When it comes to accepting credit cards for high risk businesses you don’t need me telling you how hard it can be to get an account.
And keep it open.
Let’s face it, some companies don’t want your business.
And many others will take an application, get you up and running for a month or two, and then freeze your account or shut you down.
So what can you do to find… and keep… the merchant account you need?
How to get the right merchant account
The first step to take in order to get the right account for your business is to speak with a specialist who can actually help you.
Kind of goes without saying, right?
However, that’s sometimes easier said than done.
A lot of sales reps might talk a good game when it comes to high risk, equating your type of account with typical online merchant accounts. However, you and I both know that’s not the case.
So here is a short list of questions to help you separate the men from the boys:
- How many years experience do you (i.e. the sales rep) have with high risk accounts?
- Do you work with businesses in my industry?
- Are there any up front costs or fees to apply?
- What paperwork do you need to open the account?
- What are your reserve requirements?
- How long are the hold-back periods?
- How long can it take to get an approval for my account?
When speaking with a supposed high risk provider make sure they work with companies in your industry, whether you collection agency merchant account, run a travel business or website, need a high volume account, etc.
You get the idea.
Any rep worth talking to will want to look at your site, so if the person on the phone doesn’t mention anything about YOUR business or doesn’t ask any questions about what YOU do online, then that should raise a red flag in your mind.
Next up, make sure there are no application fees to get started.
Banks are notorious for taking fees knowing full well in advance that they can’t get your account approved. That’s why they take the damn fees up front in the first place. So any application fees before getting started should be another red flag.
Now, getting approved for high risk typically takes a bit longer than your typical “bread and butter” merchant accounts.
It also tends to involve more paperwork, since your application will go to one or several different underwriters before get an approval. So ask the rep what paperwork they’ll need up front along with your application, that way you can be prepared and move the approval process along.
Finally, ALL high risk providers require some sort of hold back or reserve requirements.
So, there are two key points for you to keep in mind here:
- if the person you’re talking to says they don’t have any requirements, move on to someone else
- ask how much is required for reserve, and how long the period lasts
You really can get the high risk account you need, provided you speak with a specialist… even if your account has been shut down in the past.
It all depends on finding someone who knows what they’re talking about with regard to high risk, and who has relationships with the right processing banks to get you the approval you need now… along with keeping your account open and in good standing down the road.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please feel free to share your comments below.
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