Top High-Risk Merchant Account Providers in 2021

Get Recommendations for the Best Merchant Account

    The number of credit cards and mobile payments has been increasing each year. For reasons ranging from convenience to security, going cashless has benefited both the consumer and the establishment.

    But what if your business dealt with products and/or services deemed high-risk? Any merchant finding themselves in this position can attest to all the trouble a small business owner might encounter just looking for one.

    Business needs get a little more complicated as well when we consider some trends. In a 2019 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the use of cash for transactions has been steadily declining from 31% in 2016 down to 26% in 2018.

    Credit and debit payments both saw an increase from 18% and 27% to 23% and 28%, respectively.

    What this tells us then is that card payments are becoming more and more relevant for most business types. That being said, any business falling under the high-risk category should look for a high-risk merchant account provider right away.


    Best High-Risk Merchant Account Providers for Small Businesses in 2021

    When you consider how e-commerce sales are forecasted to grow past $750 billion by 2023, then the jump to cashless services makes a lot more sense. It's a smart business decision to offer more payment gateways to your customers.

    To that end, it would help if you first understand what the characteristics are of a good high-risk merchant services provider. Once you're caught up, it should be easy to understand why these made the list.

    1. Instabill

    • Intelligent Risk Management techniques
    • Accepts credit card payment through offline and online methods
    • Provides merchant services to a variety of industries

    Instabill seeks to be one of the more "current" service providers, providing specific accounts for cannabis, bitcoin, and other similar products. Similarly, travel agencies have much to choose from seeing as they've tailored some of their offerings just for them.

    This just goes to show the attention they've diverted just for high-risk services. They also offer around-the-clock customer service, making them one of the more responsive merchant services providers.

    2. ccNetPay

    • No volume caps for card payments
    • Offers payment processing for brick-and-mortar businesses
    • Offers payment processing for e-commerce

    ccNetPay may not have gotten the memo on what modern websites look like, but you could let their age tell you how much experience they've got.

    They are proven to be a reliable service provider for high-risk merchants, popular with UK-based businesses. They provide services such as offshore and multi-currency processing.

    In particular, pharmacies are given special attention with merchant accounts designed for online establishments, making it easier to start off right away.

    3. Worldpay

    • Process 200 or more transactions per second
    • 90% of bank transfers are accessible by the next day
    • Scalable model for business of different sizes

    Known primarily for their high-risk merchant services for gambling sites, which includes the likes of bet365 and William Hill, among others. Worldpay employs gambling professionals to tailor each merchant account to the business.

    They offer over 200 payment options, guaranteed to be secure, and offer a proportional variety of currencies. This works well when you consider how well their merchant services scale with your business.

    All that said, it’s easy to understand why Worldpay is the choice for gambling websites.

    4. Easy Pay Direct

    • Provides merchant services to a variety of industries
    • Provides a load balancing feature for high-risk accounts
    • No early-termination fees in most cases

    Easy Pay Direct is among the merchant processors that are considered specialists in the industry. Since 2000, the company has worked with both low-risk and high-risk merchants.

    The application process will see you pay $99 but no early termination fee should be expected. This should be expected for most cases of high-risk accounts.

    The load balancing feature is offered to help businesses divert funds where need be. This means users can use multiple merchant accounts if that is necessary.

    5. PaymentCloud

    • No setup fee
    • Free terminal for any credit card transaction
    • Responsive customer support

    Making use of their network of payment processors, PaymentCloud aims to remove the headache of finding your own. With no setup fee, the company will set you up with the right payment processor to make sure you get the right quotes.

    While this model is not the most common, the excellent feedback on PaymentCloud's services leads us to believe that it's working for them and their customers. They also offer a bonus of a free terminal for credit card transactions.

    6. Soar Payments

    • Automated and customizable pricing quotes
    • No application fees
    • Automated applications

    While relatively young in the industry, Soar Payments has made a name for itself since starting in 2015. With competitive prices, Soar Payments has become a high-risk specialist, providing accessible terms for small businesses.

    In particular, the e-commerce business type is given special attention by the company. They offer multiple payment gateways for e-commerce establishments that tie in well with services such as Chargeback Armor for the prevention of automatic chargebacks.

    7. Flow Payments

    • Excellent customer service
    • Competitive pricing options
    • Accepts high-risk businesses from different industries

    Flow Payments has been, in the past, rated the best for high-risk services by Money.com. That's considering how these guys also boast some of the lowest rates for their services. With accessible costs and excellent customer feedback alone, it is apparent Flow makes excellent use of its network.

    Basically, the pros of working with Flow are their well-developed and efficient methods of connecting banks, payment processing services, and customers to be able to provide competitive prices.

    That being said, Flow remains one of the most popular choices for credit card processing services.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a high-risk merchant account?

    To accept payments from customers in an efficient way, many businesses turn to high-risk merchant accounts. These are a subset of services that allow you to make card transactions with the help of processors and other financial institutions.

    A high-risk merchant may face limited choices when it comes to choosing these companies because they generally have higher fees than standard ones as well as stricter contracts which can be difficult for smaller business owners or startups without enough cash flow on hand.

    What kind of products and services are considered high risk by payment providers?

    High-risk products are automatically flagged by processors and include online gambling, casinos, dating services, pharmaceuticals, and more.

    On what basis is a merchant account determined to be high risk?

    The main factors that allow a bank to give you a high-risk merchant account are the history of chargebacks, frequency of returns, industry reputation, and credit score.

    How much does it cost to open a merchant account?

    A lot of providers will charge you a monthly ongoing fee for their merchant account services. This could be anything from $10 to $30 and it is typically called a statement, an account, or just the flat rate per month.

    At the end of the day, the best way to make the most out of your money is to learn as much as you can about the state of the industry. It's about being up-to-date on the latest changes and making the most out of them before anyone else. You can learn more about it on ProcessingCard.com.