A Detailed Guide for Credit Card Processing for High-Risk Businesses


If you’re a high-risk business, you know that finding a credit card processor can be difficult. You may have been turned down by several processors, or maybe you’re just not sure where to start. Either way, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about credit card processing for high-risk businesses.

We’ll start by discussing what high-risk businesses are and why they may have trouble finding a processor. Then, we’ll go over some of the steps you can take to improve your chances of getting approved for processing services. Finally, we’ll give you a few tips on how to choose the right processor for your business.

What Is a High-Risk Business?

A high-risk business is any business that is considered to be a greater risk for fraud or chargebacks. There are many reasons why a business may be considered high risk, but some of the most common include:

  • Businesses that sell products or services that are often the target of fraud, such as digital products or services, tickets, or travel.
  • Businesses that have a high rate of chargebacks.
  • Businesses that operate in industries that are considered to be high risk, such as gambling, adult entertainment, or pharmaceuticals.
  • Businesses that are new or have a limited credit history.

Why Is It Harder for High-Risk Businesses to Find a Processor?

The main reason why it can be difficult for high-risk businesses to find a processor is because they pose a greater risk of fraud and chargebacks. When a processor approves a business for processing services, they’re taking on the risk that the business will commit fraud or have a high rate of chargebacks. To offset this risk, processors charge higher fees for high-risk businesses.

In some cases, the fees charged by processors can be so high that it’s not worth it for the business to accept credit cards. In other cases, the processor may require the business to have a reserve account, which is an account that the processor holds onto in case of chargebacks or fraud.

What Are the Steps I Can Take to Improve My Chances of Getting Approved?

There are a few steps you can take to improve your chances of getting approved for credit card processing:

  • Get a dedicated account manager: Many processors have account managers who work with high-risk businesses. These account managers can help you navigate the approval process and may be able to get you approved with more favorable terms.
  • Get a referral: If you know another business owner who has successfully obtained credit card processing for their high-risk business, ask for a referral.
  • Improve your credit score: If your credit score is low, it may be difficult to get approved for processing services. You can improve your credit score by paying your bills on time and maintaining a good credit history.
  • Reduce your risk: One of the best ways to reduce your risk is to offer more secure products or services. For example, if you sell digital products, you can offer a money-back guarantee to reduce the risk of fraud.

How Do I Choose the Right Processor for My Business?

Once you’ve been approved for credit card processing, it’s important to choose a processor that’s right for your business. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a processor:

  • Fees: As we mentioned earlier, processors charge higher fees for high-risk businesses. Make sure to compare the fees charged by different processors to find the most affordable option.
  • Contracts: Some processors require long-term contracts, while others offer month-to-month plans. Consider your business needs and choose the option that’s right for you.
  • Customer service: When you’re running a high-risk business, it’s important to have a processor that offers excellent customer service. You want to be able to reach someone if you have any questions or problems.
  • Reputation: Make sure to research the reputation of the processor you’re considering. Read online reviews and check out the BBB website to see if there have been any complaints filed against the company.

High-risk businesses face a number of challenges, but finding a credit card processor doesn’t have to be one of them. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can improve your chances of getting approved for processing services. And, once you’re approved, you can choose a processor that’s right for your business.

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