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Offshore Banking and Credit Card Merchant Accounts
You can use an offshore bank account to process credit cards so that you can generate an income into your offshore business account. Additionally, with regard to credit card merchant account anybody and almost any business can be labeled high risk at the application stage for a number of reasons. A business in a category that has a high refund rate can be categorized “high risk” by any merchant provider. If applications have been turned down recently it could be that the applicant or business type does not meet strict underwriting criteria making a “high risk” credit card processor the answer.
Credit Card Processing and Offshore Banking
When working with a credit card processing provider that specializes in high risk merchant accounts, your application will most likely be approved. This typically involves offshore banking and an offshore merchant account.
Offshore Bank Merchant Account Rates
Often, high risk merchants will pay high risk rates. However, we have found that we save 98% of vendors on processing fees over what they are currently experiencing whether they have low, medium or high risk needs. Be cautious because there are many providers who will automatically approve applicants with predatory contracts and outrageous rates. Always check your contract and see if there’s standards for minimizing the transaction rates. Larger reserves, rolling reserve agreements and other types of risk minimization can help an applicant obtain the best rates possible.
Do I Need of an Offshore Bank Account?
A business can be labeled high risk due to its industry, an owner can have bad credit, the business can be owned by a foreign business entity with transactions inside the U.S., the product or service could be illegal in some local, state or federal laws, even questionable marketing or sales tactics can mean that an offshore merchant account is the only option to process credit cards online. In order to have one, most merchants require you to have a bank account in the jurisdiction where the credit cards are processed. That means setting up an offshore company and offshore bank account.
Businesses That Need an Offshore Merchant Account
Most people believe that high risk merchant accounts are only for online casinos or pharmacies, however with today’s lending guidelines and financial account requirements, a lot of trusted brands and online businesses are “high risk” and require a specialized credit card processor.
- 1-800 type chat sites
- Airplane charters
- Amazon, Yahoo or Google Stores
- Annual contracts
- Automotive brokers
- Bankruptcy attorneys
- “Business opportunities”
- Calling cards
- Casino, gambling or gaming
- Check cashing services
- Cigarette or electronic-cigarette sales or nicotine products
- Coins, collectible currency or autographed collectibles
- Collection agencies
- Coupons or rewards-points program
- Credit or debt repair
- Credit counseling
- Credit protection
- Debt collection
- Direct selling
- Discount health and medical care programs
- Debt consolidation
- Drug paraphernalia
- eBay Store
- E-Books (copywritten material)
- Event ticket brokers (unlicensed and non registered (i.e. Stub Hub type merchants))
- Exporting services (non US based)
- Fantasy sports websites
- Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealers
- Finance broker, financial consulting or loan modification services
- Indirect financial consulting (i.e. How to Save Money by Lowering Your Electric Bill.)
- Financial planning, strategy or advising
- “Get rich quick” books, programs, etc
- High average tickets
- “How-To” type websites (i.e. “Learn How-To Make Money on The Internet”)
- Horoscopes, astrology or psychic services (i.e. fortune tellers)
- “Hype” products or services
- Hypnotists or self-hypnosis
- International merchants (non US based)
- International shipping, cargo or import/export
- Investment firms
- Investment strategy
- Investment books
- Lawyer referral services
- Life coaching
- Lingerie sales
- Magazine sales and subscriptions
- Mail order
- Membership organizations (over 12 months)
- Merchants on the terminated merchant file (TMF list)
- Modeling agencies
- Multi-level marketing (MLM)
- Music, movie, software downloads or uploads (ie. copy-written music, movies or software (i.e. Microsoft office))
- Non US citizens
- Off-shore corp. establishment services
- Pawn shops
- Poor credit
- Prepaid debit cards
- In-bound or outbound telemarketing services
- Real estate
- Replica handbags, watches, wallets, sunglasses etc? (knock-offs)
- Self defense, pepper spray, mace, etc.
- SEO services
- Social networking sites ? Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc?
- Sports forecasting or odds making/betting
- Talent agencies
- Telephone companies
- Telephone order
- Third-party processing, factoring merchants (i.e. payment processors, vacation rental brokers)
- Time-shares or time-shares advertising
- Tour operators
- Travel services
- Travel agencies
- Travel clubs
- Vacation planners
- Vacation rentals (unless property is owned by merchant)
- Vitamin and supplement sales ? diet pills, prescription pills, health supplements, pharmacy
- VoIP services
- Extended warranty companies
- Weapons of any kind ? guns, knives, stun guns, or ammo. Includes any parts of weapons (i.e. butts, triggers, magazines, etc.)
Naturally, if you have an offshore bank account and merchant account, you need to maintain tax compliance. People in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and many other countries tax worldwide income. So, be sure to maintain sound tax advice from a licensed professional.