What To Do: Applying For A High Risk Merchant Account

To apply for a high risk merchant account, you must first submit an online application. You will also need to select a reputable high risk payment processor in order to accept card payments.

The application process with a high risk merchant account is pretty straightforward. Once you choose an established payment partner, they will assist you in locating a bank that is a good fit for your business. Once the acquiring bank approves your business, you can begin accepting payments online or by mobile.

The following are the things that you should prepare when applying for a high risk merchant account.

  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Certificate of shareholders
  • Chart of organizational structure (Shareholders)
  • Copies of your utility bill and passport if you are a local director or shareholder holding more than 15%
  • Certificate of incorporation and shareholder certificate of other firms, if applicable;
  • Processing history for the preceding six months (number of transactions, total volume, chargeback percentage);
  • Test user credentials with access to the payment platform; and
  • Name and license number of the company which issued the license (if you run a business that requires a license).

In addition, prepare your website in accordance with website guidelines and requirements.

Then, what’s next?

Prepare for due diligence conducted by risk management professionals. They will determine if your company meets the criteria for a high risk merchant account. Additionally, your business will be checked to see if it is on the TMF or Terminated Merchant File List.

Your credit card processing record is closely examined in accordance with the chargeback criteria that are considered acceptable. Therefore, if your background is not good enough, you have instances of fraud, or you were terminated from a previous account because of a high chargeback ratio, you might have difficulty obtaining a high risk merchant account.

Take into consideration that payment platforms having decades of experience take a case-by-case approach, which means that there could be a variety of variables determining whether you are approved for a merchant account. Furthermore, it is made on the basis of evaluation and compliance requirements for card networks.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of having a High risk Merchant Account

One of the most typical downsides of high risk merchant accounts is that fees and processing rates are higher. Also, banks may require a rolling reserve – this is due to increased risk.

It appears as though running a high risk firm is complex and comes with numerous constraints. So, are there any advantages of a high risk merchant account? Yes, of course! The following are the advantages:

Global Reach.

As a high risk merchant, you can improve your business efficiency by accepting transactions in several currencies and selling to clients in low-risk countries. This enables you to tap into broader markets.

Chargeback Protection Is Strong. This increases your chances of maintaining a good record merchant account. For example, if a merchant with a normal account exceeds its chargeback threshold, the merchant’s account may be canceled. They must seek out a high risk merchant account that typically entails a halt to credit card processing.

On the other side, it is easier to maintain a high risk merchant account operational. One instance of chargeback above the threshold does not necessitate account closure. However, this does not mean you can ignore chargeback management.

Expands Your Business.

With a high risk merchant account, a business could sell products or services which are not permitted with a low-risk merchant account, which provides you with additional long-term growth potential.

Boost in Profits.

Increased product options increase your chances of making more money.

Things To Consider When Searching For A High risk Merchant Account Payment Partner

You can easily find a number of high risk credit card processors; that is why you need to do your research before selecting a payment partner. There are multiple factors to consider before making a final decision, including the following:

Responsive Support.

It is true that you need someone who is ready to assist you if anything goes wrong with payments on the website or in-app. Ascertain that a credit card payment provider offers a guarantee that all issues will be addressed for your high risk company.

Customization And Adaptability.

You should look for a high risk processor that enables you to execute a variety of payment scenarios customized to your company’s specific needs, particularly if you operate a sophisticated business model. Make sure that you have the freedom to modify every aspect of your payment form and negotiate the rates, terms, and features that are specific to your business.

Pricing Transparency.

A payment processor’s pricing structure must also be readily available on its website. Conduct a thorough investigation of the fees or the potential additional expenditures. Ascertain that there are no other extra or hidden fees.

Latest Technology.

The potential payment gateway should be able to cater to multiple accounts. You should also request the payment platform’s APIs to ensure that you have complete control over both setup and payment processes. What is equally critical are user-friendly onboarding and payment processes that are free of downtime and surprises. Avoid payment processors that use outdated technology.

Security Indicators.

As a high risk merchant, your company must have a payment partner that adheres to security standards that are stringent and that could offer anti-fraud solutions that would protect your business from various fraudsters. Make sure that they provide an adequate chargeback protection system as well as a multilayered security approach.


Conduct research to determine the number of years a payment company is in the business and do a background check of its staff. Their vast experience and in-depth understanding of particular sectors establish them as leading companies. Additionally, it assures that a payment platform with which you wish to operate is reputable, ensuring the safety of your funds.

Up-to-date Website.

Visit the payment processor’s website to ascertain its layout and whether it maintains current information. A dated or rudimentary website that makes you feel that you are in the olden times could be a red flag that something is amiss with the business you are considering.

Business Models should be Widely Accepted.

Before applying for a high risk merchant account, verify that the credit card processor supports the industries your business operates. It is worth noting that reputable payment processors should have an online listing of supported business formats and countries.

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