A Guide to Offshore Merchant Accounts

Get Recommendations for the Best Merchant Account

    With the internet furthering globalization and connectivity, it’s no longer unusual for consumers to shop from overseas merchants. Half of all businesses in the U.S. already cater to a global market. You might get left behind by your competitor brands if you overlook the opportunity to cater to overseas customers. 

    Also, the accessibility of high-risk processors further streamlines overseas payment processing. Even eCommerce startups with no credit or minimal tenure can tap into global markets with the help of offshore high-risk merchant account providers. You don’t need commercial processors anymore. Offshore merchant account providers will take your business to new heights!


    The Benefits of Offshore Merchant Accounts

    Offshore merchant processing yields a wide range of advantages. Firstly, offshore accounts enable business owners to receive payments originating from non-resident countries. In the digital age, globalization and connectivity are crucial. A survey by Stripe even shows that 45% of all U.S.-based businesses cater to global customers.

    Secondly, businesses will find it easier to qualify for merchant services. They have lenient application requirements and accommodate a broader range of merchants, from businesses with high chargeback rates to service providers from risky industries. Try applying for an offshore high-risk merchant account if commercial banks have already rejected you.

    Who Provides The Best Offshore Merchant Accounts?  

    Merchants may struggle to navigate the dozens of offshore payment processors in the market. Fortunately, we can help. We narrowed the list down to the top four options:


    PaymentCloud is an offshore merchant service provider that primarily caters to high-risk businesses with overseas customers, such as mail order/telephone order (MOTO) and eCommerce shops.

    PaymentCloud’s Pricing 

    PaymentCloud offers both interchange-plus and tiered pricing models. Although you can negotiate their fees, most merchants pay around 0.10% to 0.50% plus $0.15 to $0.25 per transaction. Tenured businesses with low chargebacks get lower rates. 

    PaymentCloud’s Features 

    PaymentCloud offers commercial merchant services like card authentication, ACH processing, recurring payment collection, and point-of-sale (POS) transaction management to high-risk businesses.

    Who Is PaymentCloud Best For?  

    PaymentCloud best suits high-risk online businesses that cater to overseas customers. You can even integrate them into your Shopify account.

    Host Merchant Services

    Host Merchant Services (HMS) is a relatively new processor accredited in 2011. Despite their lack of tenure, they have received very minimal complaints from the BBB and have been praised for excellent customer service.

    Host Merchant Services’ Pricing 

    HMS offers interchange-plus pricing, and their rates are negotiable. However, businesses generating more than $10,000 in sales can expect to pay around 0.50% to 0.55% plus $0.10 per transaction.

    Host Merchant Services’ Features 

    HMS offers an extensive collection of features and added benefits like loyalty programs, gift cards, negotiable rates, and merchant cash advance requests. Of course, all these features are on top of their regular payment processing services.

    Who Is Host Merchant Services Best For?  

    The HMS pricing plan only works if your business has adequate order volume. Their agents will inform you right away if your sales volume does not match their pricing plan. Of course, you can still negotiate lower rates. HMS states that they create unique packages for accounts with lower monthly sales volumes.


    PaynetSecure has been around for 15+ years now. The company, based in Las Vegas, NV, specializes in a broad range of high-risk domestic and overseas businesses.

    PaynetSecure’s Pricing 

    PaynetSecure strictly offers interchange-plus pricing. The rates vary and are negotiable, but expect to shell out around 2.45% to 4.5% plus $0.25 to $0.30 per transaction.

    PaynetSecure’s Features 

    PaynetSecure offers high-risk payment gateways, multi-merchant account applications, recurring payments, and cloud reporting — apart from the standard payment processing, of course.

    Who Is PaynetSecure Best For?  

    PaynetSecure accommodates various businesses. They process one-time and recurring payments for merchants specializing in MLM, IT, eCommerce, SaaS, and adult entertainment products.


    Instabill is a tenure processor established way back in 2001. They initially catered to brick-and-mortar businesses but expanded to online commerce nearly a decade later.

    Instabill’s Pricing 

    Instabill has undisclosed rates, although most merchants pay 1% plus $4.99 per transaction. You can negotiate the fees if you have excellent credit.

    Instabill’s Features 

    Apart from their standard payment processing services, they offer a user-friendly app that streamlines daily payment tracking and invoicing.

    Who Is Instabill Best For?  

    Instabill best suits high-risk and offshore merchants based in the U.S. Although they also accommodate overseas businesses, they prioritize local applicants.

    How to Apply For An Offshore Merchant Account

    There is a common misconception that only the elite qualify for offshore merchant services. On the contrary, the average offshore credit card processor follows an easy application procedure with lenient requirements. The step-by-step process in applying for an offshore merchant account include:

    • Step 1: Check out the offshore credit card processing service providers in your industry, then see which one suits your needs best. Get a general idea of the areas of specialty.
    • Step 2: Choose the payment model that works for you. Get a sample computation of your chosen offshore credit card processor’s fees, then see how they affect profit margins.
    • Step 3: Narrow down your choices, then start sending applications. Prepare your government-issued IDs, Employer Identification Number, Social Security Number, Chargeback History, and recent bank statements.
    • Step 4: Wait for your offshore payment processor to respond — this can take up to 14 calendar days.
    • Step 5: Settle the initial setup fees once you receive account confirmation.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do you still find the concept of offshore merchant processing confusing? We have you covered! Check out the most common questions about applying for and getting an offshore payment processor.

    What does a merchant account do?

    A merchant account is a specific bank account with the primary purpose of allowing businesses to make and receive processed payments.

    Where are offshore banks?

    Offshore banks include financial institutions in a non-resident country. Having an account for offshore credit card processing is necessary to accommodate payments made in foreign currencies.

    Is offshore banking safe?

    Offshore banking offers excellent security and protection. Choose a reputable, financially strong institution from an economically well-off country to maximize your account’s benefits.

    How do I withdraw money from my offshore account?

    Use the credit or debit card tied to your offshore merchant account. However, watch out for the steep transaction fees.

    How much money do you need to open an offshore account?

    No, offshore banking is not limited to the hyper-rich. Most offshore accounts have a minimum initial deposit requirement of $5,000 and an opening fee ranging from $550 to $1,300.

    Overall, offshore high-risk merchant account providers enable merchants to process overseas payments safely and efficiently. They have lenient requirements and cater to a broad range of merchants. Whether you generate insufficient cash flow or come from a risky industry, offshore merchant account providers can curate the ideal payment processing solution for your brand.

    To ensure that you get the best deals in the market, compare at least three offshore merchant services. Every offshore high-risk merchant account has a unique set of features. Identify which plans best suit your brand, fit your overall budget, and, most importantly, address your specific payment processing needs.

    Do you still find payment processors confusing? Let Processing Card shed some light on the topic. Check out our comprehensive guide to credit card processing for more information on using payment processors for business.