.e. a genuine license bearing your company name, NOT your supplier's company name), we highly recommend that you should apply for your own pharmaceutical merchant account. Otherwise, if you can't provide the above, you might go for a pharmaceutical 3rd party billing solution. Those billing suppliers have to go through all the trouble of setting up their pharmaceutical merchant accounts, adding various security measures, fraud controls to their system, so there is where your extra 5% go.

The Basics
Basic Document Requirement
Setup Fee
Discount Rate & Fee
Minimum Monthly Fee
Processing History
Interface
Chargeback
Security
Reporting & Payout & Rolling Reserve
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