How to complete a successful high-risk merchant account application

Any ambitious e-commerce business needs a merchant account in order to grow and process credit card payments successfully over time. You might get away with using payment aggregators, like Stripe or PayPal, when starting up. However, a merchant account, or a payment processor, and payment gateway is critical for sustained growth and credit card processing. In short, you need to complete a successful high-risk merchant account application in order to grow your business and accept credit cards.

At Blue Payment Agency, we specialize in helping high-risk business owners set up their first or improved payment gateway and merchant accounts for card-not-present transactions for various high-risk products or services. We also provide site owners who already have a merchant account with “gateway only” accounts. In other words, we’re very familiar with all the processes and technicalities necessary for all legal high-risk businesses to start processing credit cards.

While we offer processing services, we also want to help as many people as possible get started on the right foot for processing payments. This is why we want to provide a useful and simple outline of what you need in order to complete a successful high-risk merchant account application.

Commonly required paperwork for high-risk merchant account applications

successful high-risk merchant account application - Blue Payment Agency - Quote ImageEven though setting up a high-risk merchant account can seem complicated, it can be a very straightforward process. The most important part is simply to be well prepared with all the documents you’ll need ahead of time. By having your documents ready, you can help speed up the decision-making process and ensure success when applying for a merchant account that’s optimized for high-risk payments.

To help you along the way, we’ll outline some commonly required documents that you’re likely to need. The documentation and paperwork you need to provide can generally be separated into two categories: 1) Business identification and verification, and 2) Financial history and standing.

We want to stress that requirements might be different depending on the merchant service provider you apply with. However, the list below should certainly cover the basics and the standard paperwork you will most likely need.

On the other hand, if you prefer you can always contact us here. We’re more than happy to help set up your high-risk friendly merchant account and gateway and help you complete a successful high-risk merchant account application.

1.   Business identification and verification

Below is a brief outline of the documentation you need to have ready when you apply in order to complete a successful high-risk merchant account application.

A) Articles of incorporation

When you apply for a processor and merchant account, you are required to provide a valid copy of your organization’s incorporation documents. While you probably have a copy on hand, you can always get a new one. The Secretary of State’s office in the state where you formed your business should be able to provide you with a copy either for free or for a small fee.

B) A voided check

You will need a voided check for the bank account you wish to deposit funds into through your merchant account. While it may be possible to use a starter check, we recommend that you use a permanent check. The most important part is that the voided check includes the account and routing numbers and a pre-printed version of your business’s name.

Alternatively, you can also provide a letter from the bank as opposed to the voided check. If you choose this route, you need to ensure that the letter contains the following:

  • Business name
  • Account number
  • Routing number
  • Address

It also needs to be signed by an appropriate manager of the bank.

Please note: If you’re operating with multiple bank accounts for your business, you might wish for fees to be withdrawn from a different account than the account receiving deposits from your merchant account/processor. In this case, you need to provide voided checks for both of the accounts you wish to associate with your merchant account.

C) IRS form SS-4

The IRS sends the SS-4 Form directly and verifies your organization’s Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).

2.   Financial history and standing

Below is a brief summary of the financial paperwork you need to prepare in order to successfully apply for a high-risk merchant account.

A)   Business financial statements

The underwriting process performed by the merchant service provider might require your business financials. This does depend on the monthly processing volume that you request. Generally speaking, typical documentation you must submit includes your most recently filed tax return. You might also need to provide complete financial statements, including balance sheets, with profit and loss statements.

B)   Previous processing statements

You will need to submit monthly statements if you have a previous credit or debit card processing history. These statements ought to span the last three to six months. However, this may vary and depends on your business’ unique situation.

C)   Business bank statements

For the underwriting review, you’ll also need to provide bank statements from the last three to six months in order to successfully apply for a high-risk merchant account.

The high-risk merchant account application form

Last, but not least, is the completed merchant account application form itself. With the documents you’ve already prepared, filling this form out should be a simple and painless experience.

The merchant account application form itself compiles all the basic information about both your business and its principles. This includes your business’ address(es), tax identification number (EIN), phone number(s), email address(es), website address, bank account information, processing volumes, average order values, etc.

Contact us for a gateway and merchant account today

Even though the documents listed above are commonly required paperwork, the actual requirements might differ depending on the merchant service provider. That said, when you aim to complete a successful high-risk merchant account application, the main thing is to be prepared. Always provide complete and correct paperwork to make the underwriters’ job as easy as possible – giving them as many good reasons as possible to decide in your favor.

Do you need a high-risk merchant account and payment gateway for your business? Or maybe you’ve already successfully applied for a high-risk merchant account and need a gateway account only? Contact us today, we’re more than happy to help your ambitious high-risk business grow!

Of course, should you need help applying or filling out your application form then simply get in touch with us. We can help you identify and fill out both your high-risk merchant account application, as well as set you up with a high-risk friendly payment gateway that suits your business.