Property Management Credit Card Processing

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Zenti was referred to me by my developer. From the jump, they were impressive. They were super responsive, they asked great questions and their solution was really robust. Also, working with Katherine and Hanna is a dream!
High risk merchant account
Emily Wallace
Property Management Credit Card Processing C

If you’re a property manager, you’re probably already aware that several merchant service companies refuse to work with property management businesses. This situation makes it extremely frustrating for property owners and landlords, as well as renters. With limited transaction services, it can often be difficult for property managers to find an available payment processing venue, even for transactions as simple as accepting a monthly rent payment. That’s why you need to work with a company experienced with property management credit card processing.

Why won’t merchant processors work with property managers?

What do payment processing companies have against property managers? To begin with, from a business perspective, property management transactions are considered “high-risk” transactions for merchant payment services. You may counter this by saying, “My credit is great, and my tenants always pay on time, so what’s the problem?” But unfortunately, the high-risk designation doesn’t have much to do with a payment track record or tenant reliability. Rather, it concerns the entire method of transacting a property payment, beginning with the way it’s initially processed.

Here are three reasons why merchant services and credit card processing companies won’t work with landlords:

Virtual transactions

Property management companies often transact business over the phone or via email, in a less concrete way than a retail business does. This type of virtual transaction poses more risks for merchant service providers.

Higher payments

Rental transactions typically involve more money than most simple retail transactions. The more money involved, the higher the risk for the bank or merchant processing company.

Credit card chargebacks

Credit card chargebacks often occur among renters. Sometimes it’s because of a dispute with the landlord, and sometimes it’s because renters break their lease. Whatever the reason, these numerous chargebacks not only create headaches for landlords, they also create major problems for merchant processing companies, making this a prime obstacle for property management credit card processing. Additionally, chargebacks can work the other way as well. For example, sometimes a landlord has to deal with property damage, such as a broken window, that the tenant is responsible for. In these cases, property managers have to create “tenant chargebacks” so the full amount is charged to the renter. From 2013 to 2016, the percentage of tenant chargebacks rose from 2 percent to 25 percent — numbers that make this another major consideration for merchant processing companies.

Why won’t landlords work with merchant processing companies?

There’s a flip side to this situation as well. Some property managers prefer not to deal with merchant processing companies. The reason? High fees. With higher risk involved, merchant processing companies often charge landlords a higher fee, making it far less cost-effective for landlords to use property management credit card processing.

Consider this: Whether it’s Visa, Mastercard, or Discover, all credit card companies tack on their fees, in addition to the processing fees charged by the merchant processing company. This leads to an even greater loss of profits for property owners.

Is this an insoluble situation? Fortunately, the answer is no. While most merchant processing companies still aren’t willing to work with property management accounts, the good news is that the tide is turning in the right direction, with the emergence of specialized, high-risk merchant account processing firms.

How high-risk merchant account processing works

For any so-called “high-risk” account, a merchant processing company needs to have its own, instantly accessible network of banks, credit card processors, and other financial management entities that will underwrite that particular high-risk industry. For example, in the high-risk world of real estate, some banks are specially equipped, both financially and administratively, to underwrite real estate transactions, despite the risk involved. For real estate, these risks can include everything from appraisal disputes and payment defaults to natural disasters that can endanger or even destroy the property.

Likewise, rental property management involves similar risks, and similar underwriting considerations. And in both cases, the keyword is “underwriting.”

Underwriting refers to the process of taking on financial risk for a third party, typically in return for a fee. Essentially, an underwriter is a financial backer with the capability of absorbing a loan in case of default.  A payment gateway company relies on its network of banks and credit card companies that can underwrite, and absorb the costs, of commercial financial transactions.

In the case of property management and other high-risk accounts, it’s necessary to find a specialized merchant processing company that has sufficient underwriting so that it’s willing and able to take on these higher-risk clients.

Risks for short-term rental property managers  

For merchant processing companies, short-term rentals such as hotel rooms and vacation homes provide a particularly high risk, especially due to the havoc caused by the pandemic on the tourism industry. Due to lockdowns and personal health concerns, unprecedented numbers of tourists have had to cancel their vacation plans, which has resulted in a larger number of chargebacks on short-term rental transactions. Some of the chargebacks are due to “undelivered services,” where renters have had to cancel their reservations and are requesting refunds. According to fulfillment credit card protections, these renters are usually entitled to a full refund on any payments made; but this has resulted in huge losses not only for property managers but also for credit card companies and merchant processors. It’s worth adding that, even in pre-pandemic times, there’s always been a fair amount of vacation reservation cancellations, so this isn’t exactly a new problem for the tourism industry, just a heightened one. And as such, it’s another primary reason why property management credit card processing services are typically denied.

Benefits of using a merchant processing company

Landlords and property managers not only have to oversee every little detail of their rental properties, but they also have to deal with large sums of money every month. This duo role of property manager and banker isn’t easy for anyone, no matter how long they’ve been in the business. On the financial side, it involves pinpointing accurate bookkeeping, as well as numerous tedious banking necessities that, over time, can get overwhelming if they’re not managed well.

Essentially, a merchant processing service provides landlords and property managers with significantly better money management tools, plus the huge benefit of being able to accept credit cards. It also mitigates the occurrence of bad checks and provides greatly enhanced customer service to your tenants.

If you’re a landlord or property manager, here’s a look at the top benefits of using a merchant processing company:

Convenient e-checks

By using a merchant processing company, you won’t have to deal with physical checks, which can be a hassle for landlords as well as tenants. Instead, as one of your payment options, you’ll be able to take e-checks, which are much more convenient and offer less risk for both tenants and landlords. By eliminating traditional check payments, you’re not only getting rid of unnecessary paperwork, but you’re also mitigating the occurrence of bad checks, which are often more a result of a tenant’s faulty bookkeeping rather than tenant insolvency.  

Property management credit card processing

You’ll be able to accept credit and debit cards, thus eliminating the risk of traditional checks, while also making payments much easier for tenants. By allowing tenants to use credit cards, landlords have a better chance of being paid on time every month.  

Up-to-date payment tracking

Merchant processing companies can track all submitted payments immediately, from the moment they’re received. This means that you’ll have up-to-date records of all payments without any annoying lags or delays. Plus, this enables you to accurately assess when it’s time to impose a late fee on a tenant.

Professional management tools

A merchant processing company will provide you with the extra tools you need to deal with tenants in a professional, courteous, businesslike fashion. It also eliminates the need for intrusive phone calls and tenant visits, memos, and other time-consuming interactions that you’d prefer not to do. In addition, you’ll have access to strategic management tools, such as email invoicing and email receipts, that will help you keep track of payments.  

Multiple payment options

You’ll be able to offer a variety of quicker, easier payment options to your tenants, either through credit cards, e-check, mobile apps, or online payments made through a secure processor.

And speaking of security…

Keeping your account secure

Thanks to vastly improved financial security protocols, such as point-to-point encryption and tokenization, merchant account services have become safer and more secure than ever before. These cybersecurity technologies enable merchant account processors to protect their clients against today’s biggest threats, including cyberattacks and data breaches.

Tokenization works by substituting a client’s payment details — such as bank and credit card account numbers and CVV codes — with randomly generated ID markers called “tokens.” These provide complete anonymity for account users.

Likewise, point-to-point encryption, as the term indicates, involves complete encryption of all credit card data, from the time the card is swiped and processed through its final approval. As with tokenization, this process ensures that all client data is completely unidentifiable.

Tools like tokenization, encryption, and enhanced security software help ensure the safety of property management credit card processing, e-check payments, mobile app payments, and other types of online payment platforms.

What to look for in a merchant processing company

High-risk merchant processing companies differ in services and acceptance eligibility, so it’s important to find one that’s best suited for your property management needs. Here’s a quick primer on what to look for:

  • Make sure that it serves the property management industry. While high-risk merchant processing might seem like a one-size-fits-all proposition, in reality, these firms can be extremely selective in choosing which industries to work with. For example, while many high-risk merchant account companies have begun to take cannabis merchant accounts, others still won’t accept them. Likewise, some merchant processing firms don’t have the necessary underwriting to accept property management clients, or else they might provide only a limited roster of services to landlords.
  • Look for a company that offers next-gen, latest-and-greatest fraud protection. This includes the security protocols mentioned above, as well as other types of secure payment platforms that follow the industry standard for trustworthiness.
  • Make sure the company offers recurring billing. As the name implies, recurring billing is an automated system that bills customers on a regularly recurring cycle each month. This provides landlords with a sophisticated automated rent collection system that eliminates extra bookkeeping and invoicing. And by offering a consistent, dependable payment format each month, recurring billing can maximize collections by helping tenants plan and budget their incomes more efficiently.  
  • Choose a merchant account processor that has honest pricing. It’s worth noting here that high-risk accounts do cost more for processors to manage, so services typically incur higher costs than they would for low-risk accounts. These extra costs might include higher account or processing fees, early termination fees, or higher chargeback fees. However, a reputable company will provide full, open disclosure on these fees, and follow an honest pricing structure that includes:
    • No hidden fees: Some merchant account processors charge authorization fees, as well as refund and statement fees, and even PCI-compliance fees.
    • Consistent card rates: A good merchant account processor will accept all the main credit cards — Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Plus (and importantly), a reputable payment gateway company will charge the same rate for every credit card.
    • A good merchant account processing company will not only offer property management credit card processing but will also facilitate payment processing through a variety of electronic payment platforms, including online sites and mobile apps. Likewise, e-check processing is also an added benefit for landlords as well as tenants.

If you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of easy, streamlined online rent payments for your property management business, Zenti can help. By providing property management credit card processing, as well as other convenient payment solutions, Zenti can help you reduce your chargeback ratio, eliminate paperwork and bookkeeping, and increase on-time collections from your tenants. To find out more, be sure to visit contact us and learn how our team of experts can help your high-risk property management company get the merchant processing services that it needs — and deserves. 


Zenti Connect plays nice with others

Zenti Connect integrates seamlessly with ISV software to simplify payment processing for merchants: any payment type, on any device, anywhere. 

Zenti integrates with over 99% of the tools you are already using, including popular accounting software and e-commerce apps, regardless of your industry. Our payment services were designed to be adaptable to provide seamless integrations for our customers.

merchant account integrations c

Microsoft Dynamics
Network Solutions

Event Espresso
events manager
Paid Memberships Pro

Drupal Commerce


911 Software, Inc.
ACR Systems
Aldelo Systems, Inc.
Applied Micro Technology
Advanced Retail Management Solutions (ARMs)
Auto star
Cantaloupe Systems
Data Business Systems
Datacap Systems, Inc.
DataTech Corp
Edgil Associates
Epicor (CRS, NSB)
Freedom Pay
Gateway Ticketing Systems
Idalica Corp
IJN Systems
IT Retail
Main Street Softworks
MBS Textbook Exchange
Medasyst, Inc.
/n Software, Inc.
PC America
RATEX Business Solutions
Retail Data Systems
RTL Payment Systems
ScanSource, Inc.
Sicom Systems, Inc.
Slim CD
Tempus Technologies
Tender Retail Systems
The Software Mills
Tomax Corporation
Total Computing Solutions
TouchNet Information Systems
XProtean, Inc. (C-Payment Software)
XPient Solutions
Vista Entertainment Systems

911 Software, Inc.
Data Business Systems
Datacap Systems, Inc.
Main Street Softworks
Menusoft Systems Corp.
Micros Systems
Midnite Express, Inc.
/n Software Inc.
Radiant Systems
Revel Systems
Sicom Systems, Inc.
Squirrel Systems
Tempus Technologies
XPient Solutions
XProtean, Inc. (C-Payment Software)
Elavon (previously Southern DataComm and Global Card Services)

Dresser Wayne
Fuel Links
Fiscal Systems, Inc.
LOC Software
Main Street Softworks
Petro RX
Radiant Systems
VeriFone Ruby System

Datacap Systems
LOC Software

911 Software, Inc.
Hotel Software Systems
Slim CD
Tempus Technologies

Government organizations face a growing need for secure payment processing services while managing highly specific needs for content management and security. 

We can work with popular technology products government agencies prefer, like Ciber and Cubic, to create an integrated solution that meets all your needs for processing payments, managing information, and more.

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We partnered with Zenti in 2017 and they've been there for us every time. Everything is super fast and I love how well they communicate with our staff. They really know their stuff, and we work in a very complex industry! My account executive knows our business inside and out.

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FAQs: Table of Contents

Accepted Industries and Countries​

The industries we accept for high risk merchant accounts include, but are not limited to the below industries.

  • Adult merchant account
  • Bad credit
  • CBD
  • Credit Repair
  • MLM
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Payday loans
  • Private airlines
  • Subscriptions
  • Travel
  • Vape & eCig
  • Illegal business activity
  • Businesses without the proper license
  • Illegal drugs (CBD with less than 0.30% THC is acceptable)

Zenti can provide merchant accounts to customers in the below countries. Kindly note that many payment solutions are regulated based on location.

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Bear Island 
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Channel Island
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • France
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungry
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vatican City

Being a start-up business will not hinder a business from getting approved for a merchant account. While having a processing history helps your likelihood of getting approved,  the lack of processing will not necessarily stop you from getting an approval. Consult an experienced Account Executive today to learn more. 

There are never guarantees when it comes to the approval of a merchant account. However, we do work with merchants that have low credit scores. Reach out to an Account Executive today for a consultation. 

If you’re a United States citizen applying for a merchant account for a United States registered business, a social security number is required. 

A merchant account can be labeled high risk for many reasons. You can be labeled as such due to high average tickets, being in an industry that historically has high chargebacks, or an industry that tier one banks do not support.

Applying for a merchant account

To apply for a high-risk merchant account, you need to complete our pre-qualification form and upload all required documentation. Once the pre-qualification is complete your Account Executive will locate the best placement for your account, and send you a final agreement. Once that final agreement is signed, underwriting will complete a full package review for approval. 

There is no fee to apply for a merchant services account with Zenti. However, If you get approved with us there may be a small setup fee for your gateway account.

Square, Stripe, and Paypal are all payment facilitators and do not accept high-risk merchant accounts. Signing up with Zenti gives you a direct merchant relationship with a sponsor bank. The approval process requires more documentation, but you’re at a significantly lower risk of getting terminated.

This depends upon how quickly you, the merchant, completes our pre-qualification form. Once we have all of your documentation, we get to work. We can typically locate placement for your merchant services account in 48 hours.  

Once you get an approval, you’ll be able to accept credit card payments within 24 business hours. 

Depending upon the program, you will receive your funds anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after the batch is settled. 

The industry type is a major determining factor when it comes to risk levels of merchant services. But, other factors such as credit, card-present vs not present, and chargeback ratios can also push an account into the high-risk category as well. 

Completing the Application

Your legal business name should match the business name on the state business registration or licensure. However, if you are a sole proprietor, your name would be the legal business name. 

If you’re not sure how much processing you’ll do, we recommend applying for $5,000 to $10,000 monthly. You don’t need to hit that number each month, but if you’re close to going over, reach out to your Account Executive for assistance. 

Your average transaction amount should be the average of all transactions you would accept with your merchant account. Your maximum transaction should be the anticipated maximum amount accepted in one transaction. If you attempt to process a transaction that is higher than the maximum amount provided, additional proof of purchase may be requested. 

You may provide personal bank statements in lieu of bank statements if your business bank account is new or does not have any activity. 

If you’re applying for a merchant account for ecommerce processing you will need a fully functional website with products or services listed with associated pricing. 

Yes, a credit check is required in order to obtain a high-risk merchant account. Once a final agreement is signed, a hard credit pull is done.  Credit scores are taken into consideration when underwriting reviews a full application for merchant services. 

If you’re a United States citizen applying for a merchant account for a business registered in the United States, your social security number will be required to apply. 


The first step to applying for a high-risk merchant account is completing the pre-qualification form. Three months bank statements, three months processing statements (if applicable), a voided check or bank letter, and driver’s license or passport will be required to apply. 

If your business does not utilize checks, we can accept a bank letter that includes your full account and routing number as well as the business or account holder’s name. The letter should be on bank letterhead, be dated within the last 30 days, and be signed by a bank representative. 

If you don’t have three months of business bank statements, don’t fret. We can accept three months’ personal bank statements from a business owner, or director. 

Bank statements show a lot about a prospective merchant, namely, processing activity, and the average monthly ending balance. If a merchant is currently processing, we want to know why they’re switching, if we know a merchant’s pain points we can find better solutions for their needs. The average monthly ending balance is also relevant to show financial stability within the business as well as validating the monthly volume requested.

If a merchant is currently processing credit card payments and successfully managing a merchant account this can increase the likelihood of getting approved. Some payment facilitators such as Paypal, Stripe, and Square might not supply monthly processing statements. Underwriting may request login credentials so they can get an overview of the processing activities. 

Equipment and Gateways

For in-person retail card acceptance, Zenti can provide equipment that will arrive programmed and ready to accept payments. Discuss your equipment options with your experienced Account Executive.

Here at Zenti, we do offer our own gateway solution that’s exclusive to merchants that sign up with us. Of course, if there’s a gateway you prefer we are willing to work with you as long as integration is possible. Please reach out to your dedicated Account Executive for details. 

Zenti integrates with NMI,, and more. For specific gateway integration questions reach out to an experienced Account Executive. 

Your merchant account will be set up to accept Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and ATM cards. 

Load balancing is the strategy of spreading transactions over more than one MID. It’s not necessary for all high-risk accounts, but can be considered as a way to manage chargeback ratios with high-risk merchants. 

Existing Merchant Accounts

Not to worry, this number can be increased as needed. However, the bank underwriting your merchant account needs to be aware of the expected monthly volume to ensure they have capacity available for all merchants processing with that bank. 

If you go over by a small amount you might be asked for a copy of the invoice or receipt. However, if you go over the monthly limit by a large amount there is a chance your excess funds might be held temporarily. 

When it comes to high-risk accounts, banks ideally want chargeback ratios below the 3% threshold. If you can provide long term processing history the bank may take this into consideration. Lower chargeback ratios are ideal. Consult your knowledgeable Account Executive for assistance in lowering your chargeback ratio. 

Rolling reserves are a way to financially protect the processing bank from potential losses from chargebacks or refunds. Not all high-risk merchant accounts require a rolling reserve. The risk department will determine if and when a rolling reserve is required. 

Interchange fees refer to the issuing credit card brand fees such as Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American express. These fees vary depending on the card type, American Express tends to be the most expensive card to process. Interchange rates can range from 1% to 2.5%. 

Of course! Once you’ve established a healthy processing history, you may reach out to your Account Executive for a rate review. We recommend only doing this if your processing history shows low chargeback ratios and relatively low refund activity. 

You may request an increase in your monthly volume at any time. However, it’s recommended to wait until your merchant account reflects healthy processing history as well as financial stability from your bank statements. 

Reach out to our support team, or your dedicated Account Executive for any account-related updates you may need. 

Depending on the program your merchant account fees are either taken at the beginning of each month. Some programs require daily discounts. Program details will be notated on your final agreement and if you have further questions you can always consult your Account Executive. 

ACH payments

Zenti can assist with ACH or eCheck services. An application and approval process still applies to this service, or it can be an added service with your processing account. Reach out to your Account Executive for details. 

The approval process requires less documentation than applying for a merchant services account. And if you’re already processing with Zenti an approval can be expedited. 

Every account is different, however, most programs allow next-day settlements for ACH transactions. 

ACH payment acceptance can be integrated into most website platforms. Reach out to a dedicated Account Executive for more information. 

Pricing and Approval

High-risk merchant accounts are priced higher than low-risk accounts because fewer banks are willing to work with businesses labeled “high risk”. Banks also need additional financial protections from loss on these accounts.  

Zenti will always provide fair pricing based on the risk level of every merchant. And if a current processing statement is provided we’ll do everything in our power to beat the merchant’s current rates. 

While we love working with merchants that are considered high risk. There are limitations put in place by bank and card brand rules. If a merchant does not abide by the specific program rules described by the Account Executive assisting them we cannot ensure an approval.

Think of merchant accounts as a loan or a line of credit. And processing banks take on the risk of transactions getting charged back. Banks can end up liable for the actions of merchants, a problematic merchant can damage the reputation of the bank funding and processing the transactions.