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How Do I Get a Merchant Account?

One of the most common questions is, how do I get a merchant account

If you’re in a low-risk industry, getting a merchant account that will allow your business to accept credit card payments probably won’t be too difficult. You just find a bank and apply for a merchant account. If you’re looking to shop around and have free time on your hands, maybe you will even take the time to apply to a few different banks. You’ll have so many options open to you that you’ll be able to compare merchant services options and maybe even pit the banks against each other to get them to agree to lower certain fees in the contract. Or maybe, if you don’t want to take the time to do all that you’ll just hire a consultant like Rapid Financial Solutions.

However, if you’re in an industry that banks and processors consider to be a high risk industry, that’s a whole different kettle of fish. The same holds true if you’re in an industry that is in a sort of legal grey area, like medical marijuana distribution or running an escort service. Banks are less likely to associate with you because of the possibility of legal troubles. If you’re in an industry known for having a high instance of fraud – such as fortune telling or multi-level marketing or selling health supplements – it can be difficult to open a merchant account even if your business is completely legit. Banks will want to avoid the possibility of a large number of chargebacks. In fact, even if you’re in a business that is considered to have a high level of fraudulent customers – such as bail bonds or pawn shops – it will be difficult to open a merchant account because banks will worry about the possibility of having to issue refunds because of transactions made with stolen credit cards.

If you’re in any of those industries, you won’t get to compare merchant services options from numerous different banks – in fact depending on what is happening in your industry, sometimes you won’t be able to find any bank that is willing to work with you. Instead, you’ll have to find a merchant services consultant who can represent your interests. Some merchant services consultants only help entrepreneurs who already have a merchant account so they can negotiate better rates with their existing financial institution. Contrary to most merchant service agents, you’ll want a company like Rapid Financial Solutions that specializes in helping high risk businesses get merchant accounts.

When you’re looking for a solid merchant services agent to help you, you need to find one who knows the difficult world of merchant services and is intelligent. The whole point of having a consultant for any issue, is the understanding that they know more about your issue than you do. Once you are closer to being approved, your merchant services consultant should be able to break every fee down for you once you have submitted all your paperwork and been approved, and they should be able to explain it in simple terms. Obviously you’ll also want to find one who is honest. Generally, people who are in desperate need of a service – such as, in this case, getting a merchant account – are inherently more likely to get taken, so do your research to make sure that the consultant you hire has a good reputation for honesty. Check on their customer service reviews – are there lots of complaints online? If so, you might want to look elsewhere. In the early stages of your merchant services relationship, you’ll want to make sure that your consultant always does what they say they will, as that’s a really good way to judge their ability to continue following through on the promises they make regarding your merchant account.

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