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What You Need to Know About Instant Approval Merchant Accounts

Cash flow and payment processing. Without a doubt, the biggest issues on every business owner’s mind at any point in their journey are cash flow and payment processing. Without payment processing, merchants are unable to process cashless payments, which quickly affects their bottom line and the overall customer experience.

Of course, changes and processes take time – time many merchants simply don’t have. When they find themselves in this spot, many business owners consider an instant merchant account. While there really is no such thing as “instant approval”, there are definitely providers that are faster than others. With their services, your business can get back on track and accept cashless payments seamlessly.

The Truth About Instant Approval Merchant Accounts

As stated, no company can really offer “instant approval” for a merchant account, despite the many “instant approval merchant account with no credit check” ads you occasionally stumble across. But some providers are able to help you speed up the process.

A high-risk merchant is one that traditional providers consider too risky for one reason or another, from high chargeback rates to poor or no credit. While low-risk businesses can get approved within a couple of days, these high-risk merchants have to wait weeks because of the more extensive investigation required into the business’ history. This is why many merchants turn to “instant approval” merchant accounts.

What Instant Approval Actually Means

Typically, an instant approval merchant account will take 24-48 hours, much faster than what is normal, but not “instant”. The process involves first being approved by your fast-approval merchant account provider. With many providers today, this usually means filling out an online application. Second, you must be approved by the acquiring bank or back-end processor (responsible for underwriting your account and processing your transactions). This whole process could take anywhere from three days to five weeks.

How to Improve Your Chances for Approval

The following steps and actions can help you speed up this process even further:

  • Partner with a high-risk specialist. A team like ours at First American Merchant will have years of experience in providing services to “high-risk” merchants, ensuring there is a good chance of approval before you devote your valuable time to the application process.
  • Be upfront about your history. If you’re operating in a high-risk industry like medical marijuana, make sure you give all the details. Do not misrepresent any of the facts. Be honest about everything to increase your chances of approval.
  • Gather the right paperwork. You’ll need to provide certain information to apply for an instant approval merchant account. While it’s nowhere near as long as a traditional provider, you will still need to supply basic documentation requirements. Preparing beforehand will save a significant amount of time during the process.

The bottom line: avoid promises that seem too good to be true, and compare all of your options. Make sure the provider specializes in working with businesses like yours. Preparing everything on your end ahead of time will also help speed up the application process, so your business can get back to what it does best.