How Easy Is It To Get A Precious Metals Merchant Account? - DPN
How Easy Is It To Get A Precious Metals Merchant Account?

How Easy Is It To Get A Precious Metals Merchant Account?

What coin shops, and bullion, gold, silver, platinum and precious stone dealers need to know.


Are you trying to find a merchant account for precious metals? You’re not alone in your pursuit. Recently, we’ve had a lot of  merchant account inquiries from precious metals, bullion, commodities and forex trading merchants. We can understand why.

There’s been recent talk about an impending recession in North America. Consequently, we face the prospect of the US dollar losing value. As a result, more investors are looking to precious metals for security reasons. Thus, the demand for high-risk merchant accounts so vendors can answer the needs of customers. Investors large and small are looking to gold, silver, bullion and precious stones as more viable investments in the event of a downturn in the economy.

If you sell bullion or any other form of precious metals and are trying to diversify your payment capabilities, this post is for you. We’ll be touching on the various options and trends for merchants in this industry. More importantly, we will teach you what it takes to get approved for payment processing.


If you have a precious metals merchant account, keep it

Operating in a high-risk industry has many challenges, especially the ability to accept credit card payments. Therefore, a merchant account is a useful tool to automate this process. This is especially true for receiving, verifying, and transferring credit card payments.

If you already have a merchant account do everything you can to keep it! Unfortunately, accepting credit card payments come with issues of high chargebacks and fraud. Risk like this can lead to merchant account suspension or fees for high fraud-to-sale ratios. (You can learn about these issues with Visa in this post as an example.)

Chargebacks and fraudulent activity are the biggest reasons for account shut down. Often signs of high risk occur one month and go ignored, because merchants don’t understand the steps to remedy the problems. When risk get worse for consecutive months, merchants end up in bigger trouble.

When you operate as a commodities dealer, it’s classified as a high-risk business mainly due to high ticket sizes. In addition to fraud from customers, some dealers attempt to defraud the public. So, the requirements for merchant account approval often seem insurmountable. But, they aren’t and we can show you why.


It’s not just about domestic merchant accounts

Precious metals dealers operate in other jurisdictions outside of the American market. If you aren’t branching out to other countries, then you seriously should be to expand your business. An offshore merchant account makes sense if you want more revenue beyond your domestic market. Not only will cross-border sales have a higher approval rating, but multiple currencies for trading will also be available. This is common in the EU to accommodate more investors.

Moreover, it’s often easier to get approved for offshore merchant accounts when you operate a high-risk business model. There are a few different regulations to adhere to; however, other countries are much more liberal when it comes to accepting certain business categories. In knowing this (for example, at DirectPayNet), we help our high-risk business clients expand to Latin America and Europe to access other payment solutions.


Underrated payment options for high-risk businesses

Domestic and offshore merchant accounts aren’t the only way to boost your business capabilities for taking credit cards. Here are three overlooked payment options you should use (depending on your location). They are great paths for building processing history, which is key for the merchant account application process.
  1. ACH Payments

ACH processing is one of two direct debit transfer options from a customer’s account. Offering this method to prospective buyers has great benefits. There is a significantly lower risk of payment and chargeback reversals. Additionally, friendly fraud isn’t a common problem when customers can pay direct to an ACH account.

  1. E-Checks

The second direct debit payment option is accepting electronic checks (e-checks). An e-check works similarly to regular checks, except that it is digital. A scan or photo of the check must be sent to facilitate the direct debit, but this is required only once. And don’t worry about time: these can be processed more quickly than paper checks.

  1. MOTO Payment Processing

Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO) relates to telephone orders via a payment gateway. Customers may call your agents over the phone to make their orders, which provides more control of the buying process. If you choose this method ensure you have a reliable system in place to prevent theft customer’s credit card details.


How to improve your chances of getting a precious metals merchant account

In addition to overcoming your label as a high-risk business, you also need to prove the legitimacy of your company. This means operating within the confines of your country’s regulations. For example, in the US, dealers must ensure they meet precious metal and bullion integrity requirements from regulatory bodies. Don’t forget to check your local state regulations as well.

The same standards apply in Canada. According to their regulations, dealers in precious metals “must fulfill specific obligations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and associated Regulations …”

There are a few others obligations that payment providers must look for when you apply for a merchant account. These may also be tied into the regulations governing your industry.

  • You must show a license or proof of registration with relevant government bodies if you deal in precious metals.
  • If you’re storing these metals, adequate evidence of secure facilities must be provided. These can include signed agreements with facilities, clear images of the inventory, up-close photos of specific merchandise, etc.

Actioning the above items will distinguish your business from merchants who indulge in fraudulent practices.


The benefits of low risk in a high-risk industry

Low chargeback ratios and a good business reputation mean your business might show up on real review sites like Better Business Bureau ( A nicer reputation means a higher chance of approval for a precious metals merchant account or other type of processing.
It’s always good to add other choices to existing automated credit card payments. This improves your chargeback ratio and limits your risk exposure. These options also help you form good processing history to support your application. 
Additionally, if you’re a new business applying for a merchant account, begin by selling low ticket products (e.g.$300 tickets instead of $1000) . Build up your processing history with a trusted provider before pushing for higher volumes (e.g.$30,000 vs. $75,000/month).
So, you’ve seen how to improve your chances of merchant account approval. And we’ve given you three awesome tactics to grow processing history through a few low-risk payment methods.


Now it’s up to you to take your business to a higher level!

DirectPayNet works exclusively with medium and high-risk companies, including precious metal dealers. Therefore, if you are established and ready to increase your sales, contact us today.

About the author

As President of DirectPayNet, I make it my mission to help merchants find the best payment solutions for their online business, especially if they are categorized as high-risk merchants. I help setup localized payments modes and have tons of other tricks to increase sales! Prior to starting DirectPayNet, I was a Director at MANSEF Inc. (now known as MindGeek), where I led a team dedicated to managing merchant accounts for hundreds of product lines as well as customer service and secondary revenue sources. I am an avid traveler, conference speaker and love to attend any event that allows me to learn about technology. I am fascinated by anything related to digital currency especially Bitcoin and the Blockchain.