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Shaw Merchant Group
Best High Risk Merchant Processors
Saturday, January 14 2023

If you are a business that is in an industry that is considered high risk or you have past business experiences that have resulted in your business being classified as high risk, then you are well aware of the struggles and obstacles that often present themselves when trying to get a high risk merchant processing account. Merchant processing accounts are given out based on a merchant’s business factors such as processing history, industry, and bank history. Even if your business has a great history with processing and banking, you might need a high risk merchant processor because of the industry that you’re in.


Finding a high risk merchant processor is a lengthy process that often requires guidance. While there are several high risk merchant processors out there on the market, finding the right one is a process that isn’t always easy. However with our guidance to finding the best high risk merchant processors currently on the market, you can be sure that you find a high-quality partner that meets your needs and provides you with a merchant account for your high risk business.

What makes a business high risk?

There are dozens of factors that influence whether your business will be offered a merchant processing account, and some of them play a large part in determining whether your business is classified as high risk. Here are some of the factors that go into determining whether your business is going to be classified as high risk and whether you should start looking for a processor that is designed to meet your needs.

  • Processing history
  • Credit
  • Bank history
  • Chargeback history
  • Industry

If any of these factors are lagging, then it may prompt your business to start looking for a high risk merchant processor. One thing to keep in mind during the process is that you should not panic if your business is classified or considered to be high risk. There are processing options out there that you can utilize.

What should you look for in a high risk processor?

If you want to have the best experience when finding a processor for your business that is considered to be high risk, then there are a few key factors that you should be looking for. Following our advice for what to look for in a high risk processor is a great way to ensure that you get everything you need out of your merchant processing partner. In addition to getting everything you need out of the arrangement, you will also be able to make sure that your processor is well-suited for you and that there is a decreased risk of factors that might contribute to your processor closing your account, which would have a largely negative impact on your business.

On-time payments

One of the most important qualities to look for in any merchant processor is on-time and accurate payments. Your business relies upon payments to drive the business forward and fund business operations. It is both highly impractical and damaging to your business to partner with a merchant processor that doesn’t respect agreed upon payment amounts of payment dates. If you are expecting to be paid on a certain day and for a certain amount, you want a merchant processor that is going to follow through on that arrangement and make sure that your business has the funds to keep operations going and reduce the chances of suffering a loss due to delayed or inaccurate payments.

Chargeback / fraud prevention tools

If you’re in the high risk merchant business, then you know that one of the most common issues that high risk businesses face is fraud and chargebacks. These are common with businesses in certain industries, which is why they are classified as high risk by merchant processing companies and underwriters. Chargebacks and fraud contribute to making a less profitable account, so merchant processing providers are very wary of providing processing accounts to businesses with a history of fraud and chargebacks or businesses that are in an industry with historically high chargebacks or fraud. Luckily, there are certain ways that you can lower chargeback and fraud within your business with the right tools. You should seek to partner with a processing provider that offers a suite of tools aimed at reducing chargebacks and fraud.

Online reputation

One of the most important steps that you can take in the process of choosing a merchant processing partner is to do your research in the reputation of the processors that you are choosing from. When merchants are satisfied or dissatisfied with a merchant processor, they are sure to make those feelings known on line. Utilize the resources available to you to research the reputation of the merchant processing companies that you are considering for your business to find out if they are going to wind up being a good partner for your business.

Rates and affordability

Obviously, as a business owner, you’re going to want to consider the rates and affordability that you will have access to. High risk merchant processing companies are notorious for having higher rates than a typical processor, and getting carried away with processing rates can have a very damaging effect on your business. Always be sure to be clear with the rates that you are being offered and that you are not being taken advantage of.

Robust refund options

One of the best ways to reduce chargebacks and increase attractiveness to merchant processing providers is to issue a refund in the event that your customer is not satisfied. Oftentimes in high risk industries, customers will choose to file for a chargeback instead of seeking a resolution with the merchant. Another common occurrence is that merchants refuse to offer a refund, causing customers to file for a chargeback when they are not satisfied with the goods or services that have been rendered. If you can adjust your business model to refund the unsatisfied customer instead of elevating to a chargeback, you will save your business a lot of hassle and be much more likely to attract a merchant processing partner.

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