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High Risk Merchant Accounts: Does Your Business Qualify?

Are you a business owner denied by banks or traditional merchant providers because your venture is high-risk? Is your company struggling to get approved to accept card payments due to a higher risk of chargebacks or fraud? If so, high-risk merchant accounts might be the ideal solution for you!

High-risk merchant accounts cater to businesses operating as 'high risk' because of their industry, high chargebacks, fraudulent activity, or other factors. 

In this blog from ModPay Solutions, we'll discuss high-risk merchant accounts, if your business qualifies, and what benefits they can offer you.

High Risk Merchant Accounts: Does Your Business Qualify?

Table of Contents:

  1. Understanding High-Risk Merchant Accounts

  2. Which Industries Typically Require a High-Risk Merchant Account?

  3. Guidelines for Obtaining a High-Risk Merchant Account

  4. High-Risk Merchant Accounts: How to Know If Your Business Qualifies 

  5. Industry Type

  6. Credit History

  7. Transaction Volume

  8. International Sales

  9. Reputation

  10. Benefits of High-Risk Merchant Accounts

  11. Conclusion 

People Also Ask:

What are high-risk merchant accounts?

A merchant account for high-risk businesses means that banks and traditional processors saw the company as more likely to suffer higher chargebacks or fraud.  

What is considered a high-risk account? 

Businesses require a high-risk merchant account if they have a greater risk of chargebacks or fraud. Companies may also need these accounts if they work in specific industries and wish to accept credit card payments.

What is a high-risk merchant account, and how does it work?

A high-risk merchant account is a kind of bank account offered by a payment processor. This account allows businesses to process credit and debit card payments.

These merchant accounts make accepting card payments possible for companies that banks and other payment processors have previously denied. 

Understanding High-Risk Merchant Accounts

First things first, what are merchant accounts for high-risk businesses? These high-risk accounts are business bank accounts specifically designed to make processing payments possible for companies considered 'high-risk.' 

Merchants or businesses classified as high-risk operate in industries with greater financial risks where chargebacks are common. Companies that sell services or products subject to fraudulent activities are also high-risk. 

Because many high-risk merchants cannot qualify for traditional merchant accounts, these businesses need alternative merchant solutions to help them accept card payments without worry. 

Which Industries Typically Require a High-Risk Merchant Account?

Businesses in specific industries are more likely to require a high-risk merchant account due to the nature of the business.

These may often include:

  • CBD and Vape Sales

  • Tech Support

  • Nutraceuticals

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Dating Services 

  • Telemarketing

  • Antiques 

  • Auctions

  • Life Coaching

  • Debt Collection 

If your business operates in any of these industries, you'll need to apply for a merchant account catering to high-risk companies.

Guidelines for Obtaining a High-Risk Merchant Account

The criteria for obtaining a high-risk merchant account vary depending on the provider.

The four most common guidelines include the following: 

  1. Monthly volume of sales

  2. The industry your business operates in

  3. History of chargebacks and fraud

  4. Type of products, goods, or services sold

High-Risk Merchant Accounts: How to Know If Your Business Qualifies 

If your venture operates in a high-risk industry, you may qualify for a high-risk merchant account. 

Other factors contributing to merchants being high-risk may include running a company with high ticket sales (most transactions over $1,000). Another factor can be conducting business in industries with increased regulatory requirements, such as healthcare or pharmaceuticals.

Read on to discover more about what can make your business qualify for a high-risk merchant account.

Industry Type

Certain industries are at high risk because of their business model or increased likelihood of chargebacks. Such sectors include online dating sites, pharmaceuticals, adult entertainment, travel booking websites, and more. 

If your business operates in any of these industries, you'll likely need a high-risk merchant account to accept card payments. 

Credit History

You may need a high-risk merchant account if your business has a history of chargebacks or delinquency. Banks and traditional payment processors will assess your credit history, sales volume, and revenue projections before deciding. 

If your company doesn't meet their criteria, a high-risk merchant account may be a better solution.

Transaction Volume

Your business may qualify for a high-risk merchant account if it generates a high sales volume. If so, a merchant account designed for a high-risk business will better support your growth. 

Traditional banks and financial institutions may be unable to handle the higher volume of transactions, resulting in delays and declined payments. High-risk merchant accounts can provide the necessary infrastructure and support to handle such transaction volumes.

International Sales

Does your business operate in multiple countries or accept payments in various currencies? A high-risk merchant account provided by experts may be an excellent option. 

Most traditional banks may not wish to or be equipped to handle your business' international financial operations, resulting in currency conversion delays or issues.

Merchants accounts for high-risk companies can often provide the proper support to ensure seamless payments. 


It may seem silly, but your business' reputation can truly help make or break you. If your venture has a good reputation for customer service and solid financials, you may have an easier time processing card transactions. 

If your company has a bad reputation or is involved in fraudulent activities, you may have difficulty getting approved for a merchant account. Luckily, processors can still help you, especially by providing high-risk merchant accounts

Benefits of High-Risk Merchant Accounts

The key benefit of having a high-risk merchant account is receiving and accepting card payments. Without a merchant account, businesses would struggle to receive payments from customers, potentially resulting in the closure of the business. 

High-risk merchant accounts usually come with features such as secure payments, fraud prevention tools, and recurring billing. These features are essential for entrepreneurs to expand their operations and remain profitable.


Merchant accounts for high-risk businesses offer a lifeline to those denied access to standard merchant accounts. Regardless of your industry, volume of sales, or history of chargebacks, there are providers who will cater to your needs. 

With the benefits of high-risk merchant accounts, businesses can start accepting payments and reach their financial goals. Get in touch with a merchant account provider today and take the first step in growing your business. 

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