Federal Firearms Licensees engaged in selling guns, ammunition, and accessories have a tricky time obtaining a merchant account.
First of all, it’s difficult to find banks that will offer FFL friendly firearms merchant accounts to the industry. But, it’s also a challenge to find a credible high-risk merchant service provider to trust your firearms merchant services to.
We know what you’ve had to deal with in the past obtaining payment solutions through inferior sources. Banks don’t want to work with your industry. If they did, they put difficult restrictions on your merchant account. You’ve had to deal with funding large reserve accounts. You’ve experienced holds on your payouts, accounts freezes, even merchant account terminations.
Federal Firearms Licensees are considered high-risk merchants by most banks. And some won't even issue FFLs or ancillary firearms businesses a merchant account. You can't just go to Square or PayPal to accept payments as other business owners can. Traditional banks and processors such as PayPal and Square won't work with these types of businesses.
You must seek out a merchant service provider who takes on high-risk merchants with firearms merchant experience.
Today, we’ll touch on why banks put FFL on their list of high-risk verticals. Then we’ll talk about what having an experienced high-risk merchant services provider can do for you.
What so risky about issuing FFLs a firearms friendly merchant account?
Being an industry that is highly regulated by the federal government adds to the liability of servicing the industry. There are also additional liability challenges that come with gun sales.
For example, the potential liability that comes with the sales of age-restricted products.
Online sales create an additional layer of increased liability for the bank. Online firearms dealers are unable to ship firearms to the purchaser. Instead, they must enlist the help of a third party local dealer to receive the gun and physically deliver it to the buyer in person. Requirements to ship to an FFL dealer increases liability.
Gun sales also experience a higher rate of chargebacks than many other business types. Chargebacks of large ticket items such as guns translate to increased financial liability for processing banks.
In addition, there is a fear of “brand-damage”. Gun sales are a highly politically charged topic. Banks, and oftentimes their investors, do not want to risk servicing an industry that could tarnish their reputation.
Federal regulation and underwriting protocol bring on underwriting and verification challenges to the processing banks. This all costs money. Because of this, the firearms industry and its associated businesses are considered high-risk by the national processing platforms.
What an experienced high-risk firearms merchant service provider can do for you.
Developing strong relationships means we can bring you reliable solutions. You have to be able to count on your services for your business to thrive. Your account must remain active so you can accept payments and your deposits must be there, fast. We get this. High risk is our business.
In order to offer reliable solutions to a high-risk industry like the firearms and ammo industry, we must first develop relationships with acquiring banks and payment processors open to the industry. That is exactly what we have spent years doing.
Better relationships lead to more prepared processors.
Many merchant service providers will have banks that may take on a high-risk merchant, but that doesn't mean they're set up for it.
A bank that specializes in high risk built the business around being capable of accepting high-risk. They will employ increased and knowledgeable underwriters. A high-risk processor that is open to providing gun stores a firearms merchant account has increased underwriting to handle the verification requirements of Federal Firearms Licenses. And they put the safeguards in place to protect themselves against liability.
Our banking partners are prepared to offer services to all business models in the firearms industry. With these additional strategies, they are more prepared to accept all types of firearms. Regardless of how each business model differs, we’re prepared to provide reliable merchant services to all types of FFLs, including ancillary firearms businesses. Whether you’re a parts dealer, teach concealed carry training, or operate a range or gun club, we can handle it.
Offer a full suite of merchant services for your firearms sales needs.
Servicing firearms dealers means providing a well-rounded set of payment solutions. We’ve built strategic relationships that allow us to offer not just one solution, but a variety of solutions.
We also offer mobile solutions. Many gun dealers participate in gun shows and conventions. Participating in gun shows all over the country means you need a merchant account that is accessible wherever you are. Our mobile solutions travel with you. Mobile terminals allow you to make sales where you are, even if there is no internet.
In addition to a merchant account for accepting credit cards, you may want to accept alternate forms of payments. Alternate forms of payments put your business within reach of citizens that may be underbanked. This way consumers can purchase what they need regardless of whether they own a credit card.
Fewer restrictions, limits, and holds on your firearms merchant account.
Some processors put limits on monthly volume and many require huge reserve requirements to protect themselves. Both of these stipulations have a negative effect on your business’s cash flow. Experienced high-risk processors understand, and have accepted, the inherent risk with servicing these verticals.
Our acquiring bank partners want your business to succeed. More often than not, it isn't necessary to require huge reserves or put volume limits on firearms merchants.
Every once in a while there is a circumstance where a reserve is required. For instance, if a merchant has had their merchant account terminated or they experience excessive chargebacks. The new merchant account may then be required to have a reserve account. In this case, the funds will be released in a timely fashion and the situation is not indefinite.
Our goal is to provide a merchant account solution you can count on. You run your business, make your sales, and accept payments. We’ll make sure you can do so without the worry of surprise hold on your cash or worse, account termination.
Seamless industry-specific POS integration.
We understand that firearms dealers often work within firearms specific POS systems. Firearms Management Systems, Gun Store Master, Rapid Gun, and Elliot are all popular industry-specific POS systems. We can work with them all and more.
Because we work with the industry’s leading gateways, there’s no problem integrating with firearm specific POS systems. With seamless integration, you’re able to continue to process payments and orders without worrying about maintaining compliance.
Fair and transparent FFL merchant account pricing.
As experienced providers, we have strong banking relationships needed to provide reliable services to the industry. But, in addition, we’re also committed to bringing fair and transparent pricing to the high-risk industry as a whole.
High-risk merchant accounts do come with higher rates than traditional accounts. But we’ve worked hard to bring competitive rates to our clients through our strategic banking partnerships.
There’s no need to be taken advantage of just because you have a high-risk business model. We provide simple, affordable, and transparent pricing.
What do we mean by transparent? We think it's only fair that you know exactly what you're paying for your merchant account. To achieve this, we remain committed to maintaining a “truth in pricing” promise. Transparent pricing means that we will spell out all costs for your merchant account openly. We will never try to hide extra fees in a hard to understand account statement.
Your rates should be fair and competitive, and they should be something you can understand.
Firearms Merchant Services with a dedication to supporting your continued operation and profit.
One of the greatest risks to the firearms business, in more ways than one, is chargebacks. Not only do they cost a significant amount of money in lost inventory and management, but they could cost you the ability to accept payments.
Banks will often shut down a business for having a high chargeback ratio. To make matters worse, once you’ve been shut down it's hard to get approved for the next merchant account. No way to accept payments stops your business in its tracks.
High-risk businesses that are plagued with chargebacks must take steps to reduce the incidence. An experienced merchant account provider will be able to advise you on services to mitigate these challenges. Chargeback management software such as Verifi Chargeback Management is built to help protect merchants.
Chargeback management will help reduce the chance of fraud and protect against chargeback disputes. The software also helps you to manage and resolve any legitimate disputes you do receive.
Our promise to you
The bank may consider your business type as high-risk, but we won't treat you like it. At Bankcard International Group, you are a legal and legitimate business owner looking to partner with a merchant account provider you can rely on.
Solid banking relationships and extensive industry experience have made Bankcard International Group one of the premier authorities in the payments industry. Our merchant account advisors are all ETA-Certified Payments Professionals, a designation we are proud of. ETA certification requires advisors to complete ongoing payment solution education and to conduct themselves with the highest level of professionalism.
Whether you need multiple ways to accept payments or better ways to manage your risk, we have the solutions you need. For everything from local gun stores to large nation-wide corporations, we can tailor a solution to your needs. We have solutions for both retail and eCommerce gun sales, and we can even provide solutions for B2B firearms suppliers.
Our ETA Certified merchant account advisors will be with you each step of the way. We have the expertise to help customize just the right solutions for your needs. We know our underwriting well. Through in-house pre-underwriting, we coach you on how to put together a complete application package that will breeze through underwriting. After getting you approved quickly and easily, we’ll remain by your side to make sure you get the most out of your processing solutions.