Credit Card Processing

Best High-Risk Credit Card Processors for Nutra

July 17, 2023

According to a recent report by Grand View Research, the global nutraceuticals market value in 2022 was at a staggering $291.33 billion and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.4% from 2023 to 2030. As people around the world continue to buy nutraceuticals in increasing numbers year after year, many entrepreneurs are setting up online businesses to meet the demand. Like other e-commerce sites, online nutraceutical businesses need high-risk merchant account providers to be able to accept and manage debit/credit card payments.

Unfortunately, most leading credit card processors refuse to work with nutraceutical businesses, citing the high-risk nature of the industry. This is mainly due to the shadowy legal status of some of the nutraceutical products and the ever-increasing risk of chargebacks from dissatisfied buyers. That said, securing a nutraceutical industry merchant account requires working with a payment provider specializing in providing high-risk credit card processing services to nutraceutical businesses.

This post will provide an in-depth review of why the nutraceutical industry is considered high-risk and a list of the best high-risk credit card processors for Nutra businesses.

image of why is the neutraceutical industry considered high risk by merchant account providers


Why Is the Nutraceutical Industry Considered High-Risk by Merchant Account Providers?

Despite being a huge and growing industry, many banks and payment providers are reluctant to provide credit card processing and related services to the nutraceutical industry. There are several reasons behind this, and they include the following:

Regulatory Complexity

The biggest problem facing the nutraceutical industry is the regulatory complexity surrounding various nutraceutical products. Unlike pharmaceuticals which are made using scientifically researched chemicals, nutraceuticals are created using food-based substances. This means that nutraceutical products consist of several naturally-occurring substances with a wide variety of legal statuses.

As a result, the classification of nutraceutical products can vary across different regions. Nutraceutical merchants are forced to deal with multiple regulatory agencies, changing sets of laws and other requirements before putting their products up for sale. This leads to potential regulatory compliance issues for payment providers.

Product Liability Concerns

Since nutraceutical products affect the human body, there are various risks associated with their sale and distribution. These risks are usually related to health claims, product quality and purity, potential side effects, and in the worst-case scenario, death. As a result, there are several instances in which the merchant and the payment provider may be hit with lawsuits from customers.

This elevates the risk of a tainted reputation, financial troubles, bankruptcy, and other issues that may result in financial loss for the banks and credit card processors. That said, many banks and payment providers prefer to remain uninvolved with the nutraceutical industry than bear that risk.

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Chargeback Risks

A chargeback usually occurs when a buyer disputes a given transaction and requests a refund from their credit card issuer. The nutraceutical industry is particularly prone to chargebacks due to various reasons. One is the unclear classification of nutraceutical products and how they differ from pharmaceuticals.

Secondly, a customer may initiate a chargeback if they believe the results from a given product do not match the merchant’s exaggerated claims about it. Even worse, the customer does not need to prove that the merchant made an exaggerated claim about the product. They need only to show that the merchant hinted at a particular result that they didn’t get, resulting in them winning the dispute.

Additionally, some customers who have activated recurring billing may forget that their credit cards will be billed every other month. Such customers are more likely to initiate chargebacks once they receive their monthly credit card statements.

Heightened Risks of Fraud

Even though brick-and-mortar stores may fall victim to fraud at any point in time, the risk is bigger for online businesses. The increasing demand for nutraceutical products and the online nature of most nutraceutical businesses has made the industry a target for fraudsters and scammers. Due to the high degree of anonymity, it’s much easier for fraudsters to use stolen credit card information and carry out unauthorized transactions.

Additionally, nutraceutical businesses with high sales volumes are more likely to face a higher risk of chargeback fraud. This increases the risk of financial loss for the merchant and the bank providing credit card processing.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a High-Risk Credit Card Processor for Your Nutraceutical Business

When looking for a high-risk credit card processor for your nutraceutical business, there are several factors you ought to consider. These factors will make it easier for you to land a suitable high-risk credit card processor that meets your unique business needs. They include the following:

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Accepted Cards

Before partnering with any high-risk credit card processor, it’s important to check the types of credit it supports. You need to ensure you work with a payment provider that handles all the major credit cards, including Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express. Additionally, you may also want to consider a payment provider that supports alternative payment methods, such as digital wallets, mobile payments, and bank transfers, as it helps improve customer satisfaction.

High-Risk Industry Experience

As mentioned, many banks and credit card processors consider the nutraceutical industry high-risk. As a result, you want to work with a credit card processor that has years of experience working with nutraceutical businesses and other high-risk merchant accounts. They should also be knowledgeable about all the challenges and regulatory compliance issues faced by businesses in the nutraceutical industry.

Chargeback Protection

Nutraceutical merchant accounts are often subject to chargebacks from dishonest customers. Therefore, before partnering with any high-risk credit card processor, ensure you inquire about the policies and systems they have in place to protect your nutraceutical business against chargebacks and fraud.

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Payment Processing Fees

It’s worth noting that the payment processing fees charged by a high-risk credit card processor can easily impact your profit margins. Therefore, ensure you understand the pricing structure used by the credit card processor you intend to work with. It’s highly recommended that you compare the payment processing rates and fees charged by different high-risk credit card processors before choosing one that aligns with your budget and business needs.


Your nutraceutical business will likely grow over time. This means you may end up requiring higher transaction volumes, more alternative payment methods, and even an offshore nutraceutical merchant account. That said, you need to choose a high-risk credit card processor that will support your business’ growth through all stages.

Customer Support

Reliable customer support is vital, especially when dealing with potential payment processing issues, regulatory compliance issues, instances of fraud, and chargebacks. Therefore, you need to work with a high-risk credit card processor that offers high-quality customer support to ensure that such issues are resolved in the shortest time possible.

Reputation and Reviews

Before partnering with any credit card processor, ensure you read the reviews from other nutraceutical businesses. This will give you an idea of the quality of payment processing services the provider offers, as well as their fees, reliability, and customer service.

Best High-Risk Credit Card Processors for Nutra Merchants

When it comes to high-risk credit card processors for nutraceutical businesses, there are several options to choose from. Here are some of the best high-risk credit card processors for Nutra merchants that offer the most value for money.

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Headquartered in Encino, California, PaymentCloud is a payment provider that serves high-risk businesses like nutraceuticals. The company is widely renowned for its great features, such as zero account setup fees, free credit card terminals, reasonable payment processing fees, merchant cash advances, EMV-capable terminals, and unparalleled customer service.

PaymentCloud works with several acquiring banks to increase the client’s chances of approval and customizes its pricing structure based on the nutraceutical merchant’s payment processing history. To date, the high-risk credit card processor has not gotten any negative feedback.

Shark Processing

Shark Processing is another reputable high-risk credit card processor that may be a great fit for your nutraceutical business. The company is best known for providing affordable credit card processing services to various high-risk industries. Over the years, Shark Processing has partnered with leading credit card issuers, such as American Express, Visa, and Mastercard, in about 170 countries.

In addition to credit card processing, Shark Processing allows nutraceutical merchants to accept over 20 types of cryptocurrencies through SharkPay Crypto. If your business is based in Europe, you can easily convert cryptocurrencies into euros in real time at the best market price available. Moreover, the high-risk credit card processor provides nutraceutical merchants with a dashboard where they can hold funds and even control the conversion.

image of for nutra nerchant (EMB) is a California-based credit card processor that offers high-risk payment processing services to various high-risk businesses. The company believes that all kinds of businesses deserve to thrive in today’s fast-paced business environment, including nutraceutical businesses. As a result, it is focused on utilizing its years of experience in providing high-risk payment processing solutions to ensure that nutraceutical businesses meet their unique needs and overcome the industry’s biggest challenges.

Some of the best features offers nutraceutical companies and other high-risk businesses include ACH transfer, online payment gateways, chargeback prevention programs, high-volume payment solutions, Point-of-Sale (POS) solutions, and business funding. The company also helps properly-licensed nutraceutical merchants open offshore merchant accounts to continue expanding their businesses globally.

The Bottom Line

With so many high-risk payment providers in the world today, getting secure credit card processing services for your nutraceutical business has never been easier. With most high-risk credit card processors, the application process only takes a couple of minutes to complete, and you’ll hear back from the company in less than a day. Whether you have bad credit or no payment processing, you can still find a credit card processor to partner with.

However, ensure you consider the above factors before signing any contract. This way, you can make an informed decision and land the ideal high-risk credit card processor for your nutraceutical business.

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