If you’re in business today, you need a merchant service account. No matter what. These types of accounts make it possible for your business to accept payments that aren’t cash payments. From internet payments for orders shipped far and wide to accepting gift cards, local checks, and credit cards, your merchant service account allows you to process those payments. If you’ve been denied a merchant services account because your business has been identified as high risk, you do have options to consider.
Find Out Why Your Business Was Denied
It could be any number of things that caused your business to be denied a merchant services account, but you need to know why your business was denied so that you can take corrective action if possible and understand your options better otherwise. Possible reasons may include one or more of the following or may be something unrelated:
- Personal credit history
- Active collection accounts
- Designation as a high risk merchant
- Your type of business does not correlate with the processing volumes you’ve requested
- Your business is present on the Terminated Merchant File (TMF), also called the MATCH File, indicating your credit card processing privileges have been terminated elsewhere
Many business owners aren’t even aware of the last one until they apply for merchant services and are denied based on their presence on the list. Once you know why you were denied you can move on to the next steps.
Build Up a Cash Reserve
Why is a cash reserve necessary? Some payment processing organizations will allow you limited payment processing privileges with a sufficient cash reserve. Their concern is to be sure you can cover your obligations to them. Your business cash reserve provides evidence that you will be able to do so.
Find a Processor Who Specializes in High Risk Merchant Accounts
There are processing partners available for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Some of them may even be willing to help your business get back in the action of processing credit cards and other payment formats. If you explain to them what is going on with your business, these special high risk payment processors are willing to work with you to get your business approved.
Be Transparent When Working with Potential Processing Partners
It is a partnership, after all. Just as you would prefer your payment partner to be up front and transparent with their billing processes, it is equally important for you to be upfront and honest about your history and your plans for the future. Expect to offer honest information about each of the following when seeking new payment processing partners after being denied elsewhere.
- Marketing plan. Explain how you plan to market your business, goods, and services.
- Sales predictions. Provide a realistic forecast of how much you expect to earn this year, in three years, etc.
- Pricing. Explain your pricing and whether it is consistent with the market.
- Return policy. State your return policy. Make sure it is clear and practical and display it prominently on your website so there is no ambiguity and to prevent misunderstandings.
- Contact information. Make sure they can get in touch with you and that you have your contact information displayed clearly (and easily accessible) on your website so customers can contact you as well. For this purpose, email and/or telephone numbers are best choices with phone being the preferred method of choice for many payment partners.
- Security features. We live in a day when security is more important than ever. Make sure you are using secure sockets layers and 3D secure processing on your website.
- Don’t forget to include all the necessary KYC documents. This presents your business as one that is honest, open, and not attempting to hide important details.
Most importantly of all, ask questions. Get the help you need. Focus on growing your business and let your processing partner handle the heavy lifting of navigating the merchant accounts process on your behalf.
At BankCard Services, we understand the payment processing needs of a wide variety of businesses. We are here to help you with your payment processing needs whether you’re just getting started, have recently been denied a merchant services account, or simply want to make a change. And don’t worry, we won’t trap you in a long-term contract—we’ll work with you on a month-to-month basis. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your payment processing needs and more, even if you’ve been denied merchant services accounts elsewhere.