I would like to open a US merchant account for my PC tech support business in India. I also live in India. I found a company that says they can set me up with a US corporation, a US bank account, and a US merchant account at globesamerica.com.
There are a lot of bad processors out there who freeze accounts so I want to know what processor they use so I can do research. Does anyone know what US processor globesamerica.com uses for non-US residents?
If you are a non-U.S. citizen and you reside in India, you definitely could run into some issues obtaining a U.S. merchant account - or keeping it, if you do manage to establish one. The main reason this creates an issue and things like account freezes, etc. with a lot of U.S. merchant processors is that they are legally restricted by the Card Associations to only work with bonafide U.S. businesses. There are also laws like the Patriot Act that require banks to "know your customer" and validate identity, etc.
It isn't that U.S. merchant processors wouldn't like the ability to market their services to the rest of the world - they are restricted from doing so and if they are audited and this is discovered they are subject to potential penalty fines, etc. I've heard of more than a few situations over the years where a person in the U.S. acts as the signer and things are fine for awhile until this is discovered and then the problems can arise. Sometimes a merchant processor is bought out by another and then they decide to go through everything with a fine tooth comb for compliance reasons. These days most U.S. merchant processors are very cautious and try to avoid getting into the situation in the first place by vetting accounts more and more carefully.
I do have one question for you - what is your main motivation in wanting to set this up a a U.S. corporation, bank and merchant account? Is it the potential cost savings? Availability? USD currency for sales or what? There might be a more effective path towards achieving your goals that would also be more stable as well and not subject to any issues down the road.
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It wont be possible to remotely open up a US merchant account unless you travel to US and get the documents signed up. Additionally you need to have a US company to open up a merchant account.
You can have a US company and an offshore bank account in Cyprus and Belize.
Alternatively you can get your friends or relatives in US to open up a merchant account for you.
Due to 9/11 and KYC regulations, banks in the USA are NOT allowed to provide banking services to the people who live outside of the USA. As BenTenn said, you have to go to the bank's branch physically (your physical presence is a MUST).