Payment processing

5 High-Risk Industries for Payment Processing

Ecommerce is risky all on its own, but certain online businesses are more susceptible to phishing, fraud, and identity theft. Keep reading to learn more about five online industries that happen to be high-risk. Some of them may surprise you.

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1. Tobacco and E-cigarettes

The tobacco and e-cigarette industries are considered high-risk for a number of reasons. Many people attribute the risk factor to poor regulation, which inevitably leads to higher amounts of theft and criminal activity. The Wall Street Journal reports that many banks choose to avoid working with high-risk companies that sell products like cigarettes because they don’t want to deal with legal issues or risk exposing anyone to identity theft.


Luckily, even without the support of banks, there are ways for tobacco and e-cigarette companies to adequately authenticate online payments. Some payment systems on the market make themselves exclusively available for high-risk industries that have trouble getting support from banking institutions.

2. Medical Marijuana

The legal medical marijuana industry is still fairly new to society, and this presents new hurdles for banks and online merchants alike. As with the tobacco industry, banks are slow to allow medical marihuana companies to process payments from their cards because of the threat of fraud or hacks relating to an industry that is still not legal in many areas.


If banks are going to work with a medical marijuana company, they need to make sure that the company is 100% legal and that proper methods are taken to ensure the safety and legality of all payments. They also need assurance that shipping policies and prices correspond with local government laws.

3. Adult Entertainment

The adult entertainment industry is yet another huge business that deals with regulation issues. While there are some adult entertainment companies that do everything by the books, others run into issues with the law. Hence, not all adult entertainment sites are legal.


Nonetheless, a high volume of online users constantly spend money on this lucrative industry. In order to protect customers and businesses from the hefty cost of cyberattacks and fraud, high-risk payment platforms offer their services to the legal and upstanding businesses in this industry.

4. Online Dating

Payment processing in the online dating industry has its own set of dangers. For one, online dating payments are generally subscription based, meaning your card is on file and ready to be charged each month. Cybercriminals see this as an opportunity to make false charges and steal identities and credit card information.

This industry is also dangerous because not all profiles on online dating sites are genuine. Some accounts may be created for the sole purpose of stealing sensitive payment information from other members.

5. Gaming

It’s not all fun and games when it comes to processing payments in the gaming industry. Modern day gaming consoles like the PS4 have an enormous customer base and tons of users. Not all of these people are friendly, though; while some gamers pose as kind-hearted individuals, they may just be looking to steal user identities.

Why are gaming profiles so attractive to hackers? Gaming systems like consoles are now developed enough to have lucrative online stores that people can use to download games, movies, TV shows, and more. A lot of users attach methods of payment such as PayPal and credit cards to their account so they can easily purchase products. However, this paves the way for hackers to attempt fraud and other criminal activities.

Your Businesses Can Still Thrive in High-Risk Industry

Despite the numerous hurdles, hope is not completely lost if your business is operating in a high-risk industry. New technology is bringing secure payment services and platforms to businesses from all backgrounds. For more information about how you can improve your payment processing, feel free to contact one of our fabulous representatives!


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Matt Moore

As the President and Co-Founder of BNA Smart Payment Systems, Matt is responsible for the company’s strategic direction, daily operations, and growth. Entrepreneurial by nature, he brings a wealth of sales and marketing experience earned from over 36 years in business. He has developed, implemented, and directed international sales and marketing strategies, established strategic alliances with international companies, and demonstrated leadership in the electronic payments market. Prior to BNA, Matthew served at the senior levels of major EFT/POS companies, helping them increase sales and optimize customer service. Matt is also a father of three, a fitness enthusiast who does power lifting and CrossFit, and he enjoys weekends at the cottage.

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