High Risk Merchant Account Application

Insider Tricks to Successful High Risk Merchant Account Application

Many merchants complain about the lack of information when it comes to high risk merchant account application. It's not that there's no information at hand; it's more likely because merchant account providers do not provide standard customer service or are simply too lazy to share the nuts and bolts that the applicants need.


For example, a merchant may have already submitted his application before the merchant account provider (MAP) reveals the improbable terms: that he may not receive payment until x number of months or that he may not be approved for a merchant account unless he changes his marketing plan. When this happens, the worst case scenario is that the merchant's application may never be approved. If the company doesn't offer a money back guarantee, he may lose money even before he earns it.

The dark side of high risk merchant application involves a possibility that the MAPs may take long to approve your account. The reason is that they need to assess your business in relation to the rate of frauds and chargebacks that might be incurred. Also, you may spend more on fees than a regular merchant account.


However, it's never a dead end road for the high risk merchant. Here, I have compiled a list of some insider information you might want to check out first before diving headlong into your high risk/offshore account application.

  • Some accounts may be approved within 24 hours.

  • When it's offshore (account) there is less likelihood that it will be declined.

  • Merchants with bad credit rating can still apply and get approved.

  • There's no need to open a new bank account as the funds get transferred directly to the merchant's bank of choice.

  • Most high risk merchant account providers require from as small as $10,000 to $50 million on monthly credit card sales volume.

  • MAPs will provide pricing quotes after analyzing the merchant's business' status. The following are likely criteria for pricing the application:

1. business profile

2. personal credit of the owner

3. business lifespan

4. monthly processing volume

5. business solvency

6. processing history

7. fraud / chargebacks history

  • Some MAPs require minimal volume caps or none at all.

  • Merchants may choose your own international bank.

  • Merchants previously listed under terminated merchant file (TMF) list still get a chance to get their application approved, as long as they were not involved in fraud in the past.

  • When merchants apply for an offshore merchant account, they do not have to spend for credit card terminal or software to process your transactions.

  • Merchants may also accept a good number of international currencies as well as have the ability to offer other payment processing options such as by fax, phone, or e-mail.

  • Merchants may start accepting credit card payments in a matter of a week as soon as their application has been approved and the terminal or software has been set up.


Now, for businesses who have originally planned to go the route of offshore merchant account application, there is no need to convince them of the benefits they will earn. Going the offshore way means getting a ton of perks when it comes to taxation. Internal bank policies in international banks are not as strict as U.S. banks. The drawback is the higher processing costs and a holdback on proceeds as reserve to protect them against chargebacks in the future.

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