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Canadian Merchant Accounts & International Merchant Accounts

Until now it has been difficult for foreign businesses to find Canadian merchant accounts and international merchant accounts, but recently things have changed considerably.

Five top providers of easy-to-obtain international merchant accounts are reviewed below.
top providers of international merchant accounts

Canadian Merchants: Canadian merchants have been at a disadvantage because of the near-monopoly Canadian banks have on merchant accounts. Canadian merchants trying to obtain a merchant account from their current bank usually find the rates high and often a high application fee. Canadian banks, like US Banks, also require excessive paperwork. Canadian merchants usually face a long waiting period while their merchant account is approved by the various levels of the banking hierarchy.

For a superb alternative, visit Moneris web site. They offer Canadian merchant accounts with low startup costs. The Transaction Group has low rates and there is no application fee. You will be able to process all major card types including VISA, MasterCard, American Express, INTERAC Direct Payment as well as Diners, JCB, private label and loyalty transactions. They also offer Authorizenet for your web site processing.


Banks see substantial risk in dealing with foreign merchant account holders. They perceive that non-resident businesses will have higher than normal chargeback claims from customers. Also, banks are concerned about enforcing their legal remedies against owners of international merchant accounts.

Those few banks willing to issue merchant accounts to foreign businesses usually impose hefty security deposits, paperwork and ongoing requirements, so much so that most foreign start-up or small businesses simply can't afford the account. 

Fortunately the emergence of independent sales organizations has certainly opened the doors considerably, so that today it is much easier to qualify for international merchant accounts.

Of course, fees for international merchant accounts will be higher than if you were a U.S.-based business. For example, you can expect discount rates in the 2.5% to 10% range, depending upon whether you have a U.S. bank account and/or a U.S. street residence, your business' country of residence, the nature of the products or services you sell, etc. As well, set-up fees are often higher for foreign businesses.

In some circumstances providers of international merchant accounts may impose reserve requirements for a period of time, usually six months. Also, an up-front cash deposit may be sought.

Note that some providers will assist you in setting up a U.S. corporation and bank account, which makes it easier to qualify for international merchant accounts and will afford you better rates. There may however be adverse tax consequences for your business, so make sure you get professional advice.

US companies that offer International Merchant Accounts

Sidenote: There are however several domestic companies that will allow foreign merchants to utilize their domestic merchant accounts, so that the foreign business need not even have a merchant account of its own. 

Foreign businesses using these services can be processing Internet credit card orders very quickly. The drawback is that the discount rates charged are high. 

At the time of writing for example CCNow charged 11% of sales transacted; while Ematic charged 6.9% - and with most, receipt of the sales proceeds into your hands can take several weeks. 

Some of these services require a reserve (as security) to be set up. Reserves were discussed in The Nine Minute Tutorial. Before looking at international merchant accounts, be sure to take The Nine Minute Tutorial. It will provide you with a basic understanding of what is involved in credit card processing, the costs you can expect to incur, the equipment or software you may need to acquire and how to select the best international merchant accounts provider for your particular business.

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high volume merchant account service providers

Below are five reputable providers of international merchant accounts. Please keep in mind the issues discussed in The Nine Minute Tutorial concerning how to select the right merchant account provider for your particular needs.

Any fees quoted below are as of April 05, 2005. As fees are revised from time to time, be sure to check their websites and to speak with their representatives to ensure the fees mentioned here are still up-to-date. Discount fees quoted are for VISA and MasterCard. Contact the international merchant accounts providers for rates for other card issuers.


Offers merchant accounts to all international business types, including e-tailers, investments, travel, collections, sports forecasting, payday loans, credit repair, MLM, e-pharmacies, adult, aggregators, tobacco, timeshares, etc.
Transfer funds on a weekly basis from your merchant account to your business checking account

Excellent fraud prevention including verification by credit card issuing bank, IP address, type of email address used, validity of credit card, IP address, country with billing address country, type of mailing address, validity of telephone and zip code, country status as type of risk, proxy server source


To check out their website:



Moneris Solutions® has a wealth of experience providing clients with Canadian merchant accounts as well as US merchant accounts. If your business is located in Canada and you would like to process transactions in US dollars, Moneris is a good choice.

Whether you need a solution for mail/phone orders or for e-commerce transactions, Moneris can help guide you through all the necessary steps so you can effectively sell your products or services to the US marketplace.

Contact Moneris to establish a merchant account and be on your way to accepting Visa®, MasterCard®, AMEX®, and Discover®. If you wish to process AMEX® and Discover® you will need to establish a Canadian merchant account with the respective organization's Canadian subsidiary. Not available in all areas of Canada.

Moneris also offers the leading online payment processing system, Authorize.Net. which is used by more tha 136,000 merchants

To check out their website:

Moneris is a premier provider of Canadian, U.S. and international merchant accounts and credit card processing services.

Unlike many merchant account providers has no hidden fees and includes everything you need to accept credit cards online. And unlike most other international merchant accounts providers, it does not require U.S incorporation, a business plan or any security deposits. Its application process is fast and easy - you can be completely approved and setup within 3 business days!

Its multi-currency credit card acceptance is the next huge step in the growth and success of e-commerce. Allowing your customers to pay in their native currency helps remove the fear of buying, and this can drive a huge increase in impulse purchases.

Its international merchant accounts and payment processing solutions utilize the latest and most advanced security features available anywhere on the internet. Remittance is made on a weekly basis directly into the bank account of your choice.

It offers an industry-leading 100% acceptance guarantee. charges a one-time setup fee of $310.00, a monthly fee of $25.00, a 10 cent per transaction fee, a $5.00 weekly remitance charge and a 3.95% discount rate. There is no monthly minimum.

To check out their website and apply online:

U.S. Merchant Systems
(Once you enter the site, click on "Products" and then "International")

Online since 1988, U.S. Merchant Systems offers international merchant accounts to non-U.S. businesses, with an approval rating of 95%. Its multi-currency processing solution allows processing of over 130 global currencies.

Because of the wide range of foreign applicants, each with their own unique circumstances, U.S. Merchant Systems asks that interested businesses complete a short online form in order to obtain a rate quote for their particular business.

To check out their website:

U.S. Merchant Systems
(Once you enter the site, click on "Products" and then "International")


Del West Merchant Services



Online since 1995, Del West Merchant Services specializes in providing international merchant accounts to Canadian businesses.


It can provide real-time processing for websites, as well as solutions for mail/phone orders and retail merchants.


It utilizes for its real time online credit cad processing solution, which also include a virtual terminal for manual mail/phone order processing. 


Merchants can also check the status of transactions or run reports on past activity by going to the website and logging on to their own password-protected site.


Electronic check processing is also offered.


Its website contains an abundance of information concerning both the products and services available, as well as their fees. Six different plans are available for Canadian merchants seeking international merchant accounts.

To check out their website and apply online:

Del West Merchant Services

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