Gun Store Credit Card Processing

high risk merchant account payment gateway
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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Gun store credit card processing works a little differently than other types of retail payment processing. Anyone working in the firearms industry gets categorized as a high risk, which means you likely need a high-risk merchant account from a company willing to work with gun dealers.

Bankcard can give firearms merchant accounts a wide range of necessary services, including payment gateways, virtual terminals, point of sale systems, and credit card processing solutions. Keep reading to learn more about the challenges gunbrokers face and the types of solutions they need for their businesses to thrive.

Why your gun store needs firearm payment processing

Most payment processors consider the firearms industry “high risk.” You can’t rely on Stripe, Square, PayPal, and similar companies to process your in-store and online payments.

The United States has complicated gun laws

The United States federal government has fairly loose laws that regulate gun sales and ownership. As long as you sell a legal weapon to someone with an FFL license who can pass a background check, the federal government doesn’t have much to say about the transaction.

The law gets much more complicated at the state level. Within reason, every state can set its own firearms regulations. The laws vary from state to state. For example, Kentucky adults without felony convictions can purchase and carry handguns without getting any type of license. In California, residents must get licenses and wait 10 days before a gun store can transfer weapons to them.

What happens when a gunbroker accidentally sells a weapon to someone who cannot legally own one? Is the payment processor legally responsible in any way?

If you manage a payment processing company that wants to avoid as many risks as possible, you might decide that the firearms industry looks like a bad option. The smallest chance of getting pulled into a legal battle makes the gun industry look risky.

High-risk merchant services that offer gun store credit card processing have carefully examined their legal obligations. They know all potential risks and have decided it makes sense for them to do business with gun stores. Maybe it creates a higher risk. They can offset that possibility by charging slightly higher fees and paying close attention to every step in firearm payment processing.

 

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

Payment processors consider gun stores “high risk”

Payment processors consider the gun industry “high risk.” That means you’ll need a high-risk merchant account for firearm payment processing. Most payment processors prefer not to work with high-risk industries.

Calling firearms “high risk” probably sounds unfair. You run a successful, legitimate business with a federal firearms license (FFL) from the ATF. Why is your business riskier than others?

Credit card processors put the “high risk” label on plenty of industries that provide services and products to consumers. Online pharmacies, private airlines, call centers, and credit repair companies also struggle to find payment processors. Even subscription services like meal delivery kits and magazines face challenges because payment processors worry they’ll get too many chargebacks.

In this case, getting put into a high-risk category doesn’t say anything negative about your business. It’s just that risk-averse financial institutions don’t want to process credit cards for the sale of firearms.

Luckily, you can find gun-friendly credit card processors like Bankcard that don’t mind providing merchant services to businesses in high-risk industries.

How can gun store credit card processing help?

Gun sales have been increasing for about two decades. In 2000, about 7.5 million guns were sold in the U.S. By 2020, that number had grown to approximately 21.6 million. Clearly, there’s a demand for firearms and ammo. Your gun store needs flexible payment solutions to look like the most attractive option for consumers in your area and throughout the country.

When comparing gun store credit card processing options, look for service providers that can accommodate diverse sales strategies.

Payment processing for ecommerce sales

Selling firearms online might sound like an off concept at first, but several companies have found success listing their guns and other items on ecommerce platforms. You’ll need to consider how federal and state regulations influence how you sell firearms online.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to create your own ecommerce site to sell guns online. Online marketplaces have been connecting gun sellers and buyers for decades. GunBroker.com is a popular option that has been operating as an auction site and marketplace since 1999.

Even an established site like GunBroker needs reliable gun store credit card processing. Bankcard partners with Maverick and PaySafe to give you a reliable payment gateway supported by GunBroker and similar sites.

Accept payments in your store

Overall, retail stores still sell more products and services than ecommerce stores. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that ecommerce sales account for 12 to 14% of all retail sales. Putting effort into reaching customers online could certainly help your business improve, but you shouldn’t neglect your brick-and-mortar gun store.

Bankcard’s payment gateway can process credit card payments from your store. Bankcard can even give you a free EMV terminal to get you started. Best of all, you can keep all your payment information in the same location, regardless of whether sales take place online, in your store, or at a gun show.

Take credit card payments at gun shows

Gun shows represent terrific opportunities for you to connect with eager buyers. If you can provide a wide range of firearms, ammo, and accessories at competitive prices, going to a gun show could add to your business’s sales.

You’ll need a mobile payment processor before you can start selling at gun shows. Without a mobile credit card reader, you can only accept cash, which will stop a lot of buyers from choosing your booth.

Bankcard offers mobile-friendly gun store credit card processing. You could even get a free mobile credit card reader to facilitate quick transactions. By accepting mobile payments, you could expand your gun store’s reach to thousands of new customers.

Other services from gun-friendly credit card processing

It makes sense to choose gun store credit card processing from a company that also offers other services. That way, you can streamline customer payments and processing fees into a single system that’s easy to manage.

Other services that could help your store succeed include:

High-risk payment gateways

High-risk payment gateways process credit and debit card information to determine whether your ecommerce site should approve or deny the transaction. It’s essential for online gun store credit card processing because you need to know customers can pay for merchandise before you complete their orders.

A payment gateway also improves data privacy. When the cardholder submits their information, the payment gateway uses SSL encryption to obscure the data. The information then gets sent to the bank for authorization. Assuming the credit card company authorizes the purchase, it generates a unique transaction ID that ensures you and the customer know the payment was processed correctly.

ACH payments

Most businesses prefer payment in cash or credit. Online, you’ll probably want to rely on gun store credit card processing, which ensures you get paid the correct amount for the items you ship to customers. Some of your customers, however, might not have that option. About 30% of Americans don’t have credit cards. If you require credit card payments, you make it impossible for nearly a third of American adults to buy from your store.

ACH payment processing helps you attract customers who don’t own credit cards or don’t want to share their credit card information online.

This type of firearm payment processing works similarly to paper checks. Unlike paper checks, ACH payments let you process transactions in batches, which could save you money and time.

When shoppers choose ACH payments, they enter their banking information on your ecommerce site or third-party ecommerce site. The data is transmitted to the bank digitally, making the approval process faster, more secure, and more reliable.

You don’t need to worry about bounced checks because ACH firearm payment processing approves the transaction in real time. Additionally, digital transactions can integrate with your bookkeeping software. You won’t need to manually enter the information.

Checks and e-checks

Some customers simply don’t want to buy firearms and other products with credit cards. With that in mind, you might want to adjust your payment options to make your gun store more appealing to them.

Many businesses don’t want to accept checks because they worry that payments will “bounce.” Bankcard’s check and eCheck processing eliminate that concern by giving you rapid electronic check processing that completes transactions much faster than traditional check-cashing services. You also benefit from electronic check screening that identifies potential threats before completing your transaction. If the screening process spots a concern, it will deny the payment before firearm payment processing happens.

What credit cards can customers use to pay for transactions?

Not all gun store credit card processing services accept the same types of credit cards. Ideally, you should choose one that can accept the credit cards your customers use.

Since Square, Stripe, and PayPal don’t process credit card payments for gun stores, you can ignore them and focus on cards accepted by Bankcard and Authorize.net, both of which offer gun-friendly processing.

Authorize.net accepts:

  • Visa

  • American Express

  • Discover

  • JCB

  • Chase Pay

  • MasterCard

Bankcard works with:

  • Visa

  • MasterCard

  • American Express

  • Diners Club

  • JCB

  • Discover

When you take a closer look at your options, you’ll find that Bankcard and Stripe can process the same credit cards. If you initially wanted to use a mainstream payment processor like Stripe, you can let your customers pay with the same credit cards by choosing Bankcard.

What fees can you expect for firearm payment processing services?

High-risk merchants can expect to pay higher fees for firearm payment processing than retail stores that sell other products. That doesn’t mean you have to spend more than necessary on gun store credit card processing and similar services.

Bankcard offers competitive prices that can help gun retailers increase their revenues while maintaining affordable costs.

Compare the fees and payments from Bankcard and Authorize.net to decide which option you prefer.

Setup fees

Bankcard doesn’t charge anything for setting up your account, EMV terminal, and payment gateway. Authorize.net charges a $49 setup fee.

Monthly fees for credit card payments

Authorize.net charges businesses $25 per month to accept credit card payments. Bankcard doesn’t charge any monthly fees for gun store credit card processing.

Credit card per transaction fees

Credit card processors make most of their money by charging fees for each transaction. The amount you pay can vary significantly depending on which processor you choose. Bankcard charges a flat $0.09 per transaction. Authorize.net charges a $0.30 fee plus 2.9% of the transaction’s total.

How much of a difference does this really make?

Consider the transaction fees you would pay when selling a Springfield XD for $469.99. If you rely on Bankcard for firearm payment processing, you pay $0.08, leaving you with $469.91 from the sale. If you use Authorize.net for gun store credit card processing, you’ll spend $0.30 plus 2.9% of the $469.99 price. Authorize.net gets $13.63 of the sale in addition to the $0.30 fee. That total, $13.93, leaves you with $456.06 after you pay Authorize.net.

By choosing Bankcard, you save $13.85 from the transaction. That amount adds up quickly. If you were to sell just 10 of the guns per day, you would save $138.50 every day by choosing Bankcard instead of Authorize.net.

Monthly gateway fees

Practically all high-risk merchant accounts will charge a monthly gateway fee. Bankcard monthly gateway fee is only $10. Authorize.net charges you $25 every month.

Gateway per transaction fees

When it comes to fees for gateway transactions, Bankcard and Authorize.net are even. They both charge $0.10 per transaction.

Cancellation fees

What happens when you need to cancel a transaction? You don’t need to worry with Bankcard or Authorize.net. Neither of the gun-friendly payment processors charges cancellation fees.

Features you need from firearm payment processing solutions

As a gun seller, you need a high-risk credit card processor that works well for your unique industry. High-risk firearm payment processing often comes with high fees for:

  • Early terminations

  • Credit card processing

  • Account management

  • Chargebacks

Additionally, you could get stuck in a long-term contract that prevents you from exploring opportunities with other credit card processors.

Bankcard makes business more profitable for gun sellers by keeping fees as low as possible. You also benefit from:

  • Opportunities to sell firearms, ammo, and accessories to more customers throughout the United States.

  • Chargeback prevention that stops your account from getting interrupted because you experience more chargebacks than expected.

  • Room for growth. Since you already have a high-risk account, you can explore business opportunities with other products, such as CBD, nutraceuticals, adult merchandise, and payday loans.

Manage your high-risk account fees and explore new ways to grow your business with gun store credit card processing.

Firearm payment processing that integrates with your apps

You probably rely on several digital tools that help your firearms business succeed. Ideally, you should choose a merchant services provider that can integrate gun store credit card processing with your existing tools.

Bankcard offers a long list of integrations that will help you streamline sales, inventory management, and e-commerce listings.

Create a seamless experience by integrating Bankcard with software from companies like:

  • Microsoft

  • Sicom Systems, Inc

  • Tempus Technologies

  • Tender Retail Systems

  • Retail Data Systems

  • ScanSource, Inc.

  • PC America

  • POSiFlex

  • Freedom Payments

  • KWI

  • Main Street Softworks

  • DataTech Corp

  • Datacap Systems, Inc.

  • Data Business Systems

  • Applied Micro Technology

  • Cantaloupe Systems

  • 911 Software, Inc.

  • Activant

  • ACR Systems

No matter what platforms you use for resource management, inventory management, and other aspects of your business, Bankcard can likely integrate with your system to give you more control and deeper insights.

Card not present (CNP) transactions

If you plan to sell firearms and ammo online, you’ll need firearms payment processing that supports card not present (CNP) transactions. CNP transactions have higher risks than credit card payments that you accept in your store. For in-person sales, you can confirm the buyer’s identification before processing their credit card. You can also count on the added security of a credit card’s EMV chip.

CNP processing isn’t always unsafe, though. You just need to choose a reliable processor that requires the buyer’s full name, address, phone number, and email address.

You’ll also need information that confirms the buyer has a physical version of the credit card. This info includes the credit card’s account number, expiration date, and CVV security code.

Common questions about selling firearms

As someone who owns or manages a gun store, you might have questions about selling merchandise online. It’s important to find firearm payment processing services that help grow your business. You probably have plenty of other questions about gun store credit card processing, auction websites, setting up a website, and other concerns.

Do you need a specific license to sell firearms and ammo online?

You’ll need a federal firearms license (FFL) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) before you can ship any guns through the mail. If you already own a gun store, you probably have an FFL. It certainly doesn’t hurt to talk to a lawyer or industry expert before you spend time comparing your firearm payment processing options.

If you’re an individual selling firearms without a license, you’ll need the help of a licensed seller. Express your interest to local gun store owners to determine whether any of them will help facilitate your transactions.

Federal law says you can only ship a firearm to someone with an FFL. That likely means you can’t mail guns to the individuals buying your guns online. If they can provide a copy of their FFLs, you can ship firearms to the addresses listed on the licenses. You can’t ship guns to any other address.

Since you can’t send firearms directly to unlicensed shoppers, you might need to ask customers to make arrangements with licensed firearms distributors within their states. For example, a shopper living in Nevada could ask a local gun store owner to accept the shipment for them. Assuming the gun store owner has the appropriate license, you can send the firearm to that location. Once received, the store can transfer the gun to your customer.

Can you arrange private gun sales online?

State laws vary considerably when it comes to private gun sales. In some states, an individual can sell a firearm to any other individual. It’s the buyer’s responsibility to ensure they meet the requirements for purchasing and owning a firearm.

Other states put much more liability on the seller. You might need to perform a background check and get a copy of the buyer’s state-issued ID.

Technically, some states will let you arrange private gun sales online. The transaction will need to take place in person, though.

With so many complicated laws that vary by state, your safest option is to only send firearms to licensed stores and individuals. You can avoid potential legal complications by choosing to deal only with buyers willing to arrange shipping through a licensed broker. Once you ensure the destination address has an FFL, you can use gun store credit card processing to get paid and ship the firearm.

Although some states allow person-to-person gun sales, it’s unlikely you would use firearm payment processing for these exchanges. Make sure you know your state laws so you don’t accidentally violate any gun regulations.

Do you need an e-commerce store to sell guns online?

You don’t need an independent e-commerce store to sell guns online. Plenty of third-party websites already exist to help facilitate transactions. GunBroker is the biggest, most popular option. The website will let you auction your guns or sell them for set prices. It works much like eBay.

GunBroker and similar firearms websites usually work with a small number of firearm payment processing providers. Bankcard can often fill that role for you.

You can use your own website to advertise and sell guns, but you’ll have to do some thinking. Does it make sense to spend money on having a professional website built? The answer to that question might depend on your business’s size and what you hope to accomplish. A large gun store that sells hundreds of items per month might benefit from owning an e-commerce site. That way, you can avoid the fees charged by third-party platforms. A small store that sells fewer items, however, might not benefit as much from owning an e-commerce website.

You can also take a hybrid approach by using your website to advertise and display the guns you have in stock. When potential buyers click on items, your website can redirect them to third-party platforms that facilitate the purchase. You’ll still need gun store credit card processing, but you can avoid other hassles that come with online sales.

Plenty of retail stores take a similar approach. Have you ever clicked on a website link that takes you to a product page on Amazon? You can use the same strategy to improve your gun sales.

Is there a difference between selling antique and modern guns?

You don’t need to follow the same restrictive laws when selling antique guns. In many cases, however, you’ll still need a firearm payment processing service. Any item you intend to sell online will need a high-risk merchant account. Bankcard can help process your payments regardless of the type of guns you sell.

Before you start selling antique guns online or in person, make sure you understand the differences between antique and modern guns. You don’t want to unintentionally break federal or state laws because you mistakenly identify a firearm as “antique.”

Do you need a license to sell ammo online?

Most states don’t have laws that prevent you from selling ammo. But remember, regulations can change, so you should check the most recent laws in your state before selling ammunition or firearms.

Selling ammo becomes more complicated when you and the buyer live in different states. Federal law only lets you ship firearms and ammo across state lines when the recipient has an FFL license from the ATF.

You’ll need firearm payment processing to sell ammo online. Payment processors consider ammo just as high-risk as guns. The good news is that you can rely on Bankcard to process all your in-person and online sales.

Is it worth using gun store credit card processing for online payments?

That depends on the firearm payment processing company you choose. Companies that offer high-risk merchant accounts and payment gateways charge different prices for their services. It’s a good idea to explore your options and compare prices before you commit to gun store credit card processing.

Bankcard charges low fees that can help your gun store succeed. You get free setup that includes a credit card terminal or mobile credit card reader. You don’t pay any monthly fees to accept credit cards. Instead, you pay a flat $0.08 fee for each credit card transaction. For comparison, Authorize.net charges a $25 monthly fee. Each transaction with Authorize.net costs $0.30 plus 2.9% of the total amount.

Bankcard charges a $10 monthly gateway fee. You’ll also pay $0.10 per gateway transaction. Authorize.net charges the same per gateway fee, but you’ll need to pay a $25 monthly gateway fee.

Get started with Bankcard’s firearm payment processing

Bankcard offers a variety of firearm payment processing services that can help your business reach customers throughout the U.S. Learn more about high-risk merchant accounts, payment gateways, gun store credit card processing, and other options by reaching out to Bankcard.

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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We partnered with Bankcard in 2017 and they've been there for us every time. Everything is super fast and I love how well they communicate with our staff. They really know their stuff, and we work in a very complex industry! My account executive knows our business inside and out.

Alexandria, CMO

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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.