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How to Get Approved for a High-Risk Merchant Account?

So you’re looking for a merchant account to process credit card transactions for your business, but you’ve yet to hit a snag. Somewhere along the line, you’ve been labeled a high-risk merchant for one reason or another. Additional requirements for high risk merchant account instant approval depend on your business’s industry when looking to get approved for high-risk merchant services. Type that many other merchant accounts do not require. Following these steps and being knowledgeable about the approval process will help you find a quality, high risk merchant service provider and increase your odds of success.

Here are the main steps for getting high risk merchant account instant approval

The first step is to do your research. Running a business operating in a high risk industry requires more thoughtful planning to be successful and keep your merchant accounts alive. Finding source frameworks and accounts and then keeping your accounts open is much easier once you know the common pitfalls to avoid.

 When looking for a credit card processing company. Always check reviews and read through their site to see if they truly support your industry and have experience with high risk merchants. And by arming yourself with this knowledge, you will also protect your business from overpriced processing rates and wasted weeks waiting for approvals from inexperienced providers.

The next step is to focus on finding the right processor. Now you can begin the process of finding a proper merchant service provider. The processing partner you choose will make all the difference when it comes to your business’s success in payment processing; finding the right partner is drastically more impactful for high risk businesses than with any company in a low risk industry because of how the approval process works. When a payment processor considers approval frameworks account, the decision must go through their bank, which ultimately, as the last save your account, is approved since there is no single bank that takes all types of high risk merchants finding the right processing partner will be a different experience for each merchant. So when you start your search for a high risk merchant account, there are several questions you need to keep in mind.

How to choose the best payment processor?

First, you should ask the payment processor if they are a direct sole or an independent agent. It is almost always better to work with a direct ISO. This will keep your rates lower by cutting out any middlemen. Also, direct ISOs will give you access to a full staff of support reps; in contrast with an independent agent, you’ll be dependent on one person who is processing think the thing that a merchant service providers partner with may or may not be able to handle high risk accounts or certain industries.

Is that their only high risk solution or do they have partnerships that give them access to other banks? This is important to confirm they have the solution specifically for your industry. And if you mean more than one account if they will be able to open more through multiple banks. What are all the requirements I need to meet to get an account open? This will vary by industry. But it can include additional supporting documents or remove restricted products, images, and wording from your website. How long is the approval process? Some processors will promote instinct approvals. These services are just a gimmick. They will give you a worthless pre-approval before sending it to their bank, which gives the real approvals, in reality.

Most industries take a minimum of 24 hours, while some high-risk industries take up to five days.

And if you do get an account open, what is the monthly processing cap? Will there be any reserves on your funds? The banks do this practice of restrictions to protect themselves from fraudulent accounts and chargebacks. By applying a lower monthly processing cap, the banks can limit the amount of risk they initially take on. Once you establish your account you can work with your processor to increase your processing limits.

There are different types of reserves, but they all involve holding a percent of your processing volume each month until you reach the predetermined amount. You will receive this amount back after the established history has been built. Make sure you inquire about all the details if a reserve is required for your account. If all these points check off, you have an excellent processing solution, and it will be safe to move forward with the application process.

Other things to know about high risk merchant account instant approval

Lastly, you should know about any payment processing requirements. Now that you’ve crossed everything off your list and picked a processor, they will have some questions for you, as well as processing, reduce the chance of a processor trying to railroad you into a bare-bones processing solution or higher rates. Just like the low risk businesses, they will ask the standard informational questions such as Do you currently process credit cards? What is your monthly volume? What is your average ticket amount? How long have you been in business but with high risk merchants?

They will also ask what your chargeback percentage is:

Have you had a merchant account shut down before? If so, where is this used to evaluate risk but also lets the processor know which banks they should try to avoid when placing your account? Are you on the TMF list TMF stands for terminated Merchant file if you brought the TMF list? Unfortunately, a bank will only approve your account if you are on the TMF list. If all checks out, we will review information on rates and fees. Next, they will walk you through getting your business and website compliant, as well as gathering all the supporting documentation needed for approval.

How to avoid a declined merchant account?

A closed or declined merchant service account can be frustrating.

 I’m going to share with you three ways to avoid having an auto decline on your merchant service account.

1. You want to ensure that that bank or merchant service company can support your industry type. There are certain merchant service companies out there that can help businesses at a higher risk, for example, credit repair, tech repair, online gun sales, and much more. Additionally,

2. The second tip or advice to avoid an auto decline is not to abuse your previous merchant service processor. So what happens is, if you leave your previous processor with unpaid balances, and you tell them, you know, forget you, stuff like this does come back, and it could put you in a situation where you’ll be unable to open up a merchant service account.

3. Last but not least, when you’re asked to send supporting documents in, please make sure you think about the supporting documents that you’re sending in. What I mean by that is, if somebody asks you to send documents regarding bank statements, please only send a bank statement to a bank with a negative balance or 64 overdraft fees. You can understand that it makes it more challenging to get those merchant service accounts approvals. Here are some quick tips to avoid having an auto decline on your merchant services account.

In summary, when you work in a high risk industry, it really pays to do your research and find a quality processor. If you have any questions about the information we covered in this blog. Do you need help securing a high-risk merchant account, call us at 1-888-2539692 or visit

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