A timeshare (also referred to as “vacation ownership”) is typically a vacation property in a resort setting that is sold to multiple owners in a shared ownership structure. This type of fractional ownership generally allows for owners to have a share in the property with usage rights breaking down into weekly increments. In addition to allowing owners to vacation at the purchased property, many timeshare programs allow owners to “trade their weeks in” for the ability to use another property in the timeshare program’s network of properties.
For those operating in the timeshare industry, getting a merchant account is one of the most challenging obstacles they will come across. The main reason timeshare merchant accounts are considered high risk is due to the long-term commitment for these agreements and or sales. When agreements for a purchase or sale extend past 6 months to one year, the risk for a charge-back increases. The likelihood that someone will change their mind about their commitment is common with timeshares. That coupled with some predatory providers in the market have made it difficult to navigate this space.
Is a Merchant Account Necessary?
The majority of time share companies require the ability for debit and credit card processing for either the initial down payment or for recurring future payments. This will be a key function that the business will need to thrive.
What Do I Need to Get Started?
Getting a merchant account doesn’t have to be over complicated. Most of the high-risk processors will require all the below basic information.
- Driver’s License
- Voided Check
- Articles of Incorporation
- Copy of EIN
- Completed Website
Are There Any Special Requirements?
You will have to provide a copy of any agreement you have with property owners or vacation package providers. This will need to be a signed completed version of the agreement in order for it to be valid.
What Are the Terms of Agreement?
Most processors will have different terms for timeshare accounts. You can expect a contract from 1 to 3 years. Your rates will be determined based on your business history and processing history. The longer you have processing history in good standing, the easier it is to negotiate rates and fees.
When someone wants to process credit card payments for their customers, they need to make sure that they work with a company that understands what their business model will require in order to have a long-term solution in place. Flow Payments has decades of experience in the timeshare industry and can help you find the right processing solution with transparent and low rates.