How to Choose the Right Nutraceutical Merchant Account

Finding the perfect payment processor shouldn’t be the most challenging part of starting a business. For those in the health supplement industry, however, it can often be an obstacle that they aren’t prepared for. In fact, when it comes to choosing the right nutraceutical merchant account, the expert advice available is limited – or even conflicting.

Thankfully, there are payment processors with experience in this industry that understand the unique billing and processing challenges. Here are some of the proven tips for identifying and choosing the payment processor that can partner with you to grow your business goals:

Find a Nutraceutical Merchant Account Provider that Understands Your Business Model

There have been horror stories of businesses launching their online stores with Shopify or other large-name retail partners, only to find their websites shut down after two months. It’s always best to research ahead of time and ensure that your merchant account provider isn’t just familiar with nutraceuticals, they welcome the business.

Nutraceutical-friendly merchant partners should be sought from the start. Look for vendors that use language stating they are friendly to your business. Terms like “processing for free trial merchants,” “fraud prevention” and “lower chargebacks” may indicate that they are equipped to handle the special challenges that your industry faces. Seek out companies that mention nutraceuticals by name, if possible, and can handle unique business models, such as $1 subscription trials.

Know Your Customer

While most shoppers will prefer to buy via their computer or even a mobile payment gateway, there are still shoppers who feel comfortable placing orders by phone. Since nutraceuticals are largely sold via “card not present” transactions, it’s important to know if this also means that your transactions will be protected when made by mail, phone, or the internet. Be sure to lay out your business model before you apply to be sure you are accounting for all methods of purchase – and to ensure your chosen merchant account allows for all possibilities.

Seek out Help

Applying for a merchant account can be a daunting process. It’s a bit more complicated for those in nutraceuticals. Is the processing for applying considerably more cumbersome due to the nature of your business? Will you get paired with an account rep that understands your unique needs and can help you through the application with the best chances of being approved? Don’t be afraid to tell your account rep how your business works and what concerns you have about applying. This isn’t the time to hide things, and your application can go more smoothly when you have partnered fully with your rep.

Avoid Restrictions

Even if your chosen merchant account provider is well-versed in your industry, not every part of it may meet their regulations. Even those who offer a nutraceutical merchant account may have restrictions on how you can sell through their accounts. These restrictions may be set by federal, state, or local regulations, as well as any limitations imposed by each card company individually. Ask your account rep what their procedure is for communicating changes to these restrictions over time. If something was allowed to be sold through your account at the start of your contract, what happens if it is no longer allowed? Ensure your processor has a plan in place for setting you up to always be compliant.

Ask about Chargebacks

Chargebacks are the elephant in the room, but they shouldn’t be ignored. The right nutraceutical merchant account provider won’t be put off by your asking about them, and will instead have advice for ensuring your chargeback number are kept as low as possible. In addition to providing you with best practices and tools for communicating with customers, they should be able to tell you how to read statements and use reporting to spot trends in your chargebacks. An open door policy is key to having a good relationship with your merchant account rep. If you don’t feel that they are interested in communicating and helping you succeed, they are not the right choice for you.

Running a successful nutraceuticals business can be rewarding – even with its unique challenges. One way to make sure you meet growth goals and increase customer loyalty is through taking advantage of the services of a reputable payment processor, one that offers optimized payment options for a natural products e-commerce store. In addition to keeping transactions seamless, they should act as an educator and advocate along every step of your journey, helping your dispute chargebacks, get access to up-to-date transaction info, ensuring industry compliance, and planning for the future.