International Merchant Accounts for Small Businesses

Expansion of your business, search for new markets, and desire to attract new customers lead to a search for new technologies and means of business improvement. Once the website or online store is created and the target audience and sales channels are found, you need to take care of payment acceptance. To accept payments from different countries and work with many currencies, you need to open an international merchant account.

What is an international merchant account?

A merchant account is a special type of commercial bank account used to accept non-cash card payments. When a customer makes a purchase, the merchant account provider holds the money before transferring it to the company’s checking account. If there are refunds or cancellations associated with the transaction, they are deducted from the merchant account before the money is transferred.

Who needs a merchant account?

You need a merchant account if you plan to sell goods and services without limiting the geography of your transactions. Such a solution will make your business and money management convenient and will allow you to trade 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One warning: a merchant account does not replace a classic bank account; it is not recommended to use it for non-trading operations.

Types of merchant accounts

Depending on the type of business and the number of chargebacks, merchant accounts are divided into two types

  • High-risk — implies a high risk of chargeback transactions;
  • Low-risk — implies a low risk of chargeback transactions.

It is more difficult for high-risk businesses to open a bank account, as the identification and security verification process takes longer and requires more documentation. The speed of opening an international merchant account depends on the business model of the company, its specifics, activities, and services sold. Only a legal entity that meets a number of requirements can open a merchant account.

Security matters

Payment security is critical for businesses that store customer information and process payment card transactions. Opening a merchant account with a reliable bank or international merchant service will ensure that your business is protected by fraud prevention measures. The safest way for a business to open a merchant account is to seek expert help.