Merchant Accounts

Best High-Risk Merchant Accounts for WooCommerce

July 7, 2023

The advent of WooCommerce provided a platform for thousands of website owners using WordPress to sell products and services online. Unfortunately, as with many e-commerce platforms, WooCommerce is widely regarded as a high-risk business, making it difficult for online merchants to find reliable credit card processing companies willing to work with them.

On the upside, you can still find a high-risk payment gateway that specializes in working with WooCommerce stores. You just have to find the right one that meets the specific needs of your business. So, to make things a little easier for you, here are some of the best high-risk merchant accounts for WooCommerce. We’ve also thrown in some other important information.

What Is a High-Risk Merchant Account?

A high-risk merchant account is basically a payment processing account expressly created for businesses that are deemed high-risk. These accounts make it easier for businesses that have difficulty finding a mainstream account provider willing to work with them due to the fraud and financial risks the business poses.

These accounts typically have higher markups than regular payment accounts since account providers want to cushion themselves from any potential financial losses.


On the upside, high-risk merchants partner with banks that work with high-risk businesses, thus making it easier to process payments. These banks also offer fraud and chargeback mitigation services to protect both the business and themselves from financial losses.

image of what makes woocommerce a high risk business

What Makes WooCommerce a High-Risk Business?

Most WooCommerce stores sell products and services that mainstream merchant account providers consider high-risk. These considerations typically vary among merchants and may change over time. Merchants’ categorization for high-risk businesses may include the following:

  • High potential for fraud: Like other online businesses, the greatest risk facing WooCommerce stores is the prevalence of fraud. Besides the increasing cases of information (personal and financial) theft by hackers, fraudsters are more likely to use stolen credit card data to make purchases online.
  • Products or services offered: Some products, including adult entertainment, cannabis, and pharmaceuticals, are highly regulated and have numerous compliance guidelines. Due to the complexities that come with such businesses, some merchant account providers would rather not work with them.
  • Previous chargebacks: Chargebacks occur when a dissatisfied or fraudulent customer disputes a transaction with their bank, which potentially results in financial losses for the merchant. WooCommerce businesses that deal in high-value goods, subscription-based services, and other products prone to customer dissatisfaction typically have more chargebacks and are, therefore, associated with a higher risk.
  • International transactions: A significant portion of WooCommerce sales involves international transactions. These transactions are typically barred with numerous complexities, including currency conversions and regulatory complications. Additionally, some merchant account providers don’t partner with international banks, making it more difficult to process transactions.
  • Reputation and industry norms: One of the first things a merchant account provider considers when determining your WooCommerce store’s risk factor is your business’ reputation. Like many online stores, WooCommerce stores are more prone to legal issues, poor customer reviews, and financial instability, which adds to their risk factor.

The Best High-Risk Merchant Accounts for WooCommerce

Some of the best high-risk merchant accounts for WooCommerce include the following:

image of soar payments merchant account for woocommerce

Soar Payments

Soar Payments provides merchant accounts for diverse industries, including solutions for high, medium, and low-risk businesses. Some of the most common businesses the platform specializes in include health and beauty, fantasy sports, financial and legal services, firearms, travel, tobacco and vape, SaaS, and SEO/SEM businesses.


The onboarding process at Soar Payments is pretty straightforward. You get an instant quote with your application submission, followed by an account pre-approval within 24 hours and full approval within five business days.

As a WooCommerce business owner, you get to choose between USAePay and Authorize.Net for processing online transactions. Both services offer standard shopping cart integrations and a few custom integrations to streamline the product and service provider payments of your business.

And like most merchant account providers, Soar Payments also provides fraud prevention and chargeback management services to protect you from financial losses. The chargeback mitigation services come in the form of email alerts and representative services to help you fight illegitimate chargebacks.

The platform also comes with an iSpyFraud filter integration that helps detect fraud, block suspicious activities, and screen suspicious transactions.

SharkPay Crypto

SharkPay Crypto provides payment processing services for high-risk online transactions, including WooCommerce sales. With nearly a decade of experience under its belt, SharkPay prides itself as one of the leading payment processors in the industry.

The platform partners with several banks and other payment processors to deliver seamless payment processing services to online businesses. Besides processing your payments, SharkPay also offers several risk mitigation services, including fraud detection and chargeback protection to safeguard your transactions.

SharkPay also has a pretty fast and straightforward onboarding process, with swift approvals that typically take between 24 and 72 hours. The platform doesn’t charge most merchants any account set-up fees, though you may have to contact them to learn if your WooCommerce store falls within this category.


image of payment cloud merchant account for woocommerce

Payment Cloud

Payment Cloud is arguably one of the best merchant account providers for WooCommerce. It also has one of the most extensive lists for approved businesses and boasts a 98% approval rating with its partnered banks.

The high-risk payment processor offers a hands-on approach during the onboarding process. They provide everything needed to help businesses through the application process, utilizing various back-end processors to help you find the lowest rates.

Once you’re in, the platform continues to offer dedicated support for key functions. These include migration management, cardholder subscription, and advanced fraud and chargeback mitigation services.

The platform supports various payment methods for WooCommerce stores, including virtual terminals, payment gateways, and online shopping cart integrations.

How to Choose the Best High-Risk Merchant Account for WooCommerce

Despite the seemingly wide availability of high-risk merchant account providers for WooCommerce, some account providers are better suited to the task than others. Therefore, you need to pick the best merchant account provider for your business. That said, here are a few factors to consider when researching and choosing the appropriate merchant account provider.

image of fraud and chargeback protection

Fraud and Chargeback Protection

Fraud and chargebacks are some of the biggest reasons why WooCommerce stores are considered high-risk businesses. They pose a significant risk for financial losses both for your business and the merchant account provider.

Some of the best merchant account providers offer additional security services for anticipating and preventing fraud and chargebacks. They also have a proven track record of keeping businesses safe from financial losses. Therefore, it is advisable for you to choose a merchant without a previous history of issues related to financial losses.

Fast Approval and High Approval Ratio

Filling out an application form doesn’t provide any guarantees that your business will get approval for the merchant account, even though you qualify. Therefore, it is better to go for companies with fast approvals so you don’t end up wasting significant time waiting for approval that might not come.

Additionally, as a high-risk business, some banks are unwilling to work with WooCommerce stores. To get around this limitation, businesses rely on the partnership of merchant account providers with various banks to process their financial transactions. As such, you need a company with a high approval ratio for financial transactions to prevent instances of missing out on sales.

image of fees to choose merchant account for woocommerce


As a high-risk business owner, you’re already expecting to pay higher transaction fees than regular businesses. With that said, some merchant account providers have higher markups than others, making them less profitable to work with.

Most merchant account providers don’t display their fees on their websites. For you to be able to compare their fees with other providers, you may have to contact their customer service representatives to get the information. Alternatively, you can fill out an application form and get a quotation.

When determining whether the fees are favorable, you also have to take into account other value-added services being offered. Features like fraud and chargeback mitigation and custom integration might rack up the fees.

Additionally, merchant account providers have various types of fees tied to your merchant account. These fees vary from company to company, with some being optional or non-existent in others.

For instance, some merchant account providers charge a set-up fee while others don’t. You may also be expected to pay several other fees, including the following:

  • A monthly minimum fee
  • Chargeback fee
  • Cancellation fee
  • Gateway fee


Integrations with shopping cart software and payment gateways are a basic necessity for any WooCommerce business. Therefore, you need a merchant account provider that offers integrations with platforms like WooCommerce, WordPress, and Shopify to facilitate your online payments.

image of customer support to choose merchant account for woocommerce

Customer Support

Like most online businesses, WooCommerce stores make sales round the clock. This means that payment issues can occur at any time. Therefore, you need a merchant account provider that’s always available to take your call and respond to queries whenever they arise.

The Bottom Line

High-risk merchant account providers serve as a reliable means for WooCommerce businesses to process online transactions. Unlike traditional banks, merchant account providers are more lenient when it comes to account approval. They also offer much-needed fraud and chargeback mitigation services.

That said, you also need to consider what the provider offers in the form of security and value addition services before deciding to work with them. This way, you are better able to streamline your product and service delivery, helping you attract more customers.

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