Offshore Merchant Accounts

As part of your asset protection strategy you may wish to utilize an offshore merchant account to process credit card sales for your business. Fees are going to vary depending on volume and what you are selling. For a merchant account in an offshore (friendly) country the cost is usually 4.00% – 8.50% depending on product, average ticket, etc. The merchant account introduction is $495.00.

If the chargeback rate exceeds 1% or 2% depending on the company, the account is subject to closure. Sometimes, note we said sometimes, the merchant account company will not close your account but instead work with you to reduce chargeback’s if your rate is 3% or less. This is not an absolute but usually they will attempt to help you reduce chargeback’s. This can be by blocking countries with high fraud rates, blocking proxy servers, doing telephone verification of orders etc. Be careful if you get a lot of chargebacks this is not for you. Inquire. We do not take adult, gambling, MLM, or illegal products.

When looking for a merchant account that is offshore be aware of unscrupulous companies that specialize in keeping merchants funds as their only real means of making profits. The scams are not really scams but you are set up to fail. A contract is created where you have to keep chargebacks down to 1%, the visa guidelines. Remember the average internet merchant gets about 3% in chargebacks so already by statistics you are doomed. You are told and agree in writing to having your account closed down if you exceed this 1% figure and your funds held for six months. Now you start processing and shipping goods. They say they’ll pay every two weeks but there is a two week holdback so that means four weeks until a wire is sent well OK what can you do so you start. Well at the end of the four weeks there are some more delays, perhaps you are told a wire will be sent, is sent, was sent, came back with wrong instructions, the correspondent bank has it, whatever. So now about six weeks goes by and you are still shipping and have no money. OK so you call them up every day, scream at them etc and well by now your chargebacks are starting to come in at a good clip. Many of you reading this are hi-risk merchants and you know it. So then you are told your account is closed per the agreement and come back in six months for your funds High Ticket Merchant Accounts.

Can you sue them? Sure, but they are in an offshore country remember which means you have to go there, hire a lawyer, post a bond for court costs and face the written agreement you signed with them while they are calling you a fraudster in their court, saying you exceeded visa guidelines endangering their account with visa, etc. Odds of winning are slim and the cost will be $25,000 plus by the time you get a court date and that will probably be a few years down the road and don’t forget you just shipped six weeks of orders all with no money coming in. OK now you realize you aren’t going to sue them. You decide to play the “I hope game” commonly found in scams and wait the six months out. Well now some of your money has dwindled away in charge backs that are uncontested because they aren’t going to waste time fighting them. Now after the six months is up the money and time wait to sue them is still the same and now you are worn down plus the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow has shrunk. They write you when your lawyer contacts them and they say well you are a fraud, how do we know you didn’t submit all these stolen credit cards, we are going to hold your money another few months because someone could have filed a chargeback one day before the six month limit and it will take a few weeks to work through the system.

If you spend the money hire a lawyer and sue them in their jurisdiction they will answer the complaint and wait and eventually offer to settle with you for a lesser amount like 15% to 30% just because they can push you down considering your legal expenses, and time delay for trial. If the settlement covers your legal expenses you probably didn’t do too badly. Their lawyers get these lawsuits frequently and know exactly how to answer them with no research since they wrote the agreement you signed.

If the above or similar happened to you we can tell you how to turn the tables on the merchant account provider assuming not too much time has gone by. You can still recover a lot of your money, never all but usually a substantial piece of it. The recovery depends a lot on your customer relations, nature of your products and price levels. It is a tested method that will get results fast without not using any court system but we offer this as a service, if we post it on the web site too many people will find out about it and it will no longer be as effective Feel free to inquire but please do not try to probe us as to details.

Now you might ask yourself how the really hi-risk industries like porn with chargeback rates over 30% survive. Easy answer. Some years ago when spam was make a crime in many jurisdictions there was a thinning of the herd in the porn industry, customer acquisition costs became expensive and complicated as well, the porn industry switching from spam to paid link exchanges. Only the large survived this cut. Credit card chargeback ratios used to be more lenient in years past with 2% as the common figure, not 1% but a large account could get away with much higher rates of chargebacks back then. To beat the system the porn people starting becoming merchant account providers using offshore structures to conceal things. They look for a large amount of low risk businesses to process for. This allows them to have an outrageous fraud rate of 30%+ in their porn business and still keep their overall chargeback rate down to 1% for the entire group of accounts processed by their merchant account provider which is really them. Occasionally the visa people may get wise to a lot of chargebacks coming from a particular site and then they just have a different site and corporation process for the same porn site by transporting people to a different payment page that still sets up their passwords and user names for the same site visa doesn’t like. This allows them to make an outrageous profit on the porn sites and they give away the merchant accounts at a low rate to attract fraud free businesses.

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