Ensuring Business Success with a Suitable Online Gambling Merchant Account
A reliable and efficient online gambling merchant account is a priority for any operator looking to get into the iGaming industry. Online gambling is one of the fastest-growing sectors, with global revenues rising every year. As more gamblers turn to web-based platforms for gambling solutions, the industry becomes an appealing venture globally. Effective payment processing makes online casinos, betting sites, and other platforms what they are. Customers must be able to deposit and withdraw funds without too many complications, hence the importance of online gambling merchant accounts. This guide explores the fundamentals of a merchant account for gambling operations, like why it’s considered high risk and what to look for.
Online gambling and gaming businesses merchant accounts
The rise of online gambling was only possible because operators could provide payment processing alternatives. Credit cards remain popular banking methods because they are convenient for most internet users. However, as online payments gained dominance, payment companies developed more solutions. Now online gambling businesses offer a slew of banking solutions including virtual wallets, prepaid vouchers, and mobile wallets. Regardless of the banking methods offered, your website needs a merchant account. What are the enterprises that require online gambling merchant accounts, though?
Online casinos come to mind when talking about iGaming. These are websites that offer different casino games that gamblers can play for real money. However, the gambling industry is vast with different operators serving the ever-evolving consumer demands. An online bookmaker is another platform that needs a merchant account. Sportsbooks allow punters to bet on a variety of sports, including e-sports and virtual sports. Other online gambling merchants include:
- Horse racing
Why is Online Gambling Considered a High Risk Industry?
A merchant account can be low or high risk, and gambling ventures fall into the second category. Regulation is one reason a gaming operator is a high-risk merchant. Internet gambling laws are murky in many regions and an increasing number of companies are registered offshore. A payment processor that services these businesses takes the risk of having a client that does not adhere to licensing terms. So, online gambling merchants have to stay updated on any regulatory changes.
Friendly fraud is another source of the high risk of an online gambling merchant account. A legitimate customer can make a credit card deposit at an online casino, then later charge it back for whatever reason. Even though you might contest such credit card chargebacks, they still influence your fraud and chargeback ratio. The higher your chargeback ratio, the more high risk your merchant account is. Gambling sites are also susceptible to other forms of fraud and money laundering. The large volume of credit card payments is another element that contributes to the high risk of online gaming operators.
Is it easy to get an online gambling merchant account?
Due to the high risk of online gambling merchants, the number of processing solutions available for such businesses is limited. Nonetheless, you can expect to find a reliable partner to facilitate credit and debit card transactions, among others. The application for a merchant account is not complicated, particularly if you satisfy the requirements. Depending on the payment processor, your site can be ready for payment processing in 72 hours.
An operator should know the requirements for an online gambling merchant account so as to prepare in advance. You will have to provide:
- The most recent card processing history, if the site has it
- Government-issued identification
- Recent bank statements (business or personal)
- A bank letter
Note that the necessary documentation might vary from one processor to another. Also, new websites might have to meet higher eligibility standards than existing operators.
Gambling Merchant Account Regulations and Processing Fees
Before applying for an online gambling merchant account, you must be familiar with the applicable regional regulations. The EU accounts for over half of online gaming revenue. However, member states have individual laws. KYC and AML requirements are some of the standards in the region that operators must be aware of when opening online gambling merchant accounts. The United States recently allowed individual states to form online gambling regulations. Owning an online gambling merchant account means staying up to date with any new laws.
High-risk merchants pay more for their credit card and debit transactions than low-risk businesses. Processors can charge a 15% commission rate or even higher, depending on the business type. However, unlike a few years ago, now high-risk enterprises don’t have to be stuck in long contracts (3-5 years). An online gambling merchant account can come with extra costs, including a monthly, annual, and set-up fee. Some processors also charge PCI and early termination fees. High-risk merchants also incur chargeback fees, which cover the administrative expenses of processing disputed credit card transactions. In comparison, a low-risk merchant account might cost half as much as a high-risk one.
What to look for when choosing a payment processor for your online gambling site
Despite the high risk of online gambling merchant accounts, companies have a decent number of providers from which to choose. High-risk merchant services are costly, but operators get reliable products that cater to an array of online payment needs. Finding the right payment gateway and merchant account solutions requires research and patience. Compare various credit card processing alternatives carefully to find a solution with the best features, fees, and rates. Remember that whether your website is registered offshore or locally will determine the most suitable processor for credit card and debit card transactions. Below are other aspects that should help with your selection process.
Withdrawals – The Most Important Feature on Every Gambling Site
Whether you are running an online casino, bookmaker, or poker site, efficient and quick withdrawals are critical. When customers want to cash out their balances, they should be able to without jumping too many hoops. Therefore, any decent online gambling merchant account should allow this. Technological advancements have made it easier for online gambling merchants to facilitate card payments. Thanks to the Original Credit Transaction (OCT), merchants can transfer funds directly to a credit card or debit card. The feature allows withdrawals in seconds. It also offers some security benefits because operators don’t have to handle customers’ sensitive details. A merchant account with OCT lets you send money in different currencies across various countries.
Dealing with chargebacks
Consider online gambling merchant accounts that help you reduce chargeback rates. Friendly fraud is a persistent issue in online gaming, and it’s almost impossible to eliminate. However, operators can institute measures to deal with it. For one, you should be able to identify fraudulent card payments. Although you can’t get your chargeback fee back, refuting those charges goes a long way in slashing your chargeback ratio. A successful dispute means that you receive the refund amount of the chargeback. An online gambling merchant account can have features to help fight against chargebacks. These include smart transaction monitoring, special forms, and automated dashboard representation. You should also check if a merchant account comes with chargeback tracking and alerts.
The risk of fraud is higher in online gaming than in most businesses. Whether a customer is paying with a debit card or credit card, he or she faces a number of cyber threats. Information loss and identity theft top the list. Gambling operators also have to deal with fraudulent accounts that can be used for criminal activities like money laundering. When picking a payment processor, ask about the measures available to safeguard customer data and the business. For this reason, you should get an online gambling merchant account from a partner who comprehends the specific needs of the industry.
Top Online Gambling Merchant Processors
Online gaming enterprises can provide effective and safe payment processing to customers by partnering with merchant services that specialize in the sector. Settling on the right credit card and debit card payment processor can take some work, but it’s not impossible. Online gambling merchants have become common, and various companies are willing to offer them high-performing e-commerce processing solutions. With a high-risk merchant account, a gambling operator can easily process card payments. The perfect merchant account means different things to various operators, hence the need to compare multiple providers. Below are three leading choices for online gambling merchants.
The California-based processor specializes in high-risk merchants. PaymentCloud offers merchant services that are suitable for online casinos with or without chance-based games. It provides reliable, scalable, and secure credit card payments. Available products include mobile phone swipers, merchant cash advances, POS solutions, and online payment gateways. It also has chargeback management integrations and fraud tools to help mitigate these risks during credit card and debit card processing. Therefore, merchants get to solve any arising issues before involving the banks. PaymentCloud considers a company’s processing history and type of business to customize prices.
An online casino looking to get a merchant account approved quickly should consider eMerchantBroker. You can get an online gambling merchant account with this payment processor if your chargeback ratio is less than 3%. The company is known for innovative products, competitive rates, and efficient credit card processing. Gambling merchants get high-volume payment solutions, cash advances, and ACH processing, among other products. Your online gambling merchant account comes with chargeback row resolution programs to help you maintain the required ratio. The automated application process saves you time. eMerchantBroker promises approval in as little as 72 hours.
For an international merchant account, Instabill is among the top processors to consider. The company delivers secure credit card and debit card processing for high-risk e-commerce enterprises. With Instabill, you can accept credit cards in over 160 currencies. Operators can offer credit card transactions on the go through mobile merchant accounts. It also has ACH processing, which facilitates private, cost-effective, and safe electronic transfers. Merchant account pricing is customized according to needs. Some charges include account registration, merchant, chargeback, and transaction fee. The approval time for an offshore online gambling merchant account is 5 days to 2 weeks.