Taking credit cards in today’s cashless society is a basic of business. However, if you run a business that is strictly online and involves travel, gambling, debt collection or a dating site, you can be considered high-risk. It can be a very difficult challenge to find a credit card processor that will even entertain taking on your business due to the high number of chargebacks in these industries. There are a number of things that you can do to make your business more appealing to credit card processors like Chosen Payments. Here are a few suggestions:
Demonstrate that your business is financially stable.
If you have been in business for a while but just decided to take credit cards, you are already ahead of the game. Be prepared to share financial statements, bank statements and other financial matters with your potential processor. We will take your previous financially history into our consideration. Financial records show us that you have a legitimate business, earning potential and your ability to deliver what you say you will. Most credit card processors are just trying to ensure they aren’t processing for a fraudulent company. Your strong financial history can prove that.
Changing Credit Card Processors
If you have already been processing credit cards with another processor, you have processing history. The best way to improve your chances of approval with a new company is to share your current credit card processing history with the new processor. Your statements will show the number of transactions you process, how much they average and how many of those transactions, if any, resulted in chargebacks due to fraudulent charges. Be prepared to demonstrate that you have taken steps to prevent chargebacks and fraud.
Explain how you address risk.
Sometimes, it just takes a letter, email or a telephone conversation to explain yourself and your business as well as why you are looking for a new processor. Some credit card processors decline merchant accounts simply because they don’t understand the business or see it as high-risk when, in fact, it isn’t. You can help avoid misunderstandings by providing additional information and explanations. If you are in a high-risk industry, explain what it is you do to avoid chargebacks and what procedures you have put into place to prevent fraud. When the credit card processor understands more about your business, they are much more likely to grant you an approval.
Get your credit in line.
Both your personal credit and the credit of your business are important. If you have bad personal credit, that can affect a processor’s decision to approve you for a merchant account. You may need to do some cleaning up such as paying off bad debts, filing disputes of incorrect information on your credit report and paying down high debts. All of this can make you and your business much more appealing to a potential credit card processor. If you do have bad credit, be honest about it and disclose it to us up front. Trying to hide anything during the application process will almost always disqualify you. We go through an underwriting process which is much like a personal background check. We are going to find it.
Work with an experienced high-risk processor.
Working with a processor who understands high-risk processing is the best way to get approved for a merchant account. There are a number of high-risk credit card processing companies and if Chosen Payments can’t help you, we may be able to refer you to someone who can help you and guide the process. There is no doubt that you are going to pay more for high-risk processing than a traditional merchant would but you can find one. You may become a high-risk merchant if you have a lot of chargebacks or fraud related charges in a short period of time. This is another reason that you should respond to every single chargeback to explain your position.