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Apply For A Merchant Account

Apply For A Merchant Account

To apply for a merchant account, contact a payment processor who works within your industry. There are many payment processing companies out there who have different standards for the types of businesses they work with. Moreover, there is a range of fees and regulations associated with each of them. 


If you want a custom merchant account for your business you should go through a high risk merchant account provider. These companies learn about the specifics of your company and connect you with the right bank who will support your business model. They’ll also negotiate on your behalf to make sure you get the lowest fees possible.

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Merchant Account Application Process

The merchant account application process starts with some basic research. Initially, you’ll find there are large providers like PayPal, who can instantly approve accounts. However, they have strict Terms and conditions regarding the business types they allow. This is true for all types of aggregate merchant account providers. To elaborate, aggregate providers pool groups of merchants together in the same banking entity where high risk merchant account providers offer individual accounts customized to your business. 



The goal with your research is to match up your desired outcome to the right provider. Some important items to consider are the fees, integration capabilities, and most importantly how sustainable your account is.

Deciding Between Aggregate Vs High Risk Merchant Accounts

Making the choice between an aggregate vs a high risk merchant account comes down to one important factor, the industry your business operates in. If you are in a vertical listed below, it’s likely aggregate providers will drop your account even if they approve it initially. Here are some key high risk verticals to help you distinguish which provider to choose: 


  • Adult – Any company in the adult space has age regulations and may even have unique forms of two way payment such as rewarding streamers for their entertainment. If you run an adult site like Onlyfans, you’ll need a payment processor that is experienced in the space. 
  • Bad Credit – If you have bad credit or run a credit repair service, then there’s an inherent risk for banks. It may be the case that customer’s struggle to make payments or chargebacks occur at higher rates. Custom payment processing is your choice for a sustainable merchant account.
  • CBD – CBD, hemp, Delta blends or any alternative products such as Kratom all need high risk payment processors to accept credit cards through an ecommerce shop.
  • Firearms – Needless to say there is some risk for big-named brands to associate themselves with firearm sales. They don’t want to undertake a reputational risk and diminish their value. As such high risk processors cater to this vertical 
  • Nutraceuticals – Ingestibles, vitamins, supplements and any type of weight loss or growth enhancers are all in a unique place because they fall outside of FDA regulations. Be sure not to make medical claims about your product and ask your merchant account provider about the terminology that the banking entity approves of.

Fill Out The Application

The next step in the application process is to fill out the online application. Here you will share your business information such as your Tax Id Number, past processing statements, and how long you’ve been operational. The more detailed information you provide helps the underwriting team create a more custom solution for your needs.

Underwriting and Approval

Lastly, the merchant account provider will review your application and the supporting documents you provided. They will contact you if anything is missing, otherwise, if your package is complete they’ll write a contract and submit it to the bank for approval. Once the bank signs off their approval you’ll be ready to go.

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