Collection Agency Merchant Accounts

Fast Approval + 25% Lower  Fees

First Card Payments has over 20 years experience as a collection agency merchant processor. We are the EXPERTS.

Unfortunately, debt collection agencies have a bad reputation. Since the 2008 financial crisis and recession, there have been a number of unsavory debt collectors charging customers high fees, using scare tactics and some crossing the lines of decency by using harmful debt collection methods.

Fast Approvals for Collection Agency Merchant Accounts

The First Card Payments team can get you approved for a debt collection merchant account quickly.

We have spent years building relationships with banks and ISOs and we use our experience and our good standing in the community to ensure that your business is given access to an merchant account. We are more than just a high risk merchant card processor, we are on your team!

Why High Risk

The debt collection industry is plagued with consumer complaints and a majority of those complaints are not made in good faith.

Unfortunately, there just seems to be a lot more concern by the banks when it comes to the number of chargebacks. Since the typical debt collection client already has a history of defaulting, this makes them notorious for calling the issuing bank and initiating a chargeback. Like in almost all industries that are considered high risk by the banks, you need to have in place a great chargeback mitigation program.

The banks and Independent Sales Organizations (ISO’s) give a little more leeway to high risk type industries than traditional industries. Traditional industries are allowed up to 1% chargeback ratios without causing concern to the banks or ISOs. The high risk industries are typically allowed to carry higher chargeback ratios depending on the particular Bank or ISO without causing them concern. Good news, this is at least 1 advantage to being considered a high risk industry.

Not all debt collection companies are the same when it comes to being compliant. Lack of compliancy and bending the rules by certain debt collection companies has caused the industry to be considered high risk by the Banks & ISOs.

Your collection agency merchant account is necessary and First Card Payments will guide you to ensure your account is always in good standing.


First Card Payments has multiple domestic solutions for the Debt collection industry. Many of our 30+ relationships with Banks & ISOs are accepting debt collection companies. Have everything in order and approvals are fast and easy and our terms are the best in the industry. When it comes to the Debt Collection industry First Card Payments considers it like a low risk industry as far as your fees are concerned. Whether you’ve been in business for 20 plus years or you are relatively new. After speaking with one of our representatives you will have a smile on your face.

Why First Card Payments

  • No application or setup fee’s unlike just about everybody else. We don’t believe in nickel and diming you or hiding fees that you won’t see till later.
  • Most times there will be no Early Termination fee’s or Cancellation fee’s, which means this agreement is month to month, so you can leave anytime without consequences.
  • Whether you been in business many years or you have at least 6 months of prior processing history, 99% of the time First Card Payments will save you a minimum of 25% of the markup of your current fees.
  • Over the past decade we have accumulated over 30+ relationships with Banks and ISOs. Some of these relationships are personal and directly with the owners, presidents, and CEOS of these companies. That can only be a big advantage for approvals which may need special considerations.
  • No matter the situation; Termination reasons (high chargebacks, bad credit, Card not present (CNP)) we have additional solutions that will accept almost any situation.


Our expertise is what sets us apart. Unlike our competition we help consult and guide your business for quick approvals and long-term merchant processing success. We will strategize with you to keep your merchant processing at its very best. For instance, we will help you keep chargebacks ratios down, as well as helping you grow without being limited by merchant processing caps, so you can expand. We like to set our clients up with backup accounts thereby giving you an added layer of protection if an account gets terminated for any reason.

Gateways and Implementation

We have multiple payment gateways available strictly for the Debt Collection space. This will always allow the correct form of payments to be used from your clients. Theses gateways have advance technologies to perform amazingly for Debt Collection industries.

What is Debt Collection

many chargebacksBusinesses have outstanding balances that they cannot collect on and retain a debt collection company to assist in the collection of such payments for a relatively small fee.

It’s a huge plus for business owners to receive part of what’s owed to them, where otherwise they might not have received anything at all.

Debt Collection companies will sometimes purchase outstanding debt at a highly discounted price and look to collect on it for themselves. Debt collection companies have been helping businesses collect loss revenue since what seems like the beginning of time which has always been a must needed service.

When it comes to debt collection, not every type of debt collection is allowed by Issuing card brands like Mastercard, Visa, etc. The types of debt collected by third parties that are acceptable for the most part, and keep in mind there might be some additional types not mentioned here may still be accepted. For instance:

  • Credit Card
  • Auto loans
  • Retail store credit and installment sales
  • Medical
  • Returned checks
  • Student loans
  • Utilities
  • Telephone
  • Tickets and Fines

The debt collection industry is one of the most regulated industries under high risk merchant processing. As a business owner you better have all your ducks in a row, if you want a merchant processing account.
Accounts will always be subject to very thorough risk monitoring evaluations and periodic reviews based on processing activity, chargeback levels, marketing claims, and other factors as well.

It doesn’t make it any easier that not only do you have to be compliant with both FDCPA and TCPA with them tweaking the regulations here and there. The great news is here at First Card Payments we are on top of all adjustments needed to keep your merchant account running smoothly. We will always keep you well informed and one step ahead of the game when it comes to having a healthy debt collection merchant account!

How to Apply for Collection Agency High Risk Merchant Account

Running a collections agency is not easy. Aside from dealing with the stress that comes with collecting debt, you also need to live with the negative reputation that comes with being in the industry.

That is also why it’s not easy for you to get approved for a merchant account because most traditional financial institutions would shy away from high risk merchants like collections agencies.

To increase your chance of success, here are some tips that you can follow when applying for a collection agency high risk merchant account:

Find a good merchant account provider.

Although you’re tagged as high risk, you can still find merchant account providers that accept businesses under your industry. To make sure that you won’t be swamped with hefty fees and tied to a bad contract in the long run, you need to find a good merchant account provider that has clear terms and conditions stated in its contract.

You should also look for good ratings from the BBB and of course, good reviews from other clients.

Prepare all the documents needed.

At the very least, you will be required to submit your 3 months most recent bank statements, a voided business check, your EIN number, your company articles of organization or business license and a valid driver’s license along with your application.

Preparing these documents ahead will not only save you time, but it will also allow underwriters to review your account quickly to determine if you’re credible enough or not.

If you’re already processing credit card payments, it’s very important to keep your chargeback ratio at less than 1%. The more you have chargeback issues, the lesser your chances are at getting approved for a high risk merchant account, especially if you don’t process a lot of payments every month.

Know what underwriters will look for when reviewing your account.

Underwriters are professionals who have the responsibility to look into your application and determine if you’re good enough to be given a high risk merchant account or not.

Underwriters are all about looking into the different risks associated with the nature of your business. So if you want to be approved, you need to prove that you are reputable, you follow rules and regulations, and that you’re a good credit risk.

As a collections agency, underwriters will most likely look at a solid business model, a proper state licensure if applicable in your area, a secure website with proper credit card regulations, a good credit score, extensive experience within the ARM industry and good processing history if available.

If you are going to prove your worth to these people, you need to take care of any outstanding issues before submitting your application. It also helps to be honest and upfront about past business struggles because that doesn’t automatically disqualify you from getting a high risk merchant account.

You just need to provide the right explanations and let underwriters decide using their best judgment.

Learn More About The Collection Agency Industry 

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