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Credit Card Processing – How to First Get a Merchant Account

Getting a merchant account must be a cake. After all, these providers will make money with every single transaction you make. But really, is it all that simple? The payments business is extremely competitive, and processors naturally want your business – but they must still do their due diligence before they approve an application.

Here are two steps that will help ensure your application gets approved:

1. Organize your financial statements.

Financial statements are the single best tool you can count on to leverage the best possible approval terms. Some people decide against providing financial statements when they apply for a merchant account. Usually, these are privately owned medium-sized companies that put a prime on their privacy. After all, company financials are very sensitive information about a business.

But from the view of a payment processor, this is a crucial mistake. Beyond anything, underwriters will want to know how financially stable an applicant is so they can gauge the company’s capacity to remain successful into the future.

Startup merchants, on the other hand, would do all in their power to have a strong balance sheet, knowing this would make a critical difference in their approval.

If you have worked hard to be where you are, it’s counterproductive not to use this successful history to get the most favorable terms of approval. So either you use your financial statements or prepare to set up a security reserve. Pull out your most recent balance sheet, profit and loss statement, as well as any notes your accountant may have made.

2. Look at your processing background.

A positive processing history is yet another very effective way of leveraging your application. More money traded and less chargebacks equal a stronger case. It’s rather simple: after having processed credit cards successfully before, why would anything change?

When available, supply no less than three months’ worth of processing statements. Three more months is going the extra distance, except when you’re trading high volumes or you sell high-risk products or services. In such a case, an entire year’s worth of statements will be necessary.

It will need a bit of work, but that’s better than having to put up a security reserve.

At the end of the day, your merchant account sales representative will be the best tool you can access as you prepare to submit your application. Ask whatever questions you may have, and listen very close to the answers provided. If things sound too positive, be skeptical.

Be as honest as possible with your expectations, and if you have any doubts, raise them upfront. Your processor should also be sincere in helping you get approved, leading to a long-term partnership that will be mutually beneficial.

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