Knowing which credit card processor to choose from, among the many out there, can save you a lot of time, money, and work. The right company to partner with is even more important when it comes to a high risk credit card processor, since you need to know that they will need to be able to provide exceptional support when things go wrong. Keeping the following details in mind, when you are looking for a credit card processor, can help you find a provider with whom you can build a long-term relationship, these details include:


1. ISO/MSP Registration – Making sure your credit card processor is registered can help give peace of mind that there have been some background checks done to make sure your processor is able to handle everything they claim to be able to handle. There is nothing worse than not being able to collect your charged funds.


2. Better Business Bureau Accreditation – An accreditation from the BBB is great for any business to have, and a high risk processor with this rating shows the experience they have in the industry. Having a high BBB rating means that there are not many complaints against them, and if there are complaints, they are resolved within a reasonable amount of time.


3. Knowing About your Industry – Some processors are specifically setup to work with certain high-risk industries. Asking people familiar with your type of business what they use can help you determine who has a good reputation within the industry. For example, if your selling electronic cigarettes online, not all merchant providers will allow you to accept these types of payments online. A company in the high risk field knows what can and cannot be done to not waste your time and get you the best rates / fees.


4. Good Customer Service – When something goes wrong, and it probably will at some point, you need to be able to quickly contact someone in order to get the processing problem fixed. When you cannot take credit card orders, you are losing money, a good customer service department can keep the time you are down to a minimum. Call a company’s customer service department and see how they react and perform.


5. Shopping Cart Support – The ability to integrate your payment processor with your shopping cart is very important if you are using either a popular shopping cart system, or a custom setup. An experienced company has the resources to help you take payments online.


6. Can service High Risk Industries  – Your processor should understand that your industry would fall under “high risk”, meaning that there will be a higher than normal number of chargebacks, and possible fraud. Some processors are not equipped to handle these types of things, which is useful to know before spending too much time researching them. A good merchant provider can quickly identify a high risk vs low risk industry.


7. Understanding PCI Compliance – A credit card processor which has been around quite awhile probably has no problem with PCI compliance. The last thing you want is for your customers to have their information stolen or leaked, leading them to possibly blaming you or your site, as opposed to the credit card processor. A good card processor will help you get PCI Compliant if you are not already.


8. Knowing how to Mitigate Chargebacks – High risk processors should know that chargebacks are a fact of life, and know what they need to do in order to prevent them in the first place. If they do occur, IP addresses and other information should be logged in order to prove the card owner used it, and they knew what they were getting. A good merchant provider will consult you how to minimize Chargebacks.


9. Offering Competitive Rates and Fees – High risk processing fees are going to be higher than with normal merchant accounts, but you should be able to find a processor with reasonable rates, and still have all the other qualities of a good credit card processor.


10. Offering Multiple Services – Being able to take more than just credit card payments can be a great way to expand your customer base. For some customers, using an e-check may be preferable to using a credit/debit card, or even using an bank transfer for larger transactions. A good merchant provider will give you many solutions to accept payment in the manner thats most convenient to your business.


11. Offering a Free Terminal and POS Systems – Being able to take a physical credit card is great for a brick and mortar business. Your credit card processor should give you a terminal and POS system in order to process these purchases for free in order to get you started.


12. Not Having Excessive Contracts (Breaking Contracts) – Contract lengths can vary from one credit card processor to another. You may be able to find one with no contracts, or you could find one with a 2 year commitment. In general, you should be looking at the lower term for a contract’s length, especially since it can be difficult to get out of it if you find that the processor your originally chose was not a good fit.


13. No Outrageous Cancellation Fees – Hidden deep within the fine print of terms of service agreements will be what you would owe if you decided to cancel your merchant account. Depending on your processor, this could range from owing nothing, to owing hundreds of dollars. Finding a processor with a low, or non-existent, cancellation fee will give you more freedom if you need to switch to a different company. If a provider offers you a free terminal, a cancellation fee may be applied just to protect their initial investment but it should be reasonable.


A high risk credit card processor that can be accurately described by all of the above details is one that would be great for partnering with, since they should have plenty of happy merchants. While there are always going to be differences among individual credit card processing companies, you need to look for a company that seems like a good fit for you.


Do you want to know the criteria for getting a merchant account ? Download the documents needed for an account.