The Web Rep rebrands as TransSource


The Web Rep rebrands as TransSource

evolution into an industry leading solutions provider

The Web Rep rebrands as TransSource, reflecting commitment to client growth through premium partnerships; decades of industry experience and knowledge; and exclusive, proprietary technology

New name reflects the company’s evolution into an industry leading solutions provider in the high-risk merchant transaction processing space

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, January 28, 2022 – Kevin Cunningham, President of The Web Rep LLC, an industry leader in payment processing solutions for the world’s premier high-risk merchants, announced the change of its corporate name to TransSource, effective immediately. This rebranding strategy reflects the company’s evolution and unparalleled commitment to providing clients with top-tier, customized merchant solutions.

“What makes TransSource unique is that we understand the high-risk merchant processing space from the service provider side and the client side,” said Cunningham.  “For years, I was directly involved in running one the largest adult affiliate programs in the world. The other members of our executive team come from specialized backgrounds in the high-risk merchant space including payment processing; high level operational roles; and ownership of large ecommerce companies. This unique expertise gives us a keen insight to better understand and serve the needs of our clients.

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“Our mission is to provide merchants with everything they need to be successful- today and in the future,” according to Cunningham. “When I began The Web Rep over 10 years ago, I did so with the intent to be the one-stop-shop for all things related to high-risk processing, and I am proud to say we have succeeded. Our team of industry veterans each have over 20 years of experience delivering success-based merchant solutions to high-volume businesses in markets including adult, online dating, nutra, CBD, and travel just to name a few. We are excited to continue serving our current and future clients under the TransSource name which more accurately describes who we are and what we do.”


The name, TransSource, derives from the fact that we are the source for all things transaction-related including merchant account services, multi-currency and alternate payments, gateways, proactive chargeback management, anti-fraud solutions, risk management and much more. The company also notes that the name change reflects its strategic focus on providing current and future clients with the tools needed to operate a successful online business in the high-risk payment processing space.


About TransSource


TransSource is a global merchant solutions company with a focus on high-risk, online businesses. Our team of seasoned professionals helps implement business-specific strategies that increase sales, conversions, and overall efficiency. We leverage over 20 years of industry experience and diverse financial and technology integrations to provide our clients with an end-to-end service experience. We work with acquirers, ISOs, credit card networks, payment facilitators, alternative payment providers and eCommerce platforms to provide our clients with the resources they need to succeed and prosper.


Transactions Simplified.

The company notes that the name change reflects its strategic focus on providing current and future clients with the tools needed to operate a successful online business in the high-risk payment processing space.

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Merchant Services Explained: The Products and Tools that Make it Happen


Merchant Services Explained: The Products and Tools that Make it Happen

Reliable merchant services take care of all your payment processing needs

Merchant services are the lifeblood of every business.

Merchant services are the lifeblood of every business.

Merchant services is a term that broadly describes all financial services a business uses. So, when deciding on a merchant account, it’s imperative that you do your homework and go with one that’s good for your bottom line and offers services relevant to your business model.

Some basic questions to ask to assess your needs:

Do you accept in-person or online payments or both?

What type of POS (Point of Sale) hardware and software do you use?

Is your business high-risk and requires exceptional security and anti-fraud solutions?

From there, you’ll be able to narrow down your needs and work with a payment processor like TransSource to secure a merchant account that’s right for your business. 

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Merchant Services in a Nutshell

Consumers often confuse merchant services with services related to credit card processing. But there’s so much more to it; credit card processing is only a tiny part of a broader system.


In addition to processing credit card transactions, merchant services are a type of financial account that provides the tools and services required to accept payment, process transactions, track sales, and transfer funds between the acquiring bank and the merchant’s bank account.


But, more than just providing the right tools and services, it’s about having a well-established system that seamlessly works together to deliver a flawless payment experience. For example, high-risk businesses selling CBD online and in-store need suitable POS solutions and reliable chargeback protection.


In short, merchant services have two main aims: 1) Enable businesses to accept credit card transactions; and 2) Ensure payment processing is seamless, efficient, and secure.


When consumers initiate a payment, the journey of the transaction funds begins at the POS. So as long as you have a reliable system where all the stops are perfectly in tune with one another, the journey will be smooth and secure.

Merchant Services Products

Merchant services make up the various tools used in processing payments. The key is to use these tools in a way that’s best for your business and consumers.

Credit Card Processing Solutions

Since credit card processing is a substantial aspect of operating a business in the modern age, it’s essential to provide sufficient security and anti-fraud protection for your consumers.


Ensuring consumers’ payment details are protected and secure is not only good business practice, but it’s a requirement. Every business that accepts credit and debit card payments must be PCI compliant. This helps ensure data is encrypted and enables you to protect your consumers – and business – from security threats.


Good payment processors help ensure sensitive data securely transfers from the consumer to the acquiring bank, ultimately winding up in the merchant’s bank account. In doing so, the processor will adhere to rigid security protocols while integrating with a PCI-compliant payment gateway.

In-house Chargeback Prevention and Management System

Every business that accepts credit card payments will inevitably have to deal with chargebacks. That’s why having chargeback prevention and management system in place is necessary to protect against fraudulent transactions.


There are two main ways to handle chargebacks: Prevention (e.g., before transactions become chargebacks) and during the dispute process (after they become chargebacks).

Preventing Chargebacks

Chargeback prevention is the goal. Not only does it leave your ratio intact, but it saves you from the cost and frustration that is the chargeback dispute process.


Fortunately, our solution, CB-ALERT, does just that. CB-ALERT works by notifying you of a chargeback dispute before it turns into a chargeback. When you’re alerted, you’ll have 72 hours to contact the card issuer to either issue a refund or resolve the dispute before it turns into a chargeback.


Other security measures to protect against friendly fraud and other fraudulent chargeback requests include:


  • Address Verification System (AVS)
  • Card Verification Value (CVV)
  • Visa’s 3-D Secure.

A Chargeback Initiated, So Now What?

Even the best chargeback prevention system can’t detect and prevent all chargebacks from occurring, which is why you need a well-rounded detection and prevention system that includes having a way to address chargebacks after they initiate.


Several proven methods to help ensure you win the dispute include:


  • Detailed merchant descriptors to prevent friendly fraud resulting from unrecognized transactions
  • Maintain up-to-date reason codes
  • Promptly respond to consumer inquiries
  • Maintain efficient records and documentation of all consumer activity

Point of Sale Systems

As its name implies, a POS is when a consumer pays for a product, whether it’s at the checkout counter or an e-commerce shopping cart.  The POS system is the hardware and software that allows consumers to complete the transaction.


E-commerce involves any activity associated with buying or selling products over the internet. Online shopping has exploded over the last decade. In 2010, 4.2% of all US retail sales were online. As of 2021, that number is 13.3%, and it’s projected to increase by 20% by 2025.


Companies have introduced technology and services that have made paying for and accepting online payments seamless.


Recurring Billing is a necessity for many high-risk businesses and SaaS applications. For example, suppose your high-risk business is in dating or adult entertainment. In that case, it’s more convenient for your consumers to enter their payment information one time, then not have to worry about it until they decide to terminate their subscription.


Thereby, having a merchant account with a payment gateway that allows recurring billing is an essential service.


Virtual terminals are web-based applications that allow merchants to process electronic payments over the internet or via mail, fax, mobile phone, email, or in-person. Essentially, you can transform any computer into a virtual terminal after installing or downloading software. For in-person payments, just adding a card reader will allow you to accept payment in a retail establishment.


Mobile Payments have become the preferred payment method for many, as digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay have become increasingly popular with the younger generation. So by expanding the market into consumers who prefer to pay with their mobile device opens you up to new revenue.


Payment Gateways are essential to credit card processing. Their primary function is to authorize transactions between the merchant and consumer. They do so by securely transmitting transaction funds to the acquiring bank for approval. Following approval, with the support of a payment processor like TransSource, the gateway sends the funds to their final destination – the merchant’s bank account.


Payment gateways are among the most valuable merchant services because they process transactions and ensure you receive your money. Taking it one step further, TransSource helps pair you with the perfect gateway solution relevant to your business model. That way, you’re all set to accept gift cards, electronic check payments, loyalty programs, or something else.


Retail payment processing generally includes credit card terminals and contactless payment options. There are two security standards exclusive to the payment industry: EMV and NFC.


Europay, Mastercard, and Vista (EMV) have several security measures to protect merchants, consumers, financial institutions, and payment processors. EMV transactions can only process transactions when the card’s present, helping to prevent card-present fraud.


It does by first authenticating the card, ensuring it’s valid and not counterfeit. It also affirms the cardholders’ identifying via Offline and Online PIN and signature. Last, after each transaction, a unique transaction ID is generated, which can’t be replicated. Once the acquiring bank validates the transaction ID, the transaction is ready to process.


Nearfield Communication (NFC) are generally contactless payments that require consumers to hold their card near an NFC-enabled terminal without entering a PIN or signature. NFC-enabled payments are usually more secure for several reasons: proximity, cardholders must initiate the transaction via their smartphone, and secure chip validation.

Putting it all together with the Right Merchant Account

The merchant account you decide to go with needs to offer services that will expand your business now and into the future. However, not all are suited for all types of businesses.


We understand this at TransSource, which is why we’re: 1) Gateway agnostic; 2) Have a reliable partnership with a wide net of banks that knows your industry and understand your needs.


Additionally, we don’t burden you with paperwork and other hassles during the approval process.


It’s vital that applying for and creating a merchant account is painless, not painful, and the easiest part of the entire process. After all, the less time you spend on paperwork, the more focus you can put into your business.


Once approved (usually 24-48 hours), our team will immediately get to work partnering you with a reliable bank that knows your industry and understands your business. We’ll consult with you on the services your business needs, particularly those that put credit card processing on autopilot. Just email us at, and we’ll have you up and running within 48 hours.

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Payment Gateways: What High-Risk Merchants Need to Know


Payment Gateways: What High-Risk Merchants Need to Know

Decrease cart abandonment by improving the checkout experience

If merchants can’t guarantee an error-free and smooth checkout process, consumers will go elsewhere for their merchandise.

Payment gateways are the unsung heroes in e-commerce processing. Few know what goes on beneath the surface. But, they play a vital role in facilitating a smooth and secure online payment experience.


Payment gateways provide the security and infrastructure needed to process transactions seamlessly while also delivering high performance. If merchants can’t guarantee an error-free and smooth checkout process, consumers will go elsewhere for their merchandise.


The stakes are even higher for high-risk merchants. Due to higher incidents of chargeback and fraud, security and anti-fraud technology are crucial. That’s why it’s essential to seek out the services of a payment processor like TransSource. A PCI-compliant payment gateway works in tandem to provide high-risk merchants with the services they need to transmit sensitive information, prevent fraud, and ensure a seamless experience. 

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How Payment Gateways Work

Merchant accounts that accept online payments must have a payment gateway. Payment gateways are a service tool that transmits funds for verification and approval (or disapproval). Like a POS checkout register, it ensures online transactions are processed and securely transferred to the acquiring bank for approval. All this happens in under two seconds. Here’s a brief snapshot:

  1. Card user makes an online purchase.
  2. TransSource connects merchants with the payment processor, providing support along the way. From there, the processor securely processes the transaction and passes it to the payment gateway.
  3. Your payment gateway shields the sensitive data via tokenization and sends it to the acquiring bank for approval.
  4. The processor securely transmits the funds from the acquiring bank to the merchant’s bank account if the transaction is valid and no fraudulent activity is detected.

Payment Gateways for the High-Risk

High-risk merchant accounts require special needs. That’s because banks and other financial institutions deem them risky and unpredictable. High-risk businesses include those with higher levels of fraud and chargebacks or those that pose a reputation risk. As a result, high-risk payment gateways are generally safer and more secure than low-risk categories.

The benefits of payment gateways for high-risk merchants are extensive but generally fall under three key categories: anti-fraud, security, and flexibility solutions.


Payment gateways detect and prevent online fraud. Generally, there are several tools to achieve this:

Address Verification Service (AVS) – AVS is one of the most successful (and popular) fraud detection tools merchants use. When consumers enter their credit card information online, they provide their billing address and zip code. AVS matches the billing address and zip code with what’s on file with their issuing bank. The payment gateway then sends a payment request to the bank, which will approve or deny the transaction based on if the information matches.

Card Verification Value (CVV) – CVV is the 3- or 4-digit number on the back of your credit or debit card. Therefore, since the card’s authorized user only knows it, all online and other card-not-present (CNP) transactions require the code. Again, the payment gateway will prevent the transaction if the information doesn’t match up.

Visa’s 3-D Secure – Another online fraud prevention tool requires users to punch in a 4-digit PIN, verifying their identity. It also aids in intelligence gathering and sharing among merchants for further verification purposes.

Flag High-Volume Orders – Fraudsters who steal credit card information know they’re on borrowed time and need to make as many high-volume transactions as possible before the authorized user reports the card stolen. The payment gateway flags suspicious high-volume transactions, preventing chargebacks (and saving consumers headaches).

Blacklist Functionality– Payment gateways can filter and block IP addresses that frequently engage in fraudulent activity. One such way is protecting against lock-out transactions, which involve online programs that generate hundreds of “valid” credit card numbers fraudsters use.


The primary function of payment gateways is to secure sensitive information. Therefore, it relies on tokenization to encrypt the data and adhere to certain security protocols. 

PCI Compliant – Every merchant that accepts credit cards payments must be PCI compliant. PCI is a set of rules that govern credit card use. It requires merchants to follow proper security protocols related to storing, transferring, and transmitting sensitive information. Payment gateways must be PCI compliant and adhere to rigid security protocol.

Tokenization – Payment gateways use tokenization to transmit sensitive information. It works by taking sensitive information, like account numbers, and assigning meaningless values and symbols in its place. That way, if breached, hackers and fraudsters will be unable to decipher the information and commit fraudulent transactions.


High-risk merchants must have more flexible payment options and offer a greater variety of goods and services than low-risk categories.

MultiChannel payment processing High-risk merchants can process recurring payments and accept all types of credit cards, invoicing, and alternative payment methods. By definition, high-risk merchants process higher volume orders, so they must be accommodating and have a payment gateway to handle the load.

Accept various currencies – Accepting multiple currencies means you can expand your business into other markets, which increases revenue. Not only that, it saves you time not having to translate currency values.

TransSource Can Help in 4 Key Ways

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of high-risk payment gateways, let’s consider how TransSource can help. Here are four ways TransSource helps merchants integrate with a gateway best suited for them.

Payment Gateway Agnostic

We’re gateway agnostic. In other words, we provide you with the tools you need to be successful while you have the freedom to choose which payment gateway to use. We don’t try to hamstring you or recommend one that isn’t right for your business.

Choosing the right high-risk gateway can be a process, so we provide consultation services that partner you with the gateway service most suited for your business. A few things to consider:

  • We offer complete gateway integration services.
  • Our management team has over 20 years of experience, so we know how to match your business with the gateway service you need.
  • We have a reliable partnership with banks that knows your industry and know it well. Also, our strong partnership means your merchant account won’t terminate overnight for any reason.

Anti-Fraud Advantage

Preventing fraud is among every merchant’s highest priorities. One such anti-fraud solution is CB-ALERT.

CB-ALERT is our solution to preventing chargeback disputes before they become chargebacks. CB-ALERT works by immediately notifying merchants when consumers initiate a chargeback dispute, thereby giving merchants time to issue refunds or resolve the dispute before it affects their chargeback ratio.

How is this related to payment gateways, you ask?

Good payment gateways give merchants complete control over payment logic, preventing chargebacks. For example, you can program your payment gateway to send email notifications to remind consumers that a recurring payment will automatically deduct from their bank account. This prevents friendly fraud, and also, consumers appreciate the heads-up. You can also program the payment gateway to flag high-volume or international orders or other suspicious activity.

By having complete control over the purchasing process, you can create personalized if/then logic to protect against fraudulent activity you commonly face, enabling you to immediately respond to threats or chargeback disputes.

Security Solution

When dealing with consumers’ money, you need top-rated security features to prevent attacks and protect sensitive information. Our security protocols include AVS, CVV, tokenization, VMPI, and 3-D Secure. On top of that, we help integrate with a PCI-compliant payment gateway that adds additional security measures via firewalls, encrypted data, restricted data access, access logs, and other protocols.


We work closely with all our merchants to ensure your payment gateway integrates seamlessly with your website. But, of course, we’re with you every step of the way, incorporating our security and anti-fraud solutions into the mix as well.

But that’s not enough. The backend is well-taken care of, but what about the front end? Above all else, it must be consumer-friendly. If consumers become frustrated during the checkout process because they’re too many subfields or the layout is confusing and poorly designed, they’ll likely abandon the cart and shop elsewhere. Our consultation services ensure this won’t be an issue.

One Final Thought on Cart Abandonment

Consumers landed on your order page, so it’s time to close the sale. However, it’s not that simple. Consumers abandon their e-commerce cart for several (avoidable) reasons, such as not accepting their preferred payment option or being too complicated of a checkout process. Remarkably, a Baymard Institute meta-study found that 69.80% of consumers abandoned their e-commerce shopping cart. 

However, that same study saw a 35.26% improvement after fixing checkout design and usability issues.  This tells you that many of these usability issues are self-induced. What’s needed is a reputable payment processor that provides consultation services that cover everything from payment integration to set up a merchant account. 

Simply message us, and we can get you started with a seamless, no paperwork application process. That way, you’re free to focus on your business, and we’ll get to work.

The way it should be, right?

ecommerce, selling online, online sales
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How to Prevent Chargeback Fraud and Reclaim Your Profits


How to Prevent Chargeback Fraud and Reclaim Your Profits

Don’t Accept Chargeback Costs as Routine Business Expenses

we focus our prevention efforts on identifying the reason for the dispute to address the underlying problem.

Chargeback fraud.

Words that make even the most hardened merchant flinch.

Chargeback fraud destroys profits and poses grave risks to businesses. They’re particularly harmful to high-risk merchant accounts.

In large part, this is due to merchants feeling helpless during the dispute process. That said, many merchants view the dispute process as unwinnable and chargeback costs as operational overhead.

To a certain extent, this is true. But it doesn’t have to be.

Effectively, the only course of action is prevention. Unlike many payment processors who focus on disputing chargebacks after the fact, at TransSource, we focus our prevention efforts on identifying the reason for the dispute to address the underlying problem. This ensures we treat the disease, not just the symptom.

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What Is Chargeback Fraud?

Chargeback fraud is when consumers initiate a chargeback without a legitimate reason for doing so. There are several reasons for this, but chief among them is consumers believe there’s little chance the merchant will win the dispute. There is some merit to this since merchants only win 22% of disputes.


Is chargeback fraud the same as friendly fraud?

Chargeback fraud is often mistakenly used to mean the same as friendly fraud. However, one key difference exists. Unlikely friendly fraud, chargeback fraud involves intentionally defrauding merchants. Friendly fraud occurs when consumers dispute transactions for seemingly innocent reasons, such as not recognizing a transaction or accidentally purchasing an item.


Reasons consumers may commit chargeback fraud include:

  • Buyer’s remorse
  • The product return date has passed
  • To get out of paying

What Chargeback Fraud Cost Merchants

Merchants lost $31 billion in 2017 due to chargeback fraud, and it’s increased every year since. It has been particularly impactful amidst a global pandemic that has shut down brick-and-mortar stores, making consumers more reliant on online goods and services. For example, according to the 2021 Global Payment Risk Mitigation Report, in 2020, 59% of merchants reported increases in card-not-present fraud, a 21% increase from the previous year.


With the volume up, the cost of fraud also rose 7.3% over the last year. Today, every $1 of fraud costs merchants $3.60, up from $3.36 in 2020 and $3.13 in 2019.


Since the cost of fraud has sharply risen, merchants’ highest priority has been establishing a prevention strategy to identify threats and assess risks. Doing so requires implementing a top-to-down fraud prevention system that tackles fraud before it turns into a chargeback.

Chargeback Management and Prevention Strategy

Protecting your business from chargeback fraud isn’t a singular event. Instead, it takes implementing a proven system with multiple layers of protection. So that if one layer falters, others will step up for added security.


That’s why you need preventive measures that protect against chargeback fraud before, during, and after fraudulent transactions.

Preventive Measures Before the Fraudulent Transaction

Chargeback fraud prevention begins before the fraudulent transaction. You can use fraud detection tools to flag possible fraudulent activity so that they don’t manifest into disputes later down the road.

Scouring Data to Identify and Assess Risks

Payment processors help facilitate the secure exchange of sensitive data so banks and other financial institutions can process transactions. This requires processors to monitor transactional data for anomalies and suspicious activity. Doing so requires a robust algorithm that spots patterns and potentially fraudulent activity. Ways to achieve this include:

  • Have an alert mechanism that detects potential fraud and risky transactions, such as international orders, an unusually high volume order, or a blacklist of consumers known to initiate fraudulent chargeback requests.
  • Set up robust fraud detection rules that block fraud attempts while enabling legitimate transactions to process. 
  • Have large-scale analytics that allows you to analyze and detect patterns while providing valuable insight into what constitutes routine transactions and which raise red flags.

Preventive Measures to Halt Fraudulent Transactions on the Spot

Authenticating card-users information during a fraudulent transaction is key to preventing fraud and chargeback disputes.


Also, since chargeback and friendly fraud are closely related, preventing both will lead to fewer chargebacks.

Have a Secure Payment Gateway with Fraud Detection Tools

While your processing partner analyzes transaction data, the payment gateway authenticates and securely processes the data’s journey from the consumer to the financial institution. So, it’s essential to have proper fraud detection tools to ensure the data is secure en route to its final destination.

How TransSource can help

A reputable processing partner like TransSource follows rigid processing protocols and commits to halting chargeback fraud in its tracks.


TransSource captures consumer information like IP addresses and other information that fraud detection tools flag, preventing the transaction from going through.


Such fraud detection and prevention tools include:


Card Verification Value (CVV) – CVV is the three or four-digit number on the back of your Visa or Mastercard credit card. It’s the first layer of security for card-not-present fraud and is only known by the consumer.


Address Verification Service (AVS) – AVS prevents fraudulent transactions by matching consumers’ shipping and billing addresses with the one on file with their issuing bank. If the addresses don’t match, the payment processor will send a request for verification to the issuing bank.


3-D Secure – 3-D Secure is a level of security that authenticates consumers’ transactions. It relies on sending text messages or emails to verify the transaction.


Fraud Scoring System – Risk scoring tools set parameters and rules to prevent fraudulent activity. These rules measure risks and assess threats, including such parameters as AVS failure test and IP geolocation.


However, while these fraud detection and prevention tools provide layers of added security against chargebacks, our solution, CB-ALERT, is what distinguishes us as the preeminent players in the chargeback management and prevention arena.


CB-ALERT is a powerful chargeback prevention tool that works by consolidating all chargebacks/disputes in one centralized location. It enables merchants to receive alerts as soon as consumers initiate a chargeback, allowing merchants time to issue refunds or dispute the claim before it turns into a chargeback. 


Additionally, CB-ALERT is compatible with all payment gateways and CRM’s. And it’s integrated with Ethoca and Verifi, so you won’t miss any alerts. Even better, you’ll have 72 hours to respond to a chargeback dispute before it becomes a chargeback. High-risk merchants have found tremendous success incorporating CB-ALERT into their business.

Measures to Take After Consumers Initiate a Chargeback 

Even the most advanced fraud detection and prevention tools will not catch all incidents of chargeback fraud. So, inevitably, you’ll need to prepare for the chargeback dispute process.

Keep Up-to-Date Reason Codes

When consumers initiate chargebacks, reason codes let merchants know what kind of chargeback it is. Since reason codes constantly change, maintaining updated codes is crucial to responding to the dispute accordingly. It can be costly if the reason code is no longer valid or adequately updated. Moreover, reason codes help merchants detect patterns to prevent similar chargebacks in the future.

Maintain All Consumer Documentation

The most convincing way to win disputes is to maintain all documentation and consumer records. It’s all about proving intent. Excellent ways to show intent are to have consumers sign the purchase order, email delivery confirmation upon shipping, and keep a log of IP addresses and geographic location.

Respond Promptly to Consumer Inquiries

While chargeback fraud deals with malicious intent, consumers often initiate a chargeback because they don’t recognize a transaction. So, there may be no ill intent, but the chargeback still negatively affects merchants. Therefore, it’s essential to respond promptly to inquiries and engage consumers after they initiate a chargeback.


TransSouce’s VMPI program is a safety mechanism that alerts merchants when a consumer initiates a chargeback. It allows merchants to remind consumers of the transaction, thereby easing their fear of a fraudulent transaction. Moreover, if there’s another problem with the transaction, merchants can resolve it without affecting their chargeback ratio.

Include Detailed Merchant Descriptors

Another effective way to handle unrecognized chargeback transactions is to include a detailed merchant descriptor. Merchant descriptors are the line of copy on a financial statement that alerts consumers of a transaction. The clearer the descriptor, the more likely consumers will recognize the transaction and not initiate a chargeback.


It’s also helpful to include contact information within the descriptor. This solves two problems. First, if consumers still don’t recognize a transaction, they may want to contact the number and speak to a live representative. In doing so, the representative can resolve the dispute before it turns into a chargeback. Second, including the contact information provides compelling evidence that you took appropriate measures to prevent a dispute.

Chargeback Management and Prevention that Encompasses Trust

Fraudsters no longer enter through the backdoor when the front door is wide open.


Gone are the days when fraudsters exploit vulnerabilities in a company’s computer network. That’s because companies spend a lot of money securing their IT infrastructure, and fraudsters know this. So instead, it’s much easier to pose as legitimate consumers and steal money the “legal” way.


This is why it’s crucial to invest in a chargeback management and prevention system that alerts you to disputes before they affect your ratio. CB-ALERT is that system, as it’s designed to prevent fraud attempts from eventually becoming chargebacks.


TransSource delivers in all areas of fraud detection and prevention. But perhaps most importantly, we encompass trust and provide peace of mind knowing your money is safely tucked away and protected. Send us a message, and we’ll walk you through the exact steps entrusted by hundreds of other businesses.

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High-Risk Merchant Account: How to Turn “High-Risk” Into an Advantage


High-Risk Merchant Account: How to Turn “High-Risk” Into an Advantage

Make Your High-Risk Merchant Account Work For You

With the right processing partner, approval is instant, setup is seamless, and credit card processing is fluent - even with a high-risk merchant account.

Don’t let the designation of being high-risk intimidate or slow you down. You may think it’s an unfair judgment of your business. But the reasons for the designation are often due to factors beyond your control, such as industry or longevity. So instead, turn it into an advantage.

With the right processing partner, approval is instant, setup is seamless, and credit card processing is fluent – even with a high-risk merchant account.

At TransSource, we understand what it means to be “high-risk.” We work closely with our clients to offer solutions specific to their needs.

Other advantages with having a high-risk merchant account include:

  • High Chargeback Protection
  • Better Security and Fraud Prevention
  • Custom Support
  • Partnership with Reliable Banks

So try not to fret over factors you can’t control and consider the hidden benefits the right processing partner can oversee and implement.

But before we do, let’s dive into merchant accounts and their role in facilitating transactions.

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What is a Merchant Account and Do I Really Need One?

A merchant account is a type of account that allows businesses to process and accept online payments. On its own, a merchant account doesn’t include any service or technology used to process payments, like payment gateways, software, and card readers. Instead, it exists to store funds while the payment processor verifies and processes the transaction.

That said, you might wonder why you need a merchant account.

A merchant account grants you instant access to funds following a credit or debit card transaction. Otherwise, you’d wait until consumers paid off their credit card bills.

Merchant Accounts for the High-Risk

Payment processors require businesses that accept credit and debit cards to have a merchant account to mitigate risks associated with chargebacks.

It’s to mitigate risks associated with chargebacks, money laundering, fraud, and other illicit transactions. For example, when a chargeback occurs, payment processors assume control over the disputed funds. If the consumer provides appropriate documentation indicating a fraudulent transaction occurred, the payment processor will likely require the merchant account to cover the transaction. Unfortunately, too many of these transactions take a significant bite out of revenue.

Javelin’s research revealed this chargeback process cost merchants roughly $31 billion in 2017. And in 2020, losses due to identity fraud – with a high degree of chargeback transactions – amounted to $56 billion.

As a result, payment processors place certain conditions on high-risk merchant accounts proportional to their level of risk.

What It Means to be High-Risk

Payment processors worry high-risk merchant accounts will cost them money in the long run due to the perceived nature of their business and industry.

Generally, criteria used to determine if you’re high-risk includes:

High Chargeback Ratio – A high chargeback ratio signals unpredictability and financial instability. Chargebacks cost businesses approximately 4.4% of total revenue. Generally, a chargeback-to-transaction ratio over 2% is considered high risk.

Overseas Business – International laws and complex banking regulations raise the potential for fraud. And if a payment processor needs to collect chargeback funds from an overseas merchant, it puts them in legal limbo.

Poor Credit History – For payment processors to invest in high-risk merchants, they need to know their business is financially stable and can pay off its debts.

Longevity – Startups and businesses less than three years old are at higher risk than well-established businesses.

Industry: No other criteria defines high-risk merchants more than its industry. Here are just a few: 

  • Adult entertainment
  • Airlines
  • Alcohol/liquor
  • Auction websites
  • Cannabis
  • Casinos and online gaming
  • CBD oils
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Dating services
  • Financial counseling/credit repair
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Pharmaceuticals and online drug providers
  • Subscription services
  • Telemarketing sales
  • Tobacco/e-cigarettes/vape

How Being Deemed “High Risk” Affects Your Bottom Line

While there are benefits to having a high-risk merchant account, there are, of course, disadvantages.

You Pay Higher Fees and Processing Rates

First and foremost, high-risk merchant accounts pay higher fees. They do so to mitigate the potential for financial loss. Such fees may include:

  • Setup fees
  • Monthly or recurring fees
  • Processing fees
  • Chargeback fees
  • Risk monitoring fees
  • Early termination fees

High Chargeback Ratio May Result in Closed Accounts

Last, a high chargeback ratio may result in your payment processor freezing or closing your account. While the immediate negative outcome to a chargeback is loss of revenue, the real danger is your payment processor closing your merchant account. And in extreme cases, you may end up on an industry blacklist.

4 Ways To Turn High Risk Into an Advantage

The hidden benefits of high-risk merchant accounts depend on your processing partner. That is, they’re the ones who interact with banks and financial institutions and advocate on your behalf. But, most importantly, they’re the ones who know your business and understand your industry. They sit behind the curtain, working their magic while you’re allowed to run and manage your business.

With the backing, knowledge, and personable touch of a processing partner like TransSource, you can bask in the many benefits of having a high-risk merchant account.

High Chargeback Protection

Merchants are often the ones left footing the bill when consumers initiate chargebacks. That’s because, in many cases, consumers would rather call the number on the back of their credit or debit card to initiate a chargeback instead of following proper protocol to request a refund. When that happens, the payment processor expects the merchant to handle it. Unfortunately, even if the merchant wins the dispute, it loses. It has an upset consumer who may or may not air their grievances in the form of a review, and the merchant must pay a chargeback fee.

TransSource’s VMPI program (Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry) provides substantial protection against chargebacks. It works by enabling merchants to automatically open dialogue in real-time when consumers initiate a chargeback. It’s not about trying to convince consumers not to initiate a chargeback. Instead, since most chargebacks are due to unrecognized transactions, it’s about easing consumers’ anxiety that the transaction wasn’t fraudulent. Merchants can offer a refund so their ratio isn’t affected.

Better Security and Fraud Protection

All processing partners offer some level of security and fraud protection. They need to because high-risk merchant accounts are vulnerable to fraud, chargebacks, and other security incidents. So it’s necessary to have robust security measures in place.

TransSource employs Visa’s 3-D Secure 2.0, which enables payment processors and other financial institutions to share intelligence and data to verify the authenticity of its merchants and consumers, thereby protecting sensitive and secure information.

Custom Support

Processing partners with knowledge of your industry is necessary in the cut-throat world that defines many high-risk businesses. More than just the tools and software, you need specialists who understand your needs and will put your business in the right hands. For example, TransSource’s account managers provide personalized services that take all the paperwork (and hassles) out of it. The less you have to do, the more you can focus on your business.

Partnership with Reliable Banks

In addition to your processing partner tailoring their business services to match your needs, your partnership with banks is a significant factor:

  1. Since high-risk merchant accounts are prone to chargebacks and are financially unpredictable, the bank must be reliable and understand the merchant’s industry and type of business.
  2. Banks provide credit card processing equipment, software, and other hardware.
  3. Your processing partner will consistently interact with banks and other financial institutions for authorization and security purposes on the merchant’s behalf.

You can rest assured, at TransSource, each high-risk merchant account is backed by a sponsored bank that understands your needs.

What’s Next: 3 Steps to finding the Right High-Risk Merchant Account Partner

Evaluate Your Needs

Evaluating your business’s needs will eliminate processing partners that don’t understand your business and, therefore, will not contribute in any meaningful way. On top of that, it saves you time not researching partners that can’t handle your workload. Make sure only to consider partners that have experience in high-risk verticals.

Do Your Research

Once you assess your needs and eliminate processing partners that aren’t a good fit, research only partners relevant to you and your business. Avoid those with predatory business practices and over-inflated prices. Be honest during the application process and ensure they have a zest for your business and understand the industry.


It’s now time to apply. Fortunately, TransSource’s application process is instant and hassle-free. Our account managers guide you through the process from A to Z. You don’t have to worry about any paperwork or other inconveniences.

Hundreds of high-risk merchants have entrusted TransSource with their credit card processing and merchant account needs, so if you’re ready to make that leap, we’re here. Get in touch with us, and you can see firsthand how seamless the process is.

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What is TransSource?


Here’s what you can expect when you partner with TransSource.

What is transsource?

"We offer a variety of unique solutions as well as exceptional customer service to make your life as a merchant a breeze."

Big enough to serve you, small enough to know you.

TransSource has earned a reputation as the premier online payment processing provider. We’re here to simplify online payments for a variety of reputable, long-standing merchants who have been processing for years. 

Our 20+ years of experience in the payments industry allows us to offer a number of unique merchant solutions as well as customer service that’s second to none. Here’s what you can expect when you partner with TransSource.

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Merchant Accounts for Various Industries

No matter what industry you’re in, rest assured TransSource can help. Over the years, we’ve provided countless high-risk and low-risk merchants with direct merchant accounts. You can trust us to customize your account in a way that meets all your credit card processing needs. Our merchant accounts may be just what you need to expand your online presence and increase your bottom line. 

Quick Approvals and First-Class Customer Service 

You won’t have to wait long to implement a custom payment processing solution. We guarantee a quick approval process so that you can improve the way you operate and grow your business right away. In addition, we offer exceptional customer service to support you every step of the way. 

Online Payment Gateways

At TransSource, we have a team of experienced account managers that can pair your business with the ideal gateway solution. We will recommend an option that will allow your merchant account to fit in seamlessly with your current setup.

Chargebacks and Anti-Fraud Protection

With our in-house solution, you can prevent chargebacks and disputes that take a toll on your business goals. You’ll be able to keep merchant accounts in good standing, increase revenue, and improve customer relationships. It’s the ideal way to safeguard your business. 

Stay Up-to-Date on Our Blog

We invite you to visit our blog on a regular basis as we will update it with the latest and greatest news and insights in the online payment industry. If you would like further information on TransSource or would like to learn more about how our solutions can revolutionize your industry, contact us today. 

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