High Risk Merchants

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High Risk Merchant Account

All ecommerce businesses and businesses that accept debit and credit cards need a payment processor, but not all businesses have the same chance of being approved. If your business is considered high risk, it can be challenging to find a credit card processor willing to work with you.

Unfortunately, most merchant account providers instantly deny any high risk industry, believing they are simply too hard to work with. Many types of businesses are denied normal merchant accounts due to some type of risk association, as merchant account providers are liable for the risk of the business.

At Express Merchant Accounts (EMA), we offer tailored high risk merchant accounts designed to help you grow your business with competitive rates.

What is a High Risk Merchant?

A merchant may be considered high risk for many reasons, including an industry with a history of high chargeback rates, an account with a "reputational" risk like the adult industry, or a product or service with a longer-than-average chargeback liability period. For example, if your business offers annual memberships, customers have 18 months to issue a chargeback, or 6 months after the end of the service date. The two biggest factors that determine the risk of a business are the reputation of the industry and the business's sustainability.

Some industries have a history connection with problems, such as gambling and adult content, whereas all online businesses have some degree of risk as there is a higher susceptibility to data theft. Any business that has a somewhat high chargeback rate, like a travel business, will also need a high risk merchant account as customers that often cancel transactions or ask for refunds indicates some exposure to potential fraud. If your business is fairly new or you are in a somewhat new industry, you may also need a high risk processor as you can't show your business sustainability with a proven track record.

High risk businesses that usually need a high risk merchant account include:

  • Adult
  • Free trial or membership services
  • Bail bonds
  • Debt collection
  • Credit repair and/or debt consolidation
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Firearms and ammo
  • Multi-level marketing (MLM)
  • Nutraceuticals or herbal supplements
  • Payday loans and cash advances
  • Online dating sites
  • Online auctions
  • SEO and web development
  • Travel services

While these businesses can be very profitable, they often run into issues accepting payments. Merchants with a high level of risk typically require a specialized merchant account and a payment processor willing to offer tailored solutions.

Get Started with a High Risk Merchant Account

At EMA, we understand just how important reliable payment processing services are to hard-to-place merchants. While your business may fall under an unconventional category and you may struggle to find a processor willing to work with you, we offer custom merchant accounts to help you accept payments and fit the needs of your business. Contact us today to learn more about our high risk merchant account services and set up your free account with no hidden fees.