Best Offshore Merchant Accounts for Hard to Place Industries

Offshore Credit Card Processing Explained

An offshore merchant account, also known as an international merchant account or “off shore” merchant account, is a payment processing option available to merchants with high risk business types that domestic banks will not approve, businesses with a history of chargebacks or fraud, or owners with bad credit scores. Offshore credit card processing allows merchants who generally don't qualify for traditional processing to take advantage of less stringent approval standards overseas. While offshore merchant services can be a solution for businesses without any other viable options, they also carry a fair amount of risk. Find more information about the advantages and drawbacks of offshore merchant accounts here.

How to Select a Good Offshore Credit Card Processor

Be Aware of Your Risks

One of the main risks associated with offshore merchant accounts is the potential for increased fraud and chargeback rates. High-risk businesses are often targeted by fraudsters, and if the provider does not have adequate fraud detection and prevention measures in place, the business may suffer significant financial losses. It is crucial to select an offshore provider that has a strong track record of combating fraud and offers robust chargeback mitigation tools.

Research Laws and Regulations

Another risk to consider is the potential for regulatory compliance issues. Each country has its own laws and regulations governing international merchant account services, and it is essential to ensure that the offshore provider is compliant with all relevant regulations. Failure to comply with local laws and regulations could result in fines, legal action, and the termination of the merchant account. Business owners should thoroughly research the regulatory landscape in the country where the provider is based and seek professional legal advice if necessary. Both the country that your business is located in and where your transactions will be processed will need to be vetted. If U.S. banks won't process your payments, it very likely that your industry or products are heavily regulated or illegal.

Consider Possible Exchange Rates

It is important to consider the potential impact of currency exchange rates and foreign transaction fees on the business's finances. Offshore providers may charge additional fees for currency conversion or for processing transactions in a foreign currency, which can signficantly impact your bottom line. Business owners should carefully consider the potential costs of using an offshore provider and factor these into their pricing strategies and financial projections.

Legal Recourse or Lack Thereof

U.S. businesses that use an offshore bank for credit card processing may have little to no legal recourse against the bank in the event of a dispute or other issue. This is because offshore banks are subject to the laws and regulations of the country in which they are based, which may differ significantly from those in the United States.

For example, if a U.S. business has a dispute with an offshore bank over a transaction or fee, the business may not have the same legal remedies available to them as they would if the bank were based in the United States. The laws and regulations in the offshore bank's home country may not provide the same level of protection for consumers or businesses as those in the United States.

Additionally, pursuing legal action against an offshore bank can be a complex and expensive process. It may be necessary to hire legal representation in the bank's home country, which can be costly and time-consuming. Even if the business is successful in pursuing legal action, enforcing a judgment may be difficult if the bank has no assets or presence in the United States.

Furthermore, some offshore banks may require businesses to agree to arbitration or dispute resolution mechanisms that are not subject to U.S. law. These mechanisms may not provide the same level of protection as U.S. courts, and the results may be difficult to enforce in the United States.

We've Done the Research on International Merchant Services

To help you find a quality provider, we have put together a list of the best offshore credit card processors. These offshore merchant services providers provide international credit card processing for high risk business types. Most of these businesses are geared toward high risk e-commerce businesses, and merchants should therefore expect to see higher rates than they would pay with traditional credit card processing. As always, the best way to ensure that you get a good deal is to contact multiple companies on this list to compare rates and products.

Choose From These Offshore Merchant Account Providers

eMerchant Broker Logo

#1 eMerchantBroker

Top Provider for Offshore Credit Card Processing

EMerchant Broker has extensive experience in providing offshore credit card processing solutions to businesses in a wide range of industries. The company understands the unique challenges that high-risk businesses face when it comes to payment processing, and its team of payment processing experts has the knowledge and expertise to provide tailored solutions to meet the specific needs of each client. With eMerchant Broker, businesses can rest assured that they are working with a payment processing provider that has experience and expertise in international payments.

Access to a Wide Range of Offshore Banking Partners

EMerchant Broker has established relationships with a wide range of offshore banking partners, which enables it to offer competitive rates and fees for its offshore credit card processing services. The company can provide payment processing solutions in multiple currencies and can help businesses expand their global reach by providing access to new markets. By partnering with eMerchant Broker, businesses can gain access to a broad range of payment processing solutions that are tailored to meet their specific needs.

Strong Focus on Security and Compliance

eMerchant Broker is committed to ensuring the security and compliance of its offshore credit card processing services. The company partners with fully PCI-compliant banking partners that use the latest encryption and fraud detection technologies. Additionally, eMerchant Broker stays up-to-date with all relevant regulations and guidelines to ensure that its clients are always in compliance with local laws and regulations. With eMerchant Broker, businesses can rest assured that their payment processing solutions are secure, reliable, and fully compliant with all relevant regulations.

Host Merchant Services logo

#2 Host Merchant Services

Robust Offshore Payment Processing Solutions

Host Merchant Services is a payment processing provider that offers robust solutions for businesses seeking offshore credit card processing. The company offers a wide range of payment processing services, including virtual terminals, point-of-sale systems, and mobile payments, and can provide payment processing solutions in multiple currencies. Host Merchant Services has established relationships with a wide range of offshore banking partners, enabling it to provide its clients with access to global payment processing solutions.

Competitive Pricing

Host Merchant Services offers competitive pricing for its offshore credit card processing services, with rates and fees that are often lower than those offered by other payment processing providers. The company offers transparent pricing with no hidden fees, ensuring that businesses can accurately calculate their payment processing costs and avoid surprises. Additionally, Host Merchant Services offers a price match guarantee, promising to match or beat any competitor's pricing.

Strong Focus on Customer Service

Host Merchant Services places a strong emphasis on customer service, ensuring that its clients receive the support and assistance they need to succeed. The company offers 24/7 customer support and provides its clients with a dedicated account manager who can assist with any questions or concerns. Host Merchant Services also provides its clients with access to a range of resources and tools, including fraud detection and prevention services, chargeback management, and PCI compliance assistance.

Final Thoughts

Selecting a reputable company for offshore credit card processing is of paramount importance for businesses seeking to expand their global reach and access new markets. Offshore credit card processing can provide businesses with a range of benefits, including lower processing fees, wider global reach, and increased flexibility. However, the potential risks associated with working with an offshore payment processor mean that businesses must carefully evaluate potential providers and select a reputable and reliable partner.

Partnering with a reputable company for offshore credit card processing can provide businesses with access to a wealth of expertise and resources, enabling them to navigate the complex regulatory landscape and mitigate the risks associated with offshore payment processing. By selecting a payment processing provider with a solid reputation, businesses can ensure that they are working with a partner that is committed to providing secure, reliable, and compliant payment processing solutions.

Ultimately, the success of any business depends on its ability to effectively manage its payment processing needs. By selecting a reputable and reliable offshore payment processing provider, businesses can access the tools and resources they need to grow and thrive in today's global marketplace.

Frequently Asked Questions: Offshore Merchant Accounts Credit Card Processing

What are offshore merchant accounts?

Offshore merchant accounts are financial services provided by banks or payment processors located in foreign countries. These accounts allow businesses to accept payments from customers worldwide and process transactions in foreign currencies, providing access to global markets and customers.

Why should businesses consider offshore merchant accounts?

Businesses may consider offshore merchant accounts for several reasons, including accessing international markets, reducing tax liabilities, diversifying risk, and gaining access to more lenient regulatory environments.

How can I find the best offshore merchant account for my business?

To find the best offshore merchant account for your business, follow these steps:

a. **Research Offshore-Focused Providers:** Look for payment processors or banks that specialize in providing offshore merchant accounts. These providers will have experience working with international businesses and handling cross-border transactions.

b. **Check Supported Countries and Currencies:** Ensure that the offshore merchant account provider supports the countries and currencies where you plan to conduct business.

c. **Verify Security Measures:** Evaluate the provider's security measures and compliance with industry standards, such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), to protect customer data and financial information.

d. **Compare Transaction Fees and Rates:** Assess the processing fees, currency conversion rates, and any other costs associated with each potential offshore merchant account provider. Choose a provider with competitive and transparent pricing that aligns with your business needs.

e. **Read Reviews and Testimonials:** Look for online reviews and testimonials from other businesses that have used the offshore merchant account provider to gauge their reliability and service quality.

f. **Check Customer Support:** Ensure that the provider offers reliable customer support, especially considering the potential time zone differences in offshore operations.

Are there any risks associated with offshore merchant accounts?

Offshore merchant accounts can involve some risks, such as regulatory and compliance complexities, currency exchange rate fluctuations, and potential challenges in resolving disputes or chargebacks across borders. It's crucial to choose a reputable and experienced offshore provider to mitigate these risks.

What industries are best suited for offshore merchant accounts?

Various industries can benefit from offshore merchant accounts, particularly those with international customers or businesses looking to diversify their revenue streams. E-commerce, travel, online gaming, digital services, and import/export businesses are among the industries that often use offshore accounts.

Can businesses accept payments in their local currency with offshore merchant accounts?

Yes, many offshore merchant account providers offer support for multi-currency transactions, allowing businesses to accept payments in various currencies, including their local currency.

 How long does it take to set up an offshore merchant account?

The setup time for an offshore merchant account can vary depending on the provider and the complexity of your business's requirements. Typically, the process can take a few days to a couple of weeks.

Can businesses switch offshore merchant account providers if they are not satisfied with the service?

Yes, businesses can switch offshore merchant account providers if they are not satisfied with the service or find a better fit for their specific needs. However, be mindful of any contractual obligations and potential termination fees that might apply.

Are there any hidden fees I should be aware of when choosing an offshore merchant account provider?

Carefully review the contract terms and fees of potential offshore merchant account providers to identify any hidden costs. Watch out for setup fees, currency conversion markups, and any other charges that might impact your overall costs.

What are the tax implications of using offshore merchant accounts?

Using offshore merchant accounts may have tax implications, as income generated through these accounts might be subject to taxation in both the home country and the offshore jurisdiction. It is essential to consult with a tax advisor or accountant to understand the tax implications for your specific business situation.

Finding the best offshore merchant account requires careful consideration of your business's needs, security measures, and the provider's reputation. Take the time to research different options, read reviews, and compare providers to choose an offshore solution that supports your international growth and payment processing requirements.

Reader Comments

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1 User Reviews

  • Logan

    I want to extend my sincere gratitude for your in-depth and informative article on “Best Offshore Merchant Accounts”. As a business professional dealing with international transactions, your guide has been an indispensable tool, enabling me to understand and traverse this complex domain.

    Your thorough exploration of each merchant account, emphasizing their unique strengths, potential pitfalls, and crucial features, was skillfully done. You have an outstanding ability to simplify complicated topics, making them easily comprehensible for readers like me.

    I particularly appreciated your focus on critical aspects such as transaction fees, customer support, and security measures. Your insights into the specific needs associated with offshore transactions, including handling multi-currency exchanges, ensuring regulatory compliance, and managing international payments, were incredibly beneficial.

    It’s evident that your guide is the result of extensive research, time, and expertise. Your commitment to delivering accurate, current, and actionable information has significantly simplified the traditionally complex decision-making process, enabling professionals like me to make informed decisions.

    Thank you once again for your valuable contribution to this field. Your hard work, dedication, and expertise are greatly appreciated.

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