When you have a high-risk business, you are well-acquainted with the numerous challenges your business faces in order to keep your doors open. The most important order of business is to ensure that you have a reliable and well-equipped merchant account to help you dodge the most serious offenders and threats to your operation: fraud and chargebacks.
But what happens if you come across provider after provider, refusing to offer you merchant account services for fear of the great risk they will incur? Where do you turn to? A high-risk merchant account provider will be your best solution to get your business set up to accept both credit card and debit card payments seamlessly and securely.
What Is “Instant Approval?”
Now that you are ready to scout the market for the best high-risk merchant account provider, you feel like time is ticking and you need to get some revenue into your bank account right away. You come across some providers that offer “instant approval”, which is exactly what you need…or is it?
Instant approval or “guaranteed instant merchant account approval” is something that a merchant account provider will advertise. However, you need to read the fine print. What they define as “Instant” may actually take a day or two to approve your account. Still, this is far quicker than the traditional process. Merchant account providers tend to follow a “two-step process” that goes like this:
- The high-risk merchant account provider you choose will “initially” approve you for a merchant account.
- The payment processor (usually a bank or private corporation) will give the ultimate and final approval of your merchant account.
Proceed With Caution
Before you proceed, a word of caution…instant approval doesn’t actually exist. These are false claims made by swindling merchant account providers, ready to trap you into a long-term contract.
You could still be in the first step of the process and with no guarantees for getting approved in the second and final step. What’s worse, if you try to terminate your contract before your contract ends, you will also be subjected to an Early Termination Fee (ETF).
Another catch? Those account providers who perform these pre-approvals may be quicker. However, that is because they don’t perform a credit check. This significantly increases your potential for risk with processors.
Your payment processors must have expertise in high-risk merchant accounts. What you don’t want is for your processor to abruptly shut down your account. After all this, for a high-risk merchant account, you could still be looking at 3-5 business days to get final approval.
How To Apply For A High-Risk Merchant Account With Faster Approval?
Although we can now lay to rest the notion that there is such a thing as “instant approval”, we can explore a better alternative. And that is to have all the necessary documentation ready to submit to your chosen provider for a more “timely” approval.
Here are just some of the documentation you can expect a merchant account provider to ask for:
- Business Banking Statements (for the past 3-6 months)
- Business Model
- Valid ID (Drivers License, Passport)
- Supplier Contract (if you are a retailer)
- Personal Banking Statements
- Screenshot of your E-Commerce Site
Remember that having a higher credit score can greatly increase your chances of approval. If there are dings in your credit score or outstanding debt, take care of those immediately.
Don’t Fall For It
Although it’s incredibly tempting to pursue instant approval, don’t fall for it. Know that it is not what it seems and it can cost you dearly once you move forward with this process. Don’t allow “predatory processors” to take advantage of your desperation. Take the time to find trustworthy providers that will take the time to analyze your background carefully, producing the best solution for your business.