Ellen Cibula
Written by Ellen Cibula Payments, Finance, and AI Expert: Learn More

Getting a high-risk merchant account with instant approval can be a tempting proposition. It sounds too good to be true, and in most cases, it is. These accounts are offered by shady companies that are looking to take advantage of business owners who don’t know any better.


  • Instant approvals for high-risk merchant accounts generally do not exist.
  • Providers that offer instant approved merchant accounts may not be reputable.
  • Your fees may be higher if your merchant account is instantly approved.

In this blog post, we will explain the dangers of high-risk merchant accounts with instant approval and how to avoid them.

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How Do I Get a High-Risk Merchant Account?

If you are in a high-risk industry, have poor credit, or have a history of chargebacks and would like to accept credit cards, you will need a high-risk merchant account. However, because financial institutions want to provide low-risk customer accounts, getting a high-risk merchant account can become a difficult application process compared to the application procedure for a low-risk merchant account.

In some circumstances, you’ll need to supply more documents that support your business than those deemed low-risk as necessary during an elaborate underwriting process. The approval process can be complicated if there is not sufficient documentation included for approvals.

Does a High-Risk Merchant Account Instant Approval Exist?

When it comes to high-risk merchant accounts, instant approval is a bit of a misnomer. In most cases, it’s not possible to get an instant approval for a high-risk merchant account.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get approved quickly. In many cases, it’s possible to get approved for a high-risk merchant account within a few days.

The best way to ensure quick approval is to work with a reputable provider that specializes in high-risk merchant accounts. They will have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you navigate the application process and get approved as quickly as possible.

How Does a High-Risk Merchant Apply for a Merchant Processing Account?

The most commonly asked question has a relatively direct answer: obviously, you have to choose an account with an experienced payment processing service that is experienced in the handling of high-risk payments.

This service provides all the necessary information for completing the form. After this stage, you must gather and provide the appropriate documentation for the processor.

Your high-risk specialist is capable of identifying the best acquiring bank for your firm and offering long-term processor sustainability. When credit card processing approval is given to the customer, the bank will set up an automated payment gateway.

High-Risk Merchant Account Processing Solutions

High-risk merchants usually have to go through a more rigorous application process to be approved for a merchant processing account. This is because high-risk businesses are more likely to chargebacks and fraud.

To be approved for a merchant processing account, high-risk merchants will need to provide detailed information about their business, including their history of chargebacks and fraud.

You will also need to provide a security deposit, which will be held in case of future chargebacks or fraud. High-risk merchants may also be required to pay higher fees for their merchant processing accounts.

However, if you can provide detailed information about their business and demonstrate that you have adequate security measures in place, you should be able to obtain a merchant processing account.

Once you have your high-risk merchant account, you can set up your point-of-sale system to start accepting payments.

High-Risk vs Low-Risk Merchant Accounts

When it comes to merchant accounts, there are high-risk and low-risk businesses. High-risk businesses are those that are considered to be a higher risk for chargebacks or fraud. This can include businesses in certain industries, such as online gambling or adult entertainment. It can also include businesses with a high volume of sales, or those that have a history of chargebacks.

A low-risk business, on the other hand, is considered to be a lower risk for chargebacks or fraud. This can include businesses in industries with lower rates of chargebacks, such as retail or restaurants. It can also include businesses with a lower volume of sales, or those that have a good history of managing customer disputes.

When you’re choosing a merchant account, it’s important to consider whether your business is high-risk or low-risk. Depending on the level of risk, you may be required to provide additional documentation or to pay higher fees.

Why You Should Avoid Instant Approval Merchant Account Providers for High-Risk Businesses

Instant approval merchant account providers are companies that offer merchant accounts without first conducting a thorough review of the business. This may seem like a good thing, but it can be very dangerous for high-risk businesses.

Instant approval providers are more likely to approve businesses that are high risk, and these businesses may be charged higher fees or be subject to other restrictions.

Instant-approval providers also may not be able to provide the same level of customer service or protection as a company that takes the time to carefully review each business.

In addition, providers offering instant approval accounts may force long-term contracts or impose an expensive early termination penalty. These vendors may quickly approve your business for credit card processing and encourage you to sign the contract. Many even set up payment gateways for your high-risk merchant account before getting approval from backend processors. If the backend approval is refused, your account is canceled.

For these reasons, it is best to avoid instant approval merchant account providers when you are running a high-risk business.

Tips for completing a successful merchant account application

When it comes to high-risk merchant account applications, there are a few key things to keep in mind to increase your chances of success.

  • Be sure to fill out the application completely and accurately. Incomplete or inaccurate applications are often immediately rejected.
  • Be prepared to provide detailed information about your business. The more information you can provide upfront, the better.
  • Be honest about your business. Lying on your application will only hurt your chances of being approved.
  • Be aware that some merchant account providers may require additional documentation or information. If you are asked for something that is not listed on the application, be sure to follow up with the provider to find out what is needed.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of being approved for a high-risk merchant account.

How Can I Improve My Chances of Getting Merchant Account Approval?

The approvals are often long, but it is necessary to have a plan to accelerate things up and increase the possibility of obtaining a guarantee for a merchant. This procedure helps to avoid several difficulties that may cause a delayed application for credit card processing and processing.

Business Types That Are Considered High Risk

Several business types are considered high risk. These include businesses that deal with high-value items, businesses that operate in high-crime areas, and businesses that have a high number of customer complaints.

High-risk businesses are often required to take out special insurance policies and to adopt additional security measures. This can make it more difficult and expensive for these businesses to operate. As a result, high-risk businesses often have a higher rate of failure than other types of businesses.

The industries that fall within your industry can influence your risk level; some high-risk industries are adult-themed businesses, CBD businesses, multi-level marketing, gaming, and many others.

3 Warning Signs for High-Risk Instant Approval Merchant Accounts

When it comes to high-risk merchant accounts, there are a few warning signs that businesses should be aware of.

  1. If an account provider is promising instant approval, likely, they are not thoroughly vetting their applicants. This means that they could be approving high-risk merchants who may not be able to meet their obligations.
  2. Beware of account providers who require high upfront fees. These fees could be a sign that the provider is looking to make a quick profit, rather than provide a long-term solution for their clients.
  3. Avoid account providers who don’t offer transparency or detailed information about their terms and conditions. Without this information, it will be difficult to understand exactly what you’re agreeing to.

By being aware of these warning signs, you can protect yourself from high-risk instant approval merchant accounts.


How do I get a high-risk merchant account?

  1. Shop around for the right provider. Not all banks and financial institutions offer high-risk merchant accounts, so it’s important to shop around until you find one that does.
  2. Be prepared to pay higher fees. Because high-risk merchants are more likely to experience chargebacks and fraud, they often have to pay higher fees for their merchant accounts.
  3. Provide detailed information about your business. When you apply for a high-risk merchant account, the provider will want to know details about your business, including your average transaction size, chargeback history, and expected volume of sales.
  4. Have a backup plan in place. In case your high-risk merchant account application is denied, it’s always good to have a backup plan in place so you can still accept credit card payments from your customers. One option is to use a third-party payment processor that specializes in high-risk businesses.

How long does it take to get approved for a merchant account?

The amount of time it takes to get approved for a merchant account can vary depending on several factors, including the type of business you operate, your processing history, and your proven track record. Generally, high-risk merchants can expect to undergo a more extensive review process, as banks and processors are typically more cautious when it comes to approving these types of accounts.

That being said, the approval process for high-risk merchant accounts is not significantly different from that of standard accounts. In most cases, you can expect to receive a decision within 1-2 weeks.

However, if your application is flagged for manual review, it may take longer to get a decision.

Ultimately, the amount of time it takes to get approved for a merchant account is largely dependent on the discretion of the bank or processor.

What credit score is needed for a merchant account?

A high credit score is needed for a merchant account because high-risk merchants are usually charged higher fees. The high fees are due to the high risk of chargebacks and fraud.

A high credit score indicates that the merchant is less likely to default on their payments and that they’re more likely to be able to cover any chargebacks that may occur. As a result, high-risk merchants with high credit scores are often able to get lower fees and better terms from their merchant account providers.

So if you’re looking to get a merchant account, make sure your credit score is in good shape.

Does Square offer high-risk merchant accounts?

A high-risk merchant is a business that is considered to be high risk by credit card processors because they are more likely to experience chargebacks or fraud. This can be due to many factors, including the type of business, the size of the transactions, and the location of the business.

Yes, Square is a high-risk merchant account provider, which means that it offers credit card processing services to some high-risk businesses, like CBD businesses. This can be a valuable service for businesses that might otherwise have difficulty finding a processor willing to work with them. However, many industries are prohibited from using Square.

Final Thoughts

A high-risk merchant account can be a great thing for businesses that have been declined by other banks. It can provide access to the funds your business needs to grow and succeed. However, it’s important to be aware of the warning signs of a high-risk instant approval merchant account so you don’t get scammed. And, if you do need a high-risk merchant account, follow our tips on how to improve your chances of getting approved.

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