Continuity Subscription Merchant
The Right Merchant Account for Your Subscription Based Business
The ability to accept major credit cards for your products and services gives your ecommerce business credibility and expands your customer reach.
But all payment processing accounts are not the same. A luxury car and a delivery truck are both wheeled vehicles but it would be absurd, if not impossible, to haul pallets of fertilizer with the car.
In the same way, a subscription business needs a merchant account tailored for recurring billing transactions. Continuity businesses need the delivery truck version of processing accounts.
Easy Pay Direct understands the nuances of subscription billing and can pair you with a credit card processing company that offers a merchant account designed for your needs.
Low Risk vs. High Risk Merchant Accounts
In payment processing, risk is based not only on what is sold but how it’s sold.
Continuity subscription merchant accounts are considered high risk because of how they sell using recurring payments.
Most standard processing companies prefer to work with low risk businesses that fit a traditional category, so it’s super important to find a subscription billing merchant account that caters to your business.
What Makes Continuity Subscription Merchants High Risk?
Subscription based businesses are those that offer products or services on a recurring billing cycle.
The problem is that over time, consumers have longer to change their minds or even forget that they’ve purchased the subscription. This leaves the business owner with two big problems.
High chargebacks are common for continuity subscription merchants.
A consumer can request a chargeback for a purchase up to 180 days after they have received the full product.
If that product is a 6-month subscription, customers can still dispute the payments 180 days after they receive the final installment – that’s a full year after the original purchase!
Besides disputes from unhappy customers, “friendly fraud” contributes to excessive chargebacks.
This happens when a customer makes a purchase, receives the product, and then disputes the charge claiming not to have received the item or that the transactions were unauthorized charges, often keeping both the product and the money.
On the other side of the fraud problem, continuity billing scams give subscription businesses a bad reputation. This kind of fraud happens when a customer authorizes a small transaction and then finds they are being charged continuously for services they didn’t buy.
Who is Actually at Risk?
High chargebacks and instances of fraud make payment processing a little harder to find for continuity subscription accounts because high risk merchants share that risk with several other players.
Each of these entities has a stake in the proper evaluation of the merchant’s risk profile:
Merchants – the people or businesses that apply for merchant accounts to accept credit cards. Merchants collect credit or debit card information in their payment gateway to send to the processor. If chargebacks or fraud occur, the merchant is the first to feel the pain.
Processors – the companies that actually “process” credit card payments. They accept transaction information from the payment gateways and request money from the customer’s bank for payment. If a merchant goes out of business, the cost of chargebacks and fraud falls on these entities.
Acquiring Banks – the most hidden part of the process, these banks work directly with the major credit card brands to make secure payment processing safe for both the customer and the merchant. They enforce the rules of credit card processing established by the major card brands. If a processor goes out of business the acquiring bank carries the risk.
Major Credit Card Companies – Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express write the rulebook on how credit card processing works and provide oversight to the acquiring banks. If the whole system collapses, these companies hold the ultimate risk.
Managing the Risk
There are a number of ways subscription merchants can avoid chargebacks and still offer continuity billing services.
- Avoid “sketchy” subscription models – Negative Opt-in subscriptions that require customers to specifically indicate that they do NOT want to receive services are always suspect.
- Make sure the customer clearly understands they are purchasing a subscription and require them to confirm that choice. Taking measures to provide clear communication builds customers’ trust and minimizes chargebacks.
- Put the recurring payment details where customers will see them. Hidden terms lost in fine print can make the merchant look dishonest and leave consumers feeling tricked.
- Keep business contact information in plain sight. If a customer can easily reach out for a refund or to resolve a problem, they’ll be less likely to dispute transactions.
- Use a chargeback mitigation program. The right program can alert you to new chargeback activity and even eliminate disputes before they become chargebacks.
Easy Pay Direct can help you decide what measures to take to keep your high-risk merchant accounts in good standing.
Let Easy Pay Direct Be Your Guide
As with every business model, the continuity subscription option comes with its own set of challenges.
Finding the right payment processor with the right subscription merchant account for your business is one of the most important decisions you’ll face.
Easy Pay Direct has a proven record as a payment gateway and merchant account provider that can help get your recurring payments merchant account to the finish line.
We Specialize in High Risk Processing
Here at Easy Pay Direct, we have helped many high risk subscription merchants obtain continuity subscription processing for their businesses.
We Know The Subscription Business Model
We work with continuity subscription merchants regularly and understand best practices for success, from what matters during the review of the application to chargeback management and making sure your merchant account keeps up with your business as it grows.
Our Review Process is Thorough
A continuity subscription merchant needs the account stability that comes with proper underwriting. We can help verify your supporting documents are in order and your company website is ready for inspection – especially if credit card payments are captured online.
We Have Extensive Industry Relationships
We work with a number of processors and can pair you with the recurring billing merchant account that best suits your product and subscription model.
Processing companies can seem inaccessible. Long response times and low priority attention for the “little guy” can leave many business owners out in the cold. Our Merchant Success team will help take care of problems, answer questions and ensure your merchant account gets the service it deserves.
Let’s Do This!
Take a few minutes to fill out our easy form and start your continuity billing account setup today!