As companies have become increasingly dependent on technology and all things digital, it is more important than ever to have a tech support team to combat any glitches that can slow down or halt operations entirely.
Tech support companies have been meeting these needs for both companies and individuals. However, in 2012, the Federal Trade Commission initiated a massive crackdown on rampant scams run by tech support companies.
Within these companies were telemarketers disguised as major computer companies, luring unsuspecting customers to rid their computers of malware for hundreds of dollars. It was both an aggressive and successful campaign for the FTC.
Tech Support Is Categorized As High-Risk
As a result of this aforementioned incident, U.S. banks no longer provide merchant accounts in order to process card payments, as they are now categorized as high-risk. Scammers in this industry are known to trick customers to grant them remote access to their computers, leaving their personal and financial information vulnerable.
It has become a widespread problem within the online world. Here are more reasons that tech support companies fall under the high-risk category:
- Remote tech support processes card-not-present transactions (CNP). As in, the customer’s credit card is not present at the merchant’s point of sale.
- Chargebacks are rampant in PC tech support.
- Tech support companies tend to operate in different places around the world than their customers. (Often, they are located in India)
What To Look For In A Tech Support Merchant Account Provider
But what if you are a legitimate tech support business and need to process credit and debit card payments? You will need a high-risk tech support merchant account.
Especially important is to find payment processors who specialize in the IT/Tech support industry. Given that the tech support industry is already riddled with fraud and chargebacks, you need a merchant account provider that has all the resources you need to continue to operate and grow a legitimate tech support merchant business.
Here are more features to look for as you search for the best tech support merchant account provider for your business:
- Excellent customer support
- Supports multi-currencies
- Transparent with pricing
- No early termination fees
- No setup or application fees
- Chargeback mitigation tools
- Anti-fraud solutions
One thing to expect with the high-risk category is that you will need to pay higher-than-average fees. Just make sure that they are not abusively high as some bad actors in the industry do try to take advantage of merchants desperate to secure a high-risk merchant account.
What You Need To Apply For A Tech Support Merchant Account
Now that you know what to look for in a potential tech support merchant provider, what can you do to ensure you get approved for one?
As is the case with most high-risk merchant account providers, you will need some important documentation to submit with your online application. The type of documentation required will greatly depend on the provider and what their criteria for approval are. For now, here is just basic information that they might request at the time of the application process:
- A valid, government-issued ID
- A bank letter or voided check
- 3 months of the most recent bank statements
- 3 months of the most recent card processing statements (if applicable)
- Social Security or Employer Identification Number (EIN)
The processor will also ask to see that you have a secure business website that has the latest in security and is PCI Compliant. Also vitally important is to do all you can to keep your chargeback ratio low, some providers will suggest below 2%.
How To Apply For A Tech Support Merchant Account
The process for applying for a tech support merchant account is easy and straightforward. It all begins with filling out an online application directly on the provider’s website. It only takes a few minutes and you will need to submit all of your required documentation along with the completed online application. Ensure that you fill out the entire application completely and honestly.
Once the application and documentation are submitted, the underwriter will take a few days to peruse all the information thoroughly and look for any excessive amounts of chargebacks, financial history, credit, and other criteria. They will also be looking out for any illegitimate or illegal activity. Providers do not want to partner up with illegitimate businesses.
Once you are approved, you will receive assistance in setting up your merchant account. You will also get set up with a secure payment gateway, anti-fraud tools, and chargeback mitigation tools. After all, this has been set up, you will be able to process credit, debit, and e-checks (if applicable).
Open A Tech Support Merchant Account Today
With all the scams and fraudulent activity inherent within the tech support industry, it’s no wonder why banks and traditional payment providers will not service tech support merchants.
But if you are operating a legitimate tech support business, you don’t need to suffer the consequences of other fraudsters in the industry. You do have a choice to partner up with an experienced tech support merchant account provider that will support you in processing card and e-check payments.
You also have the opportunity to keep chargebacks low or at bay with the many chargeback mitigation programs and anti-fraud tools included in your merchant account.
The most important step you can take is to research the providers available. Check for reviews, talk to other tech support merchants in the industry, and get recommendations. Choosing your tech support merchant account provider is one of the foundational and most critical decisions you can make to process card transactions safely, build trust with your customers, and take your business to the next level.