10 Qualities You Need in a High-Volume Merchant Account
If you’re processing more than €90,000 per month, it’s time to look for a high-volume merchant account that offers first-class security features, a thorough underwriting process, a customised processing limit and customised rates.
In contrast to a high-risk merchant account, a high-volume merchant account doesn’t keep a rolling reserve, hold back funds or put a cap on the number of transactions you can process. Rather, the right account will enable you to enjoy an uninterrupted cash flow and process payments, 24/7.
So, what should merchants look for in a high-volume merchant account?
1. A Stellar Reputation
High-volume payment processing comes with high stakes for merchants, so it’s critical to choose a trustworthy merchant provider. Data breaches can cost businesses upwards of €4.5 million per incident and can cause grave damage to your business’s reputation.
When you start to research high-volume accounts, look for a high-volume payment processor that:
- Has several years of experience in payment processing for high-volume merchants
- Has a large online footprint
- Has hundreds of positive online reviews on independent review websites
- Is registered with the relevant chamber of commerce
2. A Detailed Underwriting Process
A thorough underwriting process at the beginning shows that a given merchant account provider is responsible in measuring risk and will then have your back 100%. For high-volume merchants, the underwriting process typically takes 3-5 days and will involve a close look at your personal and business documents, payment processing history, working capital and website.
Basic payment service providers don’t usually ask for the complete range of documents that you need to open a merchant account, assuming a higher level of risk. If there’s any unusual activity in your account (such as rising transaction volumes) later on, your account could be frozen or even terminated without warning, which is something a high-volume business definitely doesn’t want.
3. Industry-Leading Security Features
High-volume merchants often process payments from customers worldwide, making them popular targets for data theft and payment fraud. When researching high-volume merchant accounts, look for secure credit card processing features including:
- PCI-DSS compliance
- SHA-256 SSL encryption
- Customisable and adjustable fraud scrub
4. Chargeback Mitigation Support
High-volume businesses can easily rack up too many chargebacks simply due to the high number of transactions they process each month. To keep your chargeback ratio low, look for a merchant account provider that helps you intercept chargebacks before they go through, allowing you to resolve any issues directly with the customer.
5. 24/7 Live Technical Support
When you’re processing transactions around the clock, any interruptions to the functioning of your global payment gateway can cost you thousands of Euros in potential sales. For your high-volume merchant account, look for a processor that offers live technical support from real people, 24/7, so that any issues can be resolved promptly.
6. International Payment Processing
International businesses often have business bank accounts and even acquiring banks in multiple countries or may operate via an offshore merchant account. If you have branches in several countries, look for a high-volume merchant account provider that can facilitate transactions between multiple accounts and in multiple currencies.
When you serve customers around the world, you’ll also need to be able to manage payments made using local cards and local alternative payment methods such as domestic bank transfers. Choosing a merchant account provider that can process all of the cards and payment methods you need will ensure that you never miss a genuine sale.
7. Custom Payment Processing Rates
All non-cash payment processing comes at a cost. There are multiple institutions involved in processing electronic payments that all need funds to keep the payment networks running, and these funds come from the transactions themselves.
For businesses that process high-volume transactions, it is important to negotiate transaction fees that are advantageous for your business model. For example:
- If you process a high volume of small ticket transactions each month, you’ll want a lower fixed fee but might be able to handle a slightly higher percentage fee.
- If you process a smaller number of high-ticket transactions, it’s advantageous to have a higher fixed fee and a lower percentage fee.
If there’s a monthly account fee, you might also be able to negotiate having that fee waived as long as you stay above a certain minimum processing threshold. For high-volume businesses, this should be easy to do.
8. A Custom Monthly Processing Limit
Dedicated merchant account providers typically have much higher merchant account limits than aggregate payment service providers like PayPal and Stripe. If the acquiring bank is located in Europe, the merchant account will typically have higher limits than it would in the United States.
When negotiating your monthly processing volume, you’ll want to show solid data from the last 3 to 6 months of your processing history to support the volume you’re requesting from a payment provider. As your business grows (by adding new product lines, new countries, new marketing campaigns or due to increased consumer demand) and you start to near your limit, you can request to have this limit raised.
9. Fast Merchant Settlement Times
When you sell thousands of products to thousands of customers every month, you depend on a steady cash flow to avoid bottlenecks in fulfilment. When comparing high-volume merchant accounts, look for one that can ensure that funds will be deposited in your business bank account in 24-48 hours or even that same day (eligibility requirements may apply).
For global businesses, look for a provider that can settle in the accounts and currency or currencies of your choice. This not only reduces settlement times by eliminating international transfers but can help you save money on currency conversions and transfer fees as well.
10. Merchant Services that Help You Succeed
Finally, look for a merchant account provider that offers merchant services to help you manage your money, provide value-added services to your customers (such as email newsletters, loyalty points and memberships) and that puts financial data at your fingertips to help you make strategic business decisions.
The right payment processor will do much more than simply facilitate transactions. It will be your partner in growing your business to national or international success.
When comparing your options and reading reviews, look for a processor that’s committed to helping your business thrive.