If you run a tech support business, you may be aware that payment processing can be quite a challenge for your clients. In fact, many tech support businesses are considered high-risk and often have difficulty securing processing services from vendors to send and receive money. In this article, we’ll dig into the specific problems that many tech support businesses encounter and how to overcome them.
Difficulties with Tech Support ePayments
Being categorized as a high-risk business can pose many problems for tech support businesses. Getting processing services for your business can be a challenge, and it can also be difficult for your clients to pay you. But why is it so difficult? Here are some of the reasons, starting with the High-risk classification.
Tech Support Businesses are Considered High-Risk
When a merchant participates in a high-risk business model, their payment processing options become limited, as do the options that their clients have to pay them. This is due to the increased risk of extending account services to these types of businesses.
When a bank or merchant account issuer reviews a potential new client, they look for risk levels. The higher the risk involved, the less likely the institution will be to grant an account to that merchant. High risk merchant industries include, but are not limited to:
- Tech support businesses
- Membership or subscription services
- Online credit repair services
- Online supplement/pharmaceutical companies
- CBD/cannabis/tobacco/e-cigarette companies
- Adult entertainment and dating services
- Businesses located outside of the USA
This is not an exhaustive list but gives you a good idea of the types of businesses that are considered high-risk. These businesses usually pay more for their payment processing services and must adhere to strict regulations to avoid having their accounts frozen or closed.
Sometimes, these types of businesses are unable to secure payment processing at all. In these cases, they may resort to using cash-only, or opt for PayPal, Venmo, and other e-wallet services.
Some merchant account issuers look at sales volume and chargeback risk as another way to categorize a client aside from their business model. A business that is likely to experience a high percentage of chargebacks can also be classified as high risk. Tech support companies fall into this category.
Since many tech support companies are overseas, the client may never meet their tech support vendor. While this can certainly be a successful relationship, it can also be an issue. If the client (business) is not able to reach out to their vendor when there is an issue, it may never be resolved.
In some cases, a business makes a payment to their tech support vendor, only to realize that the vendor has closed up shop and moved on. This gives tech support businesses a bad reputation and makes it more difficult for legitimate tech support companies to secure payment processing services.
For a variety of reasons, there is an increased risk of fraud with tech support companies. They can include some or all of the following:
- Illegitimate tech companies – how do you know which ones are good?
- They have access to all your data
- They can remote into your systems
When working with a tech support vendor, many businesses will give access to everything, in hopes that tech support will keep them compliant and running smoothly. The problem is: how does a business know if they hired the right tech support team?
Tech support companies can often login to a company’s database remotely and have access to a ton of sensitive data. If the tech support company has ill intentions, they could steal data and use it for the wrong reasons. This can make it more difficult for legitimate tech support companies to find clients and other necessary business support services.
Not Allowed by Certain Card Issuers
Tech support businesses may also find it difficult to take payments from their customers due to restrictions from card issuers. Certain card issuers may prohibit the use of their cards to pay tech support businesses based on all the reasons listed above. If the client can’t pay their tech support vendor using a card, they may opt to use a different business, or bring tech support in-house to save the frustration.
Not Allowed by Some Processors
In the same way that some card issuers prohibit the use of external tech support, the same may be true of some processors. For example, if you run a business and your payment processor does not allow you to pay your tech support vendor, what will you do? Probably switch tech support vendors because that’s the path of least resistance.
Solutions for Tech Support Businesses
Although many clients are unable to pay their tech support vendors via card payments, there are other options. One of the best options available is eCheck processing. If the client and the tech support vendor can both accommodate eCheck processing, they can get past all the issues discussed here.
An eCheck is the use of electronic checks instead of paper ones. In other words, instead of using a physical piece of paper with routing and account numbers, tech support companies and their customers can simply input that information into a payment system and the payment is processed.
Electronic checks can also be processed over the phone, rather than online. Instead of using a paper check, the client can give their routing and account numbers to their vendor over the phone who can
manually input them into a payment processing system. The money will still be debited from the checking account, just as it is with a regular check.
Another option for tech support businesses is called Sponsored Solutions. This type of relationship gives more control to a third party, such as a payment processor or other partner. In this arrangement, the third party would be the one accepting client payments on behalf of the tech support company. They would then take a percentage as a fee and pass the rest along to the company.
This is a great solution for tech support companies who don’t want to take eChecks. It can also be a viable option for companies who are overseas and unable to take ACH payments from foreign bank accounts. Although there are fees assessed for the service being provided, it allows the tech business to continue serving their clients with minimal interruption.
Running a tech support company comes with a variety of challenges in payment processing. Not only is it difficult to obtain processing services, it’s also difficult for your clients to pay you. Consider eChecks or sponsored sol