As you may expect, our rates and fees are influenced by a number of factors. For the lowest risk merchant, typically a retail business, it may be as low as 0.49%. This is because these businesses generally experience card present transactions, meaning the card is physically there and swiped through a terminal, combined with identification and a matching signature. Keyed transactions, where the card’s information is entered manually rather than swiped, is regarded as slightly higher risk, as are transactions involving things such as rewards cards, business cards, and international cards. As a consequence, higher rates may be applied. Following this in risk are E-commerce and Mail Order/Telephone Order (MO/TO) businesses. These are subject to higher fees because neither the card nor the purchaser is present, and so identification cannot be verified, and a signature cannot be captured. There are further factors which also influence the fee structure applied: Products and services which are subject to legal regulations, those which require age verification or have similar restrictions, recurring billing, billing in advance, high-volume and high-ticket sales, and anything which falls into a legal grey area. As a consequence of these numerous factors it is not possible to set out fees without inspecting your business, though generally the aforementioned 0.49% is the lowest range whilst it is uncommon to exceed 7.95% (though possible in certain situations) for high risk merchant accounts. High-risk E-commerce rates typically sit between 2.75% and 5%. It is possible for agents to estimate your rates and fees following a short discussion of your business and billing model, and your various risk factors. However, only upon completion of a risk and liability assessment can rates and fees be confirmed.
2. Should I provide any other documentation or information, in addition to the application?
- Yes, although exactly what we require will vary according to factors such as your business model, the products and services you offer, and the billing model. Generally speaking low-risk merchants only need to provide standard personal and business identifications. However, high risk merchants must often provide more in the way of documentation, because the liability is increased. These take the form of additional business and personal financial documents and, where appropriate, other information related to the specific type of business in question. High-risk merchant account providers always have agents ready to help you identify the appropriate merchant account for your business and understand the requirements in applying for it. Furthermore, you can download a variety of files which provide information on the kinds of documentation that may be required for various merchant accounts.
3. I don’t see my business listed on your website. Do you accept my type of business?
- Yes, we absolutely do. High-risk merchant account providers usually accept all kinds of business, and if a website does not list it, that’s only because of limitations of space. We are sure to have a solution for you, so please contact us today to speak with one of our experienced and highly knowledgeable agents, who can set you on the right path for payment processing for your business.
4. How long does the approval process take?
- As with many elements of merchant accounts, it varies depending a number of aspects of your circumstances and business. Generally speaking a low-risk merchant can be approved within 24 hours of our receipt of the completed, signed application, along with all supportive documents. Often this occurs on the same day as receipt. High risk merchant accounts, understandably, do take longer to process, generally 1 to 3 days from receipt of all documentation. In particularly complex circumstances, it may take 3 to 5 days to review and process everything.
5. Do you perform credit checks?
- Yes, we do check applicant’s credit. Our advice on this front is for the the individual or individuals with the strongest credit, among the group materially involved in the business, sign the application. Should there be only on signatory, or if they believe they do not have the strongest credit, there is also the option of having a guarantor sign with them. This guarantor would themselves be subject to possible review of personal finances by our underwriting team, so ensure they are aware of this and willing to comply. Furthermore, if a signatory has weak credit, but is otherwise in a strong financial position, it may be possible to work around the normal credit constraints. Similarly, making adjustments to the requested monthly processing volume could help change the credit requirements, so there may be scope for you to improve your situation there. However, we must stress that we recommend speaking to one of our Painless agents about your unique situation, should you have concerns about your credit situation, as they will be able to provide advice and direction on how to proceed.
6. Do I have to sign a contract?
- It is necessary for high risk merchant account providers to require contracts, yes. The nature of these contracts will change according to numerous factors, including the acquiring bank, business, and billing models. Additionally a contract which involves the exchange of hardware (Such as free placement of Point of Sale systems) will usually be part of a longer contract than one which only needs a merchant account. Contracts are typically 1 to 3 years in length, although remember that every bank is different and contracts have cancellation policies which permit you to opt out if you find it necessary.
7. If I have been through a bankruptcy, is it still possible for me to get a merchant account?
- Bankruptcy does not create an absolute barrier to merchant accounts, but it is usually more difficult as the risk and liability levels are considered somewhat higher than usual. Problems can arise if your signatory has judgments or liens against them. In all such circumstances, it is necessary to talk to an agent in depth about the situation and see what their advice on moving forwards is.
8. Do you levy cancellation fees?
- Yes, there are usually fees associated with the early cancellation of a contract. However, Painless Processing never wants to see a merchant cancel, so we are always ready to work with you to resolve a situation that could result in such an eventuality. We understand that in certain high risk merchant accounts, these events can occur, and our own flexibility can make an important difference to you. Where possible these fees are kept to a nominal level, and we understand that in the unhappy event of a lost business, we will do everything in our power to handle the situation with a minimum of difficulty and pain.
9. If I am listed on TMF or MATCH, can I still get a merchant account?
- It is not possible to offer a definitive answer, as it fundamentally depends on the circumstances on your listing. It will certainly be more difficult than usual, especially if it is a high-risk merchant account, but it is not impossible. We advise you to discuss the matter with an agent directly, as they will be able to assess your reason for being listed and advise you on what steps might be appropriate to take.
10. Must I be PCI compliant, or can you help me with this?
- It is always in the interests of a business to be in compliance with PCI standards and high-risk merchant account providers invariably adhere to PCI compliance in their own solutions. However, if you are not yet at that point, we will assist any merchant in making their site PCI compliant, ensuring security for all.
11. If I use a specific shopping cart for my e-commerce business, do you have compatible gateways that will integrate with it?
- Yes – with a few caveats. There are sometimes compatibility issues between shopping carts and gateways, and some gateways refuse payments for certain products and services due to their terms of service. However, we specialize in such gateway integration and will ensure that we can match your business with an appropriate gateway, as well as assisting with the integration to make sure you are able to start processing as quickly as possible.
12. Do you have customer service or technical support available if I require it?
- Yes. Once you are approved for a merchant account, you will gain access to 24-hour customer service and technical support. These will be ready to assist you with both your merchant account and gateway, including the installation and integration as well as any other situations that might occur during the time you have a merchant account.
13. Once I’m approved how difficult is it to start processing?
- It is a very easy process, even if you have a high-risk merchant account. We will help you with the installation and integration of the technology of your merchant account, and we will provide any help and walkthroughs necessary to make sure you are comfortable. Furthermore we are always here to provide help with any aspect of your merchant account, be it financial or technical, and we wish to make the whole process as simple as possible so that you can focus your attention on your business and on your customers.