What Is The Average Credit Card Processing Fee for High-Risk Merchants?

Florence Carpenter

On average, you can expect to pay less than $100 per month for a high-risk merchant account. This is not including any signup or start-up fees that you may have incurred as well.

As a high-risk merchant, you may find it more costly to process credit card payments. But if your industry usually has that designation — like the adult entertainment business — this can be seen as an opportunity because banks are willing to give better rates and fewer fees than other merchants would receive.

When your business is identified as a high risk for credit card payment processors, you may find that many processors simply won't work with your company because they don’t want to be held responsible if something goes wrong. Those that do will charge higher fees in order to offset their risks.

High-Risk Merchant Account Fees

Some of the fees are basically general payment processing fees all merchants pay for this service. However, some high-risk merchant accounts are specifically designed to help providers balance their risks in accepting these payments from your business and make sure it is safe.

Payment processors have been charging merchants with higher-risk accounts a lot more than those that are low-risk. And, the fees can be sneaky too — some companies will charge you for things like PCI compliance and monthly statements when they were included in your previous company's service package without telling you. Some of the fees that you may encounter include:

  • Set-up fees. These fees are standard for many merchant accounts, low and high risk alike.
  • Capture fees. Many high-risk merchant service providers limit the number of transactions you can process within a month and charge additional fees per sale once you exceed the monthly transaction limits.
  • Processing fees. This is common for both low and high-risk merchant accounts, though higher processing fees are associated with the latter.
  • Penalties. For merchants who take high risks with their clients, penalties for all disputed transactions and additional fees or penalties can be problematic.

Being a small business owner, you need to be on the lookout for new ways to save money. One way is by reducing your processing fees with high-risk merchant services providers. Always read the fine print and find out what fees apply before signing up to any service provider so that you can avoid penalties down the line.

If you want to learn the average fee per year for high-risk merchant accounts, check out Processing Card’s other resources today. 

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