Card Processing for Pension and Investment Claims Businesses

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Card processing for pension and investment claims businesses

In recent years, the number of claims against mis-sold pensions and investments has been on the rise, leading to significant compensation pay-outs for affected clients. Similar to Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claim companies, pension and investment compensation businesses are often considered high-risk when it comes to applying for card processing solutions.

Understanding the ‘High Risk’ Label

There are several reasons why mis-sold pension and investment firms are categorised as ‘high risk’ in the world of card processing:


High Chargeback Rates: The industry tends to experience high levels of chargebacks, which occur when clients dispute transactions, leading to financial losses for businesses.


Fraud Concerns: Fraud is a prevalent issue in the world of mis-sold pensions and investment claims, with false claimants attempting to exploit the system for financial gain.


Card-Not-Present Transactions: Payments in this industry are often taken without the customer being physically present, making them slightly more susceptible to risk.

Pension and Investment Claim Payment Gateways

The majority of payments within claims businesses are processed as Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO) transactions, where customers provide their card details, which are then processed through an online virtual terminal. To process pension and investment claim payments effectively, businesses will require both a merchant account and a payment gateway.


Why Are Insurance and Pension Merchant Accounts High Risk?

Insurance and pension merchant accounts are often categorised as high-risk due to the unique challenges and characteristics associated with these financial sectors. Here are the key factors that contribute to their high-risk status:


High Chargeback Potential:

Insurance and pension transactions involve substantial sums of money, making them more susceptible to chargebacks. Clients may dispute charges for various reasons, including policy disputes, cancellations, or dissatisfaction with the services. High chargeback rates can impact a company’s financial stability.


Complex Underwriting Process:

The underwriting process for insurance and pension companies can be complex and lengthy. This complexity can result in higher processing costs and more extensive due diligence requirements, which are typical characteristics of high-risk merchant accounts.


Policy Cancellations and Refunds:

Insurance and pension providers often deal with policy cancellations and refunds, which can increase the likelihood of chargebacks. Clients may request refunds due to policy changes, dissatisfaction with coverage, or other factors, making it a high-risk industry in terms of chargeback potential.


Regulatory Compliance:

The financial services industry, including insurance and pensions, is heavily regulated. Strict compliance with industry regulations and data protection laws is required. Failure to meet these regulatory requirements can lead to fines, penalties, and legal complications, further contributing to the high-risk label.


Long-Term Commitments:

Insurance and pension policies often involve long-term commitments, with clients making payments over extended periods. This prolonged relationship increases the potential for disputes and chargebacks if clients feel their expectations are not met.


Fraud Prevention:

Preventing fraudulent activities is a constant concern in the insurance and pension industry. Fraudulent claims and applications can result in significant financial losses. This risk requires additional security measures, making merchant accounts high risk.


To navigate the challenges of high-risk merchant accounts in the insurance and pension sectors, businesses should seek experienced payment processors that understand the intricacies of these industries. Such processors can provide tailored solutions, robust security measures, and efficient chargeback management, helping businesses maintain financial stability while complying with industry regulations.

Chargeback Management for Insurance and Pension Businesses

Effective chargeback management is crucial for insurance and pension businesses to maintain financial stability and client trust. Here are key strategies for managing chargebacks in these industries:


Clear Policy Communication:

Transparent and comprehensive communication of policies to clients is essential. Ensure that clients fully understand the terms and conditions of their insurance or pension plans, including cancellation policies and refund processes. Clear policy communication can help prevent disputes that lead to chargebacks.


Streamlined Dispute Resolution:

Implement a streamlined process for resolving disputes. Respond promptly to client inquiries and concerns, aiming to resolve issues before they escalate to chargebacks. Efficient communication can help maintain a positive client relationship and reduce the likelihood of chargebacks.


Proactive Fraud Prevention:

Develop robust fraud prevention measures to protect against fraudulent claims and applications. Implement identity verification, fraud detection tools, and rigorous underwriting processes to minimise the risk of fraudulent activities that may result in chargebacks.


Accurate Documentation:

Maintain accurate and detailed documentation of all client interactions, transactions, and policy changes. This documentation can serve as evidence in case of disputes, helping you provide a strong defence against unwarranted chargebacks.


Chargeback Alerts:

Subscribe to chargeback alert services offered by payment processors. These services provide early notification of potential chargebacks, giving you an opportunity to resolve issues with clients before a chargeback is initiated.


Compliance with Regulations:

Ensure strict compliance with industry regulations and data protection laws. Failing to meet these regulatory requirements can lead to chargebacks, fines, and legal complications. Stay updated on changing regulations to avoid compliance-related issues.


Chargeback Analysis:

Regularly analyse chargeback data to identify trends and patterns. Understanding the root causes of chargebacks can help you implement preventive measures and improve your services to reduce future disputes.


Collaborate with Experts:

Seek advice and support from payment processing experts who specialise in high-risk industries like insurance and pensions. They can offer guidance on chargeback management, compliance, and security measures tailored to your specific needs.

Effective chargeback management in the insurance and pension sectors is critical for maintaining financial stability and reputation. By implementing these strategies and working with experienced payment processors, you can minimise the impact of chargebacks on your business while delivering exceptional service to your clients.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Commonly Asked Questions
What are chargebacks, and why are they a concern for pension and investment claims businesses?
Chargebacks occur when clients dispute transactions, leading to potential financial losses for businesses. High chargeback rates can affect the financial stability of pension and investment claim companies.
How does fraud impact mis-sold pensions and investment claims?
Fraud is a significant concern in this industry, with false claimants attempting to exploit the system for personal gain. This can result in financial losses for legitimate businesses.
Why are card-not-present transactions riskier for pension and investment claims?
Card-not-present transactions, where customers are not physically present during the payment process, are riskier due to the increased potential for fraudulent activities.
What is a MOTO (mail order/telephone order) transaction, and why is it commonly used in this industry?
MOTO transactions involve customers providing card details for processing through an online virtual terminal, making it a prevalent payment method in pension and investment claims businesses.
What steps can pension and investment claims businesses take to reduce chargebacks?
Implementing robust customer verification procedures and clear communication with clients can help reduce chargeback rates. Additionally, staying updated on industry regulations and ensuring transparency in all transactions is crucial.
Are there specific payment gateways designed for high-risk industries like pension and investment claims?
Yes, some payment gateways specialise in serving high-risk businesses, including those involved in pension and investment claims. These gateways often provide additional fraud protection and chargeback management features.
How can businesses in this industry ensure compliance with data protection regulations and safeguard sensitive customer information?
To maintain compliance and protect customer data, businesses should work with payment processors that prioritise security and comply with relevant data protection regulations, such as GDPR in the UK.
What are the typical fees associated with high-risk merchant accounts for pension and investment claims companies?
The fees for high-risk merchant accounts can vary widely. They often include application fees, setup fees, transaction fees, and chargeback fees. It’s essential to thoroughly review and compare fee structures when selecting a payment processing provider.

Merchant Account Solutions (MAS) Can Help

At Merchant Account Solutions, we understand the unique challenges that pension and investment claims businesses face in card processing. Our expert team can provide tailored solutions to ensure the smooth and secure processing of payments in this high-risk environment. To learn more about how MAS can assist your business, visit our dedicated page on high-risk merchant accounts.


For more advice like this, visit our blog page!


Pension and investment claims businesses face unique challenges in managing card processing due to their high-risk designation. They face high chargeback rates, fraud concerns, and the prevalence of card-not-present transactions. This all requires specialised approaches to payment processing.


The selection of a merchant account and payment gateway attuned to their specific needs is not just a matter of convenience. It is a critical component of operational stability. Merchant Account Solutions (MAS) stands out in this context. We offer bespoke solutions that cater to the demands of high-risk financial institutions. By partnering with MAS, businesses can navigate the complexities of online payment processing. You will manage cash flow more effectively, and safeguard their bottom line.


It’s also key for businesses in this sector to stay vigilant and compliant with regulations, particularly the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Ensuring robust data protection and fraud prevention measures not only protects the business but also maintains client trust.


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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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