Frequently Asked Questions
Accepted & Prohibited Businesses
- What Industries Does Soar Payments Accept As Clients?
- What Industries Does Soar Payments NOT Accept As Clients?
- Do You Provide Merchant Services For Non-USA Clients?
- I Have a Startup / Brand New Business, Can I Be Approved?
- I Have Bad Credit, Can I Be Approved?
- I Have No Social Security Number, Can I Be Approved?
- Is My Industry Considered Low Risk, Mid Risk, Or High Risk?
Completing The Application
- What Should I List As The Legal Business Name?
- What Should I List As My Expected Monthly Volume?
- What Should I List As The Average And Max Transaction Size?
- Can I List My Personal Bank Account For An LLC Or Corp?
- Am I Required To Have A Website When I Apply?
- Is A Credit Check Required and a Hard Pull?
- Do I Need To List My SSN On The Application?
Equipment & Payment Gateways
- Can I Get My Monthly Fees And Rates Reduced?
- When Are My Monthly Fees Paid?
- How Do I Update My Bank Account Information On File?
- What Is A Rolling Reserve And Is It Mandatory?
- What Happens If I Exceed My Monthly Processing Limit?
- Can I Request Additional Processing Volume?
- What Is An Acceptable Chargeback Ratio?
eCheck & ACH Payments
What Industries Does Soar Payments Accept As Clients?
Soar Payments specializes in mid risk as well as specific high risk industries (the terms “mid risk” and “high risk” are used here, from the perspective of the merchant services industry). We are proud to serve the following industries:
- Antiques & Collectibles
- Apparel & Clothing
- Bad Credit
- Bus Lines
- Cannabis Support Businesses
- CBD Oil & CBD Products
- Continuity/Subscription Products
- Country Clubs
- Credit Repair
- Credit Monitoring
- Debt Collection
- Digital Streaming
- Document Preparation
- Fantasy Sports
- Firearms & Ammunition
- Furniture & Home Furnishings
- Gyms, Fitness & Yoga
- Health & Beauty
- Hotels & Lodging
- Insurance / Warranty
- Legal Services
- Magazine Subscriptions
- Martial Arts
- Medical Billing & Coding
- Medical Supplies
- Membership & Recurring Billing
- MLM Companies
- Transportation & Moving
- Pawnbrokers & Pawn Shops
- Pet Products
- Precious Metals
- Pro Sports & Athletic Fields
- Property Management
- SaaS Companies
- Seminars & Coaching
- SEO / SEM / Ad Agency
- Smoking Accessories
- Sports Betting
- Survivalist & Tactical Gear
- Taxes and Accounting
- Ticket Agencies & Brokers
- Tobacco & Cigar
- Travel & Timeshare
- Vape / e-Cig / eJuice
- Web Design & Development
- Other Mid & High Risk
Please note, this is NOT a complete list; Soar Payments serves 50+ additional mid and high risk industries, too.
What Industries Does Soar Payments NOT Accept As Clients? (Prohibited Businesses)
There are several “high risk” industries or business classifications that we are unfortunately unable to serve. Soar Payments is unable to serve offshore & foreign businesses, any business that is headquartered, or operates, outside of the USA, or any business whose owner does not have a valid SSN and US issued identification (driver’s license, US passport, etc).
Additionally, Soar Payments does not provide merchant accounts for the following industries:
- Any Illegal Activity
- Debt Collection
- Debt Consolidation
- Debt Relief
- Gambling & Casino
- Hate or Racial Content
- Offshore & Non-USA Businesses
- Payday Loan / Cash Advance
- Tech Support
- Very Poor Credit
- MATCH List
Some of the above industries may be sometimes called “high risk,” but are actually classified as UHR (Ultra High Risk) within the merchant services industry. Soar Payments is unable to provide merchant services to businesses in UHR (Ultra High Risk) industries.
Do You Provide Merchant Services For Non-USA Clients?
Sorry, we are unable to provide merchant services for foreign or offshore businesses, or any company that is headquartered, or operates, outside of the USA. We are also unable to provide merchant services for any business whose owner does not have a valid SSN and US issued identification (driver’s license, US passport, etc).
I Have A Startup / Brand New Business, Can I Be Approved?
Yes, your startup or new business can be approved by Soar Payments for a merchant account. We love startups!
When applying, simply provide the owner’s personal bank statements, in lieu of business bank statements.
I Have Bad Credit, Can I Be Approved?
Yes. If you have a low credit score, your business can still be approved by Soar Payments for a merchant account. We will simply establish your merchant account at a sponsor bank which specializes in this.
Typically, a lower credit score will not be a deciding factor in an approval, but it can affect the monthly volume you get approved for. The underwriters may limit your initial monthly volume until you establish a proven track record of stable processing and then it can be increased.
If however you have NO credit history whatsoever, OR you have recently declared bankruptcy, OR you have a credit score below 500, underwriting is likely to decline your application.
I Have No Social Security Number, Can I Be Approved?
We require owners who are US citizens or legal residents and have a Social Security Number. Only having an EIN will be insufficient.
Is My Industry Considered Low Risk, Mid Risk, Or High Risk?
The category of high risk (as it pertains to credit card processing) includes businesses that meet one or more of the following characteristics:
- irregular or very high-ticket sales;
- in an industry with a history of high chargebacks;
- in an industry that large banks are “politically” unwilling to support; or
- in a highly regulated industry.
The category of mid risk (as it pertains to credit card processing) includes some (but not all) of these factors, but to a lesser degree. Your instant price quote from Soar Payments will reflect the classification of your unique business; based on your industry and application, your business may be classified as low risk, mid risk, or high risk.
How Do I Apply For A Merchant Account?
Step 1: Complete the online application (it takes 5 minutes).
Step 2: Upload or email the required additional documents.
Step 3: Review the full proposal (including pricing), and when ready, DocuSign it.
Step 4: Await underwriting approval; once approved, you can begin processing payments.
Are There Any Application or Set Up Fees For a Merchant Account?
No. While others that provide mid and high risk merchant accounts charge as much as $200 for an application or setup fee, Soar Payments does not charge any one-time setup or application fees for getting a merchant account through us.
What’s the difference between Stripe / Square / PayPal and a merchant account via Soar Payments?
Stripe and Square are what is known as Payment Facilitators or a “PayFac”. What this means is that when you sign up with Stripe, for example, you are given a sub-merchant account with them. They have the direct merchant account relationship with the bank.
With Soar Payments, we work to set you up with an exclusive Merchant Account with the bank. It’s your own merchant account, and because of this it requires more time to get approved. There’s an underwriting process, a credit check, and identity verification because the bank must do their due diligence before allowing you to have a merchant account with them.
For high risk businesses, this is by far the best option, because even though you can get set up with Stripe same day, if your business is prohibited, they will shut you down, sometimes without warning. With your own merchant account you know you’ve been approved by underwriters.
Do I Need To List My SSN On The Application?
Yes, your Social Security Number is required by the processing bank for the application as part of the credit and identity checks.
Soar Payments takes information security seriously, and your information is protected with SSL encryption. If you have any further concerns about providing this information, please feel free to call us.
How Long Until I Get Approved?
You’ll be pre-approved within 24 hours.
Next, you will usually be fully approved (that is, through underwriting) within 3 to 5 business days. Unfortunately, same-day approvals do not exist for mid and high risk businesses, due to the requirement that there be manual underwriting. In certain highly regulated industries, the underwriting process may take a few additional days.
Rest assured, however, that we will work as diligently as possible to get you approved in a timely manner (typically 3-5 business days). Our priority is to get your merchant account up and running as fast as possible.
How Long Until I Can Accept Payments?
Once your application is fully approved (that is, through underwriting), you can begin accepting payments within 24 hours.
Our Houston, Texas based customer support team will guide you through the set up process so you can start accepting payments as fast as possible.
How Long Do Payouts / Settlements Take?
Typically settlements are processed in 48-72 hours.
What Should I List As The Legal Business Name?
If your business is an LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, Inc. or other legal entity, the Legal Business Name should match the name of the business as filed with the state in which your formed the entity.
If you are a Sole Proprietor, your first and last name should be listed as the legal business name. If you conduct business under a business name, you can list that separately as the “Doing Business As” Name.
What Should I List As My Expected Monthly Volume?
A sponsor bank does not offer unlimited credit card processing to merchants. Consequently, businesses are required to apply for an expected monthly volume in credit card sales.
For existing businesses, we recommend applying for approximately 20% more than your existing monthly credit card sales.
For new businesses, if you don’t have a clear idea of your estimated sales, we recommend starting with a monthly volume between $5,000 to $15,000. You do not need to process the full amount, and should your business grow faster than you anticipated the bank can review your volume for an increase at a later time.
What Should I List As The Average And Max Transaction Size?
Your average transaction size is the transaction amount you charge, on average, for your services or products. Your maximum transaction size should be the maximum amount you typically anticipate charging for your services or products.
Can I List My Personal Bank Account For An LLC Or Corp?
Because you are applying as an LLC or Corporation, the processing bank is required to make deposits into a business checking account with the same business name on file. If you are an LLC or Corporation without a business checking account, you will need to open one before we can fully process your application.
Am I Required To Have A Website When I Apply?
Yes, if you’re applying for a merchant account to sell products or services via a website.
If your business is selling a tangible product, your website will need to show the pricing and products available for purchase. If you are only providing a service, a website or social media page with your business contact information will suffice.
Is A Credit Check Required?
Yes, the bank will need to run a credit check for the business owner on file. It is a hard credit pull. This helps underwriting determine the risk associated with providing a merchant account to your business, and is a required part of the application process.
What Additional Documents Are Needed For My Application?
You will need to upload or email the following documents to finalize your merchant account application:
- Voided Business Check: The voided check should match the business bank account where you want your customer’s credit card payments deposited. As an alternative to a voided check, underwriting will accept a letter signed or stamped by a bank representative, which lists your full or complete bank account and routing number, as well as the name on the account.
- Driver’s Driver’s License, Passport, Or Government ID: This ID must be for the listed owner of the business. This same owner will DocuSign the merchant account application.
- 3 Months Previous Business Or Personal Bank Statements: If your business has been operating, include your last 3 months of business bank statements. If it is a new business then instead include 3 months of the owner’s personal bank statements.
- 3 Months Previous Credit Card Processing Statements (If Applicable): These need to be downloaded or scanned copies of the full monthly statement, not merely screenshots. These are available through your old merchant account provider’s online login, or by calling your old credit card processor. For new businesses, or if you haven’t accepted credit cards in the past, omit this requirement. If, however, your bank statements indicate you’ve accepted credit cards in the past, you cannot be approved without providing those documents.
Why Are Bank Statements Required?
Bank statements help underwriting review a prospective merchant’s application and finances. Bank statements help to show if the business has prior credit card processing and what a business’ finances look like, both of which help substantiate the monthly processing volume requested on your application.
Why Are Previous Merchant Account Statements Required?
If your business has accepted credit cards in the past, you are required to submit a copy of recent merchant account statements from your previous credit card processor.
Like bank statements, previous merchant account statements help underwriting review an application from a risk perspective. Previous merchant account statements will provide underwriting with insights as to your business’ transactional history and analyze your refund and chargeback ratios.
Why Is Underwriting Asking Me For My PayPal, Square, Or Stripe Login Information?
Companies like PayPal, Square or Stripe are known as aggregators or payment facilitators, as opposed to traditional merchant account providers. Unfortunately, they do not supply traditional downloadable monthly previous processing reports like true merchant service providers. Instead they typically only supply an Excel spreadsheet as a downloadable report, which is susceptible to manipulation or falsification by the business.
As a result, the underwriter reviewing your merchant account application may require temporary login access to your PayPal, Square or Stripe account in order to verify your previous processing details. Once their review is complete, typically within 24-48 hours, you will be notified and you can change your password to something unique.
I Don’t Have Pre-printed Business Checks, What Can I Send Instead?
As an alternative to a voided check, you can ask your bank to provide you with a bank letter that contains the following:
- Name and Address of the Bank’s branch (preferably printed on bank letterhead)
- Full name on the account (business name if you are an LLC or Corporation),
- Full Routing Number
- Full Account Number
- Banker’s Signature or Verification Stamp
Which Credit Card Brands Can I Accept With My Merchant Account?
Your merchant account will have the ability to support all major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and ATM debit cards. Qualifying merchants can apply for American Express and Discover as well.
Do You Provide Credit Card Processing Equipment With A Merchant Account?
Yes, once your merchant account application is approved for retail processing, we will ship out your credit card processing equipment. Please let your Sales Representative know if you have specific equipment needs or prefer to have your existing equipment simply reprogrammed.
Do You Provide Payment Gateways With A Merchant Account?
Yes, we will set you up with a payment gateway if you have been approved for processing via MOTO or eCommerce. Please let your Sales Representative know if you have a payment gateway preference.
Which Payment Gateways Do You Work or Integrate With?
We primarily work with the NMI, Authorize.net and USAepay gateways, however, if there is a specific payment gateway you need to use, we can accommodate that.
What Is Load Balancing?
Load balancing is a feature of your payment gateway that will automatically divide your transactions across multiple merchant accounts.
This will allow your credit card processing to occur over multiple merchant accounts automatically without an manual changes being made on your end. This could be necessary if you are a high volume high risk merchant who uses multiple merchant accounts in order to process your total monthly credit card processing volume, or if you wish to manage risk over several merchant accounts.
Can I Get My Monthly Fees And Rates Reduced?
Yes. After you establish a history of stable credit card processing, usually 3-6 months, the bank can reevaluate your merchant account in order to reduce your per transaction or set monthly fee schedule. Note, however, that maintaining a stable chargeback ratio is typically a pre-requisite to having processing rates lowered.
When Are My Monthly Fees Paid?
On the first week of each month, your monthly fees for the previous month will be automatically debited from your business’ checking account on file.
Once approved, How Can I Update My Bank Account Information On File?
Please email our support team so that they can assist you with the bank account change. Once your request is received, a form will be sent to you via Docusign. We will also need a copy of your new voided check or bank letter to update your account information.
It typically takes 2-3 business days for the processing bank to approve the change request. Once submitted, a representative from the bank may call you to confirm the information listed on your change request form.
What Is A Rolling Reserve And Is It Mandatory?
A rolling reserve is a type of cash reserve used to protect the merchant account and the bank from potential losses due to chargebacks. A percentage of the credit card volume processed (typically 5-10%) is held in reserve. Risk management will gradually release held funds from the reserve after 6 to 12 months of consistent processing with low chargebacks.
For some businesses, to be approved for a merchant account a rolling reserve is mandatory, but can be reconsidered after you have established positive processing history with the bank.
What Happens If I Exceed My Monthly Processing Limit?
Since the monthly credit card processing limit is one of the approval terms of your account, exceeding that volume does have repercussions. Although you may see the customer’s credit card charges successfully go through, any funds processed in excess of your processing limit will typically be held by the bank for period of no less than 90 days.
Can I Request Additional Processing Volume?
The bank is able to accommodate monthly volume increases every three months. Typically the approval is contingent on your business’ credit card processing reflecting low and stable levels of chargebacks.
What Is An Acceptable Chargeback Ratio?
For applicants with previous credit card processing history, the bank will typically need to see a chargeback ratio under 2% for approval, unless there are extenuating circumstances which explain a higher chargeback ratio.
For existing merchants, the acceptable chargeback threshold to be able to continue processing can vary, but ideally should be maintained below 2% to avoid running the risk of termination.
Does Soar Payments Offer ACH & eCheck Processing?
Yes! Soar Payments is proud to offer ACH or eCheck Processing options for businesses, including those considered “high risk” by banks. For more information, please visit our ACH and eCheck Processing page.
How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For ACH or eCheck Processing?
Typically ACH or eCheck approval times are slightly shorter than credit card processing approval due to the lower risk profile of these payment methods. As such, approval typically takes two business days.
How Long Do eCheck Settlements / Payouts Take?
Much like approval, settlements for eCheck tend to take less time than for credit card processing. Typically you can expect to receive settlements / payouts next day.
Can My eCheck Account Be Integrated With My eCommerce Site?
Soar Payments is pleased to offer eCheck integration solutions for WooComerce, Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, LimeLight CRM, OpenCart, Ecwid, PrestaShop, and CS Cart. If you don’t see your platform listed here, please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs. We’re constantly working on adding support for new eCommerce solutions.
Why Are High Risk Processing Fees Sometimes Higher Than Low Risk Processing Fees?
Businesses that are considered “high risk” by banks pose greater financial risk to them. As such, you may find that high risk fees are greater than fees for lower risk businesses. Banks structure fees this way to provide themselves with additional protection, and because there are simply fewer banks willing to work with these business types.
Will Soar Payments Match or Beat Pricing Offers?
Due to our continued efforts to offer the most competitive rates from the start, we rarely find ourselves significantly out of line with pricing. However, if you have a pricing offer that is lower than what we’ve offered, we’re open to exploring matching or attempting to beat it.
In order to explore price matching, we would typically require processing statements to verify transaction history and pricing, or a verifiable offer from another merchant services provider.
You Accept “High Risk” Businesses, Why Did Mine Get Declined?
While we are proud to serve many businesses that are considered “high risk”, this does not mean we accept any type of business. There are still industries and products which banks will not work with, making us unable to offer credit card processing options. Please see our list of industries we accept and list of industries we do NOT accept to see if yours is among them.
Furthermore, there are sometimes application factors and requirements within industries that cause individual businesses to be declined even if we work with the larger industry.
Why Is It Necessary To Go Through An Approval Process For A Merchant Account?
Merchant accounts are essentially lines of credit extended to businesses, which puts processing banks at risk when transactions go poorly (leading to chargebacks or excessive complaints), the underlying business closes, or other problems such as fraud arise. Banks are liable both from a reputational and financial perspective in many cases.
Because of this, KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations, and beyond, banks must properly evaluate merchants before approving them.
Fortunately, Soar Payments is here to help you navigate the process and make everything as smooth as possible.
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