Businesses are fast expanding their market share far beyond the countries in which they were established. And with the scaling come the need to do better, secure and more efficient business, which makes it necessary for a company to have an offshore merchant account.
An offshore merchant account is just like the traditional one, only that it is established in a bank that is outside the home country. You can have an account in a foreign country without really setting base there. The offshore account is perfect for businesses that deal in multi-level marketing, financial services, nutraceuticals, tech support and many more.
There are mainly 2 reasons why businesses consider taking an offshore merchant account
To take advantage of tax benefits
High risk businesses that find it hard to get an account in the home country
There are several other reasons why businesses may consider OMA. Here is a guide on all you need to know about international merchant accounts.
Regulations Concerning Offshore Account Processing
Before you go all out and open a merchant account in the neighboring country, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Top on the list are the regulations to abide to as well as privacy and security impacts and other requirements. Here are some of the regulations you need to keep in mind.
Internationally Acceptable Laws and Regulations
It is important to ensure that you follow the regulations of business operations in the country you wish to operate from. There are laws that protect customers and investors such as those surrounding corporate disclosure, audits, and business records. This is owing to high profile scandals that harm customers. Additionally, it is important that your payment portal is secure to prevent fraud from outside parties.
Industry Specific Regulations and Requirements
It is very important to get acquainted with the industry specific policies of your country of operations. Some of these policies revolve around the security of the information systems, the information, and reliability of the systems. For example, if you are dealing in pharmaceuticals, the approving body in the country of operation may have an electronic signature system to tag your goods to ensure they are safe, reliable and can be trusted not to cause harm. It monitors the movement of your goods along the supply chain and keeps track of any issues that may arise. Remember to also check out your insurance policy.
International Laws That Affect Your Operations
The most vital laws are those that ensure security and privacy. It is important to know the laws that govern how governments allow companies to collect and use personal information in the course of business operations. These laws stipulate that it is important for the client to give the information voluntarily and the company ensures that the data storage is safe from access by unauthorized parties.
Cross Border Merchant Account Licensing
It is very important to look at the laws and regulations surrounding your business in the foreign country. Different countries have varying requirements when it comes to licensing intentional companies. The licensing is required for data collection and storage, cash transactions, national identifier licenses and many more. Make sure you are well aware of the laws surrounding business operations in your host country.
How to Set Up an Ecommerce Company
Setting up an offshore merchant account is at times not as easy as it sounds, so it is important to ask if it is really. Every country has its own regulations that govern international business. This means that if you find it hard to get a merchant account in your home country, chances are it will be easier to get one elsewhere. There are service providers that specialize in high risk businesses so you are spoilt for choice.
Before you apply for an OMA, it is important to do a thorough research on the service provider. Know their reputation pertaining to legality of their operations.
Once you are satisfied with their professional qualifications and their abilities to get you the services you need, you can look at their requirements.
It is important to know the service provider’s (bank’s) policy regarding the offshore transactions. These and other equally vital policies are usually clearly stipulated in the contract.
Thoroughly scrutinize the contract before signing it. If you do not understand the jargon used, let your lawyer simplify it for you so that you know exactly what you are getting into.
Open a separate deposit account that will be specifically for that merchant service provider, and remember to set withdrawal limits.
Consistent monitoring is necessary to ensure that there are no suspicious transactions as well as to ensure the safety of the information given.
It is important to note that each offshore merchant service provider has their own distinct products, requirements, policies and charges. Therefore, make sure you research on the best service provider before signing on the dotted line.