10 Questions to Ask Your Gaming Merchant Account Provider
The thing that strikes me as funny when my fiance and I go visit the casinos is that the slot machines area is always populated with old Chinese women. Their husbands are probably off somewhere in the card tables playing Pai Gow or engrossed in baccarat. Not that there's anything wrong with seeing Chinese ladies wasting bundles of cash or pails of coins in the King Cashalot machines. It just feels different when you play it online. You don't see no faces. The card games are just as fun. But of course you're not guaranteed of cashing out your win when you do win. All online casino players know this but refuse to agree. They still put their faith on high risk merchant account providers because they know they can appeal for chargebacks once the casino denies them the cashout.
But the players' problem is not ours.
The gaming websites these days come with a warning that casinos, lottos, sportsbooks, and other types of gambling games can be so addictive. That's why high risk merchants go all the way to learn as much as they can about the industry. It's wickedly profitable. If they get lucky, they also find an offshore merchant account provider that's not too picky. But that's not always the case. Merchants should always make research and apply for a high risk merchant account that fits their needs.
Every high risk merchant account provider is different. That's why it's important to ask questions to find out which among hundreds of them will give you exactly what you need. Here's a list of questions you might find useful in your search:
1. Monthly Volume Processing Limit
Some MAPs do not ask for a minimum nor a limit on processing monthly volumes. However, some may ask that you have a volume of 50,000USD per month to over $10,000,000USD or a minimum of 1 millionUSD.
2. Setup fee and Setup time
How much do MAPs ask for setup fees and how long does it take for the account to set up? Believe it or not, some may charge a whopping 5,000USD as one time payment, as low as 500USD, or nothing at all. Some MAPs won't ask for set-up costs or upfront deposits until your account is approved. Set-up time may last from 2 days to 2 weeks. You may also consider asking for virtual terminal that will help you accept credit cards by phone and fax.
3. Discount Rate
High risk merchants may charge an average rate of 3% to 5%. Rates may vary from as low as 3% to as high as 6.5% depending on the processing volume. In other words, the more volume you process, the lower the discount rate.
4. Per Transaction Fee
The average fee is 0.50USD but rates may vary per transaction.
5. Rolling Reserve
Rolling reserve allows merchant account providers to protect themselves from future chargebacks. Some may require 10% after x number of months. Percentages may be as low as 5% or as high as 15%.
6. Currency Processing (USD or other currencies?)
Domestic and offshore MAPs usually process USD currency. Also, applicants may always choose their bank. Offshore banks are always recommended as they do not charge high taxes and enjoy freedom from government/political intervention.
7. Multiple Gaming Websites
For a single account? Yes. Some MAPs will take care of your multiple gaming websites at no additional cost.
8. Credit Card Acceptance
What credit cards does the MAP's payment gateway accept? Visa, MasterCard, JCB American Express, Discover, Diners Club, and others are some of the most popular ones.
9. Anti-fraud Tools
Never apply for a high risk merchant account if the provider does not offer state of the art anti-fraud system. SSL, 24-bit encryption, Advanced Fraud Screen, and other tools should protect your database of customer informationa and prevent identity theft.
10. Reimbursement or Money-Back Guarantee
What if the application is denied? If you apply for an account with a money back guarantee, your gaming merchant account fees should be reimbursed in full.
Continue looking for loopholes in your high risk merchant account application. Some MAPs require that you have a European principal or that your company is Europe-based. Others do not look into your processing history. MAPs may also provide a daily or weekly payout schedule to your affiliates, as well as online reporting of your billing statements. Above all, make sure that they can give you 24/7 on-call support.