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Humboldt Merchant Services

Removing risk as a selling barrier

Humboldt Merchant Services

Have you ever been unable to board a merchant account due to risk restrictions? Did you have a backup option for them? Are you currently working with a processor that specializes in underwriting business types that require extra assurances?

Unless you’re a pro at writing hard-to-place business, you probably aren’t spending much time prospecting companies in those sectors, or hunting for a capable, risk-friendly service provider. In fact, you may even shy away from hard-to-place business altogether, simply because you don’t have the right resources at your fingertips to ensure your customer the boarding experience will be streamlined and uncomplicated.

Hard-to-place is becoming more commonplace

As banks and policymakers continue to tighten up on underwriting restrictions, and different business SIC codes and operational practices are flagged for specialty underwriting, more and more businesses need a processor that specializes in supporting unique risk requirements. This also places greater importance on the merchant services selling side of the equation, since those merchants will be looking to their account representatives to bring them the right solutions.

“We’re seeing a growing number of situations within the industry where accounts have been deemed hard to place,” said Len Garcia, Vice President of Sales at Humboldt Merchant Services. “It makes our service model at Humboldt even more valuable to merchants and sales representatives alike as they look for a viable risk-friendly boarding option.”

Humboldt has been dedicated to helping ISOs and payment sales professionals board their most sensitive accounts since 1992. And, in this 25+ year span of specializing in tough-to-write business, they’ve shown an excellent track record for getting these accounts through an increasingly more stringent underwriting process with little or no friction.

It all comes down to experience

One of the primary reasons Humboldt has been so successful in supporting these unique business types is the universal processing architecture they’ve put into place to reduce or remove the typical boarding hurdles associated with hard-to-place accounts. Humboldt offers an agnostic processing platform that is fully integrated with most of the larger card-not-present gateways, enabling merchants with online business models to swiftly move through a boarding process that tends to be onerous.

Humboldt is also able to board tough-to-place businesses on their own proprietary gateway, eliminating the red tape of third party underwriting. This gateway product, branded Inovio in the merchant services market, has special framework and functionality to economically support accounts requiring a higher degree of risk review and mitigation.

All of these technologies and in-house underwriting strengths make it easy for Humboldt to take in business across all risk-intensive channels, including ecommerce and some retail types. The backend technology also supports all acceptance types, including card-not-present methods such as MOTO and other types of virtual terminal-based transactions, along with traditional POS.

Value added features for Humboldt customers include multi-currency transaction processing for active cross-border selling, and automated chargeback reporting, which helps the merchant stay on top of potential suspicious activity reducing their level of risk.

Excellent education

Of course, one of the biggest barriers sales partners also face when trying to help a hard-to-place merchant is how to assist them in understanding why their business type is on the prohibited and restricted list. Often, business owners don’t parallel the payments industry with banking or lending, so it’s up to their sales partner to give them a clear picture of how the underwriting process works.

This is why the Humboldt support team spends concentrated time training all sales partners about the parameters and pitfalls involved in risk-based underwriting. “All of our sales partners are trained to recognize when a merchant type should be underwritten through Humboldt,” said Adam McDonald, Humboldt’s President. “When a sales professional registers with us, it is our first priority to help them understand how to understand the prohibited and restricted business list, as well as expertly work with merchants they encounter in these categories, guiding them successfully through the underwriting process and into a functional, safe and secure processing partnership.”

If you are looking at expanding your portfolio, but are unsure how to handle merchants that require a more intensive underwriting process, you are invited to consider Humboldt and what we can to help you broaden your service capabilities. We’re here to make those tough-to-board accounts less of a barrier to your growth potential. For more information, please visit us at or contact us directly at 877-387-5642

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