SARMs Payment Processing Services
Similar to other types of substances, SARMs fall into a grey area in the American legal system. While marketed as a dietary supplement, many of the consumers use them as performance-enhancing drugs. This has brought unwanted attention to the industry and made finding SARMs merchant account services harder for businesses. While payment processing services might be hard to come by, there remain a few options for merchants to pursue.
What are SARMs?
Named Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, commonly referred to as SARMs, are a synthetic drug that acts in a similar way to steroids. Helping to change your DNA to speed up the body's ability to grow muscle, they have been compared to as an anabolic steroid. Unlike the steroids drugs familiar to most people, SARMs have the ability to target muscles and avoid impacting other parts of the body.
Difficulties facing SARMs
Due to their close similarities with other steroid drugs, legislation has come forward to classify SARMs as a form of steroid and extend its regulation under the DEA. These potential legal changes, along with many of the other restrictions, have made finding SARMs credit card processing challenging. Most payment processors will not consider working with a SARMs business, limiting may of the options for businesses.
SARMs Payment Processing options
The most common way for SARMs, along with other supplements, to be sold is online. For this reason,most businesses in the SARMs industry are going to be applying for credit card processing services. The problem is that most credit card processors will not consider this type of business model, limiting the options businesses have for accepting online payments. This is why the use of eCheck processing has become so popular among the supplement industry.
Unlike the credit and debit card industries, echeck processors operate on a state by state basis. This allows the check processor to operate without the many restrictions facing the payment card networks. As the supplements industry continues to operate in these grey areas, e checks will remain as one of the most reliable and cost-effective methods to accept payments. Rates for eChecks is also much lower for merchants because the costs and risks for the check processors are much lower.
How SARMs Credit Card Processing works
Merchants that are approved for credit card processing will also have access to the debit card networks. Both types of transactions operate using the same payment card networks, including transactions originating in a merchants storefront or online through an ecommerce website. The different financial services companies involved in transactions include:
- Payment Card Network:
- Acquiring Bank:
- Issuing Bank:
- Shopping Cart:
- Payment Gateway:
These are the most recognizable names in the credit card processing industry. Companies such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover operate networks with merchant acquiring and card-issuing banks. These networks maintain strict levels of security to protect merchants, consumers and banks from potential frauds and other breaches.
The acquiring bank, also known as the merchant acquirer, is responsible for managing the relationship with the merchant. Handling customer service, technical support and financial reporting during the longevity of the payment processing agreement. The acquiring bank also maintains the relationship with the payment card network by following merchant guidelines and upholding security standards.
Also known as the card-issuing bank, this financial institution maintains the relationship with the consumer. By providing account security, maintenance, support and incentives, the bank profits from customer transactions and payments. Card issuers pay close attention to fraud since many losses will come at their expense.
Ecommerce merchants require the services of a shopping cart program installed on their website. The shopping cart allows customers to pick and choose what they want to purchase and securely provide a connection to the payment gateway. It is important for merchants to choose a shopping cart that is compatible with most major payment gateways, thus making the integration process much easier in the future.
Similar in practice to a physical credit card terminal located in a storefront, the payment gateway captures and transmits the card account information. Unlike a credit card terminal where cards are either dipped or swiped, a payment gateway requires customers to input their own information. Once received, the payment gateway will transfer that information to the merchant acquirer.
Once the account information from a debit or credit card is entered into the shopping cart, the information is securely passed from the customer's browser and merchant website to the payment gateway. The payment gateway is connected to the acquirer and securely sends customer account and transaction information to the bank.
The merchant acquirer enters the transaction details and customer account file into the payment card's network to be authorized. At this point, the payment card network determines the name of the customer's card issuer and forwards the merchant's transaction file.
The card issuing bank is responsible for providing account security for the consumer. They are responsible for approving or declining authorization requests based on various fraud protection and financial checks performed upon request. Regardless if a transaction is approved or declined, the response is sent back through the payment card network to the merchant.
SARMs Merchant Services Application
Merchants starting to fill out an application will be required to provide a certain amount of information for the underwriters of the payment processor or acquirer. Being aware of the expected documents will help merchants prepare when asked by the sales agent or underwriter. The most common documents requested for a merchant account include:
- Completed Application:
- Valid ID:
- Voided Business Check:
- Previous Payment Processing Statements:
- Previous Banking Statements:
Many times merchants do not fill out their applications fully or with all the correct information. While a small issue that can easily be resolved, this does delay the underwriting process and creates extra paperwork that could have been avoided. Underwriters use this information to perform their background checks on both the merchant and business to prevent any potential problems or losses.
Underwriters will require a copy of a government ID to perform the required KYC documentation required by banks. This Know-Your-Customer information is essential for banks to know who they are contracting with.
Providing a voided check is the best way for the merchant acquirer to verify the proper bank account to settle funds. Having an incorrect bank account will cause problems when the card issuer settles payments and the acquirer attempts to collect fees.
Businesses applying for a merchant account with an existing processing history will need to provide copies of their statements. Underwriters need to see how the business operates, deciding if they want to approve the company. Merchants are generally required to provide the last 3 months of statements but providing the last 6 months is recommended.
Underwriters for the merchant acquirers will also want to view the financial history of the business. Verifying that the business is operating with funds in their account and no occurrences of overdrafts, will help justify the merchant's application. Accounts with series of overdrafts can create a cause for concern as banks need to know the merchant can cover refunds and the fees for processing payments.
Providing a complete application package will help underwriters complete their review faster and will help improve a merchant's chances on earning approval. Though it can be more cumbersome to assemble all the required documents, the more information provided upfront, the faster the account can be approved.
Start accepting SARMs payments today!
Businesses in the SARMs industry looking for a merchant account to accept payments can speak to our payment processing professionals. Our team at Allied Payments specializes in medium to high risk businesses and can almost always find a solution to process payments. Contact us to get started today!