Offshore Merchant Account

Performance Card Service (PCS) is a leading provider of offshore merchant accounts for companies that have difficulty qualifying for domestic credit card processing. Businesses in this category often rely on solutions that can be time-consuming and expensive — especially when dealing with large volume transactions.

However, many international banks allow merchants to process credit cards without being incorporated locally. Applying for an offshore high risk merchant account usually involves providing the standard Know Your Customer (KYC) documents, but once approved, capacity or volume are unlimited— and that allows you to continue expanding your business.

Done correctly, offshore merchant processing can be a lifeline if your current business requires secure, fast and convenient credit card processing. However, before exploring this option, understanding how offshore payment processing differs from most domestic solutions is very important.

The Limitations of an Offshore Merchant Account

Below are some of the key challenges you may face when using an offshore payment processor:

  • Funding cycles are usually weekly. In some cases, money may be tied up for several weeks in arrears when using a merchant account offshore. Such delays can negatively impact your cash flow. Thus, it’s important to plan accordingly when selecting offshore high risk merchant account providers.
  • Some banks convert payments into their local currencies before authorizing and completing transactions. This means both you and your customers may see currency conversions on monthly statements. As a general rule, you should alert your customers to this fact during the checkout process to avoid any future disputes or unnecessary chargebacks. At Performance Card Service, we help you avoid this issue. We work with several offshore merchant account providers that offer a process through their primary bank that allows customers to see the same charge at checkout as they do on their statements.
  • International banks are not subject to U.S. financial regulations. Selecting a reputable payment processor that takes data security seriously is imperative when obtaining a merchant account offshore. Still, there is always the risk that some transactions get delayed.
  • You may face a higher rate of declined transactions. This is because many card-issuing banks in the U.S. use Geo IP filters to automatically flag or block transactions initiated abroad. This poses another challenge with offshore payment processing if the merchant is unaware of the filters being utilized.

Once aware of these limitations, managing them successfully is definitely possible.

That’s where we come in.

Choosing the Right Offshore Payment Processor

Since 2001, PCS has provided in-depth offshore merchant services, helping countless merchants around the globe build thriving businesses with a range of cutting-edge payment solutions. With one of the highest approval ratings in the industry, we help you qualify for an offshore merchant account — even if you’ve been turned down by other domestic or international banks in the past.

If you choose to work with us, our team of experts meets with you to select a payment processing solution that addresses your specific needs — whether it be a domestic solution, an offshore merchant account or both.

This consultation begins with an in-depth analysis of your current payment challenges — followed by a detailed examination of the various risks you face. Thereafter, we custom design a merchant account solution to help reduce your risk exposure and mitigate the limitations outlined above. This allows you to begin securely accepting credit card payments as you continue to grow your business.


How to get an offshore merchant account?

Just ask! We will help you navigate the rather challenging process to get set up with an offshore merchant account. Offshore merchant accounts have certain limitations that make processing transactions a challenge, so we work though each option and ensure you as the merchant will succeed with a certain solution. For instance, an offshore provider may require 3D Secure on all transactions, which can negatively affect your conversion rates on transactions. Another instance we see is that an offshore account may not support your shopping cart platform, so you would need to integrate the API into your website. Many of our offshore providers offer plugins to make this easy, but several are harder to integrate, such as Shopify. We will be sure to inform you of this before we move forward.

Once we have your account pre-approved, we will circle back to you with rates, terms and anything you need to know that might cause issues in the future. If everything is satisfactory, we will move to the next stage of collecting documentations and getting a formal agreement signed. We are always around to support you through the process in any way we can, and you will also have a dedicated account manager at the processor who works in tandem with us to make sure you get approved, go live and begin processing as soon as possible.

Be aware that offshore merchant accounts do carry some limitations versus domestic accounts. Transactions tend not to settle as quickly, often taking weeks to settle rather than 2-3 days. This is something to be aware of, since it affects cashflow. A second issue that pops up frequently is credit card transactions that are declined because a U.S.-based card-issuing bank flags the transaction as originating from another country. While this is not always the case, it can disrupt customer relationships and create extra work.

On the plus side, offshore accounts enable you to conform to the tax laws in the host country rather than those in the U.S. In some cases, this results in lower taxes. Another favorable characteristic of an offshore account is that it may not have a limit to the number of transactions you process each month. If your business is expanding rapidly, or if you want it to, this is a very important thing to consider.

While offshore merchant accounts are wonderful options for many high risk businesses, they are also worth exploring if you, for instance, serve a global market and do a considerable amount of business outside the U.S. and/or in certain foreign countries. Setting up a merchant account in the local currency and jurisdiction can be more convenient and help you establish your brand as being local to those markets.

If you are not sure whether an offshore merchant account fits your business, or you’d like to consider other options, contact us now. We have decades of experience in high risk payment processing and have strong relationships with the industry’s best offshore processors.

Contact Us Today!

To learn more about Performance Card Service’s offshore payment processing solutions and offshore merchant accounts, schedule a free consultation with our merchant services team today.

Get Started