How Much Are High-Risk Merchant Accounts

Florence Carpenter

When it comes to applying for a merchant account for your business, you may be classified as high risk or low risk. High-risk businesses will usually need a high-risk merchant account to fulfill their payment processing needs in terms of volume and location. 

Although the cost of a high-risk merchant account can vary greatly, it can cost around $2,000 per year to avail of payment processing and other add-ons that can increase the price. This figure tends to be much higher than the cost of low-risk accounts to compensate for the greater risk of fraud and chargebacks. 

Average Cost of High-Risk Merchant Accounts 

High-risk merchant accounts tend to come with yearly as opposed to monthly contracts. Costs are usually $1,500 at the minimum, plus a one-time merchant application fee of $100-$300, credit card processing fees, and more. 

Credit card processing fees for high-risk businesses tend to start at around 3.5%, which is significantly higher than average. In addition, chargeback fees usually cost over $30 per transaction in the event of a customer dispute. A high chargeback rate is likely to lead to a higher fee, so investing in security measures can be prudent. 

Factors Impacting the Cost of High-Risk Merchant Accounts 

Often, many high-risk processors don’t give out pricing on their company pages because the cost can vary depending on many factors. Some common ones that can increase or decrease your rate include:

  • Your personal credit score
  • Chargeback ratio
  • History with other payment processors
  • Industry regulations
  • Location

Since fees can also vary depending on your required features, country of operation, length of the contract, and level of service, it’s best to shop around for at least 3 different quotes before settling on a high-risk merchant account for your business. 

To learn more about the annual fees of high-risk merchant accounts, read Processing Card’s other resources.

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