Offshore Merchant Accounts

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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.

What is an offshore merchant account?

An offshore merchant account it is a payment processing option available to businesses considered high risk by UK banks.

Businesses unable to secure a merchant account in the UK are often able to acquire an offshore merchant account where required. Relevant services include offshore payment processing, offshore merchant gateway or account and even offshore credit card services. This gives high-risk companies flexibility when it comes to financial transactions.

Offshore merchant services can be an effective alternative for businesses and offshore payment processing is becoming increasingly popular amongst high-risk merchants. It allows businesses with high rates of chargebacks, fraud or bad credit to take advantage a less rigorous application process – with higher rates of acceptance.

Selecting from the range of offshore merchant account providers can be a complex process, and although it has its benefits it doesn’t come without its downfalls.

Below we’ll list the pros and cons of offshore merchant accounts for different high-risk companies.

Advantages of offshore merchant processing

  • Every country has different regulations and legalities, and when it comes to offshore high-risk merchant providers these need serious consideration. In the UK the main advantage of using an offshore payment company lies in the increased likelihood of approval for high-risk merchants that have failed to secure a merchant provider in the UK.
  • Offshore merchant services provide possible tax breaks so there’s often little or no tax on revenue received from offshore payments.
  • Largely, offshore payment companies have a more liberal approach to high-risk businesses and applications.

Disadvantages of offshore merchant processing

  • Higher rates are to be expected, especially with offshore payment processing compared to a standard merchant accounts.
  • Some offshore merchant service providers require a representative from the company to travel to their jurisdiction to open a merchant account.
  • Settling legal disputes can be difficult.
  • Damage to your company reputation as offshore merchant accounts can have negative connotations in the UK and you may find that business activity, including offshore merchant account credit card processing is monitored more closely by associated banks and authorities within the UK.

Applying for an offshore merchant account

It’s important to look into the relevant UK bank policies on receiving transactions from offshore merchant accounts before considering this as an option.

At Merchant Advice Service we are on hand to provide guidance and expert advice on this process, helping you to avoid any potential issues and make the right decision for your business.

To find out more, fill in our contact form and somebody will respond ASAP or, alternatively, give us a call on 0800 304 7875.


High risk offshore credit card processing

Some businesses may benefit from an offshore high risk merchant account. The reason for this is that it may be difficult to obtain an account in the incorporated country due to being deemed high risk.Offshore high risk merchant account providers may look at things slightly differently, meaning that although you are deemed high risk here you might not be in other areas of the world. Exploring offshore high risk merchant accounts can also lead to tax advantages.

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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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