Educational seminars are essential in today’s work environment. Technological and social change, shortened product life cycles and shifting regulatory targets challenge workers to maintain a relevant skill set. This is best done by attending professional development seminars, such as business coaching sessions and management training workshops.
This has led to the creation of a lucrative industry for providing professional development and continuing education classes. The business coaching industry is comprised primarily of experts willing to travel to businesses to conduct in-house seminars. This industry generates $11 billion in annual revenue. According to a 2017 report from IBISWorld, the sector has seen a steady 3.5% increase in annual growth since 2012.
51,946 businesses currently operate in the educational seminar industry. Online training is expected to further enlarge the industry as an alternative to hosting in-house seminars facilitated by experts. Revenue for the industry as a whole is expected to continue rising through 2022.
Obtaining an online merchant account is essential to any online educational service. The ability to accept and process credit card payments is the lifeblood of any online business.
Despite growth in the educational seminar industry, many online service providers face difficulty in obtaining an educational seminar merchant account. These merchants are considered high risk by banks and are in need of a high risk merchant account. Many traditional financial institutions would just as soon avoid the risk by avoiding the business itself.
Providers of educational seminar services need a way to effectively process online credit card payments. The solution is to turn to an online processor like SecureGlobalPay for an educational seminar merchant account.
SecureGlobalPay offers secure, efficient PCI-compliant payment gateways with chargeback management tools and fraud filters. Fill out our online application today and be approved for business within as little as 24 hours.
Types of educational seminar services
The educational seminar industry provides training courses for professional development. These can be in person at a company location, via educational institutions or via the internet.
SecureGlobalPay provides merchant accounts to companies offering the following services:
- Management development training
- Professional development training
- Quality assurance training
- Business coaching
SecureGlobalPay has a solid track record of working with new and existing businesses of all types. We assist merchants terminated by other credit card processors, those with no credit, bad credit, or high chargebacks.
The account application process
Apply online with SecureGlobalPay for a 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 ID Number)
- The URL to your secure, fully operational website
Please note that your history of chargeback ratios must be less than 2%.
E-commerce businesses must have a secure, fully operational website.
Approval is not guaranteed. But with your application and the documentation above, SecureGlobalPay underwriters can approve your application within 48 hours. Apply now.
The merchant account application process
The first step in the underwriter’s review is to verify the business is legitimate and operating within the law. This helps assess the level of potential risk individual 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. Also businesses 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, bills and financial obligations
- Provide proof that you have some working capital in the form of bank savings
- Ensure the principal in the business has a solid credit history and nominate them to apply for the merchant account
Underwriters seek to ensure that merchants do not pose a risk risk to the credit card processor. Resolving any such outstanding issues prior to application will increase the likelihood that your business will receive approval.
Why educational seminar merchants are considered high risk
Organizations and individuals tend to book and pay for educational seminars either online or over the phone. For this reason, banks and traditional financial institutions consider the industry high-risk. Any business that does not rely on a face-to-face transaction for payment is considered high-risk.
A certain amount of educational training can also be fraudulent or of an exaggerated nature. For example, those business gurus that promise to teach people to become millionaires are unlikely to deliver on what they promised. Angry and dissatisfied customers typically demand refunds after seminars. A failure to honor their requests leads to disputed charges on their credit card statements.
Educational seminars typically involve advanced registration, most often paid by a credit card. Changes in plans or circumstances can lead clients to cancel pre-registration, marking the merchant as high-risk. If not handled properly, these cancellations can appear as chargebacks on a customer’s credit card statement.
Educational seminars are taught by experts. The high cost associated with obtaining and maintaining a professional standing, in a professional field, leads to high-dollar seminar fees.
Such fees can sometimes total in the thousands. Customers may cancel when they see the price on their credit card statement. This compounds the risk to banks and traditional financial institutions.
Educational service providers face an uphill battle in establishing themselves in the industry. Start-ups face significant cost challenges, such as providing 24-hour customer service coverage. A lack of experience exposes them to difficulty in the form of complex customer situations they may lack experience to address.
All of these circumstances are likely to end in chargebacks for the service provider. Avoiding chargebacks is crucial to success in the online world. Excessive chargebacks can lead to restrictions, volume processing caps and terminated accounts. All of these can affect merchant profits and ability to conduct business.
The risk to processors
Chargebacks affect merchants and online credit card processors alike. Processors can be levied serious fines by credit card companies for each merchant account with excessive chargeback ratios. When a business exceeds a 2% chargeback ratio, the acquiring bank can put severe limitations on the processors ability to board future merchants .
Merchant accounts with a 3% or higher could face immediate termination.
Controlling chargeback ratios
Credit card processors can be penalized for sponsoring MLM merchants with excessive chargeback ratios. When a business exceeds a 2% chargeback ratio, processors could face potential financial penalties that could negatively impact their way of doing business.
A ratio of 3% or more for chargebacks means that merchants are no longer profitable for credit card processors. This inevitably leads to closure of accounts.
If 4 out of 100 transactions per month are chargebacks, then the business has a 4% chargeback ratio. This poses a risk to its online credit card processor and sponsoring banks. Merchants must take every possible measure to avoid excessive chargebacks.
Providing great customer service can go a long way toward preventing excessive chargebacks. Customers are far less likely to experience dissatisfaction and initiate chargebacks on a merchant that communicates well, is transparent and responsible. Merchants that offer quality products, good customer service and a sound refund policy generate confidence. A demonstrated willingness to improve their services also helps.
Effective communication is key to this process. Many chargebacks are initiated by customers who do not recognize transactions listed on credit card statements. Merchants can take preventative steps to head this off at the pass. Providing sales receipts, listing contact information, e-mail address and customer support phone numbers will ensure there are no surprises.
Customer satisfaction surveys sent immediately after a purchase can also remind customers of the transaction and prevent chargebacks.
Providing 24-hour customer service support can also serve to limit credit card transaction disputes. A customer who can speak promptly to a company representative about a concern is less likely to dispute a chargeback.
Managing chargeback ratios effectively can make the difference between running or closing a business.
Volume processing caps
Despite the growth of the industry, traditional financial institutions are reluctant to work with educational seminar providers. The industry’s unpredictable growth patterns and history of chargebacks cause it to be viewed as high-risk by banks.
Educational service providers are often charged with high per-processing transaction fees or volume transaction caps. To avoid this, they can turn to merchant account providers like SecureGlobalPay. SecureGloblPay specializes in providing educational seminar providers custom credit card processing solutions.
SecureGlobalPay can approve merchant accounts for educational seminar merchants within 48 hours. SGP offers the industry fraud filters, chargeback management tools and PCI-compliant payment gateways. Fill out SecureGloalPay’s online merchant application form to begin processing payments immediately.
Categories for educational seminar merchant accounts
Four-digit numeric codes known as Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes identify businesses by primary purposes.
Business coaching, professional development, and educational seminars fall into one of these codes:
- 8742: Management Consulting Services
- 8299: Schools and Educational Services, Not Otherwise Classified
- 7389: Business Services, Not Otherwise Classified
- 8748: Business Consulting Services, Not Otherwise Classified
Visit the United States Department of Labor to view a complete SIC list.
A six-digit classification system known as NAICS (the Northern American Classification System) is used to classify business establishments. The classification system gathers, analyzes, and publishes statistical information about businesses and their impact on the U.S. economy.
Educational seminar businesses use one of these codes:
- 611430: Professional and management development training
- 561990: All Other Support Services
- 611710: Educational Support Services
Visit the United States Census Bureau to view the complete NAICS code list.