To those who have been considering the prospect of moving an existing business online or starting a web-based company from scratch in recent months, account safety often causes more apprehension than any other potential issue. Indeed, the prospect of losing your hard-earned funds to a group of fraudsters is daunting. To think that your customers might suffer losses if they are unlucky enough to shop at your place at the wrong time is even more excruciating.
The concerns usually double when it comes to areas of business activity traditionally viewed as risky. In particular, the list includes sports betting, adult goods and services, the delivery of foodstuffs, forex brokerage, online dating websites and apps, and much more. This article is here to shed light on how you can set up a high-risk merchant account that you (and your customers) can trust.
The Common Approaches
Regardless of what industry your business is active in, the first choice to make is between a regular bank account and a third-party payment solution. The former is a very common option that many people swear by. Despite its being time-tested and enjoying a lot of support, though, it is not free of drawbacks, which is causing an increasing number of established and prospective business owners to look for alternative solutions.
For those working in areas that are labeled high-risk, partnering with banks can prove more difficult than it sounds. The terms and conditions offered to such companies are often far from favorable. Nor are they particularly straightforward and consistent from organization to organization, potentially causing a lot of confusion. Fees that are high to the point of extortionate and restrictive chargeback/total transaction amount limits are just some of the common problems.
The market of merchant gateway services might be difficult to navigate, but it’s also highly promising. Here’s a concise list of the most vital benefits offered by third-party payment providers:
- additional layers of protection against fraud as compared to conventional bank accounts,
- more high-risk friendly fees and conditions,
- flexibility and multiple opportunities for fine-tuning your security system according to your situation.
It’s not uncommon for gateway solutions to rely on proprietary products for enhanced protection. One example is the Covery fraud prevention system used in Maxpay. The technology utilizes artificial intelligence and rule-based models for identifying potentially risky transactions and enabling the merchant to proceed according to their specific policy for such cases. It comes with a set of automation features in Know Your Customer and other areas, too.
What to Look For
One crucial dilemma that businesses almost inevitably face in the context of online payment security is granular control versus time and effort efficiency. Most companies would like to purchase an all-around ready-made solution to all their risks and problems. However, a product that lacks flexibility is more likely to do harm than good as it’s prone to overlooked weaknesses and outdated priorities. To avoid mistakes at the stage of setting up a merchant account, especially in high-risk areas, make sure the provider offers you the following:
- compliance with the online payment security standards that apply in your jurisdiction,
- a strong all-purpose anti-fraud framework,
- quick-to-use fine-tuning options,
- chargeback prevention features to minimize the number of actual disputes,
- terms and conditions that are beneficial for your business.
With this in mind, you have every chance of building a safe, effective and sustainable merchant account.
It’s All About Layers
When it comes to credit card fraud, the bad news is that new fraudulent practices emerge all the time. Criminals make their living by efficiently responding to the latest development in security, which means they are motivated to implement novel notions before the industry gets used to dealing with them.
According to the highly influential Swiss cheese model of accident causation, protection works best when it consists of multiple layers. When the layers are stacked, flaws in each layer have to align for a mishap to take place. This is exactly the reason why merchants in high-risk industries are recommended to use third-party payment gateways offering a flexible set of fraud and chargeback prevention tools that can be combined for optimum efficiency.