According to Wikipedia:
Merchant Account - A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments by payment cards, typically debit or credit cards. A merchant account is established under an agreement between an acceptor and a merchant acquiring bank for the settlement of payment card transactions. In some cases, a payment processor, independent sales organization (ISO), or member service provider (MSP) is also a party to the merchant agreement. Whether a merchant enters into a merchant agreement directly with an acquiring bank or through an aggregator, the agreement contractually binds the merchant to obey the operating regulations established by the card associations.
Payment Gateway - Let us examine what is a payment gateway. According to Wikipedia, a payment gateway is an e-commerce application service provider service that authorizes credit card payments for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks, and clicks, or traditional brick and mortar. A payment gateway facilitates the transfer of information between a payment portal (such as a website, mobile phone or interactive voice response service) and the Front End Processor or acquiring a bank.
So now, why are we talking about merchant account and payment gateway? What have these got to do with the offshore company? We communicated with almost all the payment gateway providers in Singapore and we found something very interesting. In Singapore, a Singapore company can only settle in their base currency which is the SGD if it is using a local bank as the settlement bank. As for payment gateway, we only have that few in Singapore and most of them will have running cost. Many of these payment gateways require you to pay a setup fee, monthly fee, yearly fee, chargeback fee, transaction fee and some even have cross border fee (If you have sales coming from overseas). There maybe a rolling reserve as well. This rolling reserve is very interesting. If you have a rolling reserve of 15% for 6 months, it means that all your revenue from your e-commerce platform for the next 6 months will be held up by the bank. So if you are the future Amazon, good luck to you. Maybe that is why Amazon is not setting up its e-commerce office here in Singapore. The reason given to us is to buffer possible fraud. So you see if you are setting up a business and making razor thin margin by going for large volume of sale. Ultimately, you may not survive here. The payment engine will charge between 3-5% for every transaction and if you have a 15% rolling reserve. The more you sell, the poorer you will be if your profit margin is less than 20%. You may not last for 6 months to wait for your rolling reserve to be released back to you. These are the shackle to tie you up locally and not going global.
What are you waiting for? We will help you to incorporate a Panama company, we will get for you a payment engine and we will open a merchant account for you. If your suppliers transact in US dollar, you may have successfully eliminated the foreign exchange risk.