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Possible Reasons for Payments Tool Application Denial
Possible Reasons for Payments Tool Application Denial

A list of the most common reasons Payments tool applications are not approved

GoSite Support avatar
Written by GoSite Support
Updated over a week ago

Applications for the GoSite Payments tool are reviewed by a third-party card processing provider that approves you to make transactions within the GoSite platform. If your application was declined, this article lists out some of the most common denial reasons. Understanding why you were denied may help you get approved at a later date.

Most common reasons for Payments tool application denial:

1. Poor personal credit history

The most common reason card processors deny applications is poor personal credit history. A history of bankruptcy, unpaid debt or late payments, and low credit scores can all affect your application. While a low credit score does not guarantee that your application will get declined, it is a major factor that merchant account providers consider when reviewing applications.

2. Your processing volumes are inconsistent with your industry

Merchant account providers are aware of processing volume industry averages, so it's important to be honest about your sales and business model when applying for the Payments tool.

Having above or below average processing volumes doesn't always mean your application will be denied, but merchant account providers are looking for honest and realistic numbers on your application. Be sure to provide data on your application that reflects your most recent figures for the past three months and your expected growth.

3. Your industry is considered high-risk

Certain industries are more likely to experience chargebacks, fraud, or other payment processing problems. For that reason, merchant account providers sometimes don't approve businesses that are considered high-risk.

Note: There are different rules and regulations in different states and regions which may affect payment processing applications.

Some examples of high-risk industries:

  • Tobacco

  • Travel and hospitality

  • Firearms and ammunition

  • Adult entertainment

  • Event planning and hosting

  • Legal services

  • Financial services

  • Gambling

4. Unfavorable history with a previous credit card processor

Chargebacks and fraud are risks for card processors, so a history of chargebacks to your business can affect your application outcome.

Unresolved balances with a previous provider are also a red flag for merchant account providers. We highly encourage you to resolve any outstanding balances or disputes with your current provider before you apply for a new merchant account.

5. You are on a TMF/MATCH list

Merchant account providers and the banking community share a record known as the MATCH (MasterCard Alert to Control High-Risk Merchants) or TMF (Terminated Merchant File) list. Merchant providers will receive an alert before they attempt to open an account with high-risk merchants on the TMF/MATCH list. A business can end up on the TMF/MATCH list for a history of things like unpaid balances, frequent chargebacks, bankruptcy, etc.

Banks can add and remove businesses from this list at their own discretion. You can contact your banking institution for additional information and to request that you be removed from the list.

6. Your business' reputation was not found to be in good standing

It is not uncommon for merchant account underwriters to investigate a business’s reputation. They may request marketing materials to check that your pricing and policies are clearly stated, and/or a certificate of good standing.


Merchant account providers may decline your application for one of the above reasons or a combination of them. It is important to understand that getting denied does not mean that you won't be approved in the future. Understanding why you were denied gives you the opportunity to make improvements before the next time you apply.

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