Online Accounts for Diet & Weight Loss Product Merchants
Of the 65% of Americans who are overweight according to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, 45% of them – as well as the 67% who are obese – are trying to lose weight. A program of calorie reduction and regular exercise are proven ways to achieve success. But this involves a lifestyle change. Americans eager to lose weight but reluctant to make a lifestyle commitment often turn to alternate means such as diet programs and weight loss supplements. The 15% of American adults who have used weight loss supplements spend $2 billion per year on diet pills.
The diet and weight loss supplement industries provide ideal opportunities for entrepreneurs but opening such a venture can prove challenging. Traditional banks and financial institutions consider such businesses high-risk owing to the industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks on credit card transactions.
SecureGlobalPay can help. We specialize in providing online credit card processing solutions for traditionally high-risk merchants. No matter the type or size of your company, SecureGlobalPay can help you thrive.
Apply online today to begin your journey toward financial success with SecureGlobalPay.
Online merchant accounts for the weight loss industry
According to Marketdata Enterprises, consumers will spend $66 billion this year on health club memberships, dietary supplements, diet beverages and other weight loss products. Accessing this market requires the ability to process online credit card transactions.
Whether your business is online or in a physical location, SecureGlobalPay supplies merchant accounts to those offering:
- · Dietary supplements
- · Exercise and fitness programs
- · Health and fitness counseling
- · Weight control services
- · Diet and weight reduction club memberships
SecureGlobalPay specializes in working with high-risk merchants. Whether your business is new or established, has a history of excessive chargebacks, no credit or bad credit or has had accounts terminated by other credit card processors, SecureGlobalPay can offer solid solutions. Apply online now and be approved within 24 hours.
Applying for a weight loss supplement merchant account
Apply online with SecureGlobalPay for a diet program or weight loss supplement merchant account today. Be prepared to submit the following items for review:
- A valid, government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license, state/provincial ID, etc.)
- A bank attestation or void check
- Bank statements (3 months worth)
- Processing statements (3 months worth)
- SSN (Social Security Number) or EIN (Employer Identification Number)
Please note that your history of chargeback ratios must be under 2%.
E-commerce businesses must have a secure and fully-operational website.
Approval is not guaranteed. But with your application and the documentation above, SecureGlobalPay underwriters can potentially approve your application within 48 hours. Apply now.
The weight loss merchant account application process
The first step in the underwriter’s review is to ensure the applicant in question is running a legitimate business that operates within the law. This helps assess the level of risk and financial burden diet program and weight loss supplement merchants pose to credit card processors.
Underwriters consider a variety of factors when assessing risk. Businesses with a history of high chargebacks – or, credit card transaction disputes – pose a risk, as do those with negative bank account balances, unpaid bills, a history of late payments or questionable credit scores.
Online businesses that fail to post clear refund and privacy policies on their websites can also be considered high-risk.
Merchants can take several steps to maximize the likelihood of an approved application:
- Pay all outstanding debts and bills
- Provide proof that you have some capital in the form of bank savings
- Ensure a principal in the business has a sound credit history and nominate them to apply for the merchant account
Underwriters seek to ensure that diet program and weight loss supplement merchants do not have a history of suspicious or questionable activity so that risk is not passed on to the credit card processor. Resolving any such outstanding issues prior to application will increase the likelihood that your diet program or weight loss supplement business will receive approval.
Chargebacks in the diet and weight loss industry
Industries with strong customer interest are plagued by fraud. According to the Federal Trade Commission, weight loss products account for 13% of all fraud claims. Fraud is among the most common causes of chargebacks.
Diet programs and weight loss supplements are relatively unregulated industries. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require review of weight loss supplements before they go to market. Under the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, manufacturers of supplements determine whether or not their own products are safe and that their labels do not mislead customers with false information. Unlike pharmaceutical manufacturers, supplement manufacturers are not required to submit evidence or clinical trial data to the FDA as supplements cannot contain pharmaceutical ingredients. The only punitive action the FDA can take against a supplement manufacturer comes when a product is proven to be unsafe or to contain an illegal ingredient. Then it can be taken off the market.
Product claims made by manufacturers of weight loss supplements do not require evidence or support by data from clinical trials. This leads to a high amount of customer dissatisfaction when the product does not live up to the manufacturers’ claims. Customer dissatisfaction, unproven claims or inaccurate labeling lead to higher instances of product recalls and chargebacks, whether they are due to mistakes or fraudulent practices. Put simply, when customers fail to lose weight, they dispute credit card transactions.
Weight loss service and supplement companies usually offer a free trial period. This entices customers to try their products but can cause problems once the trial period ends and charges for supplements or services begin appearing on credit card statements. Whether via dissatisfaction with the product or displeasure at the cost, these items often end up as chargebacks.
Weight loss supplements are illegal in certain countries. Understanding this and knowing the countries in which weight loss supplements are illegal can help merchants avoid problems. Understanding the relevant regulations and local laws can help a merchant avoid chargebacks, unnecessary shipping costs or loss/confiscation of product.
Chargeback ratios: the risk to processors
Credit card processors can suffer liabilities when merchant accounts are afflicted by chargebacks or lack of cash to cover refunds. Such merchants are usually dropped in short order.
Credit card processors also have relationships to maintain with sponsoring banks, individual credit card companies and processors, as well as the brands themselves like Visa and MasterCard. Sponsoring merchants with excessive chargebacks can lead to fines from credit providers.
This loss and the damage to relationships far outweighs whatever profits credit card processors earn from merchant accounts.
How to reduce chargebacks
The weight loss supplement and diet program industry has a long history of terminated accounts and high chargeback ratios. For this reason, traditional financial institutions continue to decline their businesses.
Businesses unable to control chargeback ratios suffer consequences. Credit card processors will terminate merchant accounts with chargeback ratios of higher than 3%. Once a relationship is terminated, it can become very difficult for a merchant to get approved again.
Understanding the reasons for high chargeback ratios is an important first step. This can be due to many factors such as poor customer service, use of a poor business model or poor transparency and communication practices. A chargeback ratio of less than 2% is possible for businesses that prioritize customer service, effective communication and providing full refunds.
Effective customer service means providing prompt refunds to dissatisfied customers. The cost is significantly less than the liability incurred by excessive chargebacks.
Customers will often dispute charges on their credit card statements that they do not immediately recognize. Let customers know how their purchases will be billed: display business names and contact info on all e-mails, promotional material, websites, receipts as well as the entire checkout process. Preparing clients for what they will see on their credit card statements is extremely important
Likewise, sending automatic e-mail receipts and customer satisfaction surveys ensures that a business maintains a presence in the customer’s mind when they are billed. Such actions reinforce a sense of appreciation for a client’s business as well as reminding clients of their purchases. This also helps to avoid chargebacks.
Industry categories for diet programs and weight loss supplements
Four-digit numeric codes known as Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes are common in the United States and many other countries for identifying businesses and their primary purposes.
Weight loss products are classified under the rubric 5499: Miscellaneous Food Stores. Professional diet programs fall under 7222: Miscellaneous Personal Services.
A complete SIC list is available via the US Department of Labor website.
A similar classification system known as NAICS (the Northern American Classification System) is a list of six-digit codes used by federal statistical agencies to classify business establishments. The classification system aims to gather, analyze, and publish statistical information about similar types of businesses and their impact on the U.S. economy.
Professional weight loss programs fall under the rubric 812191: Diet and Weight Reducing Centers NAICS code. Weight loss products are categorized under the 446191: Food (Health) Supplement Stores. Other relevant NAICS codes include:
- 729934: Weight Control Services
- 729906: Exercise and Physical Fitness Programs
- 729901: Health and Fitness Consultants
Visit the United States Census Bureau to view the complete NAICS code list.
Diet Programs & Weight Loss Supplements Merchant Accounts
SecureGlobalPay offers highly competitive rates for merchant accounts for diet programs and weight loss supplements. SGP can help your business lower excessive fees and eliminate red tape.
Due to the high likelihood of dissatisfied customers and high chargeback ratios in this industry, finding a merchant account provider can be extremely difficult.
SecureGlobalPay can provide a merchant account tailored to your business model. Recoup money lost by using processors like PayPal. Our easy online application process can set you on the right road today!
- No Application Fees
- Competitive rates
- No VISA/MasterCard Required
- Multiple Secure Payment Gateway Options
- LOW Rates and Fees