The high risk merchant industry is unique from the lower risk industry. Arturo Quintero of Painless Processing discusses some of the most common questions about the industry in general.
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Everything you Wanted to Know about the High Risk Merchant Industry
Everything You Wanted to Know About the High
Risk Merchant Credit Card Industry
Interview with executive Arturo Quintero
Arturo has been the chief marketing officer for
Painless Processing for over 5 years and has
been in the marketing arena for financial
services for over a decade. He specializes in
creating content about merchant services with
the goal to educate the consumer and help
businesses navigate through the variety of
services, allowing them to make the best
decisions for their business.
What do you do at Painless
I am the Chief Marketing Officer for Painless Processing. I am
responsible for the growth and placement of Painless in the
market. I am also responsible for creating awareness of our
capabilities and educating potential merchants about the industry
and available solutions.
What does Painless Processing do?
Painless Processing is the company you go to if your looking to
accept credit card payments for your business, whether on your
website or at your store.
What other services do you offer?
Well, we can provide a cash advance which is a very simple
business loan collateralized against your monthly processing.
We also help businesses electronically process checks received
in person or via phone. We also help with ACH processing, help
people get Point of Sale Systems for their restaurants or
whatever business, credit card terminals and cashless ATM
Why not just go through Paypal or
Authorize.net is a payment gateway that does not actually
process your cards but is just the interface that links your website
to your merchant account… We actually work with them as well
as other payment gateways. As for Paypal you can go though
them in many cases, but again, some businesses, like adult
themed, tobacco, guns and other industries that are considered
socially questionable or prone to legal issues get shut down by
these types of processors.
What are your rates and fees?
Rates and fees vary depending on several factors. In general, retail
businesses receive the lowest rates as they are typically card present
transactions whereby a card is swiped through a terminal and identification is
checked to assure the person using the card is the owner of said card and a
matching signature is captured. Retail card transactions that are entered
manually, also known as keyed transactions, as well as certain types of
rewards cards, business cards, and international cards may be subject to
higher rate structures. E-commerce businesses or Mail Order/Telephone
Order (MO/TO) businesses are typically viewed as high risk because
transactions are card-not-present and identification cannot be confirmed nor
a signature captured. Products and services that are subject to state or
federal regulation, age verification, recurring billing or bill in advance, high-
volume or high-ticket sales, or may fall into a grey area of legality typically
fall into the high-risk category as well. Rates and fees can be estimated prior
to a risk and liability assessment from underwriting but will only be confirmed
once this review is complete. Rates may be anywhere from .49% for the
lowest risk merchants to as high as 7.95% for the highest risk merchants or
higher if you are unable to qualify for a domestic merchant account. E-
commerce rates for high-risk fall anywhere from 2.75% to 5% on average. A
Painless agent will be able to give you a rate estimate after a brief
discussion regarding your business and billing model.
What types of businesses do you
Painless Processing accepts all types of businesses. Just
because you don’t see it on our site doesn’t mean we don’t have
a solution for you. Just call us.
I am using a specific shopping cart
for my e-commerce business. Do
you have compatible gateways that
will integrate with my shopping cart?
The simple answer is yes. Not all shopping carts integrate with all
gateways. And, not all gateways accept payments for certain
products or services based on their terms of service. Painless
Processing specializes in the utilization of gateways and will match
your business with the appropriate gateway and assist with the
integration process to make sure you are processing, painlessly. In
addition, Painless Processing can also assist with integrating
QuickBooks. A Painless agent will be able to tell you which gateway
to will best integrate with your shopping cart.
Do I need to provide other
documentation or information in
addition to the application?
Yes, the amount of additional documentation or information required
will depend on the product or service offered, the business model,
and the billing model. Low risk merchants are usually only required
to provide standard personal and business identification. High risk
merchants typically require more business and personal financial
documentation as well as other information pertaining to the specific
type of business. This is standard practice for high-risk merchants as
liability is greater. Painless Processing agents will help every
merchant understand the specific requirements associated with
applying for the appropriate merchant account. To learn more about
the required documentation necessary for high-risk merchants,
download our FREE supportive documentation and information
Do you check credit?
Yes, we check credit. We suggest that the individual(s) materially
involved the business that knowingly have the strongest credit
sign the application. If there is only one signer or if signers don’t
believe they have the strongest credit; they can explore having a
guarantor sign with them. However, the guarantor may be subject
to a review of personal financials by our underwriting team.
Likewise, signers with weak credit but extremely strong financial
positions may be able to work around credit constraints.
Additionally, adjusting the requested monthly processing volume
to fall within acceptable limits may help. We highly recommend
discussing your options with a Painless agent should you have
any credit concerns as they will be able to provide helpful
direction as to the best way to proceed.
How long does the approval
Low risk merchants can be approved the same day or next day of
receiving a completed and signed application and all supportive
documentation. They can be processing within 24-hours of being
approved. Approval for high risk merchants is typically 1 to 3
business days from the time that all documentation is received
but my take as many as 3 to 5 business days for more complex
Do I have to sign a contract?
Yes, contract terms vary depending on factors such as acquiring
bank, business or billing model, or exchange of hardware and are
typically 1 to 3 years in length. For example, contracts that
involve free placement of hardware such as POS systems usually
require longer time periods than those that just need a merchant
account. However, every bank is different and every contract has
a cancellation policy allowing you to opt out if necessary.
Do you have any cancellation fees?
There is usually some nominal value associated with the early
cancellation of any contract. Ultimately, Painless Processing
never wants to see any merchant cancel and will work with you to
try and resolve any situation that could result in the loss of your
business. However, in times of hardship where cancellation is
inevitable; we will do everything in our power to make an already
difficult situation as painless as possible.
If I went through bankruptcy is it still
possible to get a merchant account?
It is still possible but more difficult as the risk and liability level
associated with the signer increases significantly. It becomes
more difficult when that signer has judgments or leans against
them. Please inform your Painless agent if you’ve experienced a
bankruptcy so they can advise you on the best course of action.
If I am listed on TMF or MATCH can
I still get a merchant account?
You may still be able to get a merchant account; however, it is
difficult and based on the circumstance of your listing. In order to
see if you qualify for a merchant account you will need to discuss
you reason for being listed with a Painless agent.
Do I need to be PCI Compliant or
can you help me with this?
It is in the best interest of all e-commerce merchants to be PCI
compliant. Our solutions are PCI compliant and we will assist any
merchant in need of help making their site PCI compliant.
Do you have customer service or
technical support to aide me in
times of need?
Yes, once approved for a merchant account you will have 24-hour
customer service and technical support to assist you with any
and all aspects of your merchant account and gateway. This
includes installation, integration, and any other situations that
may arise throughout the lifetime of your merchant account.
Once I’m approved how difficult is it
to start processing?
It is a painless process. We will assist you with the installation,
integration, and any walk-throughs necessary to assure you are
comfortable with the software and hardware associated with your
merchant account. We are here to answer any questions you
may have and make payment acceptance process as simple and
easy-to-use as possible so that you can focus on your business
and your customers.
What is the future of this industry?
Wow that’s a long question. In short, its evolving rapidly. You
have things like Apple Pay, Square, Bitcoin coming into play. You
also have government regulations limiting what fees can be
charged. It’s a growing industry as things become more digital
and physical currencies go away but you need to be able to
Want to learn more about
merchant services offered by
Contact us today!