Any businesses which regularly accepts payments from other countries can benefit from having offshore merchant accounts. Account providers usually charge a fee to set up an account for a business, although once the account is in place it allows acceptance of international credit cards as well as verification of customer information. You may need to have one or more of the features offered by offshore merchant accounts, including lower liability levels for taxation, a simpler operation and general asset protection. The fees charged by the offshore merchant account provider will generally vary based on which of these features and extras you request.
Some of the charges and fees associated with offshore merchant accounts include reserve fees, charge back fees, monthly minimum amount fees, and transaction fees as well as sometimes a fee for installing and setting up equipment. The transaction fee is typically a standard fee which is assessed for each transaction processed, while the monthly minimum fee is assessed if the merchant does not meet the previously agreed upon monthly minimum transaction amount. A reserve fee can help to protect a merchant from potential losses and is used if a customer has questionable credit, while any disputed fees resulting in a refund to the customer are covered by the chargeback fees. Some offshore merchant account providers offer a discount rate, usually based on a set percentage of each transaction.
If you are setting up an offshore merchant account, do your research to make sure you get the best rates as well as the features you need to operate your business. Considering the often substantial financial risk, most account providers are happy to answer questions from merchants about their service. Merchants should make a point of asking the right questions and checking out all the features, fees and charges before making a firm decision and setting up one of these offshore merchant accounts for their overseas customers.