If YOU are in the US, you should try someone like cdgcommerce who posts here regularly and seems to provide amazing service. If you are NOT in the US, I'd probably start by asking your bank to see if they provide a merchant account - if you're doing that kind of business then their small business advisor should be quite willing to chat with you for a while.
Best known third party is probably paypal (but understand limitations before using) or 2checkout.com. Search for 2checkout in the forum and you'll also get a list of competitors. But 2co is 5% plus $49 setup plus additional fees for international withdrawals, so check into fees before you sign up!
Based on what you have mentioned above, a direct merchant account with a U.S. merchant processor *seems* like it would be the most cost effective option.
Are there any issues that have been raised by processors that you have spoken with which you feel might preclude you from being approved? (i.e. credit, type of business/products, etc.)
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I would highly recommend Corey Bryant and the team at Merchant Accounts 4 Less (http://www.merchantaccounts4less.com). We used them to open our merchant account and we have been extremely happy. They also offer WHT members a discount!
Originally posted by nenadm Company i work for is located in British Virgin Islands.
Is anyone addressing the fact that he's in the BVI. Anyone have any experience of getting a merchant account for a BVI business?
Also, nenadm, is there a physical presence on the island? Did someone in the company physically set up the bank account or was it set up through one of those "offshore specialist" companies? If you have a physical presence or at least someone set the bank account up in person, see if the BVI bank provides cc processing - offshore jurisdictions see this as a real opportunity and are trying to offer such services.
And need I say it, I hope there are no US citizens (or anyone else resident in the US for tax purposes) with any controlling interest (with or without nominee directors and the like). The IRS are getting hot and heavy with the promoters of offshore corporations with US clients. If there is a US citizen involved, take the federal tax hit and set up a Nevada corp (arguing with your state over tax is one thing - arguing with the IRS over it isn't worth the grief!).
The BVI can be a good location as long as nobody invovled lives in a high tax jurisdiction that taxes on worldwide income as opposed to just local source income (for instance, a couple of Singapore based programmers could do this all day!).
Some international alternatives with farely low rates include iKobo, MoneyBookers, PayLine and Share*It. These all have rates at 5% or below.
There are more third party processors that I know of that specialize in software that can be downloaded or shipped by CD. Many of these charge higher rates but also help to market your products with directory listings and reseller support. Most of the digital product specialists support international trade and several include support for multiple languages.
Compare costs of merchant accounts and more than forty 3rd party processors with the Maculator