Tech support merchant accounts are one of them many types of accounts we provide at Mount Hood Payments. As one of the fastest growing high risk merchant account providers, we are dedicated to serving all high risk industries.
We strive to be the #1 provider for remote tech support merchant accounts. In order to do this well, it is essential that we understand the specific needs of the remote tech support industry, and give you the right products and services for this industry. We have put together the following tech support credit card processing guide. It was created to give owners of tech support companies every piece of information they might need in a single guide. This guide will give you all the facts and tips that you need in order to obtain a high risk merchant account for credit card processing and to keep the account open for the long term.
|Table of Contents
Getting your Tech Support Merchant Account
Expanding your Tech Support Business
Getting a Tech Support Merchant Account
How can i open a tech support merchant account?
You can easily get a tech support merchant account by applying with a merchant account provider. The account provider will complete your application and then forward the application to the underwriting department for review. Once your application is approved, your merchant account is set to accept payments. But as simple as this application process is, finding a tech support merchant account provider has always been an issue for tech support merchants.
How do I find a tech support merchant account provider?
Banks and processors are always happy to provide retail business owners with processing, but this isn’t the same for remote tech support merchants. The reason for this is not farfetched. Chargeback risks have made many sponsor banks or their processors to disapprove remote tech support accounts. Now, it’s necessary to ask a high risk merchant account provider for the following questions:
- Do you provide high risk merchant accounts for tech support businesses?
- Do you provide high risk merchant accounts for remote PC tech support?
- Are you sure about these? The reason for asking this third question is that the salesperson usually says they provide high risk merchant accounts for tech support businesses, but on completing the application process, they would discover that their underwriting department doesn’t approve such account.
Does Mount Hood Payments offer tech support merchant accounts?
We are a reliable provider of high risk credit card processing services to tech support merchants or businesses. This includes startups and established businesses. Our application process is simple and can be completed quickly. After completing the application, our underwriting department will provide you with terms and conditions for your approval. The processing of your account will begin immediately your account is approved. Furthermore, as part of our responsibility, we will setup your chargeback management tools and gateway to make the process simple and hassle-free.
How can I increase the limit on my processing volume?
There are many remote tech support business owners who want to scale their businesses to generate monthly sales revenue of $100,000 or more. The problem they are faced with is the $20,000-40,000 limit on their first merchant account. Now, how can these merchants increase the limit?
The solution to that problem is simple. Tech support merchant accounts are somewhat a line of credit from processors to account owners. Hence, the track records on the accounts enable owners to get a larger line of credit. So after 3-6 months of successful processing, you are eligible to request for a re-reviewing of your account as well as get a higher limit. Successful processing means that the account has a low chargeback ratio, predictable transaction sizes, steady volume and so on.
What is an underwriter looking for when reviewing my tech support merchant account application?
It is the responsibility of the underwriter to ensure that accepting the business is a good risk for the credit card processor. The underwriter is the person to review an application to determine if the processor will lose if such account is approved. A credit card processor loses when there are so many unpaid chargebacks, unpaid bills or fines by the government, credit card brands or their sponsor brands for accepting a merchant involving in fraudulent or nefarious activities.
|QUESTIONS? I AM HERE TO HELP!
If you have a question about anything in this guide, email me your question directly: JasonBryant@canadianexpressvisa.com
Want to Get Started Processing?
Start taking payments with your tech support business. Click here to apply for free online.
Gateways for Remote Tech Support Businesses
Remote tech support businesses usually accept payment via their website known as (e-commerce) or over the phone. Whether payments are received via a website or over the phone, the credit card information of customers would still be entered into a payment gateway that securely transmits customers’ card information to the payment processor. Many payment gateways are available, but just a few are used by remote tech support businesses. They include:
- Authorize.net Gateway: This payment gateway is owned and developed by Visa. It is very simple to setup and use. This payment gateway is the most popular across the globe and that is one of the reasons why it is used by many tech support businesses, especially smaller tech support businesses operating with one MID. Many major Customer Relations Management (CRM) software and chargeback management software offer integration with Authorize.net, and this makes the product the easiest to use. Nevertheless, Authorize.net is not the most robust.
- NMI Gateway: This payment gateway is quite difficult to setup but it has additional features that other gateways don’t offer. This is why NMI Gateway is the most preferred for well-established or larger tech support businesses. Precisely, this gateway does a full integration with several chargeback migration tools and robust reporting. Furthermore, it allows multiple login IDs, and with this feature CRM software or chargeback management software can be fully integrated without business owners sharing their primary login information.
- USAePay Gateway: This is the cheapest payment gateway and it is provided by a merchant account provider. This payment gateway is the choice of many small remote tech support businesses because it is quite cheaper than Authorize.net. Though USAePay has all the features available with Authorize.net, its level of reporting is not the same as that of NMI. USAePay does not integrate with many CRMs or shopping charts because of its smaller market shares.
While the product of most payment gateways can be purchased directly from them, it is easier and cheaper to purchase it through a merchant account provider who is capable of providing a cheaper secured service. Besides, there are merchant service providers who help with gateway configuration and integration with any CRM or chargeback management software.
CRMs for Remote Tech Support Businesses
Tech support businesses use CRM software to manage the information and profile of customers, track customers contact, track the salespersons in charge of the sale, perform recurring billing, send automated email, track ad campaigns performance and other activities related to customers. Many CRMs exist but just a few are used by tech support businesses. They are reviewed as follows:
- Google Sheets: This may sound strange but many startup tech support businesses make use of Google Spreadsheet to manage customers’ information. This CRM is free and can be paired with NMI gateway to achieve a cheaper basic functionality. Though it is obvious that Google Sheets is not the best for tech support businesses that deal with many customers. This is because Google Sheets is cumbersome and not primarily designed for CRM purpose. Nevertheless, Google Sheets remains the cheapest CRM solution for startup tech support businesses.
- Limelight CRM: Limelight has a branded slogan “made for marketers, by marketers.” This CRM is the most preferred for continuity and recurring billing kind of business. Many large remote tech support businesses choose Limelight because it allows pre-programming of transactions and call center integration. The downside of this CRM is that it is expensive and prices are not posted by the company. However, the subscription price for Limelight is over $500/month in addition to a setup fee. The high subscription price of Limelight CRM has discouraged most small and medium PC tech support businesses.
- Zoho CRM: This particular CRM costs as low as $12/month, and it is mostly used by medium-sized remote tech support businesses that have decided to upgrade from using Excel Spreadsheet to manage their customer payments and list. Zoho CRM has a recurring billing scheduling feature and can be integrated with Authorize.net. These features are useful to PC tech support businesses with a recurring billing option. Zoho CRM cannot be integrated with NMI. Hence, if you intend to balance multiple merchant accounts, using Zoho CRM is not recommended.
What does a Tech Support Business Need to Know About Chargebacks?
Merchants operating in the remote tech support industry should always monitor their chargeback ratio. This is because excessive chargebacks usually lead to termination of a tech support merchant account.
How is a Chargeback Ratio Calculated?
A chargeback ratio is the number of chargebacks per month divided by the total number of transactions in that month. The dollar value of the chargeback is not important. A chargeback is counted as soon as the chargeback has been initiated. Therefore, if your business makes 100 transactions in a month and 4 customers filed a chargeback, your chargeback ratio is 4% for that particular month (whether you fight and win the disputes or not).
Why is your credit card processor concerned about your chargeback ratio?
If your chargeback ratio is over 2%, your card processor will face potential MasterCard or Visa fines while you are still allowed to process payments. The fines can be so high for your processor and allowing you to process payments while your credit card processor gets fined is a loss on their own path. The implication of this is that when your processor sees that your chargeback ratio has exceeded 2%, your merchant account will be terminated. The only solution to avoid an account termination is to maintain a chargeback ratio lower than 2%. Moreover, excessive chargebacks are a sign that your business has problems; for example poor products or services and customer support, inadequate chargeback or fraud mitigation plan, etc.
Why do tech support businesses receive high chargebacks?
Remote PC tech support is an industry that is classified as high risk due to the high chargebacks it receives. The reasons for these high chargebacks include:
- Poor management and the low-quality customer service offered by some tech support businesses.
- Some customers are not sophisticated enough to call the customer care number on their credit card statement.
- A lot of customers receive intangible goods and they may feel they have not received good value for their money after some days or months of concluding the transaction. This gets worse if the tech support company does not offer free follow-up service.
- Providing tech support service is expensive. It usually costs hundreds of dollars and this makes the business a good target for dissatisfied customers or those who want to free up their cash flow.
- A lot of tech support businesses are small businesses and they do not have a strong brand name. Hence, their customers may not get a refund, unlike larger tech support businesses. Dissatisfied customers may not have the brand name recognition of their service provider, and this prompts them to contact the merchant.
- A lot of tech support business owners have no understanding that a won or lost chargeback affects their chargeback ratio. Due to this lack of understanding, they don’t care to grant refunds to customers immediately, refuse to fight illegitimate chargebacks and/or enroll in any chargeback alert programs.
How Do I Keep Chargeback Ratios Down?
The measure usually put in place by most high chargeback industries is to promptly identify bad sales or stolen credit cards before chargebacks are initiated. For the tech support industry, the solution is to allow dissatisfied customers to contact the merchant directly. Also, customers receive prompt responses and a full refund, and free computer support should be provided whenever an issue arises in the future on the PC of a customer. The following are some ideas that have been used successfully by our tech support customers in the past.
- Send confirmation and customer satisfaction emails: After receiving a credit card payment, ensure to send an electronic payment receipt that contains the contact information of the business. At the end of the month, send a customer satisfaction email to the customer and ask if the customer was satisfied with the tech support service received, and if not satisfied, to contact you to make things right.
- Receive and Refund Customer Dispute Alerts: There are several services that alert merchants if a customer contacts their issuer to file a chargeback and gives a 72-hour grace period to issue a full refund to the customer. You can obtain this alert service from a third party and integrate it into your high-risk tech support credit card processing accounts.
- Issue a full refund when in doubt: If you receive a call or email from a customer complaining about your service, first issue a full refund if you found some validity in their complaint. After issuing a refund, you can provide an add-on service that the customer will pay for. You are doing that to avert a potential chargeback on the first transaction and ensuring that the customer is satisfied with your service at the end.
- Maintain high transaction counts: Remember that a chargeback ratio has a direct relationship with the number of monthly transactions. Therefore, a tech support business with only 50 transactions each month faces a higher risk of chargebacks than a business with many transactions each month. Even though it is impossible to will your tech support business to be more than its current size, you still have to put it into consideration. For instance, you should endeavor not to stop business for an extended vacation in a month when you already have some chargebacks. Doing so will increase your chargeback ratio.
Important Associations and Groups for Tech Support:
The following trade association and membership group are specific and important to the tech support industry.
- HDI: This was formed in 1989 is the first professional association established for the tech support industry. This association provides exceptional information, tools, resources and forums for the industry.
- SIA: This was established in 1985 as National Computer Service Network (NCSN). It is a leading trade association for tech companies that repair electronic hardware and the high technical service industry in general. This association provides newsletters and organizes annual conferences for tech support professionals.
- TSIA: This association has over 30,000 members and it provides industry research, benchmarking opportunities and conferences and forums.
List of tech support industry web resources and forums:
Here are some forums that new tech support employees and owners can use to learn from each other and deal with questions that they don’t have the answer for:
- Think HDI Forums: A membership forum that offers great help from their active users to help solve complex tech support questions.
- Tech Support Forum: This site has multiple forums for desktop support workers.
- Bleeping Computer: This searchable site allows you to find many years of questions and answers that professionals have already covered. They also have information regarding certifications and information needed to start a remote support business.
Important tech support industry resources and websites:
Here are a few more sites and informative articles that business owners in the tech support industry may find helpful:
- WebHostingTalk– These forums have a ton of information with reviews of merchant account providers and payment gateways relevant to remote tech support businesses.
- Starting a Remote PC Tech Support Business–Simple article detailing basic legal and technical steps which must be followed to start a remote pc tech support business.
- Tom’s IT Pro–This is one of the best sites in the industry for support workers to find out about new advances, certifications, and technology.
- co.uk: How to Start an IT Consultancy–This site details rules and laws having to do with opening a pc support business.
- WikiHow: 12 Steps to Creating an IT Consulting Business– This site shows the 12 steps which you need to follow in order to begin an IT support company.
List of tech support credentialing organizations:
The following organizations provide well-regarded certifications and credentials common to the technical support industry:
· Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)
Tech Support Industry Infographics
These infographics show information and facts about the tech support field visually. These thumbnails are posted under Fair Use rules. Each source is credited and you must select the thumbnail image to see the original infographic.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR TECH SUPPORT MERCHANT SERVICES?
We Can Help You!
Whether you are a startup or an established business processing for years, Mount Hood Payments will get you a high risk tech support merchant account. So let us know when your ready to start processing!