Payment Tips

How Long Does It Take To Get A Merchant Account?

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Taylor Stika
August 28, 2023


Generally it takes from two days to one week to get a merchant account, however, there are ways to qualify for instant approval and start processing payments immediately. The overall factors that dictate how long it takes include finding the account that you need, working with a company, and sharing your business details.

Each of these steps can take some time, but we'll delve into the intricate timeline of acquiring a merchant account, exploring the various stages and factors that influence the duration of this pivotal process.

Understanding the Merchant Account Application Process

The journey towards obtaining a merchant account involves several stages, each contributing to the overall timeline. Here's a breakdown of the process:

1. Research and Selection: Before applying for a merchant account, businesses must research and select a suitable payment processor or merchant service provider. This stage involves evaluating factors such as fees, services offered, and compatibility with the business's needs.

2. Application Submission: Once a provider is chosen, businesses submit an application to request a merchant account. The application collects essential information about the business, including its industry, processing volume, and financial history.

3. Underwriting and Review: The provider's underwriting team reviews the application and assesses the risk associated with the business. This stage may involve evaluating the business's credit history, financial stability, and industry risk.

4. Due Diligence: The underwriting team conducts due diligence to verify the accuracy of the provided information. This may include requesting additional documentation and performing background checks.

5. Account Approval: Upon successful completion of the underwriting process, the merchant account is approved. The provider notifies the business about the approval and outlines the terms of the account.

6. Account Setup: The provider sets up the merchant account, configures the necessary payment processing tools, and provides the business with access to the account's dashboard.

7. Gateway Integration: If the business operates online, integration of the payment gateway with the website or e-commerce platform is essential. This step ensures a seamless payment process for customers.

Factors Influencing Your Merchant Account Application

The timeline for obtaining a merchant account can vary significantly based on several factors:

1. Business Type and Industry: High-risk industries may require more extensive underwriting, leading to a longer approval process.

2. Application Accuracy: Accurate and complete applications expedite the review process, while incomplete or inaccurate information can cause delays.

3. Provider's Processing Speed: Different providers have varying processing times. Some may offer expedited services for businesses that need quicker approvals.

4. Underwriting Complexity: Complex underwriting requirements, such as thorough financial history analysis, can extend the approval timeline.

5. Application Volume: The volume of applications the provider receives can impact processing times. High application volumes may result in longer wait times.

6. Additional Documentation: If the provider requests additional documentation or clarification during due diligence, the timeline may be extended.

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Fast Merchant Applications

While there's no one-size-fits-all answer to the question "how long does it take to get a merchant account," understanding the stages of the application process and the influencing factors can provide businesses with valuable insights. It's important to approach the process with patience, ensuring that all necessary information is accurately provided to expedite the review and approval stages.

By selecting a reputable provider, preparing a comprehensive application, and adhering to the provider's guidelines, businesses can optimize their chances of securing a merchant account in a reasonable timeframe. Ultimately, the reward of accessing a secure and efficient payment processing solution makes the journey well worth the wait.

Get Started With
Zen Payments


Our merchant service specialists are the best in the business and will work with you from start to finish to get your account approved!

Ready to Start Proccesing?
Fill out this form and a merchant services representative will be in touch!

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Taylor Stika is the CEO and Founder of Zen Payments. With a background in the payment processing industry starting in 2015, Taylor has extensive experience in managing and optimizing payment systems. Under his leadership, Zen Payments has grown and developed into a reputable provider of high and low-risk payment.


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