Multi-Level Marketing Merchant Account Solutions

At Premier One Payments, we are unique among merchant account providers in that we are willing to work with businesses and industries that most other payment processors deem to be “high-risk.” Multi-level marketing companies fall into this category. We help these businesses by providing a range of services and benefits intended to reduce that risk and give these companies that payment processing capabilities they need to do business with the modern consumer.

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Do You Need Merchant Account Services for Your Multi-Level Marketing Business?

Multi-level marketing companies are prevalent throughout many industries, from beauty and cosmetics to health. Even though there are numerous very profitable, very well-known, and completely legitimate multi-level marketing companies, though, these types of companies are often thought to be synonymous with pyramid schemes. This association not only presents a branding and PR challenge for multi-level marketing companies, but it also means that multi-level marketing credit card processing services are difficult to find. Put simply; many merchant service providers do not want to work with these types of business.

With Premier One, you can enjoy a stable merchant account for your multi-level marketing company, which will give you and your distributors the ability to accept credit card and debit card payments. We also provide additional services—such as chargeback protection, check processing, and electronic payment processing—that will give your business more flexibility while also providing extra safeguards against the risk of the multi-level marketing structure.

Why merchant service providers steer clear of many multi-level marketing businesses

Multi-level marketing, or direct selling, is a type of business structure where a collection of “distributors” act as brand ambassadors and product salespeople for a company and its products. The distributors are not salaried and are not technically employees of the company in question. Instead, these individuals receive commissions based on the products they sell. Distributors are also encouraged to recruit friends or family members to become distributors in their own right. Each person a distributor brings into a multi-level marketing company exists below them in a pyramid-like structure. The original distributor in this case then makes commissions not only from his or her own sales, but also from any product sales scored by the people they brought into the company.

This structure is not the same thing as a pyramid scheme, though many people don’t know the difference. A legitimate multi-level marketing business is based on the sale of products or services within a specific industry or market. There is a recruitment element, wherein distributors can earn more money by bringing other people into the business. However, the core goal of distributors is not just about recruiting others. It is about a product—ideally, a high-quality one—and the structure of the business is designed to help spread the word about the product and drive its widescale adoption.

Pyramid schemes, meanwhile, are driven almost exclusively by the recruitment of new members. In a pyramid scheme, new members are asked to pay some sort membership fee to join. The money from these membership fees is then distributed among the existing members of the organization. Those, those who join a pyramid scheme—those closer to the “top” of the pyramid—are more likely to see lucrative results. Each member is also compelled to recruit new members to the organization, as each new member means more money to be split among the existing membership.

The problem with pyramid schemes is that they do not actually produce or sell any goods or service. The revenues for members come exclusively from recruiting others to buy into the scheme. As a result, the only way for a pyramid scheme to be profitable for everyone joins is for it to continue expanding indefinitely. This model is not sustainable. Eventually, the number of potential new members dries up, and those toward the bottom of the pyramid are left unable to recoup their initial membership expenses—let alone earn revenues.

Pyramid schemes are illegal in the United States and many other parts of the world, including most of Europe and Asia. Multi-level marketing companies are legal, but because of their similarity in structure to pyramid schemes, some companies that establish and market themselves as multi-level marketing companies are eventually flagged as pyramid schemes. If a multi-level marketing company derives more revenue from recruiting than it does from selling products, or rewards its distributors more for new recruitments than for sales, it is probably a pyramid scheme.

This close link with pyramid schemes means that multi-level marketing companies have a bad reputation with many people—merchant service providers included. Merchant account providers have their reasons for steering clear. Even recently, some major multi-level marketing companies have been found to be pyramid schemes by the Federal Trade Commission. For instance, in 2015, the FTC sued Vemma Nutrition Company, a multi-level marketing company that had been recruiting college students to sell dietary supplements. The business was ultimately proven to be a pyramid scheme and fined $238 million.

Even among multi-level marketing companies that have not been flagged as pyramid schemes, there is some skepticism about the products they sell. Indeed, many multi-level marketing companies have marketed their products in misleading or even fraudulent ways. Those practices lead customers to demand refunds when they find that the product they purchased was not as advertised. If the multi-level marketing company does not honor the refund request, the customer will often file a chargeback with their credit card company. Chargebacks are costly for merchant account providers, and high chargeback ratios are a key sign to these providers that certain companies or industries are risky. Since multi-level marketing companies fall into this category, they tend to face significant challenges in finding merchant service providers that are willing to work with them.

Finding multi-level marketing credit card processing with high-risk processors

While multi-level marketing has a complicated reputation, the fact is that this segment of the business world is extremely substantial and is only growing with time. In 2016, the Direct Selling Association reported that there were 20.5 million people involved in direct selling in the United States alone. There are also many multi-level marketing companies with both high revenues and positive buzz among customers. Examples include Amway, Avon, Herbalife, Mary Kay, and Tupperware, to name just a few.

Simply put, it is vital for legitimate businesses that have the multi-level marketing structure to be able to access merchant account services. While many consumers still use cash for most or all their transactions, many others rely on credit cards, debit cards, checks, or electronic payment methods. Not being able to accept those types of payments can leave any business stunted in the growth department. Not having the ability to process these types of payments can be game over for a multi-level marketing company.

At Premier One Payments, we pride ourselves on being high-risk processors. If you have been looking for multi-level marketing credit card processing services and have met with rejections, apply with us instead. We approve 98 percent of applications with a processing turnaround time of just 48 hours. With us, getting a merchant account for your multi-level marketing company is not only possible, but easy. Get started by contacting us today.

Learn More about Premier One and Our Merchant Accounts for Multi-Level Marketing

At Premier One Payments, we pride ourselves on being high-risk processors. If you have been looking for multi-level marketing credit card processing services and have met with rejections, apply with us instead.

Payment Processing

  • E-Check
  • Chargeback Protection
  • Credit Card Processing
  • Mobile Payments
  • Multiple Payment Solutions

Merchant Account Experts

  • Fast Debt Collection Account Approval
  • High Risk Accounts
  • Domestic or Offshore Merchant Account
  • POS/Terminals
  • No Set Up Fees


  • We’re not just credit cards. And neither is your business. By providing eCheck options to customers, you increase business… and the speed at which you get paid!


  • High-volume, high risk merchant processing solutions include load-balancing gateways and multiple MIDS. Beyond secure terminals and speedy payments, you’ll have the support of a high-risk specialist on your speed-dial.

Experience a whole new world of business freedom.

Contact us to apply today.