What Is a High Risk Payment Processor? ​

Businesses all around the world need payment processors to ensure that all their customer’s payments go through. Cash is the one exception to this statement. Whether it’s through a credit or debit card, check, mobile payment, or other, having a merchant account with a payment processor is necessary.

Payment processors divide businesses into two categories: high-risk and low-risk. High risk merchants are less likely to get approved for a merchant account with many processors. Low-risk businesses often don’t have any problems getting approved for a payment processor.

That’s why working with a payment processor that understands the needs of high risk merchants is necessary. You can’t run a successful business without a trusted payment processor.

When you’re considered a high risk merchant, you need a trusted high risk payment processor to help handle your transactions. Not everyone approves high risk merchants, but that’s where we’re different! If you need a payment processor, we accept high risk merchants and offer cost-effective solutions.

Introducing High Risk Payment Processor

High Risk Merchants Are Welcome!

Best Merchant Services is prepared to help all merchants with their payment processing, especially high risk merchants! We don’t want any business to feel left out and think like they’ll never get to open a merchant account for secure payment processing. Many other payment processors don’t accept what they deem as high risk merchants for several reasons. Most payment processors don’t want to deal with businesses that are at a greater financial risk because it’s risky for them too. While it might not seem fair to you as a business owner, they’re doing their best to protect themselves. We believe every business deserves a cost-effective and safe solution to payment processing, no matter what industry you’re in.

At Best Merchant Services, we offer merchant accounts to applicants, usually within 24 hours if you qualify. And yes, high risk merchants can be eligible, and most do when applying with us. One of the main reasons that companies are deemed high risk by other payment processors is that they’re susceptible to chargebacks. Chargebacks are fraudulent charges or even charges that customers will dispute with their bank or creditor. Even if your business is at a higher risk of chargebacks, we want to help you succeed. Another common reason that you’ll see other payment processors calling your business a high risk business is because of a significant transaction rate. Many companies that have an average of $500 or more per transaction can be deemed high risk. This excludes grocery stores and gas stations. Some might consider your business high risk if you have an online or eCommerce business and accept international transactions. Since many international transactions are considered high risk for fraud, many payment processors won’t touch companies that allow this.

Some of the Industries We Work With

Best Merchant Services is there for you, no matter what type of business you have. We don’t only work with low-risk companies. We pride ourselves in helping businesses of all kinds with secure and fast payment processing.

Even if you’re not in any of the following industries, we can help with fast and affordable payment processing. Some of the industries we work with include:

  • Adult
  • Bail Bonds
  • CBD Companies
  • Coaching & Seminars
  • Collection Agencies
  • Consultants
  • Credit Repair
  • Dating
  • Debt Consolidation
  • Electronics
  • Guns and Firearms
  • High Volume
  • Lenders
  • Multi-Level Marketing
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Property Management
  • SaaS Companies
  • SEO & SEM Services
  • Subscription & Continuity
  • Tech Support
  • Tobacco & Paraphernalia
  • Travel-Related Services
  • Vape & E-Cigarettes
  • Web Design Services

We work with companies within these industries every day. Whether it’s to help with one payment processing solution or multiple, you can count on Best Merchant Services to be there for you.

The industries we work with aren’t limited to the list above. No matter what industry your business is in if you’re deemed a high risk business, get in touch with us! We’ll assess the situation and determine if partnering with us for your payment processing needs is a beneficial partnership.

High Risk Merchant Account

Get a Reliable & Cost-Effective High Risk Payment Processor

Best Merchant Services offers some of the most reliable and cost-effective services for high risk merchants. We have more than 20 years of industry experience, which makes us one of the top choices.

Throughout our 20+ years in the industry, we’ve built a strong reputation for being reliable and building relationships with all our clients. We take pride in building these relationships so we can understand what you need and never provide you with something you don’t. Our expert solutions will always have some of the lowest rates, so you can worry less about spending money on payment processing and more on aspects of your business that matter more. When you open a merchant account with us, you know that you can trust Best Merchant Services.

We understand that all of our clients are different. That’s why when you apply for a merchant account with us, we’ll customize a solution that works for you and your business. We also strive to make the application process as painless as possible. All we require is two consecutive months of processing statements and our applications.

We’ll get back to you within 24 hours at a better rate than your current payment processor or give you $500 for your time. More often than not, we’ll be able to offer you a better deal than other payment processors because a lot won’t work with high risk businesses. If you’re interested in partnering with us, we’ll work with you to come up with a plan that allows you to conduct business but isn’t overly risky for us. While we can’t say precisely how much it will cost your high risk business to work with us as your payment processor, we can confidently say we offer some of the best rates around. Each rate is different per business, and we determine our rates on several factors. We’ll evaluate the type of business you run, the types of transactions you take if you allow for national and international transactions, and more when determining the best rate we can offer your business. We never want to overcharge but will ensure that our pricing is fair and won’t break the bank as you grow your business.

Types of High Risk Merchant Accounts

No one wants to hear a credit card payment processor or bank tell them that their business is high risk. Unfortunately, it happens more often than you might think. We know that it can be incredibly discouraging to hear those words. The good news is that it’s not the end of the world. You just need to know which payment processors are willing and capable of opening a merchant account for you. It could be for various things if you’ve been labeled as a high risk merchant.

It could be that the industry is risky, you have offshore accounts, or your marketing is getting flagged as risky. We mentioned some of the industries we work with earlier, but there’s a lot to look over, and it doesn’t even skim the surface of the businesses we help. Here are a few of the types of high risk merchant accounts we take pride in helping:

  • CBD  Stores
  • Adult industry online and brick-n-mortar stores
  • Gun stores and shooting ranges
  • Online retail stores
  • Subscription box services

Regardless of why your business is deemed high risk, Best Merchant Services is here to help. We offer merchant accounts for brick-and-mortar businesses, online companies, and other businesses. We don’t discriminate, and while we require financial statements and information about your business, we’re far more lenient than other payment processors.

Once we approve your application, we’ll take a deep dive into what would work best for your business. We customize all our solutions to each client because we understand that there’s no one size fits all solution. We help high risk merchant accounts with the following payments:

Retail Payments

These are traditional payments you would make when visiting any store. Customers can pay with a debit or credit card or eCheck. If you just want a simple way to allow your customers to pay, this is a great solution we offer.

Virtual Terminal Payments

We can help process your customer's payments via telephone, fax, email, mail order, or in person via a credit or debit card.

Mobile Payments

If your customers are paying with their mobile phones thanks to services like Apple Pay, we can help process these payments and keep you and the customer safe. This includes paying with SquareUp and other similar services.

eCommerce Payments

These payments are when you can accept payment through an eCommerce platform. For example, we'll help with payment processing through Shopify and other eCommerce platforms.

As we’ve mentioned, we create payment processing solutions that are suitable for everyone’s specific needs. If you only need one of our payment processing solutions, that’s more than okay! If you want to think that more than one of the above solutions will be the best option for you, then we’ll work to make sure you’re satisfied with our services. We even offer loyalty and gift cards for your business. Offering gift cards and loyalty cards for your customers encourages return business, and your business benefits are guaranteed thanks to these prepaid cards. They’re a safe way to conduct business, and even though we work with high risk merchants, these are just another solution we offer to help you run a successful business. They’re a great way to help reduce the chargeback risks associated with high risk merchants.

Just because we offer solutions to reduce your financial risk doesn’t mean we don’t want to help your business, though.Even if you’re not sure what payment processing solutions you’re interested in, we’ll work with you. We’ll go over your options based on your business type and then go from there. We want to work with you, not against you. Sometimes startups are considered high risk merchants regardless of the industry they’re in. Starting a new business can be risky no matter what, and not all payment processors are ready to take on a new startup. We’re ready to be your trusted payment processor if you start a new business. We’ll work with you and help you grow your business. Hopefully, we’ll continue to be there for you as your business grows, and you’ll continue to trust us.


There’s a lot to learn about high risk payment processing as a business owner. Understanding why you’re considered a high risk business can help. Best Merchant Services is here to answer all your questions so you can feel confident in the payment processor you choose.

Check out some frequently asked questions that other business owners are wondering about being a high risk merchant.

What is a high risk merchant account?

A high risk merchant account is a business that the banks or credit card processors feel is at a higher risk for fraud, chargebacks, and other financial losses. When you have a high risk business, many payment processors will charge higher fees to account for the potential economic loss through your company.

Sometimes, payment processors will require more credit checks and further investigation into the business before confirming whether they’ll help with payment processing. You’ll likely need to provide far more financial statements to credit card and bank processors so they can determine how high risk your business really is.

Why do banks or credit card processors consider my business to be "high risk"?

High risk doesn’t immediately mean you have a subpar business. According to banks and credit card processors, many excellent companies have this title. There are three main factors that these processors use to determine if a company is high-risk. If you have a higher chargeback ratio, you can be considered high-risk.

Generally, any business with a chargeback rate over 1% is high-risk. Businesses that operate in new or highly regulated industries like cannabis or the adult industry can often be high-risk because of their uncertainty.

Lastly, accepting a large number of transactions on the phone or by mail is a higher risk than in-person transactions. Sure, it’s great for you because you’re earning an income, but banks tend to frown upon high-average transactions.

High-risk vs. low-risk merchant accounts

The main difference between high-risk and low-risk merchant accounts is the financial risk associated with each. Low-risk accounts are at a far lower risk for economic issues like fraud and chargebacks, while high-risk accounts are more likely to have these financial issues.

Some examples of low-risk merchant accounts are gas stations, grocery stores, pet stores, auto part stores, and parking garages. Most people aren’t going to dispute grocery store charges and gas charges because they’re basic necessities, unlike disputing CBD store charges.

Since these businesses are regularly used and less likely to experience financial issues, most processing companies will work with them before high-risk industries.

How long does it take to set up a high risk merchant account?

How long it will take you to set up a high risk merchant account will depend on what payment processor you choose to go with.

When you work with a payment processor who usually doesn’t work with high risk businesses, it can take several days to weeks to set up. It can take several days or weeks because they need far more financial information to verify how high risk your business is.

When you set up a high risk merchant account with Best Merchant Services, you can get your merchant account in as little as 24 hours! We are accustomed to working with high risk companies and won’t make you wait for ages to hear whether you’ll have a merchant account with us.

Can You Become a "Low Risk" Merchant if You're a "High Risk" Merchant?

Typically, you can’t get a bank or payment processor to consider you a low-risk merchant after you’ve been a high risk merchant. Technically, if you lower your transaction rates and amounts, don’t allow for international transactions, and have few chargebacks, you might be able to become what some consider low-risk.

Remember that while that’s unusual, it also comes with a price. You’ll lose a lot of business and strive to have your business reclassified as a low-risk business. Plus, there are several industries like cannabis, CBD, firearms, and the adult industry that will never be considered low-risk by payment processors.

Open Your Merchant Account Today

Open Your High Risk Merchant Account Today!

If other payment processors have deemed your business high risk, all hope isn’t lost. There are payment processors out there that will work with your high risk business and ensure that you can efficiently and securely process payments from your customers.

At Best Merchant Services, we’re eager to help you with your high risk payment processing services. No matter what type of business you run, we believe everyone deserves a payment processor they can trust. Applying is easy, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours with our answer.

If you’re ready to get started, you can open your high risk merchant account today by visiting the Best Merchant Services website and getting your free quote! Once we have all the necessary information, we’ll get back to you within 24 hours and come up with solutions to all your payment processing needs.

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