Getting a Merchant Account for a Seasonal Business

My business is seasonal – does this play a role in my merchant account application acceptance?

Some businesses do not operate year-round and only open their doors during certain seasons. Some businesses that do run throughout the year have certain times and seasons when they are in higher demand or have smaller branch-off businesses for different times of the year. Organizations that sell Christmas trees or Halloween merchandise, for example, only need to operate for one or two months of the year. Vacation and tourism-based companies operate all year but during the peak seasons they might double in productivity or offer additional services.

How do these monthly inconsistencies affect businesses in terms of management and administration? When applying for anything from a bank loan to a merchant account, do businesses enter their highest grossing months, their lowest or the average of all months when indicating their volume and income flow? When opening an account, do they still have to pay for a full twelve-month account if they’re only active for, say, two months in a year? For seasonal or part-time businesses, matters such as these should be carefully considered when applying for your merchant account.

Applying for a merchant account for seasonal businesses

Merchant account providers will process seasonal business applications separately to other types of businesses. Many merchant account providers offer their services at higher rates to seasonal businesses. This is because such a business will have a high volume of payment processing over a short time period, which creates a higher risk profile. The risk profile is determined on aspects such as not being able to meet monthly minimum transaction volume for off-season months, and the higher fees are used as liability should this occur. A high risk profile can affect the outcome of an application for a merchant account.

As with all searches for goods and services, a smart business owner would shop around before choosing the right merchant account provider for their business. There are several merchant account providers that accept merchant account applications regardless of seasonal volume or risk profile. Of these account providers, some will charge reasonable and appropriate rates for their services, relative to the business’s payment processing volumes. Some merchant account providers even offer tailored packages for seasonal businesses that will be dormant and not accumulate costs when the business is not in operation, or offer much lower rates for the low-season months.

Is a merchant account worth it for seasonal businesses?

Seasonal or part-time business owners may wonder whether the benefits of a merchant account will outweigh the costs of the service. If an accredited merchant account provider is found that offers agreeable rates and service packages, there is virtually no downside to applying for a merchant account. A business with a merchant account will be able to offer secure and reliable credit card payment processing for their customers, ensuring more satisfied customers and higher sales. Credit card payment processing will not only boost sales but add credibility and security to the business, which can be crucial in those busy seasonal sales rushes.

For more information about seasonal business merchant accounts or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to

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