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Best Merchant Accounts for Bad Credit

For some, obtaining a merchant account can be problematic. This is usually due to poor credit ratings, whether they be personal or business related. There are many merchant account providers, however, who accommodate businesses that would otherwise be prohibited from accessing the vital services.

What is Bad Credit

A bad credit rating can cause a myriad of problems for an individual or businesses, including leading to many merchant account providers refusing to offer their services. Bad credit is caused by the failure to meet repayments of previous loans or credit agreements, repossessions and even refusal of other types of services can be enough for some to refuse service.

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There may be some restrictions and extra charges, more on those later, incurred for those with a poor credit rating. Bankruptcies will generally stay on your record for ten years and will almost certainly impact your chances of being able to open a merchant account with many providers.

Banks are typically the most cautious when offering merchant accounts to businesses and as a result you may not be able to access the services of the more traditional providers. Thankfully, there are alternatives.

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There are many online merchant account providers that do not require a credit check in order for you to use their services. Paypal, for example, is a popular method of sending and receiving money through card payments over the Internet.

There are other options but you should be sure that the service you sign up for is both trustworthy and does not incur excessive fees for its use as these can add up to enormous sums very quickly.

It should be noted that these methods are only suitable for sending and receiving payments through linked bank accounts and do not provide the same range of payment options as merchant accounts.

Specified Services

Some merchant account providers are expressly designed to work with companies with bad credit ratings. Although the acceptance rate at which businesses can access these services is as high as over 99%, due to risk, and desperation of some businesses, fees can be extortionate.

This is not to say that bad credit will always lead to higher fees and restrictions, however. Bad credit is an umbrella term that is used to describe a vast array of credit problems for businesses and some high street banks are more open to provide their services to customers than others. As long as you are dealing with a reputable merchant account provider, which means researching the industry thoroughly, you should be able to find terms that suit your needs.

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Best Providers

Assuming your high street bank has turned you down and online services such as Paypal or Nochex are not suitable, finding a reputable merchant account service that is accepting of businesses with bad credit is the next step. While extra charges and higher fees are to be expected, they need not be problematic if you find the right provider. Some of the most reputable include:

  • Chronopay
  • Web Merchant
  • Card Safe


Chronopay are one of the most popular non-traditional merchant account providers, partly due to their accessibility to businesses with poor credit ratings. Low transaction fees, multiple card acceptance and alternative payments are all catered for through their service and no monthly charges are incurred.

Web Merchant

Web Merchant are one of the more reliable options for businesses with a bad credit rating. Although customers do incur some high charges, a £200 set up fee and monthly charges for example, the month by month contract allows for a high degree of flexibility and weekly payments are welcomed by their customers.

Card Safe

Part of the World Pay group, the most widely used merchant account device providers in the UK, Card Safe supply a range of devices and services to suit the needs of businesses with poor credit ratings. As businesses with credit issues require extra support from their merchant account provider, Card Safe are a highly sought after and celebrated option both within the industry and with their many clients.