January 2016

Merchant Accounts vs. Managed Risk Accounts

As a growing business, it is critical to establish and maintain a merchant account as a means for accepting credit card and debit card payments. Most businesses have stopped accepting checks, and the circulation of cash is decreasing in the face of rising credit card popularity.
However, there is a distinct difference between a standard merchant account, and an account with what is referred to as managed risk.

Merchant Accounts

Basically, a bank provides an account for a merchant to accept payments, normally for credit or debit cards. The payments can be accepted using a physical terminal, like a standard credit card machine, or an e-commerce payment gateway. There is usually a contractual agreement between the merchant and the payment processer, which outlines the fees, rates, and any terms of initiation or cancellation. Merchant accounts will not always open accounts with merchants who work in higher-risk industries.

Managed Risk Accounts

A managed risk merchant can be defined using the following:

  • Collectibles or antiques
  • Businesses that sell adult items
  • Telemarketing services
  • SEO companies
  • Apparel
  • Nutracuticals
  • Supplements
  • Cosmetics
  • E-cigarettes & Vape
  • Coaching
  • MLM
  • Tech Support
  • Travel
  • Time Share
  • Resort

Essentially, any merchant that does business in an industry where failure or minimal profits are more likely. Managed risk accounts must be opened with a merchant account provider who specializes in overseeing managed risk merchant accounts. However, not many account providers are willing to do business with managed risk merchants.

It is important to shop through merchant account providers. Because many banks aren’t armed to open managed risk merchant accounts, it may feel difficult to find a good provider, and it can be easy to accept the first provider you find. It is essential to avoid jumping on the first account provider you can find. Due to the nature of managed risk businesses, many managed risk account providers may charge egregious fees, fines, or rates. Experts advise merchants to research their options thoroughly to find a provider who is more apt to offer shorter-term contracts, an absence of cancellation fees, and flexibility with your business preferences.

What Merchant Processing Services are Right for Your Small Business?

Once you’ve decided on obtaining a merchant account for your small business, the question then becomes what kind of services are right for your business. Every business has different needs, especially when it comes to small vendors, which makes research a must when searching for your account provider.

For Vendors on the Go

Modern technology has made credit card transactions on the go simpler than ever. Many merchant processors offer convenient apps for vendors traveling to trade shows and markets. These apps require little to no additional hardware other than your smart phone, and offer all the conveniences of a merchant account. Vision Payments’ Mobile App requires no payment terminal or phone line, only your customer’s credit card information!

For Extra Security

One of the most important features of any merchant account should guaranteed PCI compliance. PA-DSS guidelines are the gold standard when it comes to transaction security—anything less might spell trouble for you and your customers in the future. For additional security, look for merchant accounts and merchant account software that offer SSL encryption, password protection, customer verification, and fraud protection.

For Easy Money Management

If you’re looking for simplicity, look for a merchant account with consistent, hassle-free management and reporting. Discuss your merchant account’s reporting system with your agent to ensure that you’re always informed of your company’s transactions. Vision Payments offers easy online reporting for vendors that want around-the-clock access to their transaction information, which makes it easier to track your business’ process, manage your profits, and make plans regarding your business’ future.

For a Little Extra Guidance

Look for companies willing to put their customers first. Some merchant account providers rely on one-size-fits-all solutions that unfortunately don’t work for everyone. Look for a provider that’s willing to work with your business to give you exactly the tools you need to get your job done. And make sure that you’re comfortable with your provider’s policies and practices. A good relationship with your provider can go a long way in providing you with peace of mind as you try to help your business grow.
Contact Vision Payments at (877) 674 – 2286 to find out if our services are right for you. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and give you the information you need to decide which of our merchant account solutions are right for you.

How Does Merchant Processing Work? And is it Worth it for Your Small Business?

Among the most important investments a small business can make is a merchant account with a reliable merchant account provider. The ability to accept credit and debit card payments can transform small startup businesses into viable competitors, opening them up to a wider clientele base and keeping their money in a consistently manageable state.

How Does it Work?

Merchant accounts can be set up through a number of merchant service providers in order to provide merchants with a convenient method of payment directly to the merchant’s checking account.
Step 1: The customer offers the vendor a form of electronic payment (credit or debit card) through the vendor’s desired payment gateway.
Step 2: Merchant captures the credit card information, sending it to the card-issuing bank for approval.
Step 3: An MSP issues the value of the transaction to the merchant’s account within one to two business days of the purchase.
Step 4: The merchant is sent a bill/statement including the previous month’s fees and transactions.

Is it Worth it?

While it is possible to do business without the help of a merchant account, a merchant account makes it much easier to receive credit card payments. With a merchant account, you can rest assured that the money you expect from your transaction will be safely deposited into your business’ account with minimum hassle.
Merchant account providers also offer a number of other services with help in tracking your transactions, managing your terminal gateway, and setting up product lists. With PCI compliant merchant account providers, you’ll benefit from an added measure of security, with encryption and password protection services that will keep your money and information safe at all times.
While you might think that your business isn’t large enough to merit a merchant account, it’s one of the most effective ways you as a business owner can plan for future business growth.
Contact Vision Payments today to find out which services are right for your business—we’ll help you manage your transactions and give you the resources you need to help your business succeed.

Why Vision Payments is the Merchant Processor for You and Your Small Business

A merchant processer can provide your company with a wide array of tools and solutions that will help your business evolve from a startup to a formidable competitor. However, not all merchant processors are created equal, and choosing the right merchant account provider requires some homework. Vision Payments offers a long list of benefits when it comes to merchant account management—here are just a few:

More Solutions

Vision Payments offers a full range of merchant processing services for every business, no matter its size. If your business is just starting out, one of the smartest things you can do is get your payment processing on track. With Vision Payments, you’ll be able to open your business up to new clients through credit/debit card payments using a variety of software and hardware terminals. We can also help you deploy integrated POS solutions for easier payments and even help your business secure funding or financing—up to $500,000!

Mobile Solutions

Mobile technology is a growing trend in payment processing, and it looks like it’s here for the long haul. Give your business an edge with the VPS Mobile App, which allows you to accept credit and debit cards no matter where you are. All you need is a mobile device with an internet connection, and you have instant access to the easiest mobile payment terminal in the industry. The PCI QSA evaluated app meets all PA-DSS standard and offers full SSL encryption and password protection to protect both you and your customers. You’ll also be able to manage you transactions on the go for easier reporting.

PCI Compliance

Vision Payments understands the value of security, which is why we strictly adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) set forth by the PCI Security Standards Council. As your merchant account processor, we can help you maintain the highest levels of security by helping you build and maintain a secure network, protect cardholder data, implement access control measures, and more. With our help, you can rest assured that your business’ information will be protected from potential threats.


Vision Payments’ #1 priority is customer satisfaction. We do everything possible to ensure that our customers are taken care of, and that their businesses are able to thrive. From innovative approaches to credit card processing, to superior fraud protection and security, to unmatched customer service, we guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with your credit/debit card processing.
Contact us today take your business to the next level with a merchant account from Vision Payments.