European Merchant Accounts – Your Payment Processing Home

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Last Updated on July 7, 2023 by Corepay

Are you searching for European merchant accounts? If so, you’ve come to the right place. At Corepay, we are a registered ISO with multiple banks in the E.U. and we provide merchant accounts worldwide.

European banks are sometimes more likely to approve high-risk businesses than the United States, dependent on the specific business at hand. On top of this, European interchange fees are also lower than interchange fees in the United States.

Whether you specialize in eCommerce, CBD, online dating, adult entertainment, health & beauty, or vape, Corepay has you covered for your European merchant service needs.

Having the ability to accept as many currencies as possible is crucial for European merchant accounts. Doing this simplifies purchases for customers and cuts down on fees for you, thus leading to increased profitability for your business. At Corepay, we will make sure your business can accept as many European currencies as possible to maximize your profits.

In this article, we will be going over everything merchants need to know about European merchant account services and explaining why we believe we are a perfect fit for your business.

Over the last few years, we have seen countries process more and more credit card transactions. With countries in Europe leading the charge towards the idea of “going cashless,” being able to process credit/debit cards in Europe has never been more critical.

While there are many credit card processing options, we strongly urge merchants to take their time when applying with different processors.

Why Choose Corepay For Your European Merchant Services

Corepay provides European merchant accounts for businesses globally. We have over two decades of high-risk credit card processing experience and understand what it takes for high-risk merchants.

Not only do we have highly competitive rates, but we also provide 100% transparency and top-notch customer service. As a result, we are confident in our rates that you can contact us for a no-obligation rate comparison.

At Corepay, we are proud to offer the following for our merchant accounts:

  • Highly competitive rates
  • Waived annual, set up, application fees
  • Our online payment gateway – Netvalve
  • Recurring billing
  • Increased approval ratios – accept payments globally while billing domestically
  • Mobile devices – Accept payments from mobile devices
  • Multiple payment methods
  • Anti-fraud/chargeback tools – CB-ALERT
  • 24/7 customer service

Payment Gateways

A payment gateway is a service that authorizes and processes payments for eCommerce – serving as a portal to facilitate transactions between customers and merchants  Think of it as a Point of Sale device for your e-commerce store.

Our merchant account managers are dedicated to providing you with the best possible gateway solutions for your specific business.

At Corepay, we have our own proprietary gateway, Netvalve, which was built to support high-volume eCommerce stores. Netvalveprovides an extensive antifraud suite, including features such as tokenization, and smart BIN routing functionality to take your payment processing to the next level.

However, we have always taken a gateway agnostic approach to billing to ensure that any payment processing solution we offer can seamlessly plugin to your existing setup.

North American Merchant Accounts VS European Merchant Accounts

Getting approved for a U.S. merchant account is no easy task, especially for high-risk merchants. While the United States has been at the forefront for eCommerce, getting payment processing for eCommerce is highly competitive due to competitive ranks. In addition, there are many regulations, and banks expect merchants to meet all of their expectations, including monthly minimums and a certain number of transactions per month.

It is important to note that U.S. banks will not accept European domiciled merchants for merchant accounts due to card brand physical presence rules. Thus, European merchants without USA presence must familiarize themselves with EU rules and obtain domestic processing in Europe.


Many merchants involved in eCommerce focus on the costs involved in a merchant account. There is typically a difference in the pricing between European and U.S. merchant accounts. While EU interchange is typically cheaper than interchange in the USA, other processing fees can make your overall effective rate higher than in the USA. It is therefore important to understand each and every fee on your month-end processing statement.

European banks can also have more variance than those in the USA simply due to variance in licensing requirements in each given country. Thus, there are more banks as a whole who support high-risk industries than in the USA..

Many U.S. banks offer phenomenal service as far as response time goes, while E.U. banks are generally slower. That said, relationships and points of contact are the keys to ensuring high levels of service in Europe.

Time of approval, security, stability and safety will vary depending on the bank, not necessarily the bank’s country.

The approval time will depend entirely on your payment processing partner/acquiring bank and the information you can provide. Underwriters will need as much information that you can provide about your business to speed up the process.

At Corepay, we are proud to offer low rates for high-risk merchant accounts as low as a blended 2.95% and we guarantee our support is never beaten.

North American Interchange Fees VS European Interchange Fees

European Merchant Account Interchange Fees

Interchange rates in the United States are far higher than those in European countries on average. You can expect to pay near 1.76% in the U.S. while .96% on average in Europe.

The country with the highest interchange fees in Europe is the Czech Republic, but it is still lower than the U.S. at 1.28%. 

Below you will find interchange fees in popular countries, including Canada.

  • Czech Republic – 1.28%
  • Germany – 1.13%
  • Austria – 1.0%
  • Denmark – .66%
  • Belgium – .90%
  • Canada – 1.78%
  • United States – 1.96%

As you can see, the interchange rates in European countries are far lower than in Canada and the United States.

What Are European Merchant Accounts/Services?

European merchant accounts allow you to accept payments from all over the world. In addition, as an ISO of several acquirers in Europe, we can ensure that merchants get the most affordable pricing available for their business.

We support both standard and high-risk merchants with merchant accounts that will perform for years to come. Our European merchant services give your business the processing capabilities that you need to compete with the rest of your competition.

Buyers throughout the world prefer over 80 different payment options. Currently, local bank transfers are the most popular alternative payment method throughout Europe. Therefore, working with a payment processor capable of processing as many forms of payment as possible is key to a successful business.

European companies can use European merchant services to process payments. This is also true for international businesses that frequently target European shoppers, as long as the international business has European corporate presence. In addition, having European acquiring banks can help with getting the highest credit card approval ratios from European customers.

Naturally, European companies use European merchant services to process payments. And international businesses targeting European shoppers establish processing accounts in Europe to get the highest card approval ratios from European customers.

Most importantly, high-risk merchants in specific industries can have an easier time getting MID’s approved in Europe than in other countries. Some European merchant accounts also allow for an even higher processing capacity than United States merchant services.

Applying For A European Merchant Account

Applying for EU merchant account

Applying for a European merchant account/payment processing is similar to a United States merchant account in that there must be meaningful presence in Europe.

Once you submit your application, we help you navigate the process, ensuring all aspects of the underwriting guidelines are followed.

As always, the more information you can provide about your business, the faster you will get approved and processing transactions.

You will need the following when applying for European merchant accounts:

  1. Photo identifications of the UBO/Director(s) of the company
  2. European Articles of Incorporation/Association
  3. Proof of company bank account
  4. Payment processing history
  5. Company financial history
  6. Compliant website – Clearly displays refund policies and return policies.

Applying with Corepay is always free and additional fees such as annual and set up fees are waived. It is our mission to provide 100% transparency to all of our clients.

High-Risk & Low-Risk European Merchant Accounts

At Corepay, we specialize in high-risk merchants who have difficulty finding payment processing because of their given industry/risk. Therefore, while we provide high-risk European merchant accounts, we can also offer our clients low-risk processing, should they qualify.

Should you be wondering if your business is considered high-risk, we recommend filling out an application and contacting us.

The following businesses below are often considered high-risk:

The above link to pages that describe our services for each industry, should you choose to learn more.

Low Risk

Corepay also offers low-risk payment processing solutions tailored towards whatever your business needs. Of course, levels of risk can vary greatly depending upon your industry, processing volume, chargeback ratios, etc.

We recently published an article that breaks down the difference between high-risk VS low-risk payment processing. This applies to European merchant accounts as well as U.S. merchant accounts. 

Always be sure to ask your payment processing provider any questions you may have regarding rates/risk levels, as they will vary significantly from provider to provider. 

Suppose your business operates in a low-risk industry, has a relatively low number of chargebacks, good financial history, and processes less than $20,000 monthly. In that case, you may qualify for low-risk solutions and rates.

What Underwriters Look For When Approving European Merchant Accounts

Our team of underwriters will review your application and determine the level of risk your business will be deemed based on the information you have provided to us.

At Corepay, our underwriting is done at the time of the application. This helps us keep transparency while providing your credit card processing.

Certain low-risk providers such as Paypal may not audit your account until up to 6 months after your application is approved.

This means you could start accepting payments for months before Paypal reviews your account and determines your level of risk.

If you are determined high-risk, your merchant account will be put on hold, frozen, or even terminated. If you know that your business is considered risky, beware of low-risk credit card processing as you find yourself in search of high-risk solutions down the road.

Underwriters typically are looking at the following when approving a European merchant account:

  • Age of the business
  • Chargeback ratio
  • Industry of the company
  • Processing volume
  • Processing history
  • Financial history
  • Personal financial history
  • Professionalism and website compliancy

Increasing Profits With A European Merchant Account

One of the most significant reasons you would want to set up a European merchant account is potential savings and accepting payments globally. 

At Corepay, we can help you add alternative payment methods that drive more orders and accelerate your sales. You will also be provided with top-notch anti-chargeback solutions from our partner product, CB-ALERT.

Your Home For European Payment Processing

With over two decades of payment processing experience, we have been part of many businesses success. As we continue to move towards a market that is driven by eCommerce, optimal credit card processing will be vital for your business.

Once applying, we will be in touch swiftly to continue the application process for your European payment processing.

We look forward to getting your European merchant account up and processing payments. Should you have any questions before applying, you can reach out to our team, and we will respond promptly. Fill out an application below, and we can get you started processing payments swiftly.

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