The easiest and safest way of collecting payments as a coach or consultant is by obtaining a merchant account from a merchant processing service provider like Platinum Payment Systems. With a merchant account, you can accept credit card payments and electronic payments quickly and securely.
This is true whether you’re in the business of consulting people in their work, their health, their fitness, their life, and just about everything else in between.
More simply put, these third-party vendors are there so that you can receive payments on time, and in a manner that is stress-free for both you and your client.
In effect, credit card processors take over the back-end of your business, the payment processing, so that you can focus on actually running your business — as Jed Morley, one of the founding members of Platinum Payment Systems (PlatPay), likes to say.
THE BASICS OF PROCESSING ONLINE COACHING PAYMENTS
As a coach or consultant, there are two basic ways that you can sell your ‘service.’ You can choose to create courses that you sell online for a one-time fee. Or, you can choose to work with your clients one-to-one, either through video calls or in person, and charge them recurrently for your time by the hour, by the day, by the week, etc.
Either way, however, the solution you’re looking for is the same. You need a merchant processor, like Platinum Payments Systems (PlatPay), that will allow you to accept credit card payments (and other electronic payments) safely and efficiently.
This is important because payments that you receive as a result of coaching fall into several high-risk categories that create the need for some form of extra protection.
More on this, and how you can avoid the risks below:
THE RISKS OF PROCESSING ONLINE COACHING PAYMENTS
In general, online payments of any kind are considered ‘high-risk’. As they require that payments be processed with the Card-Not-Present (CNP.) And, because online coaching payments fall into this category, amongst several others, they are considered high-risk.
To fully impress upon the severity of why processing payments without a good merchant processor is a bad idea, we’ve compiled a list of all the relevant high-risk categories below:
- It is a Card-Not-Present Transaction! As mentioned, online payments are, inherently, all CNP transactions. And, they’re more ‘high-risk’ than Card-Present transactions because it is significantly more difficult to verify the true identity of the person using the card — which increases the risk of potential chargebacks and opens you up to fraud.
- Coaching is an Unregulated Industry! Another characteristic that makes coaching payments ‘high-risk’ is the fact that the business of coaching, in general, is unregulated. This is because it is a ‘boundless’ industry, one without any strict rules or restrictions in place. That makes banks and other financial institutions reluctant to directly offer merchant accounts to coaches, as the lack of regulation makes it a very difficult industry to trust.
- There is an Increased Chargeback Risk! As a profession that is highly objective and dependent on the satisfaction of the customer, online courses that are sold as ‘life’ lessons online are just generally at a higher risk for more chargebacks filed. Which is another reason why banks and other financial institutions may be reluctant to grant coaches and consultants merchant accounts.
All of the risks we mentioned above makes processing online payments as a coach or consultant incredibly difficult. But, thankfully, not impossible! As we’ve said before…
THE BOTTOM LINE: MERCHANT PROCESSING
In the end, all you need is a reputable and reliable merchant processor on your side, like Platinum Payment Systems, to make sure that things are running smoothly and that you have the proper protections in place.
As Jed Morley, one of the aforementioned managers of the merchant processing company, Platinum Payment Systems, describes, “…the main objective of a merchant processor is to be there to ‘solve your payment processing problems for you’ so that you can focus on running your business.”