Obtaining a Firearm Merchant Account
Firearms are a big ticket item. The ability to process credit card payments can make or break a firearms business. However, securing merchant services like credit card processing can be challenging for firearms dealers because this type of operation is considered high risk from the perspective of potential merchant partners. “High risk” simply means that, in terms of merchant services, this type of business tends to generate more chargebacks, and experience a higher volume of credit card fraud than a business considered to be low risk. Being high risk does not mean that it will be impossible to find an outfit to provide payment processing services. Understanding how to shop for these services for a high-risk operation is crucial to finding the right fit for your own unique business. Following are eight important items to put on your checklist when looking for a payment processing partner:
#1. Specialization – Does the company specialize in working with businesses like yours? Companies that specialize are likely easier to work with. Host Merchant Services has a firearm sales division specializing in gun shop merchants.
#2. Types of Sales – Do you plan to engage in internet sales? Some payment processors are not able to accommodate this. Internet Sales are very different from face to face sales for guns. It takes experience and know-how to get some of these accounts approved. We have the ability to process in person and online, and with years of experience, we know how to get you set up.
#3. Rates – Is the quote clear? Does it explain how the rate is calculated, how close to the wholesale rate it is, and whether it is flat or tiered? Will those rates change at the end of a certain period of time, or are they guaranteed for the duration of your relationship with that credit card processing company? This part can be challenging and deserves close attention.
#4. Fees – Are there fees–hidden or otherwise? Fees should be divulged on the quote and it should be noted that hidden fees are never assessed.
#5. Term Commitment – Does the company require that you commit to their company for a certain length of time? If so, you may face penalties for trying to take your business elsewhere before that term is up.
#6. Customer Service – Are they open when your business is open? Are they as committed to good customer service as you are?
#7. Additional Services – Offering additional services like credit card machines, or point of sale software and equipment could save you tons of time. Do you want to locate a processor, and then hunt down a credit card machine?
#8. Reputation – How is the company rated by entities like the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs? A solid company works hard at maintaining a solid reputation.
This seems daunting, but the field will narrow quickly. You will likely find that most companies will not make it past the third or fourth point on your checklist. Host Merchant Services can certainly help!