Credit Repair Merchant Account

high risk merchant account

The credit repair industry has remarkable potential and a fantastic business model. This industry can help people recover from poor financial decisions and planning, allowing them to remedy poor credit or bad credit, increase their credit scores, and prepare for their financial future. 

That being said, the business is unique in many ways, as it often deals with individuals who have financial difficulties and are unable to manage basic financial operations, whether for themselves, their family members, or their businesses. A sad irony is the result: Credit businesses seek to help others recover, but they are often unable to obtain affordable merchant accounts that allow them to do business and process payments. 

Not being able to access these critical services means that businesses will struggle to expand or even succeed. As such, you have to make sure that you are working with a merchant account with decades of experience working with high-risk merchants to help them manage their needs and gain access to the financial services they deserve. The unique challenge of this industry necessitates finding ACH processing software that can help you address these issues and properly execute your payment processing. 

As a credit repair business, you have unique needs. We’ll work with you to find merchant services to help you grow, no matter which sector of the industry you’re in.

  • Cease and desist collections processing
  • Credit re-establishment
  • Credit repair consultation
  • Settlement assistance firms
Bankcard was referred to me by my developer. From the jump, they were impressive. They were super responsive, they asked great questions and their solution was really robust. Also, working with Katherine and Hanna is a dream!
High risk merchant account
Emily Wallace
CEO

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Credit Repair Merchant Account Overview

The Risks Facing the Credit Repair Business

Credit repair is a multibillion-dollar industry, one that has spawned an entire array of businesses that are genuinely dedicated to helping individuals, business owners, startups, and small businesses repair their credit to survive and thrive in today’s economy. All of this can lead to credit repair companies being classified as “high-risk businesses.” This, in turn, can make finding a merchant services vendor even more challenging. These businesses run the gamut of services. 

Examples include:

  • Collections processing within the cease-and-desist space, working with businesses to help them obtain relief from aggressive collections agencies.
  • Re-establishing credit after a financial disaster, a series of poor decisions, or another negative life event.
  • Consultation on a variety of credit repair services, including assisting individuals in enrolling in the right services that can help them re-establish their credit.
  • Working with settlement assistance firms to help obtain relief from a financial judgment or collect a judgment they are owed.

The provision of these financial services can be risky for the vendors that are involved in collecting payments. Many of these risks are related to chargebacks. These are specific fees that occur when someone disputes or otherwise returns a credit card payment. As a vendor, your business not only loses the money but is often charged an additional fee from the vendor or merchant account processor since it involves additional work on their end. This can result in serious lost revenue. 

These chargeback fees make up a vital component of the risk that credit repair businesses often face. For example, the services provided by these businesses are high ticket and involve recurring billing plans. All of this increases the chances of incurring one of these fees and loss to all parties involved. Since individuals who use credit repair services are often cash strapped, they are more likely to lie about certain charges, falsely disputing them, and thus also resulting in additional fees. 

Of course, these fees are not the only source of risk to these businesses. Fraud is a problem as well. In many cases, these businesses will take payment via an online portal rather than a mobile device or another form of in-person payment. This increases the chances of fraud, which increases the odds of a payment needing to be returned.

 
Having Trouble Getting Approved for a Merchant Account? Get Approved for a High Risk Merchant Account with BankCard Services

What This Mean For Your Credit Repair Business

This can result in a significant problem for your business and credit repair merchant account. The chief problem is painfully obvious: You may have a hard time obtaining a merchant account, or you may have a difficult time obtaining merchant account services that are affordable. 
 
This may result in you losing a significant chunk of your revenue to credit card processing, cutting into your already thin margins. If you are unable to obtain the appropriate merchant services, it may force you to rely on less-than-ideal methods of completing financial transactions, like cash. This, in turn, can limit your legitimacy with your customers. It can also force you into a position where you have to turn away perfectly valid payment methods, like internet-based transfers. 
 
In this day and age, this is an unacceptable problem for businesses to have to deal with. All of this is ultimately tied back to the exact cause: A credit repair merchant account is considered part of a high-risk industry. As such, you must try and find ways to mitigate these risks. This means finding a vendor who is used to your industry and can handle your needs.

How Can You Mitigate These Risks?

To be clear, there are ways you can mitigate these risks. Even the most high-risk vendor can mitigate these risks by engaging in appropriate risk reduction strategies, such as developing a comprehensive plan to reduce chargebacks and working with a vendor to identify ways to reduce these risks. Furthermore, a credit repair merchant can help you identify the source of chargebacks, reduce fraudulent charges, and develop other ways to lower your transaction fees. However, fundamentally, a credit repair merchant account will always have risks that are simply inherent to the industry. As such, you will have to work with a vendor that fully understands your industry and your line of work. 

In terms of potential merchant account services, you must find a merchant who mitigates risk. This means finding a merchant account provider who has worked with credit repair services and knows how to mitigate your risks while charging you a fair price. 

 

Integrations

Bankcard Connect plays nice with others

Bankcard Connect integrates seamlessly with ISV software to simplify payment processing for merchants: any payment type, on any device, anywhere. 

Bankcard integrates with over 99% of the tools you are already using, including popular accounting software and e-commerce apps, regardless of your industry. Our payment services were designed to be adaptable to provide seamless integrations for our customers.

merchant account integrations c

BigCommerce
Formsite
Infusionsoft
Keap
Magento
Microsoft Dynamics
Network Solutions
SalesForce
Shopify
Volusion
Web.com
Weebly
WIX
WooCommerce
WordPress
Yola

Cart66
Checkfront
EASYCART
eShop
Event Espresso
events manager
GetShopped.org
GRAVITY
Jigoshop
Paid Memberships Pro
Shopp
SHOPPERPRESS
templatic
TheCartPress
WishList MEMBER
WooCommerce
WORDPRESS eSTORE
WP GATEWAYS
WpInvoice
wpmudev

Drupal Commerce
Ubercart

HikaShop
Miwisoft
VirtueMart

911 Software, Inc.
ACR Systems
Activant
Aldelo Systems, Inc.
Applied Micro Technology
Advanced Retail Management Solutions (ARMs)
Auto star
Cantaloupe Systems
Data Business Systems
Datacap Systems, Inc.
DataTech Corp
DataVantage
Edgil Associates
Elavon*
Epicor (CRS, NSB)
Freedom Pay
Gateway Ticketing Systems
Idalica Corp
IJN Systems
IT Retail
KWI
Main Street Softworks
MBS Textbook Exchange
Medasyst, Inc.
Microsoft
/n Software, Inc.
PC America
POSiFlex
RATEX Business Solutions
Retail Data Systems
RTL Payment Systems
ScanSource, Inc.
Sicom Systems, Inc.
Slim CD
Tempus Technologies
Tender Retail Systems
The Software Mills
Tomax Corporation
Total Computing Solutions
TouchNet Information Systems
XProtean, Inc. (C-Payment Software)
XPient Solutions
Vista Entertainment Systems

911 Software, Inc.
Data Business Systems
Dinerware
Datacap Systems, Inc.
Main Street Softworks
Menusoft Systems Corp.
Micros Systems
Midnite Express, Inc.
/n Software Inc.
NCR
onePOS.com
Ordyx
Radiant Systems
Revel Systems
Sicom Systems, Inc.
Squirrel Systems
Tempus Technologies
XPient Solutions
XProtean, Inc. (C-Payment Software)
Elavon (previously Southern DataComm and Global Card Services)

Dresser Wayne
Excentus
Fuel Links
Fiscal Systems, Inc.
Gilbarco
LOC Software
Main Street Softworks
Petro RX
PetroVend
Radiant Systems
Retalix
VeriFone Ruby System

Datacap Systems
JPMA
LOC Software
Logivision
MTX/EPS
RORC
StoreNext
Torex

911 Software, Inc.
Hotel Software Systems
Slim CD
Elavon
Tempus Technologies

Government organizations face a growing need for secure payment processing services while managing highly specific needs for content management and security. 

We can work with popular technology products government agencies prefer, like Ciber and Cubic, to create an integrated solution that meets all your needs for processing payments, managing information, and more.

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What Merchant Account Services Should You Look For? 

 

When it comes to finding a merchant service, you must identify a business that can provide you with customized services to suit your needs and that fully understands your industry’s unique issues. 

This means finding a merchant account service provider that can: 

  • Confirm customer authorizations for current and future charges.
  • Confirm customer identity.
  • Provide your business with chargeback protection, ensuring that you are protected against these financial issues that are so common in the credit repair space. 
  • Provide you with scalable services and fair prices, making sure that your limited resources are well protected.
 

How Can a Full-Service Merchant Account Help You?


If you are in this business, you already know how difficult it can be to deal with the array of challenges your industry throws at you. This means that you are looking for one-stop shopping and a vendor that can address all of your needs. 

So, what needs can we handle for your business? 

Here are some examples:

Payments

When it comes to servicing your customers, you have to make sure that you have a payment capacity that meets the needs of the customers you do business with. That means having maximum flexibility with minimal fees. This means that you go where your customer goes, and your merchant account provider has to follow you. Doing so will ensure that you can collect payment from your customers. This means that your merchant account provider must help you get paid in the method of your and your customer’s choosing, regardless of whether that payment comes via mail, in-store, or over a mobile device.

 

Products

It is essential to work with a merchant account provider that has experience with other high-risk accounts. Furthermore, your merchant account provider must work with various merchant services and payment gateways and offer an array of services that demonstrate their experience in working with credit repair and high-risk businesses like yours. One of the most essential things in the credit repair business is offering flexible products that can meet the needs of customers who are sometimes financially challenged or troubled. Furthermore, within the specific realm of merchant accounts, you have to find services that can be customized to fit your needs. 

These include:

  • Providing you with the appropriate equipment, including all hardware, software, and point of service devices. Given the unique needs of your industry, POS services can be essential, as the right software can help cut down on fraud that is endemic within your industry. You must have the right digital services, such as managing the application process to ensure that you can have access to financial institutions, as well as their virtual terminals. 
  • ACH processing. ACH stands for automatic clearing house, and it is the process by which automatic payments travel between banks. Getting the right services that can actively fit your needs is vital in the credit repair industry, as it can help limit your fees, provide you with an efficient fee basis, and limit unnecessary fees. Furthermore, your merchant service provider must also take care of more run-of-the-mill services like accepting payments, managing account approval, reducing chargeback ratios, and identifying other payment solutions. 
  • Integration support with your other financial services, including online banking system, record-keeping, and website. You should find a provider who can manage any high-volume payment processor, like Stripe or PayPal. On an as-needed basis, you should also have access to credit reports, processing history, additional information on merchant account providers, and e-commerce solutions. 
  • Surcharge and cash discount processing. This means that you must have access to a system that ensures your surcharges are kept to a minimum and that any cash can be processed in a manner that results in a discount to you in terms of your transaction fees. 
  • Check and e-check processing. As anyone in the credit repair industry undoubtedly understands, your customers often will not have access to financial services that other businesses take for granted. This includes credit cards and debit cards. As a result, you may spend a good portion of your time managing check and e-check processing. This means that you will have to use merchant services that can provide you a fair price on these fees, all while also ensuring that this processing integrates with the other financial services that you provide.
  • Gift card and loyalty card processing. As any vendor knows, processing gift cards or loyalty cards — and integrating them into your overall financial services system — can be an accounting and logistical nightmare. As such, you have to find a business that has years of experience in operating these programs and can help your business do just that.
 

Other Services

More often than not, a credit repair merchant will need more than just merchant account services for your credit repair operation. Your life will be much easier if you can identify a vendor who can give you one-stop shopping, ensuring that your individual needs can be met. Other services you should look for include:

  • Capital provision
  • ATM access, including installation, management, processing, and security 
  • EBT management for businesses that are engaged in providing Electronic Benefit Transfer services.
  • Account manager services

Experience Matters

Experience matters when it comes to high-risk accounts. Your vendor must be someone who doesn’t just work with credit repair companies but a variety of other accounts that have been deemed to be very risky by banks and credit card companies. This matters because high-risk businesses have many factors in common, regardless of the specifics of that business.

Remember, the high-risk field is about so much more than just credit repair companies. It also includes businesses like adult merchants, CBD merchants, payday loan lenders, and more. These are all relatively risky fields and have heavier-than-normal risks of fraud, potential thorny legal issues, and more. As such, you should find a business that understands how to manage high-risk accounts.

Your credit repair business needs and deserves merchant account processing services that suit the unique needs of your industry. We can provide those services at Bankcard based on our years of expertise and client portfolio that stretches into your industry. If you have any questions or want more information, contact our team by visiting our webpage.

FAQs: Table of Contents

Accepted Industries and Countries​

The industries we accept for high risk merchant accounts include, but are not limited to the below industries.

  • Adult merchant account
  • Bad credit
  • CBD
  • Credit Repair
  • MLM
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Payday loans
  • Private airlines
  • Subscriptions
  • Travel
  • Vape & eCig
  • Illegal business activity
  • Businesses without the proper license
  • Illegal drugs (CBD with less than 0.30% THC is acceptable)

Bankcard can provide merchant accounts to customers in the below countries. Kindly note that many payment solutions are regulated based on location.

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Bear Island 
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Channel Island
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • France
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungry
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vatican City

Being a start-up business will not hinder a business from getting approved for a merchant account. While having a processing history helps your likelihood of getting approved,  the lack of processing will not necessarily stop you from getting an approval. Consult an experienced Account Executive today to learn more. 

There are never guarantees when it comes to the approval of a merchant account. However, we do work with merchants that have low credit scores. Reach out to an Account Executive today for a consultation. 

If you’re a United States citizen applying for a merchant account for a United States registered business, a social security number is required. 

A merchant account can be labeled high risk for many reasons. You can be labeled as such due to high average tickets, being in an industry that historically has high chargebacks, or an industry that tier one banks do not support.

Applying for a merchant account

To apply for a high-risk merchant account, you need to complete our pre-qualification form and upload all required documentation. Once the pre-qualification is complete your Account Executive will locate the best placement for your account, and send you a final agreement. Once that final agreement is signed, underwriting will complete a full package review for approval. 

There is no fee to apply for a merchant services account with Bankcard. However, If you get approved with us there may be a small setup fee for your gateway account.

Square, Stripe, and Paypal are all payment facilitators and do not accept high-risk merchant accounts. Signing up with Bankcard gives you a direct merchant relationship with a sponsor bank. The approval process requires more documentation, but you’re at a significantly lower risk of getting terminated.

This depends upon how quickly you, the merchant, completes our pre-qualification form. Once we have all of your documentation, we get to work. We can typically locate placement for your merchant services account in 48 hours.  

Once you get an approval, you’ll be able to accept credit card payments within 24 business hours. 

Depending upon the program, you will receive your funds anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after the batch is settled. 

The industry type is a major determining factor when it comes to risk levels of merchant services. But, other factors such as credit, card-present vs not present, and chargeback ratios can also push an account into the high-risk category as well. 

Completing the Application

Your legal business name should match the business name on the state business registration or licensure. However, if you are a sole proprietor, your name would be the legal business name. 

If you’re not sure how much processing you’ll do, we recommend applying for $5,000 to $10,000 monthly. You don’t need to hit that number each month, but if you’re close to going over, reach out to your Account Executive for assistance. 

Your average transaction amount should be the average of all transactions you would accept with your merchant account. Your maximum transaction should be the anticipated maximum amount accepted in one transaction. If you attempt to process a transaction that is higher than the maximum amount provided, additional proof of purchase may be requested. 

You may provide personal bank statements in lieu of bank statements if your business bank account is new or does not have any activity. 

If you’re applying for a merchant account for ecommerce processing you will need a fully functional website with products or services listed with associated pricing. 

Yes, a credit check is required in order to obtain a high-risk merchant account. Once a final agreement is signed, a hard credit pull is done.  Credit scores are taken into consideration when underwriting reviews a full application for merchant services. 

If you’re a United States citizen applying for a merchant account for a business registered in the United States, your social security number will be required to apply. 

Documents

The first step to applying for a high-risk merchant account is completing the pre-qualification form. Three months bank statements, three months processing statements (if applicable), a voided check or bank letter, and driver’s license or passport will be required to apply. 

If your business does not utilize checks, we can accept a bank letter that includes your full account and routing number as well as the business or account holder’s name. The letter should be on bank letterhead, be dated within the last 30 days, and be signed by a bank representative. 

If you don’t have three months of business bank statements, don’t fret. We can accept three months’ personal bank statements from a business owner, or director. 

Bank statements show a lot about a prospective merchant, namely, processing activity, and the average monthly ending balance. If a merchant is currently processing, we want to know why they’re switching, if we know a merchant’s pain points we can find better solutions for their needs. The average monthly ending balance is also relevant to show financial stability within the business as well as validating the monthly volume requested.

If a merchant is currently processing credit card payments and successfully managing a merchant account this can increase the likelihood of getting approved. Some payment facilitators such as Paypal, Stripe, and Square might not supply monthly processing statements. Underwriting may request login credentials so they can get an overview of the processing activities. 

Equipment and Gateways

For in-person retail card acceptance, Bankcard can provide equipment that will arrive programmed and ready to accept payments. Discuss your equipment options with your experienced Account Executive.

Here at Bankcard, we do offer our own gateway solution that’s exclusive to merchants that sign up with us. Of course, if there’s a gateway you prefer we are willing to work with you as long as integration is possible. Please reach out to your dedicated Account Executive for details. 

Bankcard integrates with NMI, Authorize.net, and more. For specific gateway integration questions reach out to an experienced Account Executive. 

Your merchant account will be set up to accept Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and ATM cards. 

Load balancing is the strategy of spreading transactions over more than one MID. It’s not necessary for all high-risk accounts, but can be considered as a way to manage chargeback ratios with high-risk merchants. 

Existing Merchant Accounts

Not to worry, this number can be increased as needed. However, the bank underwriting your merchant account needs to be aware of the expected monthly volume to ensure they have capacity available for all merchants processing with that bank. 

If you go over by a small amount you might be asked for a copy of the invoice or receipt. However, if you go over the monthly limit by a large amount there is a chance your excess funds might be held temporarily. 

When it comes to high-risk accounts, banks ideally want chargeback ratios below the 3% threshold. If you can provide long term processing history the bank may take this into consideration. Lower chargeback ratios are ideal. Consult your knowledgeable Account Executive for assistance in lowering your chargeback ratio. 

Rolling reserves are a way to financially protect the processing bank from potential losses from chargebacks or refunds. Not all high-risk merchant accounts require a rolling reserve. The risk department will determine if and when a rolling reserve is required. 

Interchange fees refer to the issuing credit card brand fees such as Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American express. These fees vary depending on the card type, American Express tends to be the most expensive card to process. Interchange rates can range from 1% to 2.5%. 

Of course! Once you’ve established a healthy processing history, you may reach out to your Account Executive for a rate review. We recommend only doing this if your processing history shows low chargeback ratios and relatively low refund activity. 

You may request an increase in your monthly volume at any time. However, it’s recommended to wait until your merchant account reflects healthy processing history as well as financial stability from your bank statements. 

Reach out to our support team, or your dedicated Account Executive for any account-related updates you may need. 

Depending on the program your merchant account fees are either taken at the beginning of each month. Some programs require daily discounts. Program details will be notated on your final agreement and if you have further questions you can always consult your Account Executive. 

ACH payments

Bankcard can assist with ACH or eCheck services. An application and approval process still applies to this service, or it can be an added service with your processing account. Reach out to your Account Executive for details. 

The approval process requires less documentation than applying for a merchant services account. And if you’re already processing with Bankcard an approval can be expedited. 

Every account is different, however, most programs allow next-day settlements for ACH transactions. 

ACH payment acceptance can be integrated into most website platforms. Reach out to a dedicated Account Executive for more information. 

Pricing and Approval

High-risk merchant accounts are priced higher than low-risk accounts because fewer banks are willing to work with businesses labeled “high risk”. Banks also need additional financial protections from loss on these accounts.  

Bankcard will always provide fair pricing based on the risk level of every merchant. And if a current processing statement is provided we’ll do everything in our power to beat the merchant’s current rates. 

While we love working with merchants that are considered high risk. There are limitations put in place by bank and card brand rules. If a merchant does not abide by the specific program rules described by the Account Executive assisting them we cannot ensure an approval.

Think of merchant accounts as a loan or a line of credit. And processing banks take on the risk of transactions getting charged back. Banks can end up liable for the actions of merchants, a problematic merchant can damage the reputation of the bank funding and processing the transactions. 

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