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Why do applications and accounts gets declined?

We often have said to us "your website states you can accept most businesses and also high risk, so why did you decline me?"

Yes, we can provide merchant accounts to quite a lot of businesses, however we do have our limits as do the banks that we use. Remember it's not just the business model or processing volume that matters, it's also how you sell your product or service... plus a few other reasons.

Reasons why your application may get declined.

1. Business or industry

Sometimes an industry is simply too risky even though it may be legal.

When we talk about risk we mean the risk taken on by the bank or processor and is often due to the amount of Chargebacks that could come in that the bank would have to fund if it all went wrong - as well as the risk of large fines issued to them by Visa or MasterCard (often in the millions).

2. How you sell

How you sell your product or service is the second thing we look at. For example selling only via the phone (MOTO) or only via outbound sales is riskier then through a website as hard sell tactics can be, and often are, used.

One thing that often amuses us is when we receive an application for call-blockers (to block cold calls), and on the application they state that their only sales method is cold calling... most never see the irony.

3. Is it legal

This isn't always straight forward. Sometimes the product you are selling may be legal but how it can be used is not. For example we get a lot of enquiries regarding swegways (balance or hover boards) but can not help this industry because even though the swegway themselves are legal, you can not use them on public roads or footpaths.

4. Monthly volume vs transaction amount

A merchant who has a modest monthly processing volume of say £5,000 and an average transaction amount of £500 might raise a few questions. It is possible that the merchant only processes a small number of transactions each month, or it could mean the merchant is in fact hiding revenue???

A small note regarding this - On the application you will be asked to provide a monthly online turnover. These will most likely be guesstimates as 80% of applicants are new to cards. Because of this please do not over exaggerate these estimates as they can in fact seriously hinder your application. Certain applicants think by exaggerating the amounts we will be more keen to help them. However this is not the case and will in fact make you look riskier.

5. Country of incorporation

There are certain countries in which acquiriers and payment processors simply can't do business with. These countries may include ones known for corruption or may be more of a political hot potato (a problem so controversial and sensitive that it is risky to deal with). These include Russia, several African nations and more obvious ones such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria etc. but also some lesser known ones such as North Cyprus.

There are also specific countries from which the banks do not allow transactions. These countries must be removed from a websites drop down list when a customer is completing their order.

6. Processing history

This is mainly needed when setting up high risk or adult accounts. The banks and processors that we use to set-up high risk accounts like to see at least 3 - 6 months worth of processing with the same bank. Processing history that is shared amongst two or three banks in a short period of time can often mean that the account kept being shut down.

It can also mean that you have several processors that you use and we would be one of many. Therefore who's to say that the processing volume you provide would in fact be processed by us?

There are exceptions to this as certain industries, such as gaming, will often have several processors being used at once to spread their own risk. This is perfectly understandable.

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Want to speed up your application? Simple but effective ways to speed everything up

As part of the application process, and only done once we have received all the relevant documentation back and we start to process your application, we perform four main checks.

Want to know what questions you will be asked as part of the application? Click here to learn more

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Simply choose and click on your business from the drop down menu and we will redirect you to the account we can provide

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