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How to Get High Risk Merchant Services for Credit Card Processing

Nowadays, businesses need to offer high risk merchant services to be relevant in today’s market trend. This type of merchant services provide paying convenience for a business’s customers. However, before a company can even offer high-risk merchant services, it needs to settle certain requirements first.

You need first to ensure that you will get approved for a high risk merchant account. This is so you can set up high-risk credit card processing, as well as accepting mobile payments.

Businesses, particularly small ones, have to make keen judgments regarding extending their credits. During this scenario, one big question that they need to answer is this: are they only going to extend credit for those who will pay in cash or checks?

Though this will make their payment process a lot easier, it will, however, limit their customer base to an extent.

If your business does decide to offer extended credit, it will be a bit complex. However, the upside is that it will maximize their overall reach in both their customer base and on the marketplace. With that reason, it will eventually lead towards mass offerings of high-risk card processing services.

With that in mind, the question will now turn towards, what is going to be the requirement?

Before we answer that question, let’s first consider those who don’t have any idea about what we are talking about. Here’s a short introduction of high-risk merchant services and high-risk merchant account:

High Risk Merchant Service

If a business offers high-risk merchant services, it just means that it can accept payments via credit card from high-risk businesses. These types of merchant services are provided by either a bank or by an exclusive high-risk merchant service provider. It can also be provided by independent payment processing-offered sales organizations.

High Risk Merchant Account

Again, before a business can even offer high-risk merchant services, it needs to first apply for a high-risk merchant account. It is a type of bank account that will grant businesses to offer payments from high-risk businesses through credit/debit cards.

Before a high-risk merchant account is set up, it will first involve an agreement between the bank, the business, and the payment processor for credit or debit card transaction settlement.

Setting up a high-risk merchant account is not the same for all business. For one, start-ups, small or home-based businesses have different requirements, which are the following:

  • Apply for merchant account status with the current bank you are already doing business.
  • Your business will be evaluated for credit card extension, which will be conducted by the bank.  
  • Your business must be in business for a minimum of two years.

These requirements are not as tedious as it seems, however, there will be times when a bank will still deny a business’s merchant account application. The main reason for this is bad credit. Since a bank sees a business having a high merchant account as an extension of credit, they must secure the following:

  • A Good Credit Report
  • A High Credit Score
  • An Excellent Bank Presentation
  • Obtaining Merchant Status (for startups & home-based businesses)

Independent Credit Card Processing Companies

If so happens that your bank didn’t grant you a merchant account, you can still try the following alternative, which is approaching an independent credit card processing firm. These organizations also consider high-risk and perfect credit-rating businesses.

However, unlike banks, these independent companies may charge a higher fee. Keep in mind that this option is recommended for high-risk firms that also aspire to offer credit/debit card as a payment method. This means the bank is still the better choice.

So there you have it. These are the main requirements that you will need to set up an active high-risk merchant account for card processing. Keep in mind that this is only a brief background. For more information, you can always go to your bank and ask for more details about acquiring a merchant account.

What you need to do now is to gather more facts as you can before making a decision. Remember, most consumers prefer a wide assortment of payment options and will keep coming back to the business that offers them this service.


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