Merchant Accounts

Merchant Accounts


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Business Merchant Account

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Business Merchant Account Guidelines

A business merchant account is available on an auto-approval basis to many enterprises--retail, service, restaurant--in which 90% or more credit card transactions are card swiped. Other requirements include an acceptable kind of business; auto-approval is not available for high-risk businesses, such as cruise lines, dating services, and travel agencies. These may be eligible, though, for high-risk merchant accounts.

Meeting auto-approval criteria means approval of the account even if the owner's personal credit history is less than perfect. If your average transaction amount is less than $300, you may be eligible. Look to see if you meet other criteria for a business merchant account if your monthly Visa and MasterCard volume is less than $200,000.

Guidelines for Other Businesses

If you have a mail order business, or take orders online, or accept payments at trade shows, auto-approval is available if your monthly Visa and MasterCard volume is less than $10,000, and your average transaction is less than $300. Other criteria include having less than 90% of your transactions card swiped, and future service liability less than 30 days. Again, high risk enterprises, such as buying and shopping clubs, are not eligible for these types of accounts, but may be in line for high-risk accounts.

Just because you do not meet all the criteria for auto-approval does not mean you cannot get a business merchant account. Check the list of items in merchant account information that you can use to obtain a regular account with supporting documents. These include an owner with a good personal credit history, and business/personal financial statements or tax returns.

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