The Tech Support Industry
Though the technical industry may be one of the fastest growing industries, banks aren’t eager to approve merchant accounts for businesses in this sector, which would allow them to process payments, including credit card purchases.
Truth be told, banks hear the words “tech support” and they start thinking “tech support scams.” Over the years, scammers cloaked under the guise of tech support have conned people out of their personal information and their money. Common cons include scammers sending pop-up messages that warn users about computer problems. The “techs” that call to help users claim they have detected viruses or malware on a person’s personal computer. Then, the user is to pay a large fee or enroll in a subscription plan to diagnose a non-existent problem and protect it from other problems in the future. Scammers do this over and over, stealing many people’s personal information and money. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission estimates that consumers lost $24.6 million from tech-support scams in 2015 and 2016. The average consumer loses about $280 on each scam.
Due to the rampant fraud and the high chargeback associated with these businesses, banks don’t want to shoulder the potential loss. Therefore, legitimate tech support businesses that want to accept credit card transactions need to turn to high-risk merchant account provider, eMerchantBroker.com (EMB). You can apply today for a tech support merchant account by using EMB’s quick, online application.
EMB specializes in high-risk merchants, including remote tech support businesses. With a dedication to the highest quality customer service, EMB works with businesses to get them the personalized payment solutions they need to succeed. Merchants can get approved in as little as 24 hours. Once approved, EMB can set up chargeback management tools and a payment gateway. Also, a fraud filter also can be set up for online payments.
Merchant accounts for all types of tech support businesses
EMB offers merchant accounts to many types of businesses in the technical support industry, including those that offer remote services. Other tech businesses accepted offer the following services:
- Mac or PC security services
- Hardware and router configuration
- Browser and email support
- PC optimization
Additionally, the experts at EMB work with new and existing businesses of all sizes, merchants rejected or terminated by another credit processor, as well as those with bad credit or high chargebacks.
What’s required when applying for a tech support merchant account
An online or retail business can start applying for a tech support merchant account today. To begin, merchants should fill out EMB’s online application. To keep the process moving along, businesses should have the below items on hand to make available to processors and underwriters:
- A valid, government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license
- A bank letter or a pre-printed voided check
- 3 months of the most recent bank statements
- 3 months of the most recent processing statements, if applicable
- A SSN (Social Security Number) or EIN (Employer Identification Number)
- Chargeback ratios must be under 2%
Additionally, every online merchant must have a secure, well-established, functioning website.
EMB doesn’t guarantee any approvals, but it does promise a simple, easy application process. Merchants can be approved for accounts within 24 to 48 hours.
Get tech support merchant account processing volumes raised
Many tech support merchants have hopes of building a $100,000 per month business. The problem is that many tech support merchants end up with a monthly credit card processing volume cap. Basically, this means merchants are limited by a certain determined dollar figure that they can accept via credit cards. So once the limit is reached for that month, the merchant is essentially shut down for business. Startups in this industry often end up with a cap of no more than $40,000.
The good news is that fast-growing merchants that need higher volume ceilings can request new caps in as little as three months. The caveat is that the tech support merchants must be successful during those months. Therefore, they need to show they have low chargeback ratios, their bills are paid, and they have some cash in the bank if they want a processor to consider raising their caps.
What to expect during a tech support merchant account application review
When tech support businesses apply for merchant accounts, processors and underwriters want to see that they are running legitimate, reputable businesses. During their review, they assess risk by looking for any red flags that indicate that a merchant is not running legally.
To get a total view of business’ risk, underwriters look at a merchant’s credit scores, credit card processing history, bank statements, and its website. If a site doesn’t have solid privacy and refund policies posted, they will count as negative strikes against the merchant. A negative bank account balance, unpaid bills and late payments, and a history of high chargeback rates also increase the risk to a processor.
To prepare for the application review, merchants should take care of outstanding bills and debts, have a substantial sum of money in the bank, and have a principal in the business with the best credit history apply for the account. Basically, anything that may be viewed as suspicious should be handled before it goes before an underwriter. The goal is to show processors and underwriters that they are not taking any undue risk when they approve a tech support merchant account. Merchants that take these steps are likely to get approved for an account with fewer restrictions, such as caps on higher processing volume or a lowering rolling reserve.
Reasons tech support businesses get so many chargebacks
As an industry, remote tech support is vulnerable to high chargebacks. Unfortunately, many tech support businesses are run all over the world with little guidance with employees who are not skilled in providing quality customer service. A poorly operated business, leads to dissatisfied customers. Unhappy customers lead a high volume of refunds and chargebacks.
In general, when customers make a purchase from a tech support business, they are getting a service not a product. The lack of a tangible item can make some customers feel like a purchase was invaluable. This happens most often when a tech support company does not provide customers with an audit of their services. For example, a tech support merchant that offers security services may want to send an email explaining to customers the protections it has offered since the transaction. A complimentary follow-up service also is a good way to show a patron their business is appreciated.
Tech support service is not cheap. A one-time service can be hundreds of dollars. To free up extra cash, a dissatisfied customer may look at ending this type of service as a quick way to save.
Another problem for tech support businesses are that they don’t have a strong band, have little name recognition, and are often smaller, less-established businesses. A lack of business know-how and customer service puts them at a deficit. Merchants may not know that larger companies offer refunds and other incentives to keep customers satisfied and from disputing a credit card transaction.
Most importantly, chargebacks – whether won or lost – contribute to merchants’ total chargeback ratios. Not understanding this fact makes merchants hesitant to enroll in chargeback alert programs, fight transaction disputes, and give refunds.
Processors care about chargebacks and here’s why
Excessive chargebacks are a sign that a merchant’s business model is flawed. Chargebacks are caused by customer dissatisfaction, a lack of customer service and insufficient fraud or chargeback mitigation plans.
The main reason credit card processors don’t want to deal with businesses that have large volumes of chargebacks is because they get penalized for them. Whenever a merchant exceeds a 2% chargeback ratio, the processor faces potential fines from credit brands, like Visa or MasterCard. The fines can total thousands of dollars per merchant. Therefore, a business with high chargebacks becomes a financial burden for a credit card processor, ultimately resulting in merchant account termination.
Credit card processors can terminate high-risk merchant accounts if their have a more 3% chargeback ratio. Once businesses have lost their merchant accounts, they have very difficult times getting approved for second ones.
Start Preventing Chargebacks Today
Many chargebacks are due to customers not remembering or recognizing transactions on their credit card statements. A way to prevent that is to have a clear billing descriptor that includes the merchant’s name and contact number.
Communicating openly and often also can cut down on chargebacks. Once a transaction is complete, send an automatic email receipt. If a dispute arises, get ahead of the situation and offer a refund. A refund is much more cost-effective than a chargeback.
EMB makes it easier to fight chargebacks with Chargeback Suite. EMB has created an elite alert and prevention system for high-risk merchants, including tech support businesses, by partnering with Verifi and its new Cardholder Dispute Resolution Network (CDRN) and Ethoca’s alert system,
CDRN operates with banks and card issuers, enabling merchants an opportunity to resolve credit card transaction disputes. Through this top-notch alert and prevention system, merchants achieve the greatest rate of chargeback resolutions while being directly involved in the process. Enabling an alert system can trim up to 25% off a merchant’s chargeback ratio.
Actively pursuing chargebacks helps tech support companies from losing revenue and keeps their merchant accounts in good standing.
Additionally, remote tech support merchants often accept MO/TO (mail order/telephone order) payments or e-commerce payments via their websites. In both payment types, the customer’s credit card information is entered through a payment gateway or virtual terminal. This gateway is a user interface that transmits card data to the processor securely. Great ways for tech support merchants to cut down on a large volume of chargebacks are to use ACH, or Automated Clearing House, payment processing, as well as other check solutions. ACH is an electronic payment solution that enables businesses to deduct funds directly from a customer’s bank account.
ACH and how it works
Unlike credit card transactions, no interchange fees are involved in ACH transaction. This save both time and money and doesn’t require the merchant and customer to exchange check numbers or documents. It does require a customer to provide preauthorization via written, verbal, or electronic permission for a business to process the check.
The check is converted into an ACH transaction and it is submitted to the merchant’s payment processor through a payment gateway via a batch file transmission. Then, the merchant’s check processor sends the ACH transaction to the customer’s bank so the approved funds can be debited from the checking account. It takes up to seven days for an ACH payment to clear.
Advantages of ACH
As the number of online businesses grow, ACH payment processing evolves and gains in popularity. In addition to being a quicker, hassle-free payment solution to paper checks, it is an alternative to credit cards.
Additionally, it allows for automatic recurring billing and payments and ACH is connected to banks around the globe
Categories for Tech Support Merchant Accounts
The United States and other countries, including the United Kingdom, assign four-digit numerical codes, known as Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, to business establishments. These codes aim to identify the primary purpose of businesses.
Businesses that sell products and services related to the tech support industry fall into one of these codes:
- 7379: Computer Related Services, Not Elsewhere Categorized
- 8748: Business Consulting Services
- 7389: Business Services, Not Elsewhere Categorized
Visit the United States Department of Labor to view a complete SIC list.
The six-digit codes, known as NAICS, are used by federal statistical agencies to classify establishment. The codes are used to collect, analyze, and publish statistical information about similar types of businesses and the way they impact the U.S. economy.
Most remote technical support businesses use these two NAICS codes:
- 541519: Other Computer Related Services
- 541618: Other Management Consulting Services
Visit the United States Census Bureau’s Northern American Classification System to view the complete NAICS code list.
Tech Support Merchant Account
eMerchantBroker is quick and easy to work with. Once your merchant account is set up, you can begin channeling funds from US-based companies or your other place of outsourcing business. Discover how easy it is to apply and get the process started for your tech support business.
- No Application Fees
- Competitive rates
- No VISA/MasterCard Required
- Multiple Secure Payment Gateway Programs
- Chargeback Protection
Click below to get your application process started today
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