Mobile Apps Offer Customers New In-Store Payment Methods

Jan 06, 2014

A growing trend in retail has been the implementation of customer-based checkout processes. Manual check-out stations are becoming a staple and grocery stores and now anyone with an iOS Apple mobile device may be able to complete a purchase without swiping a card in a store. This has significant implications for high-risk businesses and underscores the need for merchants to get approved for a high-risk merchant account.

SelfPay is a new app developed by Digital Retail Apps that allows a customer to complete a purchase in a store’s aisles rather than at a cashier. All a customer needs to do is download the app, create an account, and register a payment method for a card from either MasterCard or Visa.

The benefit for retailers is that customers will be able to complete a purchase immediately after finding a product they want to purchase thus reducing the number of “showroom” shoppers-shoppers that only go to the store’s location for pricing and then return home to purchase online. A customer simply needs to activate GPS tracking so the app recognizes the store they are in and then scans individual items into their phone for product information and pricing; at which point they can complete their purchase electronically.

For merchants, this app has varying impacts on business. First, a non-swipe transaction will carry a slightly more expensive interchange price. However, this increase should be offset by an increase in in-store purchases. For high-risk merchants, this can make a dramatic impact in the critical ease-of-purchase for customers in such a mercurial niche as marijuana dispensaries. In order for your business to have access to this POS app, however, you need to be approved for a high-risk merchant account today.

Banks are particularly restrictive about offering high-risk merchant accounts due to the instability and risk involved in such businesses. As a high-risk entrepreneur, you will usually need to look for alternative sources such as online payment processors or offshore banks to open your merchant account. For online businesses without the option for cash merchant accounts are a must-have. For high-risk businesses with in-store retail options, the advent of new mobile apps that allow customers to essentially pay online without going to a cashier underscores the need for approval for a high-risk merchant account.

Trends in POS technology and apps indicate that the future of retail may revolve around customers as cashiers in most retail situations. As payment processes and transactions increasingly move beyond the realm of cash, high-risk businesses will need more than ever to open a high-risk merchant account in order to run their business. Finding approval for a high-risk merchant account will become among if not the top priority for any high-risk business.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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