Overseas credit card processing

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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.

Overseas merchant accounts

Some UK based merchants choose to use overseas merchant services, taking their accounts ‘offshore.’ The reasons for doing so are as follows:

Potential tax advantages

Accept high risk merchants, when declined in other countries

Processing fees can be lower in alternative countries

What are foreign merchant accounts?

An overseas merchant account is registered outside of the UK, however can still provide card processing for companies located here with a UK business bank account. The transaction is dealt with by the foreign merchant account provider or acquiring bank, however settled in the business bank account here. Some companies choose to open a bank account in the same country as their overseas merchant account but this can be tricky and may not have the same benefits as UK business banking.

Overseas merchant account tax benefits

As previously mentioned there are three main benefits to opening an overseas merchant account, let’s look at them more closely;

Tax benefits of offshore merchant accounts

Let’s be clear about this, setting up a foreign merchant account alone will not incur any direct tax benefits as the transactions will be settled in a UK business bank account and tax paid accordingly. However, incorporating the business in the same jurisdiction as the offshore account provider can prove to be profitable in saving tax payments. For example, in comparison here in the UK 15% of trading and other income is due to HMRC compared to just 1% in Malta.


High risk overseas merchant accounts

Some high-risk businesses find it rather difficult to obtain a merchant account here due to UK account provider rules and regulations, resulting in declined applications or terminated contracts. Overseas credit card processing providers tend to be less restrictive, so some companies declined by UK merchant account providers can be accepted elsewhere in the world.


Cheaper overseas merchant account fees

This applies for companies selling internationally or outside of the country they were incorporated.  Transactions being processed outside of the UK will be charged at international rates, therefore it might be worthwhile opening a foreign merchant account in that country so that the transactions will then be charged as a local payment, at a lower rate.

How much does offshore processing cost?

Some might be surprised to read that an overseas merchant accounts aren’t as expensive as you first think. Especially if, for high risk businesses, it’s the difference between remaining in business or not! Rates start from as little as 3% speak to our advisors to find out more.


How Merchant Advice Service works

Industry experts help with everything overseas, from US merchant accounts for foreign businesses to secure payment gateways for offshore merchant accounts. Our advisors work with you to discuss your requirements and aid you in choosing the best overseas merchant account for your business now and in the future.

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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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