How to Pick the Best High Risk Payment Gateway

merchant service provider

A high-risk payment gateway, provided by your merchant service provider, is a system that’s created to allow you to take transactional information and pass it on to acquiring banks while receiving responses from issuing banks. It is used to facilitate the communication of banks by authorizing credit card payments for online companies. Once your customers submit their credit card information, it is passed by the gateway to the bank.

High-risk payment gateways operate the same way to authorize transfers of funds between buyers and sellers.

The payment gateway provider will also be your merchant account provider. You’ll need to work with a company that specializes in high-risk merchant accounts. It is absolutely crucial to find a payment processor that has extensive experience in this sector and can help you keep your merchant account in good standing.

Choosing a High-Risk Payment Gateway

How Do High Risk Payment Gateways Work?

Transactions are completed by a payment gateway in the following way:

  • The customer inputs their credit card information into the website
  • The information is delivered to the merchant’s processor
  • The transaction is passed by the merchant’s processor to the credit card association or issuing bank
  • The transaction is approved or declined
  • The trade is authorized
  • Funds become available within 24-48 hours

What to Know When Applying for a High Risk Payment Gateway

When applying for a high-risk payment gateway, there are a few things you should know. 

Payment Gateway Vs. Merchant Account

Online payment processing will require both a payment gateway and a merchant account. When your customers pay for your product or services using their credit card, the money will be deposited into the merchant account. It will then be sent to your company’s bank accounts.

A merchant account is essentially a holding place for funds. The payment gateway either declines or approves the transaction. Learn more about high risk international payment gateway

Payment Service Providers (PSPs)

PSPs function as both a high-risk merchant account and a payment gateway. They can help you collect and manage the payments you receive from customers. 

How to Pick the Best High Risk Payment Gateway

You have TONS of options for high-risk payment gateways available at your disposal. However, determining which merchant services provider to work with will be crucial to the success of your business. Here’s how to pick the best payment gateway for your business.

Find a Gateway that Accepts More Than Just Credit Cards

It’s important to be able to accept credit cards from your customers, but you’ll want to find a payment gateway that provides more payment solutions for customers who don’t have credit cards or don’t want to provide their information.

Accepting alternative payments means being able to process more transactions. The type of payments you choose to accept will depend on a few factors – but if you’re selling online, you definitely want to consider accepting payments via ACH or Check 21.

Protects Your Business

When choosing a high-risk payment gateway, make sure the company you work with is there to protect you and has safeguards in place against fraud and detrimental situations. The best payment gateways are integrated with anti-fraud software and protection against high-chargeback ratios and their consequences.

Reasonable Rates

It’s important to understand that payment processors take on an excessive amount of risk when processing transactions for high-risk merchants. The fees associated with these accounts will invariably be higher than if you were a low-risk business because of this. They are absolutely necessary for the company to cover itself in case your business falls through and they are left with fees of their own.

That being said, while  it may seem like a necessary evil for high-risk merchants, you don’t have to accept unreasonable rates. Processing companies all have different fees so it’s always best to shop around for the most reasonable ones. There is no need to commit to high fees out of desperation.

Quality Customer Support

You’re likely to have hiccups when it comes to transactions: after all, NOTHING is perfect. As an eCommerce business, your business is technically open 24/7 – which means you need support around the clock from your payment gateway provider.

While not every merchant account provider will have customer service representatives available during all hours of the day, make sure they offer other support options like forums where their clients answer each others’ questions and a repository of guides and tutorials to help you work through some of the general problems that may arise. Learn about ecommerce credit card processing fees.


As with most partnerships, one of the most important aspects when it comes to picking the right payment gateway for your business is to work with a company with experience. This means a lot more than just experience as a merchant service provider; instead, make sure they’ve worked with tons of high-risk merchants like yourself.

You may also want to find a provider who works with your competition so that you can trust that they know what they’re doing when it comes to high-risk accounts. If a company typically offers low-risk gateways and has just started offering high-risk services, you may want to continue to shop around as they may not have the correct experience to help you through dilemmas that may arise.


The terms of the contracts will differ from payment gateway provider to payment gateway provider. Because of this, it’s always important to read the fine print. The last thing you want is to have your account shut down because you didn’t follow the rules. You’ll also find companies, like High-Risk Pay, that don’t require contracts, which means you’ll reap all of the benefits with zero of the downfalls. You won’t have to worry about the fine print because there is none.

Get the Best High Risk Payment Gateway

If you’re looking for a high-risk payment gateway, you’ve come to the right place. We offer approval within 24 hours and have a 95% approval rate. No matter what business you’re in, we can help you achieve success.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can get approved for a high-risk merchant account, or begin the application process on our website!

We Can Get You Approved!

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