5 Signs You’d Benefit from High-Risk Merchant Services

Depending on your industry, your business model can be less appealing to banks and merchant service providers and be labelled as high risk. Being labelled high-risk can make it more difficult to get loans and find a merchant service provider to do business with.

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The good news is you can still get services through a high-risk merchant service provider.

Here are five signs you’d benefit from high-risk merchant services.

1. You Are a High-Risk Business

When it comes to payment processing, you might have trouble getting approved for a merchant account because you operate in a high-risk industry or fall under one of any number of reasons why a provider would classify your business as high risk, such as fraud, bad credit, or a history of chargeback.

The following are a few of the many industries/businesses that have higher incidences of chargebacks and that many merchant services deem as high risk.

  1. Airlines;
  2. Automotive brokers;
  3. Cannabis dispensaries;
  4. Debt collection;
  5. Fantasy sports sites;
  6. International import/export;
  7. Modelling;
  8. Real estate;
  9. Travel agencies; and
  10. Any weapons=related business.

Simply put, if your business model is considered high risk, finding a financial institution that is willing to deal with you is tough. Therefore, you need high-level merchant services that will put the success of your bottom line first.

2. You Get Many Chargebacks

There are several benefits to signing up with a high-risk merchant service provider, and the biggest one involves chargebacks.

Most of the time, the merchant is charged a fee for each chargeback, which covers the service’s administrative costs. However, a high-risk payment processor will have considerably higher fees for each individual instance. In addition, if the merchant is already in a high-risk business and is receiving excessive chargebacks, the costs go up even more.

With that said, a high-risk merchant account is actually very rarely terminated because of excessive chargebacks. Although the merchant might pay higher fees, the longevity and competitiveness of the actual business itself are not in any danger.

3. You Want to Earn More

With a high-risk merchant service backing your payment processing, you can potentially uncover a sustainable source of long-term growth for your business.

In fact, some merchants regularly rely on normally recurring payments or large-sum transactions to provide a steady stream of income that propels their businesses forward. With a high-risk merchant service provider, you can continue to use this business model without issue.

4. You Want to Be More Secure

The nature of “high-risk” businesses means they have to be more careful with their payment processing. High-risk merchant services will regularly employ reliable detection techniques during the transaction process to determine if the card, and the transaction in general, is legitimate. These secure techniques help protect the business, the merchant provider, and the card’s original owner from theft or fraud.

5. You Are Looking to Expand

You can take advantage of high-risk payment processors if you’re looking to expand, as normal low-risk processors impose limits (both in spending and in currency) on card transactions that can impede growth.

The earning potential of more sales alone can make high-risk merchant accounts seem appealing; add in the prospects of selling to more places—and in multiple currencies—and the revenue opportunities are endless.

Make sure you ask the right questions when shopping for a high-risk merchant services provider to ensure you’re partnering with the right provider.


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Ben Smith

Ben brings 20 years of experience to his role as IT Director for BNA Smart Payment Systems. Among his many directorial duties, he is responsible for the selection, acquisition, development, installation, maintenance, and support of IT infrastructure. Ben also establishes and leads a cross-functional architectural committee, acts as a technical expert and a critical technical resource across multiple disciplines, and consults on all system implementation, modification and integration activities. He graduated with Honours from Durham Collage in Computer Programming, and takes yearly training courses for security and development technologies to remain up-to-date. Outside of work, he loves playing hockey and skating with his family, and also enjoys gardening and cooking.

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