A streaming service is an online entertainment source for streaming media. By streaming media, we mean anything from television shows to music. Anything that can be streamed online and on-demand is a streaming service.
These services offer an alternative to cable and other types of media providers, and often at a lower cost.
To use a streaming service, customers must pay fees, typically through a subscription business model.
Each month, the customers pay a monthly fee in order to stream media content. For example, video streaming companies like Netflix and Hulu charge certain rates each month so that customers can have access to thousands of movies and television show episodes.
Because the payment is recurring monthly, it’s considered a continuity subscription. After all, your Netflix subscription has the word “subscription” in the name.
Continuity billing is the charge of customers’ credit cards at the same time each month with zero extra effort necessary from the customer after they’ve put in their credit card information the first time. This business model makes payment convenient for both the customer and the business, which is why it’s so popular.
In order to accept monthly subscription fees from your customers, a streaming services business will need to have a merchant account. All of the money you receive from the customers will go into that merchant account before it is transferred to your bank.
Unfortunately, many credit card processors do not accept streaming services as clients. This is to do the fact that most streaming businesses are eCommerce transactions. Because eCommerce transactions don’t involve a magnetic swipe or chip, customers must enter their credit card information online themselves. This means that these continuity subscription businesses are more susceptible to fraud and chargebacks.
Also, digital streaming services rely on recurring billing, which means monthly billing. These billing models are susceptible to extremely high chargeback rates.
Finally, digital services are a more recent type of business. Credit card processing underwriters don’t yet fully understand the industry or the services being offered, so they’re looking for the same guidelines to be followed as other businesses. However, underwriting guidelines need to be modified to fit the type of business, not the other way around. This means that your business will have a hard time getting a merchant account.
For these three reasons, banks and other merchant account providers will view your business as high-risk, which means getting a merchant account can be difficult.
While getting a merchant account for your business may seem difficult, it doesn’t have to be. You can work with companies like High-Risk Pay who specialize in working with high-risk businesses.
You can rely on our relationships with credit card processors and sponsor banks who specialize in businesses that are considered high risk. This allows us to support your business and prevent chargebacks and fraud.