reasons CC processor application denial

If you’re a small business owner or manager who was recently declined on an application with a new credit card processing company, you might be wondering why. You may have done everything right in the application process, only to find you were denied for one of several potential reasons.

At Merchant Card Advisors, we’re happy to provide credit card processing services for a variety of small business types, including for high-risk lenders and other business types that may deal with declines from certain other merchants. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over some of the reasons that might be behind your business being declined by certain processors, plus some tips on how to deal with some of these conditions so you don’t run this risk moving forward.

High-Risk Business Type

In many ways, applying for credit card processing services are similar to applying for a loan of any kind. You have to meet certain qualifications from the processor in question, and one such qualification is the sort of category your business is part of.

This is nothing personal, but rather a way of protecting the company’s own interests. If your business is one of the types that many processors consider high-risk, it may be on some prohibited businesses lists, which will mean applications with such processors will generally be denied. Luckily, there are many other processors, including ours, who work with a wider range of clients, including potentially high-risk ones.

Personal Credit History

Another major factor here will be your personal credit history, which will be checked for the personal signing as the guarantor of the account. Processors are looking for red flags like past negative balances, overdrafts, missed payments or other significant issues that signal you are not necessarily trustworthy.

In addition, they’ll check to ensure sufficient funds are in your account, and that you can cover fees they charge. If the person signing for your business has poor credit or improper cash flow coming into the account, there’s a chance the application will be denied.


Also known as the Terminated Merchant File (TMF) or Match list, this is a list no one wants to be on. It’s something of an industry blacklist among credit card processors, tracking merchant accounts that have been terminated for some reason or another by a processing company in the past. Avoiding the MATCH list means ensuring all your previous merchant accounts are paid off, including fees or outstanding bills owed to credit card companies.

For more on some of the reasons why your application with a new credit card processor may have been denied, or to learn about any of our high-risk payment processing services, speak to the staff at Merchant Card Advisors today.

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