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How To Get Approved For Your Merchant Account

September 26, 2007

I often speak with business owners who seem uncertain or hesitant to provide accurate and candid information when inquiring about a merchant account for their business.

For example, one of the typical questions I ask is “How much money do you expect to process through credit cards in the typical month of business?”

I am suprised with how often people make up unrealistic figures because they think it will help them to be approved.  Some make intentionally lofty (pie-in-the-sky) projections, while others lowball their estimate.

My goal in asking that question (and every other question I ask) is to get a clear understanding of the company I am working with.  It will help me to understand their processing requirements.  If a company is only likely to process $5,000 per month, then they shouldn’t tell me that they will probably be processing $50,000 by their third month of business.   This is only likely to delay an application, and in the case of this specific example, require additional information to support this level of trading volume.

What I am trying to get at is your processor or agent is there to help you.  The more accurate and better understanding I have of your business, the better able I am to have your account approved. 

Once you are approved the bank will monitor the account, so there is no point in hiding information (such as the types of products you sell) or exagerating processing volumes.  The bank will find out. 

The point of the application is to give the bank a clear understanding of the company they are working with.  Accurate and honest information will facilitate your approval.  So when applying for a merchant account, give the person that you are working with as much detailed information as possible.  It’s best to be specific.  Here is the relevant information that you should provide:

• How long your company has been in business.

• If you have processed credit cards previously, and if processing statements are available.

• What it is that you sell.

• How much money you expect to process per month.

• Any special information (for example, if your trading volume may grow quickly because of a planned T.V interview).

Most providers, myself included, do not take on high risk accounts.  So if you sell a product that is illegal or high risk (casino gambling, adult content, etc) then don’t try to hide it, because it will get found out and your account shut down.  Outside of a very few high risk areas of business I can help just about any business be approved.  So when working with your provider be honest and candid, and it will arm your agent or processor with the information needed to find the best possible solution for your business.

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