High-risk industries include replica sellers, pharmaceutical product sellers, online gaming (most prominently online poker and online casinos) tobacco sales, nutraceutical sales (herbal remedies and similar products), adult entertainment websites, telemarketing, travel, and debt consolidation.
Shark Payment Solutions services U.S. and Canadian – based businesses, and is headquartered in Calgary.
Because it provides payment services for high-risk website transactions, its services are limited to the basic functions of payment processing and chargeback assistance. Since Shark’s target customers are online businesses in high-risk industries, brick-and-mortar businesses and those who aren’t high-risk likely won’t find benefits from using SPS.
Its website outlines the following features:
This service includes credit card processing for all the major card brands. Since Shark Payments provides online card processing, signature debit cards may also be accepted. SPS provides online shopping carts, payment gateways and virtual terminals, but doesn’t provide details on what systems are available. Virtual terminals may be used for mail and telephone orders.
Other than the mention of this offering in the Merchant Services section, no details on this service are available. As chargebacks are a particular risk for “high risk” industries, it’s important to know your chargeback limits and any assistance you can expect.
Related Article: What to Look For in a Chargeback Management Company.
Since Shark Payment Solutions only serves online web retailers, no in-person payment processing equipment is available. The company doesn’t provide details about what online equipment/software it offers, or about shopping cart and payment gateway integration. If you need to use a specific card or gateway, or want to integrate with other programs like QuickBooks, be sure to inquire about compatibility before you sign up.
Given the limited information available in other categories, it’s not particularly surprising that Shark Payments doesn’t list details on security and anti-fraud tools. All businesses that accept credit cards are required to adhere to PCI compliance standards, and that applies to ecommerce as well. In high-risk industries, chargebacks are a likely scenario, and it’s important to take advantage of anti-fraud tools and have clear policies in place.
There is no information on the company’s customer support web page; other than a “search” button that takes you to a list of what appear to be some of Shark Payments’ affiliated banks that might handle your transaction. When customer support issues arise; you might need to deal directly with the merchant bank Shark Payment Solutions sets you up with, rather than SPS itself. The company does include a contact page with a form you can fill out to be contacted for assistance.
There are several articles on the company’s website which offer advice to new high-risk retailers that can help newbies understand not only the uncertainty of high-risk transactions, but how to avoid some of the common traps they might encounter; especially when it comes to understanding their customers, and how to mitigate payment risks.
An unfortunate truth in high-risk processing is that you’re just going to pay more. The additional likelihood of chargebacks and other things mean that processors are taking a bigger gamble, even if your personal credit is good.
The only processing fee information comes from a line on its website that states “super low” processing rates that start at 5.49%. Aside from that, we could find no other information about the standard Shark Payment Solutions contract, its length, other rates or setup fees - including cancellation fees. You may also be subject to a rolling reserve with Shark Payments.
If your business is looking for a high-risk payment processing you can request a fully disclosed, no-obligation quote from Shark Payment Solutions by using CardFellow’s free quote request tool.
Related Article: What is a Rolling Reserve?
The Better Business Bureau has no profile for Shark Payment Solutions Ltd. We could find no reviews in other traditional online review sites (Yelp, Ripoff Report, Google). There are also no customer testimonials on the SPS website.
We cannot tell if this is because the company is so new, or if its customers are happy with SPS’ contracts, rates and customer service. If you have or are using SPS as your merchant payment provider, please take a few minutes to share your impressions of this company.
The lack of available information – other than what little we could find on its website – strongly suggests that you should read and review all documentation the company provides you. I’d also encourage you to use CardFellow’s free quote request tool for a fully disclosed, no-obligation quote from Shark Payment Solutions so you can find out what you’re getting into before you sign up.
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