What is High Risk Credit Card Processing for Business?

Businesses need diverse payment options in order to hold onto their customers and attract new ones. With the right provider, internet merchant services, are secure, updated automatically, and connected to a business’s website.

Some businesses may have heard of high risk credit card processing and may be wondering what it is and how it might affect them. A business’s risk level is not set in stone, which can make it more complicated to understand. Knowing how it works can put a business ahead and help them do everything they can to avoid–or at least mitigate–the consequences.

Calculating risk level

When a business has an account with a merchant account provider, they may also have an indirect relationship with a third-party payment processor. The processor transfers payment from the cardholder to the merchant. When a transaction is successfully disputed through the chargeback process, the processor must pay the refund to the cardholder, even if the processor is unable to recover the money from the merchant. Different processors may judge a business’s risk level differently, and certain industries are more prone to being labeled high-risk than others. Industries with a statistically high instance of chargebacks include pharmaceuticals, health, timeshares, and gambling, among many others.

How can businesses reduce their perceived risk level or secure online payments despite a high risk level? There are a number of options.


A good internet merchant services provider will serve a business no matter its risk level. They can provide software solutions that make chargebacks less likely, including fraud detection tools.

Establishing a record of successful processing can help lower the perceived risk level of a business. This means that, if the business can keep chargebacks low, then the higher rates that they may have to pay because of being labeled “high-risk” may only be temporary.

Obtaining an account to accept eChecks involves a much less strict approval process, so this may be an option for some high-risk businesses that are unable to accept credit cards.

Finally, working with a merchant account provider that specializes in assisting all merchants, regardless of risk level, can greatly increase the odds of being approved with the best rates.

The Takeaway

Being designated as a high-risk business means that internet merchant services may be harder to obtain or more expensive. Businesses can look for merchant account providers that service merchants no matter the risk level in their industry. Visit Charge.com to compare prices, or call them at (888) 924-2743 to find solutions for high-risk businesses.

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