There are many reasons that credit card processors may classify your business as high-risk, none of which reflect poorly on your business. Whether the issues are your high transaction volumes, the fact that you accept international payments, or that you are part of high-risk industries, you will need to find a processor that specializes in high-risk transactions.
Luckily, more and more credit card processors accept high-volume, high-risk merchant accounts. As the demand for a high-risk merchant account grows among such businesses, so does the number of options. We’ve evaluated and listed the best high-risk, high-volume credit card processors, so you don’t have to sort through all the options yourself.
Before looking at the various credit card processing options, understand why your company may require high-risk merchant accounts. Any of the following can lead to this classification:
Even if you are an established business and have an excellent credit score, processors will likely consider you high-risk if you are in certain high-risk industries. Some of the most common high-risk businesses and industries include:
If you fit into any of the above high-risk industries, then you will likely need to choose from the best high-risk, high-volume credit card processors. Each of the following credit card processors would be a great choice.
Durango Merchant Services works with international merchants as well as domestic ones. It specializes in high-risk merchant accounts and even enables you to accept cryptocurrency and e-checks.
High-risk businesses praise the company’s customer service. You get a dedicated account manager and get to choose one of several universal credit card terminals.
Its pricing plans are also noteworthy. However, you will need to contact Durango Merchant Services for pricing information, as it doesn’t publish rates. You may also need to pay an early termination fee if you close your high-risk merchant accounts early.
High-Risk Pay is particularly appealing for adult-themed businesses. This is one of the processor’s specialties, so you are likely to be approved, even if you are in these high-risk industries. It also allows for recurring and online payments.
High Risk Pay’s pricing transparency sets it apart from other similar providers. Expect to pay about 2.95% plus $0.25 per transaction, but the exact processing fee will depend on the transaction type. Their services also come with a monthly fee of at least $10.
As the name implies, Easy Pay Direct aims to give small business owners easy payment processing. You get one point of contact for complex or high-volume online payments. You also get a single payment gateway but can have multiple merchant accounts.
An advantage of Easy Pay Direct is that most merchants won’t have early termination fees. You can also take advantage of the load-balancing feature.
This credit card processor offers its own payment gateway, countertop terminals, and a shopping cart. If you prefer, you can use one of 250+ third-party carts with your high-risk businesses instead.
Host Merchant Services is one of the companies that offer both high-risk and low-risk credit card processing. It is worth considering if you are an e-commerce business in a high-risk category in need of a high-risk merchant account.
As a bonus, Host Merchant Services offers a free email address and website. All merchants get a virtual terminal and a chance to qualify for a free physical terminal. In-person businesses can also take advantage of the cash discounting program.
You will pay monthly service fees, batch fees, and gateway fees. The transaction fee is 0.35% plus $0.10. Their services do not come with a monthly minimum nor an early termination fee.
If you want to accept credit cards for online payments, Inovio is a very strong option. Another bonus of Inovio is that it offers a POS, making it an all-in-one solution and increasing ease of use for high-risk businesses.
For even more versatility, Inovio has APIs, which will enable you to use it with most programming languages. However, the pricing is quote-based, so you will need to contact Inovio for an estimate.
National Processing is a popular option if you need credit card processing but also want to process multiple payments in cash or accept ACH (Automated Clearing House). It also works with many credit card readers, so you can likely use your preferred one. You will also get useful integrations.
The monthly fee starts at $10. Interchange plus pricing from National Processing depends on your business type and transaction place. You can expect to pay anywhere between 1.5% and $0.48 per transaction. That said, you may qualify for 0% or $0.00 fees.
Before you get their services, note that National Processing requires a contract, which will lead to high fees if breached. The fees will include the costs for the equipment National Processing gives merchants for “free.”
If you choose to purchase your own processing hardware, you won’t need a contract.
Payline stands out with its competitive pricing and user-friendly interface. It is especially popular among small businesses with high transaction volumes.
Payline has a monthly fee of $10 for in-person processing or $20 for online processing. The company uses an interchange plus pricing plan. In-person transactions are priced at 0.4% plus $0.10 above the interchange. Online transactions cost 0.75% plus $0.20.
This processor has always been a leader in pricing transparency. It even claims to be the first to display processing fees on its website. This transparency has led to a strong industry reputation and may help high-risk businesses easily determine whether Payline is the right provider for their business needs.
SharkPay offers a next-generation payment experience that improves both the user experience for your customers and your behind-the-scenes processes. It is available to most businesses, including those with high-risk merchant accounts.
From your customers’ perspective, it is an alternative to an e-wallet. The funds in SharkPay aren’t held, so customers’ funds are always safe. There is also zero exposure of spending authority, and all personal data is protected. That data protection gives customers peace of mind and reduces your business’s liability.
From your perspective as the merchant, SharkPay encourages frictionless impulse buys. This will help increase your sales. Meanwhile, the high customer satisfaction rate will increase customer loyalty and generate positive reviews.
PaymentCloud integrates with a lot of other programs that your company may already be using. It also enables you to accept every type of transaction, including e-checks and ACH. This flexibility makes it popular for companies that accept recurring or online payments in addition to in-person payments.
This credit card processor also adds value via its custom fraud filters. You can customize these to your needs when setting up the payment gateway. If you need one, PaymentCloud will give you a free credit card terminal as well.
PaymentCloud migrates cardholder data from Braintree, Stripe, or other aggregators. It can even integrate your e-commerce gateway on your CMS. This processor also has highly-rated customer support.
Pricing is quote-based, but you can expect to pay a monthly fee of at least $10. Some companies are hesitant about this lack of transparency, but PaymentCloud somewhat makes up for this by assigning you a dedicated representative. You also get diagnostics and coaching to avoid chargebacks, all of which add value.
Soar Payments is another popular option and among the best high-risk, high-volume credit card processors because it works with so many different industries. It also accepts recurring, in-person, and online transactions. That said, there are some restrictions on recurring payments, so you may need to verify if your company can be approved.
With Soar Payments, you get plenty of integrations, so you can fit this payment processor into your existing systems. You can also opt for chargeback protection and an anti-fraud package.
Soar Payments is another quote-based company. The best way to get an estimate is to reach out to them directly. Unlike some other payment processors, Soar Payments lets you start the quote process on the phone.
While any of the above options would be a good choice for your credit card processing, you will have to choose the best match for your high-risk business. Keep the following factors in mind as you decide which would be the best fit.
The very first thing to consider is whether a given credit card processor will accept your business. Not every processor that specializes in high-risk business will accept every industry.
In addition to your type of industry, confirm that your chosen processor accepts your transaction volume. Some processors specialize in high- or low-volume businesses, while others will accept either.
If you need to accept recurring payments, such as a subscription model, make sure you confirm that is an option as well.
Once you are certain that you can be accepted as a high-risk merchant account, ensure you understand all the fees involved. Remember to look at monthly fees, as well as per-transaction fees.
Many credit card processors advertise fees in a range of “as low as.” Remember that lower fees typically apply only to low-risk businesses. So, pay close attention to the types of transactions and their respective fees.
You must also check for other hidden fees, such as the following:
Another important consideration is whether you have to sign a contract with a given credit card processor. The best ones won’t require contracts or at least won’t have early termination fees.
If a company requires a contract, that doesn’t automatically make it a bad choice. As long as it has good reviews and you are confident it fits your requirements, you may still consider it for your high-risk, high-volume business.
As mentioned, credit card processors may consider you high risk if your credit score is low. Some processors may not even accept your business solely because on your credit score. So, if your credit score is less than stellar, confirm that it is acceptable to your chosen processor.
Finally, consider other helpful additional features as a high-risk merchant. Some of the credit card processors on our list offer physical terminals on top of virtual terminals. You may also benefit from features like chargeback protection, built-in shopping carts for e-commerce, or dedicated customer service representatives. Some provide an exceptional customer experience, encouraging more sales loyal clientele.
As a high-risk business with high transaction volumes, your options for credit card processing are more limited than those for companies in other non-high-risk industries. Even so, high-risk businesses like yours have numerous choices that make it easy to accept credit card payments while sticking to your budget.
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