In this day and age, accepting credit cards as a form of payment for your business is an absolute must. For the average retail business, it is as easy as calling a merchant bank and requesting a merchant account. However, some businesses are classified as “High Risk” by processing institutions and are much more difficult to get a merchant account for and are typically more expensive.
A high-risk merchant is any merchant that has very poor credit and/or owns a business that operates in an industry that is known for having higher than average chargebacks and a higher chance of transactions being fraudulent. A few good examples of businesses that would be considered “High Risk” are as follows.
- Casino and poker sites
- Adult Services
- Online pharmacies
- VoIP companies
- Travel agencies
- Subscription-based businesses
The reason that processing banks are hard on businesses that are considered high risk is simple. If a business fails to meet its obligation to provide its customers with a service or if a business goes bankrupt and a customer demands their funds be returned to them, then the merchant bank is obligated to refund the customer out of their own pocket. All of the risks associated with processing payments are absorbed by the bank itself, and the bank just does not want to deal with that.
So, what options does a high-risk business have?
A business owner always has the option of not acquiring a high-risk merchant account and, thus, not accepting credit cards as a form of payment. Unfortunately, accepting credit cards as a form of payment is a must in order for a business to flourish. If you do not have the ability to accept a credit card, a customer is likely to just go to one of your competitors.
A more feasible option is to choose a merchant account service provider specializing in working with high-risk businesses. These professionals offer a complete range of high-risk merchant services, including high-risk credit card direct processing and high-risk e-check processing solutions. With their assistance, you can accept credit card payments in as little time as possible with a stable, safe solution with fair rates and favorable payment terms.