You’ve gone through the arduous task of completing your high risk merchant application; weaving your way through an intricate maze of common information and not-so-easy to understand merchant industry jargon.  Although it seemed a little complicated at times, you brush your shoulders off in a confident self-congratulatory nod of accomplishment.  It feels great to know you’re on your way to accepting payments with nothing more than a little sweat off your brow…or so you thought.  You unknowingly are only knee-deep in the middle of the application process.  Fear not, you aren’t alone as every merchant has to provide some sort of supporting documentation, but there is a higher level of due diligence where high-risk merchants are concerned.  Fortunately, there are high risk merchant account providers like Painless Processing that walk their clients through the entire process.

I completed the high risk merchant application, is there anything else I need? 

Applying for a merchant account is not simply filling out an application.  You are submitting an application package to the bank and every merchant will have to supply supporting documentation.  All merchant applications are reviewed by an underwriting team to confirm all information is true and accurate.  In the case of high-risk merchant accounts, the underwriting process is a thorough risk assessment that confirms all information is true and accurate, all financial and credit history satisfy the requested processing volumes, and that the terms, conditions, policies, procedures, products, and services are fair to the consumer; at least to the best of underwritings ability.  The main reason the underwriting process is so thorough for high risk businesses is that merchant service providers have to take liability on those accounts and that liability can quickly spike from thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands and sometimes into the millions quicker than the blink of an eye.  So, while they are not a government agency or regulatory body; they need to protect themselves from the potential risk of loss and this is how they go about doing so.


What supporting documentation do I need for my high risk merchant account?

The amount of supporting documentation required within a merchant’s application package varies dependent upon factors pertaining to that particular merchant’s application package; however, there are certain documents all high risk merchants must provide regardless of what business they operate.   Those items are:

  • Identification
  • Proof of Business
  • Bank Statements
  • Proof of Bank Account
  • Marketing Material

Once you submit those documents along with a completed and signed high risk merchant account application; underwriting will begin the delicate risk assessment process.  Review of these initial documents will determine if there will be a need for additional documentation or information.


What additional information or documentation could they request?

There are a multitude of factors that determine what type of information or documentation is needed to satisfy underwriters.  It can be something as simple as a DBA filing to prove business association to more complex items such as sample call recordings, forms used during the sales process, business plans, or more intimate documentation such as contracts, legal documents, and financial documentation of the business or owners to prove they can be responsible for the processing volume requested on their application.


Certain industries, goods, and services have higher responsibilities than just supporting documentation.  Aside from documentation, additional registrations could be required.  For example, tobacco merchants need to register with Visa and MasterCard through the sponsoring bank on an annual basis.  This registration incurs fees for each card brand and must be renewed every year or the merchant account can be forcibly shut down by the sponsoring bank.


If you’d like to get greater details on the supporting documentation you will need to provide or what kinds of documentation are acceptable, please contact our high risk merchant account support.  Call us at (877) 996-2795 to discuss with one of our high risk merchant account experts what you will need based on your specific business.  If by chance you haven’t completed your online application yet; they will happily complete it for you over the phone in order to make your payment processing experience so easy… it’s Painless.

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