What To Look For In A High Risk Payment Processor


Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Finding and choosing the right high risk payment processor can ensure success in your business.

High risk merchant accounts allow merchants to accept credit and debit payments from their customers. When you are categorized as a high risk merchant, you need to prepare yourself for some inevitable outcomes such as higher than average fees as well as more stringent contracts. 

Fraudsters are well aware that high risk merchants have fewer payment processors to choose from. They usually target desperate merchants, eager to take payments. The result of signing up with these scammers is that they will charge you exorbitant prices and even lock you into severely unfair contracts.

Before you go on the hunt for the most suitable high risk payment processor for your business, arm yourself with empowering information so that you have all the tools you need to make the right choice. Take control by familiarizing yourself with these industry rates, fees, as well as costs.

High Risk Merchant Account Rates

  • Flat-Rate Pricing Scheme – This pricing model is pretty straightforward. You are basically charged a fixed percentage and a fixed per transaction fee for each processed payment. Problem? The more you process per month, the more you have to pay. Come to an agreement with your processor to accommodate the rate when you have hit a specific processing volume.
  • Tiered Price Model – Here the provider collects the different interchange fees, only to group them according to the level of risk. The main issue is that the processor has the final say as to which transactions are categorized into which tier. Meaning greater financial gain for them.
  • Account Fees – Depending on the processor, you could be charged monthly, annually or randomly. The monthly fee is the most common as it is used to manage your merchant account. It covers customer service, account statements, and other unforeseen costs associated with your account.
  • Chargeback Fees – These fees are calculated by both processor and the acquiring banks, depending on the goods and services you sell. Without question, your fees as a high risk merchant will be higher. But don’t stop there, find a processor who provides anti-fraud filters to mitigate the number of chargebacks filed against you.
  • PCI Compliance Fees – This is considered a “non-standard fee” and what you receive after paying will be determined by the provider you choose. Normally, this fee gives you access to their advice and support for staying in compliance.
  • Termination Fees – This fee is issued when you decide to end your merchant account contract before the end of the agreement. Also known as the Early Termination Fee, it is compensation owed to the processor for the expenses incurred when terminating  a merchant account.

Other Services

  • Offering multiple currencies and languages – If you have international customers, it’s imperative that the payment gateway and other payment methods are accessible in different currencies languages. Not doing so will result in loss of customer and income.
  • Chargeback Surveillance 24/7 – By monitoring chargebacks around the clock, you can improve your MID, prevent chargeback fees, and lessen the blow that criminal fraud can have on your business. Ask your provider if they offer this.

Get Familiar With High Risk Merchant Accounts

High risk merchant accounts are in a category of their own. It’s important to distinguish what is standard practice and what is considered abusive. Never sign a contract until you do your research, pore over reviews, ask for recommendations, and find them on the Better Business Bureau. This will ensure you will find a reputable high risk payment provider.