With over $2 billion in industry profit, the bail bondsman business is thriving in the United States. As a locally sourced business type that serves its direct community, it’s fiercely competitive and typically confined to its local area. The court systems and jails you deal with can easily be learned and mastered in a short span of time, and then you go head-to-head with a few other local bail bondsman that are trying to make it, too.
Online transactions in this industry are relatively newer, but they’re going to give you a huge competitive edge over your local competitors. Why? Well, when your clients can easily pay you online, it’s going to be easier for them to get money to you. You can pick up clients online and even have them pay you there without needing a face to face meeting. Expediting your payment profile via an industry specific merchant account could be the next big step for you and your business.
A Quick, Secure Way to Do Business
Bail bondsman are like any other business-people. They need a way to accept money from customers, and customers need to be able to pay them securely. Even though the bail bonds industry is deemed to be high risk by processors and banks, that doesn’t mean that you should be shut out of accepting credit and debit cards from customers. Thanks to the safe & secure credit card processing handled by Flow Payments, you’ve always got a way to get paid.
High risk businesses like those in the bail bonds industry often receive rejections from traditional payment processors, or you might get hit with excessively high fees because of the nature of the risk. Don’t make yourself pay endlessly for what is deemed a risky business by sponsoring banks and processors! Many industries such as bail bonds perform a valuable service for society, and folks like bail bondsman deserve a break.
Payment processing for bail bonds is understandably too high risk for some traditional payment processors. However, online credit card processing makes it easier to get fairer merchant rates and protection. A bail bondsman pays a bail for a person accused of a crime. This person pays the bail bondsman collateral and down payments in order to secure the larger bail. However, if the accused doesn’t return to court on their court date, it’s the bail bondsman who will lose their money. That’s not anything that any bail bondsman wants to have to deal with, but it’s part of the high risk reality of this kind of business.
In addition to the defendant bailing on a court date, a bail bondsman might become the victim of a fraud on the part of clients or other unsavory organizations. Chargebacks are also a frequent part of problems in this line of work. Since the chargebacks are so high in this business, a regular bank or other merchant provider might outright deny a bail bondsman a merchant account. And since bail bondsman deal with people who have been accused of crimes, other payment processors may view it as too risky to be associated with them.
Online Merchant Accounts to the Rescue
When you align yourself with a traditional payment processor like a bank, you’re sometimes at the mercy of what they think is right or wrong in your industry. Since bail bondsman sometimes have clients that aren’t well thought of in the industry, it could be that a bank might abruptly stop providing services at all, thereby shutting you off from getting paid in a timely, safe way. This leaves you in a very vulnerable position.
Payment holds are another issue. If you get shut down by a bank, you’re facing funds being withheld from you for up to 6 months. Can you operate without your money for 6 months? The typical chargeback period that consumers have to file a dispute is a 6 month window. This is a standard window for all merchant accounts no matter if it is high risk or low risk.
Finally, there’s the dreaded TMF list to contend with. If a bank closes your account because they feel you’ve violated their terms of service, or the card brands terms of service, you’ll be in a file called the Terminated Merchant File. This means you will not be able to accept payments as almost all processors do not allow TMF merchants to process. This is a match alert process that is managed by Mastercard.
The moral of this story is to never get a merchant payment platform that doesn’t mesh well with your business type and its goals.
Why It’s Time to Switch To Online Merchant Platforms
Look for a high risk bail bondsman card processor that understands your business and your business needs. They’ll know up front that you’re a bail bondsman. In fact, they have expert knowledge on that line of work, so they won’t judge you for it or write it into their terms of service that your industry is all wrong to them. They’ll be open to processing payments for a bail bondsman.
Better than that, though, they’ll understand your industry in a way that a general processor simply won’t. They know the kinds of payments you need to accept and the kind of risks you’ll be taking. Because of this, they can cater their service to your specific needs, giving you the best way to process payments safely and effectively.
What You Need to Apply:
You will need the below to get started.
- Completed Application
- Copy of Drivers License
- Copy of Bail Bondsman License (varies by state)
- Copy of EIN
Flow Payments has decades of experience working with bail bond merchants. We strive to provide low rates and exceptional service. Contact us for a free quote today!