Starting an online business that accepts credit cards is a huge goal for online merchants. If you want a successful high-risk merchant account application process, then you are going to need to know what to expect from the process. Too many businesses either get denied due to lack of information or lack of follow-through with the application process.
High Risk Solutions is an excellent company to assist you with high-risk merchant account payment gateway access. This article is going to let you know what are the pieces of information you are going to need to greatly increase your chances of a successful application.
You do not want to get denied, and High Risk Solutions does not want you to get denied neither. It makes sense for you read through this article and find out what you are missing.
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Topic For this Article
Filling out the correct merchant account application to accept credit cards: (Part 6 of 6)
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How to Accept Credit Cards Online
When starting a business online, your business is going to want to accept as many types of credit cards as it can feasibly handle. Online businesses need to make it easy for customers to pay them.
It is incredibly frustrating to customers to go through the entire shopping cart experience just to find out that your online business does have their preferred payment option available.
One couple commented that they were just starting to furnish a new house with household goods. After putting over $3000 in their online shopping cart, the online business did not accept any forms of payment they had available.
The couple left that online business to find one that would “take their money”. Even after getting the payment capabilities that the first online business had required, that couple never purchased anything from that original online company, no matter how much the company marketed to them.
The moral of this story is that by not making payment options available, that online business lost high-ticket paying customers.Click Here To Start Accepting Credit Cards
Determine If Your Business Is a High-Risk Merchant
One of the ways that businesses waste time is trying to apply for a merchant account payment gateway through a traditional bank without knowing if their business type is excluded due to being in the “high-risk category”.
Here is a list of common “high-risk” businesses:
- 1-800 / 1-900 chat sites
- Airplane charters
- All sexual-oriented or pornographic merchants
- Escort services
- Adult telephone conversations
- Adult bookstores
- Dating services
- Online adult memberships
- Matchmaker services
- Adult paraphernalia
- Adult toys
- Amazon store
- Yahoo store
- Google store
- Any online store
- Annual contracts
- Automotive brokers
- Bankruptcy attorneys
- Business opportunities
- Calling cards
- Check cashing services
- Cigarette sales
- Electronic cigarette sales
- Nicotine cartridges
- Collectible currency
- Autographed collectibles
- Collection agencies
- Reward points program
- Debt repair
- Credit counseling
- Credit protection
- Debt collection
- Direct selling
- Discount health
- Medical care programs
- Debt consolidation
- Drug paraphernalia
- eBay store
- Event ticket brokers
- Exporting services
- Fantasy sports websites
- Federal firearms license dealers
- Finance brokers
- Financial consulting
- Loan modification services
- Indirect financial consulting
- Financial planning
- Get rich quick books
- Get rich quick programs
- High average tickets
- How-to websites
- Psychic services
- Fortune tellers
- Hype services
- Hype products
- International merchants
- International shipping
- Investment firms
- Investment strategy
- Investment books
- Lawyer referral services
- Life coaching
- Lingerie sales
- Magazine sales
- Magazine subscriptions
- Mail order
- Membership organizations
- Merchants on the terminated merchant file
- Modeling agencies
- Multi-level marketing
- Music downloads
- Music uploads
- Movie downloads
- Movie uploads
- Software downloads
- Software uploads
- Non-US citizens
- Off-shore corporation establishment services
- Pawn shops
- Poor credit
- Prepaid debit cards
- Inbound telemarketing
- Outbound telemarketing
- Real estate
- Replica handbags
- Replica watches
- Replica wallets
- Replica sunglasses
- Pepper spray
- SEO services
- Social networking sites
- Sports forecasting
- Talent agencies
- Telephone companies
- Telephone order
- Third-party processing
- Factoring merchants
- Payment processors
- Vacation rental brokers
- Time-shares advertising
- Tour operators
- Travel services
- Travel agencies
- Travel clubs
- Vacation planners
- Vacation rentals
- Vitamin sales
- Supplement sales
- Diet pills
- Prescription pills
- Health supplements
- VOIP services
- Extended warranty companies
- Stun guns
- Rifle butts
- Gun triggers
- Gun magazines
Even if your industry was not listed, it could be considered “high-risk” at any moment. It is a good idea to continue following through as if your business was within this category so you know what is expected of you if your apply to accept credit cards online.Click Here To Start Accepting Credit Cards
Update Personal Credit Score Reports
Whether your business is “high-risk” or not, you are going to want to make sure your personal credit report is in order for any merchant account application.
You should be checking your personal credit score once per year at a minimum. Refer to your “personal credit improvement plan” (if completed) to see what items you still need to work on.
Update Business Credit Score Reports
Your business credit score means even more to merchants who are allowing gateway access for you to accept credit cards.
It is time to look at your “business score improvement plan” to make sure that you are taking advantage of as many suggestions as possible to improve this score.
The biggest thing is to pay your vendors on time, even if it means asking for a credit later. Your business score is more important in the long run than a misaligned vendor.
Create Testimonial Letter Portfolio
Positive testimonials are good for your reputation and for the reputation of the business. You should ask for testimonials every time you see your customers.
Negative testimonials are like warning signals that something in your business could be out of balance. Thank customers for the negative testimonials and encourage feedback when the customer feels the situation has improved.
You should have both of these in your testimonial portfolio:
- Personal testimonial letters from professionals in your industry
- Business testimonial letters from clients, vendors and government officials
Create Business Health Portfolio
If you were keeping track of the stats most commonly missed by startups, you’ll be able to complete this section quickly. If not, it is going to take a bit to gather all of this information.
A proper business health portfolio includes this information:
- Business bank statements
- Profit and loss statements
- Contracts in progress
- Contribution margin
- Total contract value
- Gross merchandise value
- Deferred revenue
- Annual contract value
- Recurring revenue
- Total revenue
- Letter of intent to purchase
- Balance sheets
- Bank reference letters
- Lifetime value
- Customer acquisition cost
- Active users
- Monthly growth rate
- User churn rate
- Monthly cash burn
- Size of office
- Number of employees
Create Contract Directory
A merchant account provider is going to need to interact with different aspects of your business in order to complete transactions fully. If there are any issues, they need to know who to contact.
Make a contact directory with this information:
- Names, titles, addresses and percent ownership of Shareholders and Beneficial Owners
- Name, phone number, email address and instant messenger ID of technical support
- Name, phone number, email address and instant messenger ID of financial support
- Name, phone number, email address and instant messenger ID of customer service support
- Business names, contact names, phone numbers, emails, and faxes of trade references
Create Sales Overview
Merchant account providers also want to know how your business is doing presently as well as the trend for the future. This information is used to find out what your terms will be.
Make sure to collect this financial data for merchant account providers:
- Forecasted average, high and recurring ticket amount
- Maximum number of daily transactions and volume (in US Dollars)
- Maximum number of weekly transactions and volume (in US Dollars)
- Maximum number of monthly transactions and volume (in US Dollars)
- Estimated monthly volume of sales ratio
- Details about inbound/outbound marketing
Prepare to Make Personal Guarantee
The most important portion for a high-risk merchant is a guarantee from you that if anything goes wrong on your end, that you are not going to push your responsibilities off on the merchant company.
By filling out the application for High Risk Solutions, you are doing business with a well-established merchant account payment gateway provider. With over twenty years of experience, High Risk Solutions will work with your business to take care of your merchant account needs.
Follow the Rules of PCI Compliance
Once your application is accepted, you are going to need to meet the PCI standard within a short period of time. The merchant account provider wants to make sure that your customers’ data is secure to avoid unnecessary chargebacks.
PCI simply stands for payment card industry. When discussing the safety of a customer’s private banking information, you’ll hear the term PCI DSS. DSS stands for data security standard.
This data security standard is a requirement for being able to accept credit cards.
If you worked on the PCI compliance plan from above, you are ahead of the game. You have probably included more of the necessary steps in your operations already.
Merchant Credit Card Acceptance Conclusion
Starting a business online that accepts many forms of payment is the best way to reach customers 24/7. High Risk Solutions helps businesses get the payment gateway access they need to accept credit cards.
It is important that all of your portfolios are in order to make it easier for you to be able to apply for a merchant account with the necessary documentation. Businesses who do not know what to expect from a merchant account application are often quite surprised at what is being asked.
However, you have read through this article and now you have a better understanding of what is expected from you. The top three things you need to check are:
- Is your business in the high-risk category?
- Have you fixed your credit scores?
- Are you ready for PCI compliance?
Starting a Business Online That Accepts Credit Cards Conclusion
Congratulations for making it to the end of this article. This is a reminded of the topics covered in this series, so that you can refer back to anything you wish.
- Define the top problem to be solved
- Brainstorm goals of financial management
- Determine your unfair advantage
- Create a distribution channel strategy
- Define key performance metrics and business strategies
- Create a yearly budget planner
- Create an organizer to plan ahead
- Develop an exit strategy
- Develop a risk assessment format
- Create a password database
- Obtain a financial accountant
- Obtain a business lawyer to form Articles of Incorporation
- Obtain your EIN from the IRS
- Obtain your business bank account
- Set up a physical business for safety and legitimacy
- Obtain your DUNS number for your business credit score
- Create business logo images
- Hire a photographer
- Hire an account manager for customer relations
- Develop a complete policy and procedure manual
This past series was developed to help you get the information you need in order to have successful merchant account applications. In order to get the trust of a lender to underwrite your credit card transactions, the lender needs to know that your business is headed for success.
The reason so many online businesses are considered to be in the high-risk category is because that specific industry has caused lots of chargebacks in the past. Traditional banks will not approve high-risk businesses for accepting credit cards, typically.
A lot of individual creating a business online get their business license and DUNS number much later in the process, and this hurts their chances of being able to accept credit cards online from customers. Also, these individuals do not know how the PAYDEX score affects them.
If you are ready to start your application to be able to accept credit cards from customers, click on the box below!