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Merchant account is a contract between a business and a bank or a financial institution. This contract ensures that the bank accepts payments for the products or services on behalf of the business. These Credit Card acquiring banks ensures that a merchant or company can accept payment from international customers for the products or services they deliver. Thus merchant accounts form a vital part of any E-commerce business.

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There are two types of merchant accounts. First is the normal account, where the Credit Card can directly access the card and ensure that it is a legitimate customer, thereby the risk involved is minimal. The second type of Credit Card involves the accounts where it is not possible to visually testify the customer. These types of accounts include adult entertainment merchants, online tobacco merchants, replica merchants, online gambling merchants, pre-paid calling merchants, VOIP merchants, multilevel marketing merchants, or any transaction that takes place with the customer physically not present. Thereby, the possibility of fraud activity is much greater with this type of business which results in classifying these types of accounts as “high risk” ones. Naturally, these high risk merchant accounts present the risk of the dreaded charge backs for the banks in question. It has been proved by various researches that these high risk processing transactions are more susceptible to fraudulent transactions.

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High-risk merchants such as telemarketers, Internet/e-commerce businesses, merchants in the travel and cruise industries, businesses that conduct Internet auctions, and businesses offering membership clubs may face difficulty opening a merchant account.

Just because you have a high-risk business it does not necessitate the fact that you cannot open any merchant account, you would be required to open a high-risk account. The banks and independent organizations that provide merchant account services will evaluate your case on the basis of certain information such as how long you've been in business, your credit history, and any previous merchant accounts you've held.

The providers would also check on information such as default payments and charge backs on your previous merchant account. If there are too many of these then it could create a negative impact on opening a future account.

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