What are offshore merchant accounts?

Offshore merchant accounts are accounts that are handled by an offshore financial institution. When you choose an offshore financial institution, you are choosing one that is not within the United States, or whatever country you're located in. This means that you are not bound by the sometimes extensive and even ridiculous and hampering rules and regulation that bog down "on"shore merchant account holders and their "on"shore financial institutions. What does this mean for you? A safe, legal and effective way to bypass a lot of these regulations and prohibitions, while still retaining the standards and security you require for processing credit/debit cards.

What are the benefits of using offshore merchant accounts?

In the past, the choice to use offshore merchant accounts could be a costly ones, and sometimes risky as well. Today, that is no longer true. Today you have a wide variety of banks to choose from. You are not limited in your choice of banks, either. Offshore merchant accounts are not bound by typical United States rules, and Visa and Mastercard rules and regulations. This means that there is less paperwork, less hassle, less restrictions, and ultimately less money required to go through and put down to be able to process credit/debit cards. This is an especially appealing factor for "high risk" businesses and often why they ultimately choose offshore merchant accounts.

What should I know about selecting a financial institution for offshore merchant accounts?

Like anything else, read up on a company. Read their policies, and learn everything you can about them. Then, make sure you know all about the state of government of the particular country the financial institution resides in, and make sure you are aware of any relevant policies and procedures. Also, make sure that with your offshore merchant accounts you will also have the same standards of security, protection and quality that you would with "on"shore merchant accounts. And lastly, do not go offshore to avoid creditors, liability or to evade tax obligations. Use offshore merchant accounts to make the process of accepting debit/credit cards easier, and not to do anything illegal or unethical.

Aren't offshore merchant accounts expensive?

In many cases, no. While it is true that some offshore banks and offshore merchant accounts charge higher set up fees, higher service fees and higher processing fees, nowadays the fierce competition that is seen within US merchant accounts has required offshore merchant accounts to lower their prices. With the increase of credit/debit card usage and internet banking, many offshore merchant accounts now offer more affordable options, and aren't charging the same high rates for processing credit/debit cards that they were before. And even if you do encounter higher fees here or there, you may be avoiding even higher fees and taxes and other setup related costs that you would encounter with United States merchant accounts.

What features do offshore merchant accounts offer?

Offshore merchant accounts typically offer the same features as other types of merchant accounts. These features include quick processing of applications, set up of the account being done as soon as possible, offshore incorporation taken care of as soon as possible, funding done promptly, risk management services in place, customer service, technical support, and in many cases, virtual reporting.