Many in the Remote Tech Support (RTS) industry sell their clients “support packages” online. These packages give the buyer access to support personnel who can diagnose technical problems and, sometimes, take over control of their home/business PC in a remote way to diagnose and solve technical issues. If this is your business then you must accept credit cards.
That said, you should know right from the start that the credit card processing companies (and their affiliated banks, a.k.a. “under-writers”) consider the Remote Tech Support industry to be “high-risk.” In fact, many high-risk processors consider RTS to be “too risky.”
It’s not your fault. You did nothing wrong.
The problem is that the RTS industry has a higher-than-average number of fraud and abuse cases, as well as large numbers of “charge-backs.” Therefore, RTS is treated as a higher-risk category – and charged higher-than-average processing rates. As a rule of thumb, processing rates for many online services run in the 2-3% range, whereas rates for RTS companies run in the 4-5% range.
None of this should matter much to you, since this is an industry rule and cannot be avoided, i.e. your competition has this problem, too.
What should matter to you are two things:
- You MUST have several legitimate, reliable Merchant Accounts.
- You MUST have a reasonably large monthly volume limit – which gives you room to grow your company.
If you currently have 1 Merchant Account then we recommend you go out and get 2 more.
In order to obtain an American Merchant Account for RTS the following are required:
- Your company is located in the USA.
- Your call-center and all technicians must be located in the USA.
- The bank where your money is deposited must be located in the USA.
- We can provide Offshore Accounts when necessary
If either your call center or company headquarters are located in India (or anywhere outside the USA) then your only alternative is to get an Offshore Merchant Account. These Offshore accounts have one big advantage: You may process large numbers of transactions on international cards without running afoul of the international-card restrictions demanded by most USA-based processors.
Quick FYI: A credit card is considered “International” if the card holder’s bank is located outside of the USA. This applies EVEN IF the cardholder was inside the USA when the transaction was made. All USA-based processors have limits on the percentage of International cards you may process in a given month. Your Merchant Account can be terminated if you surpass this limit. If you accept, or want to accept, large numbers of International cards then having an Offshore Merchant Account is the best solution. Offshore rates are in the range of 7-10%.
This might sound daunting but please remember that your ability to accept payment via credit cards really is your entire business. So many of our merchants have come to us in a panic, having recently been refused by their primary bank or terminated by their current processor.
There’s really no need for a panicked rush.
It is imperative that you pre-emptively solve this problem by setting up additional merchant accounts now – so you won’t be impacted by banking decisions your current processor may make in the future.
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