High-risk e-commerce merchants should always consider opening an offshore merchant account. That may seem counter-intuitive to new business owners who plan to operate a company from their country of residence. Most are comfortable considering business revenues and expenses in their native currency, but less comfortable thinking of business results in a different one.


But stop to consider where customers for a new online business reside, and the rationale isn’t difficult to understand: Few online businesses experience today a customer base centralized in a single country.

Multi-currency options offered by the best offshore merchant accounts allow customers from anywhere in the world to purchase goods and services without the hassle or expense of currency conversion. The easier the purchasing process is for a global customer, the more sales rack up, and the more easily a company grows.

Consequently, e-commerce merchants must be able to address the needs of a global customer base — especially merchants who want to expand their businesses. The best offshore merchant account gives these companies the foundation to build a global infrastructure.

What about online merchants who can find sufficient business from only domestic customers who don’t plan to “go global”? Won’t a domestic processing account meet their needs? Yes, if they can land one… easier said than done for businesses with complex business models considered high risk by domestic banks.

If those situations sound familiar, consider offshore merchant accounts and their many benefits.

Benefits Abound: Find the Best Offshore Merchant Account

The most visible benefit to offshore merchant accounts is how simple obtaining one can be. The easy application process strikes new and small merchants — and those whose domestic processing account was terminated — as a boon. No need for a frustrating, desperate merchant account search to get a new business off the ground, or to keep an existing business running. This is due to several factors:

  • Offshore banks are more willing to work with complicated, unique business models. Cultural differences and more relaxed legal frameworks explain that characteristic.
  • Because legal frameworks are more relaxed, these countries also offer less strict regulatory environments. Fewer regulations means simplified business operations and reduced costs.
  • Offshore banks typically charge lower processing fees, which also results in lower operating costs for a business.
  • Higher chargeback thresholds offer another benefit of the best offshore merchant accounts. With a higher threshold, penalties from major card brands and bank penalties minimize.
  • These countries often charge lower tax rates too.

All other things being equal, businesses with the best offshore merchant account see profitability increase. Who wouldn’t want that?

The Best Way Forward

When you’re ready to find the best offshore merchant account, it pays to work with a specialist provider who knows this stuff cold.

There’s no point denying the complex realities of the offshore payments processing marketplace. Your chosen specialist should understand the risks associated with offshore transactions, and include risk mitigation expertise in its capabilities arsenal. Choose a specialist that offers a full suite of offshore merchant account services.

For example, many merchants can benefit from multiple merchant accounts — perhaps both domestic and offshore. A specialist will assess your specific business needs (possibly including reduced tax exposure), suggest the ideal structure to support your needs, and help put that structure in place.

Look for a provider with a solid record and a stellar marketplace reputation, with the technology to support your global ambitions. The right provider of your best offshore merchant account offers both relationships and experience working with the leading payment processing companies.

What’s the most important requirement?

An expert provider that wants to help you find the most affordable payment processing options for your global organization. Along with the desire to see your business succeed, they should have the capability to give you access to a broad range of processors — and the know-how to ensure your processing runs smoothly and seamlessly.