High Risk Merchant Account Provider

high risk merchant account

With the advent of technology, things have become much easier. So too, should the approval process for high-risk merchant accounts.

For over 20 years, High Risk Pay has provided merchant accounts and payment gateway services exclusively to high-risk businesses across the United States. Our team understands the nuances of high-risk credit card processing and high-volume merchant accounts, allowing us to offer the highest level of expertise in managing merchant accounts for high-risk businesses. Our team works with clients in a wide range of high-risk industries – so no matter what industry you’re in – we will tailor our services to meet your requirements.

Beyond that, High Risk Pay’s expertise and long-term relationships with banks and other financial institutions ensure that your business is always tapped into the most reliable services in the industry. Our high-risk merchant account and payment gateway solutions offer several valuable features for new and existing businesses alike, including chargeback management, credit card acceptance, fraud prevention, and ACH/eCheck processing.

By providing only the best industry-leading services, we strive to become the preferred high-risk merchant account provider for businesses throughout the U.S. Manage your payments faster, safer, and for less. Get instantly approved for your high-risk merchant account with us today.

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Why choose High Risk Pay as your merchant services provider ?

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SPECIALIZED IN HIGH RISK

We offer high risk merchant accounts to all business types in high risk categories.

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99% approval

Having trouble getting approved for your high risk merchant account? Did you know HighRiskPay approves 99% of all applicants!

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FAST APPROVAL GUARANTEED

HighRiskPay understands that time is money. Entrust us yours and we’ll be sure to make it worthwhile! Apply Today and Be in Business Tomorrow!

Why Do Credit Card Processors Serve Only Certain Types of Businesses?

Some companies are ones that credit card processors typically won’t serve:

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debt collection merchant account and payment gateway

Debt Collection Merchant Account

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online dating credit card processing and merchant account

Dating App Merchant Account

Get your dating apps merchant account and payment gateway now.
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Get your startups merchant account and payment gateway now.
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Get your dropshipping merchant account and payment gateway now.

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Why High Risk?

Instant Approval For High-Risk Merchant Accounts

The underwriting process for high-risk businesses may take up to a few extra days than usual, especially in highly regulated industries. Rest assured, though, that our team works as hard as possible to get you approved quickly. 

The approval process at High Risk Pay typically takes 24 to 48 hours, which is faster than most other high-risk merchant account approvals. Our number one priority is to get your merchant account up and running as quickly as possible. A 99% approval rate means that your unique business is almost guaranteed approval and that you can begin accepting payments quickly and easily. 

Integrate Seamlessly With Any Platform

ACH and credit card payments can be processed in-store or online using the same platform. High Risk Pay features a ridiculously easy integration process with several of the most popular payment gateways and CMS platforms, including WordPress, Wix, Shopify, Magneto, Opencart, 3dcart, and more. Give your customers the best online payment experience they deserve.

High-Risk Merchant Accounts For Any Credit History

We can set you up with a high-risk merchant account, even with bad credit. Not convinced? Our high-risk merchant account high average approval rate is 99% – the highest in the industry. With High Risk Pay, quickly get a bad credit merchant account with fast approvals and no setup and cancellation fees. It’s very easy to apply online. Find out more about our bad credit merchant accounts here.

High-Risk Merchant Accounts At Competitive Rates

What about fees? A high-risk merchant account can have higher taxes and restrictions on it. Fees vary by provider and heavily depend on your company’s specific needs. But at High Risk Pay, we don’t believe in punishing customers for being in a business that presents a greater risk of fraud or chargebacks.

Through High Risk Pay, fees are similar to traditional card processors. In return, you as a business owner get many ways to accept credit cards and debit cards for transactions. You will have the pleasure of serving your customers, while making transactions as convenient for them as possible. 

In addition, while other high-risk merchant account providers may charge up to a couple hundred dollars for application or setup fees, High Risk Pay charges nothing to set up your own high-risk merchant account.

Read more: What is a merchant account for e-commerce?

Who We Help

We are a team of high-risk merchant account providers comprised of talented experts who can help you find a payment solution for any business:

  • B2B
  • B2C
  • Enterprise
  • Small and medium-sized businesses
  • E-commerce

Businesses who cannot obtain a merchant account from traditional banking institutions often turn to high-risk providers like High Risk Pay. Fast account approval, easy setup, transparent fees, and reliable support – our high-risk merchant account and payment gateway services make it easy to get your business up and running, no matter the industry. Click here to start the application process.

High-Risk Industries and Business Types We Serve

We don’t like how the term “high-risk business” carries a negative connotation. Running a high-risk business isn’t inherently a bad thing. It simply means your business is unique – and that your high-risk payment gateway should be, too. No matter what industry you’re in, we have a payment solution for you so that you can satisfy customers and keep them coming back for more.

Need a high-risk merchant account instantly? Then you’ve come to the right place. At High Risk Pay, our in-house specialists can help you get approved for a high-risk merchant account with a 99% success rate. Integrate with your favorite payment gateways, CMS, and online marketing systems. Get approved within 24–48 hours of submitting an online application. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to redefine the way you do business!

What exactly is a high-risk merchant account?

Are you running an online store and wondering what a high-risk merchant account is? In that case, you might already have found yourself in a rather unique set of circumstances. It’s a known fact that most business owners will never hear the term “high-risk merchant account”. That is, unless their business has been flagged as such. The first time you hear about it, it may feel like a rather personal attack on your business or your capabilities as an entrepreneur. However, we’re here to assure you that’s not the case. A company labeled as “high-risk” is rarely a result of anything personal. In reality, it’s all very quantitative and has nothing at all to do with how you run your business. 

Payment processing institutions assume some risk with each transaction. The payment processor automatically assumes liability when a merchant does not have the funds to reimburse a customer for a disputed or fraudulent charge. So, in order to reduce this liability, payment processors (and by extension, merchant account providers) are selective about the kinds of businesses they work with. They won’t offer merchant services to businesses in certain verticals if they deem them too risky or inherently susceptible to chargebacks and fraud.

Consequently, these high-risk businesses are referred to as “high-risk merchants”. A high-risk merchant can be any company that sells products within a niche market, be it online or in physical stores. Travel agencies, adult stores, SaaS providers, dating websites, firearms dealers, and other unique verticals fall into this category.

High-risk merchant accounts are therefore necessary for businesses of this nature. Certain merchant account providers, such as High Risk Pay, specialize in working with high-risk businesses and offer merchant accounts that are specifically designed for this purpose. Through these merchant accounts, high-risk businesses can continue to handle non-cash payments from customers such as credit cards, ACH, and eChecks. 

High Risk Merchant Account In Action: How It Works

Each time a customer swipes their card, the card processor sends information about the transaction to your merchant account. Through a secure network, the merchant account provider then checks whether sufficient funds are available with the customer’s credit card company. Once the funds are confirmed, the merchant account provider will then forward them to your business or personal account.

The Benefits of a High-Risk Merchant Account

It takes dedication and hard work to run a high-risk business. However, as a business owner, you should not let fear keep you from providing your customers with the most convenient payment methods available today.

Here are some actual benefits you can look forward to after setting up a high-risk merchant account for your business:

  • Improved Chargeback Protection – Traditional low-risk merchants that cross the chargeback threshold might be looking at costly account suspensions or, worse – termination. Conversely, high-risk merchant accounts give businesses far more flexibility in this regard, allowing them to avoid costly service interruptions from excessive chargebacks.
  • Increased Payment Flexibility – Low-risk merchants can only accept some types of credit card payments. High-risk merchants can explore more flexible payment options like recurring payments, as well as process higher sales volumes during special events like promotions and sales.
  • Enhanced Global Presence – Low-risk merchants are severely restricted when it comes to international transactions. In contrast, the nature of a high-risk merchant account enables you to process payments in multiple currencies and sell your products in high-risk countries.
  • Discover More Business Opportunities – A high-risk merchant account allows you to sell products and services you aren’t usually able to sell from a low-risk account. Invest in significantly higher-risk products and businesses that could yield greater long-term profits.

The Drawbacks of a High-Risk Merchant Account

The downsides of a high-risk merchant account – or being labeled as a high-risk business – are pretty straightforward. The most common disadvantage of high-risk merchant accounts is that you need to pay higher rates and various processing fees. In addition, many high-risk merchant account providers may ask for a reserve because of the higher risk. You should also expect more complex approval process and longer processing times.

There’s a common misconception among small businesses that the business is doomed once they’ve been classified as high-risk. That’s simply not the case. 

With High Risk Pay, you can offset all these downsides and more. We offer high-risk merchant accounts and payment gateway services for a fee similar to those of traditional payment processors. With quick approval times and high success rates, High Risk Pay has the tools and expertise necessary to grow your business and reduce chargeback costs. Take advantage of one of the best high-risk merchant account services in the United States. Reach out to us today. 

How To Determine Whether My Business Is High-Risk

Each payment processor, bank, and account service provider defines its own standards for identifying high-risk merchants. There are usually two major factors to consider: your industry (some verticals aren’t as stable or secure as others) and your financial profile (credit history, past performance, etc.). 

Moreover, they may also consider how heavily regulated a business’s industry is at both the federal and state levels, and how saturated its market segment is with similar companies. But in general, the one big red flag that would make payment processors flag merchants as high-risk is if the industry is more prone to fraud and chargebacks. This alone is usually enough to send them running in the other direction.

Here are all the factors payment processors typically use to determine whether your business is high-risk:

  • Fraud & Chargeback Rates – Businesses with a high chargeback or fraud rate are automatically classified as high-risk by banks and payment processors. Businesses with a chargeback ratio over 1% are usually considered high-risk. Chargebacks can occur for any number of reasons, from customers forgetting they signed up to getting billed without their consent.
  • Types Of Products And Services – Products such as software, tickets, seasonal items, etc. can point to a business with more unusual or inconsistent revenues. Payment processors consider this a very red flag and a sign of financial uncertainty.
  • Reputational Risk – Companies that deal with sensitive customer information may suffer reputational consequences. This includes companies in the adult and tech sectors.
  • Recurring Payments – Certain business models with high instances of chargebacks or fraud can send a warning signal to payment processors. A common example is recurring or subscription-based providers, with an increased risk of chargebacks, identity theft, and account takeovers. 
  • Monthly Sales Volumes or Transaction Value – Financial institutions might consider a business high-risk if they routinely accept high-value transactions. B2B companies mostly have to deal with this factor.
  • Credit Score – Banks are less inclined to lend money to individuals or businesses with poor credit scores. As a result, if you have a low personal credit score, your business may fall into high-risk categories.

To put it simply, the majority of institutions will consider a merchant high-risk if they have either a high fraud rate, a high sales volume, a poor credit score, or use recurring payments. 

Still having trouble determining whether your business is considered high-risk? Here are some questions that will help you:

  • Is your business susceptible to chargebacks?
  • Do you have a history of poor financial stability (bad credit, recent bankruptcy, etc.)?
  • Is your average ticket or sales volume very high?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it’s possible that you may be considered a high-risk business by most payment processors and financial institutions. 

High-Risk vs. Low-Risk Merchant Accounts

To apply for a merchant account, it’s important to know if you are a high-risk or low-risk merchant. In light of the criteria above, we’ve made a table comparing the characteristics of high-risk business merchant accounts versus conventional/low-risk accounts.

 

High-risk Merchant Accounts

Low Risk Merchant Account

Fraud & Chargeback Rates

High chargeback ratio, and operating in a market prone to high levels of fraud

Zero to low chargeback ratio, with low fraud rates in the operating market

Types Of Products And Services

Unusual nature of business and products (e.g., firearms or travel services)

Common nature of business and products (e.g., supermarkets)

Reputational Risk

May suffer from reputational harm to self or payment processors in the future (e.g., a new startup in a questionable industry)

Low chance for reputational harm to self or payment processors in the future (e.g., an established consumer brand)

Recurring Payments

Yes

No

Monthly Sales Volumes or Transaction Value

A lot of high-value transactions or a high volume of sales (more than $20,000 monthly)

Trades in fairly modest volumes (typically less than $20,000 monthly)

Credit Score

An owner or a business with poor credit history

An owner or a business with good credit history

Making The Switch To A Low-Risk Merchant Account

A business considered to be high-risk may not remain so indefinitely. One of the factors contributing towards high-risk status is a lack of payment history or a low credit score – both of which can be corrected over time. As long as you can improve on either of these indicators, you can certainly transition to low risk in the future. 

However, if you continue to operate in a high-risk vertical, then it’s unlikely that you will ever be considered low risk.

The Risks of Accepting Credit Cards

For a business to make sales and profits, a business owner needs to accept credit cards as a form of payment. Otherwise, customers may go somewhere else to buy the product or get the service they require. Ask yourself if lost sales are worth not taking credit cards or using an undependable external processor.

Sadly, customers can buy products without paying for them. They may use stolen credit card numbers and later deny the charges took place. For a business, the result is lost income and product in cases where credit card banks back up their customers.

While these situations are standard for any operation that accepts credit as a form of payment, some industries come with more risk than others. Credit card processors like to limit their exposure. Some won’t offer a high-risk merchant account to a business owner. You could be in a tight spot to keep your customers happy and profits high.

Fortunately, many people who buy goods and services with a credit card intend to pay for their purchases. Not every transaction is a false one. But, a 5% return rate is too high for many banks. Banks can close an account of a merchant who has too many refunds and stolen cards during a certain amount of time.

Even if 95% of credit card purchases go through without problems, the risk is still too high. The amount is not enough for a credit card processor to keep the account open. In turn, the business loses the ability to accept credit cards when the account closes.

The Perks of Accepting Credit Cards

Why should you open a high-risk merchant account, especially given the trouble that could come with taking credit cards? While you can boost your sales, turnover, and profits by accepting credit cards, you gain more as a business owner.

Add A Layer Of Respectability And Trust To Your Business

Customers think of a business that accepts credit cards as credible and well established. People get the feeling that a business isn’t going to close and disappear when least expected. Customers also know that you’re going to keep the doors open, and you’re willing to help them through all aspects of a sale.

People Spend More With Credit Cards Instead Of Cash

In a study conducted by Dun & Bradstreet, researchers found that consumers spend an average of 12-18% more when they use credit cards rather than cash. This is because it’s easier, psychologically speaking, to spend your future money with a credit card than it is to spend your present money. In economics, this phenomenon is referred to as “payment coupling”, which refers to the time difference between when you decide to buy something and when you actually pay for it. 

Increased Customer Reach

Accepting credit cards can also increase your customer base. You’re no longer restricted to your home area or region to sell your products and market your services. With a high-risk merchant account, you can reach customers that live all across the country and around the world. Limit the places you’re willing to sell and ship to, but you can grow your customer list to a size you may not otherwise have thought possible. Accepting credit as a form of payment can make these benefits possible.

Access To More Payment Methods

A high-risk merchant account lets business owners accept all methods of payment. You can give customers the option to swipe a card at a physical location, call in an order and process a card not present for the transaction, or pay through a secure payment system on your business website. You give your customers the freedom to shop at their convenience through an online shopping system. In return, all you need to do is fill the order and make sure the customer gets it.

High Risk Pay helps businesses get back on track accepting credit cards with our high-risk accounts and seamless payment gateway integrations. Integrate with your favorite payment services and CMS platforms – start accepting major credit cards, including MasterCard®, VISA®, American Express®, and more.

Why Can’t You Do Business Without a Card Processing Account?

In an economy based on best e-commerce merchant services, high-risk businesses that can’t take credit cards as a form of payment have a weakness. If conventional processors or lenders think your merchant services are high-risk and won’t give you an account, you’re not out of luck. A high-risk merchant account lets you accept cards and get the benefits of it without having to go out of pocket.

Take the time to think about what a high-risk merchant account can offer for you and your business. Remember, this account type can help you give your customers multiple payment options.

Your business may be in a high-risk industry, but you gain respect and trustworthiness when you can accept credit cards. Customers view you as a reputable business, and they are more willing to buy products and services from you. When your business has the backing of a high-risk merchant services provider, you can feel better about reaching your customer base and making customers happy. A high-risk merchant account can mean the difference between making sales and struggling for sales with your clients.

How Do Payment Gateways Work?

payment gateway is a technology that connects merchants and payment networks. It integrates with your online store so that you have more online credit card processing capabilities. It then captures those payments for transactions and transmits that information to a payment processor or acquiring bank. An approved or declined message is then sent to the merchant.

Not all payment gateways are created equally, however. Many go beyond their standard function and offer other services:

  • Multiple Payment Methods – Many customers now shop online with PayPal or eWallets, so it’s important to have more than just a credit card payment gateway.
  • Fraud Protection – Every time online businesses accept payments online, they are at risk. If your fraud level gets high, your business may be negatively impacted by chargeback fees and penalties. Payment gateways with strong fraud detection can prevent these problems.
  • Recurring Billing – Many businesses use a subscription merchant services model so that they can continue to deliver a quality customer experience. High-risk credit card processing companies can make running your business much easier by setting up and managing automated billing, sending out payment reminders, and even setting up customizable billing plans.
  • Payment Analytics – Having detailed data about payments can help you make better and more informed business decisions. Your payment gateway for high-risk businesses will give you access to a variety of payment analytics. These reports can show you which payment processes your customers favor, or which ones they encounter trouble with.
  • Merchant Account – Running your business can be difficult if you can only accept cash. Getting a merchant account can be difficult for some types of businesses, which is why you need to work with a company that offers high-risk merchant account services.

Payment Gateway Vs. Merchant Account

If you’re an e-commerce merchant, you’ve probably heard both these terms being used together. Often, incorrectly. This is because of the common misconception that you only need one or the other to operate your business.

However, you need both to effectively run your online business and collect payments from your customers. Online payments are processed through a payment gateway, while a merchant account serves as a holding account for payments before they are deposited into your regular bank account. Both must be implemented simultaneously for a business to offer card payment options.

Payment Gateway Vs. Payment Processor

To process online transactions for your business, you need a payment gateway and a payment processor. Payment gateways are at both ends of the transaction. Their job is to connect merchants with payment processors, which in turn connect you to the card networks like MasterCard®, VISA®, and American Express®. Similar to what we just discussed, every online transaction will require both. You cannot have one without the other.

What To Look For In A Reliable High-Risk Merchant Account Provider

Finding the right service provider can be challenging, particularly since high-risk account processing fees can add up really quickly. And poor customer support from your account provider is just about the last thing you’d want as a fast-paced business that operates around the clock. 

Consider the following factors when searching for a high-risk merchant account provider that suits your needs:

  • Who They Serve – Just because a provider says they take on high-risk merchants doesn’t mean they’ll work with you. Certain vendors, for instance, only work with U.S. companies, whereas others create international accounts with no problem. Similarly, some high-risk providers will accept cannabis merchants, while others will not.
  • Fee Structure – Reputable high-risk merchant account providers will disclose their rates and fees upfront. You can view our rates here.
  • International Payment Options – If your company deals with international customers, make sure your merchant account provider supports both global and multi-currency payments.
  • Existing Platform Integrations – Make sure the service provider integrates with the CMS, billing, shopping cart, and accounting options you currently use. All payment gateways and merchant accounts should, in the best-case scenario, be integrated seamlessly with your existing software.
  • Customer Service  The best merchant account providers will offer you support when you need it and in the way that works best for you.

As the critical link to banks and processors, merchant service providers are crucial to your business success. Take the time to get to know yours well so that you can get the most out of the application process and for the duration of your account. 

High Risk Pay offers comprehensive high-risk merchant account solutions designed to protect and maximize your profits in high-risk verticals. We also have a dedicated customer service team for any questions or problems your business may encounter along the lifetime of our relationship.

No hidden fees. 99% instant account approval. Seamless integration with just about everything. Create a high-risk merchant account with High Risk Pay today. 

How Long Does It Take to Get Final Approval For a High-Risk Merchant Account?

A low-risk traditional business can usually expect to be approved for a merchant account within one to two business days. The final approval process for a high-risk merchant account, on the other hand, typically takes a lot longer. In order to approve high-risk businesses, account providers must extensively investigate both the company and its owner’s credit histories. 

Which is why instant approval is so important. High Risk Pay offers instant approval, which typically takes around 24–48 hours. It’s a lot faster than many other timeframes for high-risk merchant accounts. Instant approval can be extremely beneficial for businesses that need to be able to take credit cards online. Since it can be difficult for people to purchase a product without a card of any kind, it’s important for a business that needs to sell its products to make those sales and begin shipping.

Getting Your High-Risk Merchant Account Approved Fast

If you need to get approved for a merchant account, contact us as soon as possible! Our team will help you get your paperwork in order and allow you to open a high-risk merchant account without too much hassle – all within the shortest amount of time. 

Need more help getting approved? Want to expedite the process? Follow these tips:

Work With A Provider With Awesome Reviews

Work with a partner with a proven track record of experience in your industry. Be sure to read customer reviews before choosing a merchant provider. This will allow you to determine whether they are a company you would like to work with further. Keep an eye on how quickly they respond to your inquiries as well. A legitimate, reliable provider like High Risk Pay will make sure to address all of your questions and concerns before the process begins.

Gather Your Paperwork To Get Approved High-Risk Merchant Accounts

You’ll need to provide us with a lot of information. Having your papers ready during the initial application can save you time during the approval process. Scan all required documents so that you can email them to us as part of your application. Remember: the more information you can provide, the faster (and higher the chances) your application will be approved. 

Be Honest

No matter what you sell, it’s important to be honest about your business. We understand the desperation to get approved for a merchant account, but the more honest you are with us, the more helpful we can be. A less-than-ideal track record may still qualify you for account approval, especially when you work with a merchant service provider such as High Risk Pay that specializes in high-risk businesses. The best thing you can do in your application process is to be honest, as being dishonest or misrepresenting information about your business will almost always result in your account being canceled.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about PayPal, Square, and Stripe? Do they accept high-risk merchant accounts?

Unfortunately, there is no online payment processor that will work with high-risk businesses. For example, all three payment processors mentioned above do not allow merchant accounts for adult entertainment, gambling, or CBD companies – to name a few. Their policies are understandably restrictive in this regard. 

On the hunt for a PayPal, Square, or Stripe alternative? High Risk Pay has got you covered. High Risk Pay offers high-risk merchant accounts and payment gateway solutions to businesses from all verticals. We don’t discriminate. We offer fair, transparent pricing for high-risk merchants, starting from 1.79%. Plus, you’ll never be charged a setup fee or application fee. Get started today.