A payment gateway for startups is a unique type of processing tool. The gateway provides a technical integration for your new website which connects to your merchant account. In most cases, you will need a high risk payment gateway in order to process transactions in unique verticals.
A startup might require a high risk payment gateway because it is in an industry with a different kind of regulations. Standard low-risk companies can apply for aggregate merchant accounts which are quick and easy to find. However, if you are in a high risk industry like CBD, Adult, or Firearms, mainstream merchant accounts won’t work.
In order to get a gateway tool working on your website, you’ll have to find a high risk provider. They will create a custom account for you and share all of the rules and requirements for completing the process. The goal is to share enough information to demonstrate that your business is established and ready to grow.
As a startup, your payment processing history isn’t lengthy. In the banking world, this is called a “thin-file”. Similar to when you apply for a startup business loan, banks have to determine the level of risk involved with your company. In terms of payment processing, this means making predictions about the reliability of your revenue in the future.
Your payment history is usually your last three months to one year’s worth of transactions. Your merchant account provider will request to see this in the form of statements so they can verify the volume you’ll need. Moreover, this information determines the rates and fees associated with your account.
A payment gateway serves as a terminal for online credit card transactions. As an ecommerce merchant you want the ability to process payments from multiple sources. Your payment gateway is the software that plugs into your shopping cart application or website.
A gateway for a startup is the same as one for established businesses. The technology itself doesn’t change, but importantly, the merchant account that connects to your gateway does. What’s key here is that you find a merchant account company that works with startups like yours.
As a high risk business, starting up a new company means competing in a business environment with increased scrutiny. The entity that provides your startup payment gateway is tangentially responsible for the transactions you make. In turn, they will occasionally monitor the items on your site or the marketing materials.
If you’re a CBD business for example, the customer service agent who helps you put together your application may ask for Certificates of Analysis so they can inspect the types of CBD products you sell. This process is similarly true for companies in the Adult space. Age verification and legal restrictions have to be met.
Certain startup companies are high risk if they fall into business industries that banks deem as having increased payment, reputational, or legal obstacles. These include:
If you are creating a website in any of those industries and plan to sell items online, you’ll need to find a gateway that connects with a high risk merchant provider.