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The Best Payment Processors for High-Risk Merchants in 2021



Best Payment Processors

Payment processors are often one of the most pertinent things business owners must decide on. The choice of payment processor can directly influence your customers’ ease and security in making transactions, and ultimately, in enhancing their user experience.

For high-risk merchants, selecting a payment processor specific to your business’ needs can make all the difference. Payment processors that understand the unique threats associated with high-risk merchants can help them get the best rates, pricing plans, payment options, and customer support.

High-risk merchants are those who put credit card processors at greater risk for fraud or chargebacks. The latter includes additional fees from credit card providers who charge businesses to compensate for possible losses incurred when transactions are considered fraudulent.

Risks could be due to any number of reasons, from poor or nonexistent credit history to the nature of the industry that the business belongs to, or even the financial history of the clients that they serve. These risks are calculated differently depending on the payment processor.

Usually, a combination of factors is analyzed before a financial institution denotes a business as ‘high risk.’ Aside from the aforementioned reasons, other factors can include the size and location of the business, its state of being fully eCommerce (or not), high volumes of transactions, and whether or not it is a startup.

With all things considered, the best payment processors for high-risk merchants are transparent about their processes, have hands-on customer service, and fair terms and rates on their contracts. At the end of the day, it is also best to select a payment processor who specializes in your industry. This will help you compare your options more thoroughly.

Below you will find some of the best options for high-risk payment processors that fulfill these needs and more.


Often recommended for high-risk businesses as this is what they specialize in, PaymentCloud operates with the help of third-party processors or banks. Through this network, they are able to help facilitate your account’s approval. They do not charge any fees whatsoever for setting up your account and application.

Their solutions for high-risk merchants are always up-to-date, from the software to the hardware that they use. From the onset, PaymentCloud looks into your current processing statement for free. This way, they are able to ensure that you get the proper rates every month.

Setting up your account is relatively faster because of PaymentCloud’s merchant services fraud tools, together with their relationships with numerous banks, and chargeback management capabilities.

Their array of options of high-risk merchant accounts includes POS systems, EMV terminals, virtual terminals, mobile swipers, and others. These can be integrated into any e-commerce platform as well. Account representatives are assigned to every high-risk merchant account to make sure that your needs are met and your concerns are addressed every step of the way.

eMerchant Broker (EMB)

eMerchant Broker (EMB) can service high-risk businesses on a national and international level. They cater to the airline, credit repair, e-book, adult entertainment, nutraceutical, tech support, gaming, electronics, warranty, CBD, telecom, and travel industries which are typically considered high risk. Their approval rate is 95%.

EMB is well-versed in working together with high-risk merchants, thus explaining their favorable reputation and reviews among clients. They are also a Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business, with a rating of A+.

With 24/7 customer support and flexible pricing, many high-risk merchants opt for their services which include the following: business funding, chargeback prevention or resolution, ACH processing, merchant cash advances, mail order or telephone order processing, high-volume payment solutions, point of sale solutions, and online payment gateways.

Although their fees and rates are slightly higher compared to other providers in the industry, it is well worth considering EMB if you have had difficulty finding solutions for your high-risk merchant account elsewhere.


Medium to large businesses may consider PaySpace for their payment processor solutions if they are high risk. After over a decade of operation, PaySpace is able to boast that they resolve nearly 90% of chargeback disputes for merchants.

Their anti-fraud solutions are top-notch, especially as they are customized according to your business’s particular needs. PaySpace also has its own system for both predicting and decreasing chargebacks and fraudulent activities from occurring. Their processing covers either 3D or non-3D secure transactions.

To gain more precise results, they also use third-party services. They are able to process transactions in over 80 currencies, across upwards of 150 countries. PaySpace supports all major credit cards globally, but they also have a significant number of alternative payment methods.

Their smart payment routing system can help your customers get faster payouts. As a high-risk merchant, you will receive a Unique Billing Descriptor and a direct MID that works with PaySpace’s fraud prevention and built-in chargeback software to reduce fraud and chargebacks.

SMB Global

SMB Global is known to exclusively work with high-risk and offshore merchants. High-risk e-commerce businesses, in particular, are the main recipient of SMB Global’s services. While they have a list of common industries that they help out, you may inquire about an account if you do not belong to any of these categories.

You will be able to get a quote from SMB Global prior to confirming and opening up an account with them. They work together with a large number of processors and banks to open accounts for high-risk merchants. With every account, they give one free mobile card reader or free countertop terminal.

They support ACH payment processing and recurring billing. You may also build a mobile processing system of your choice with the help of third-party applications. eCommerce merchants can also select between Authorize.Net and the NMI payment gateway.

To prevent or manage chargebacks, SMB Global has a host of automated tools. These assist with analytics and the creation of real-time reports.

Durango Merchant Services

Another processor that specializes in high-risk merchants is Durango Merchant Services. In a similar vein, they are also known for assisting international merchants who have offshore accounts. Although pricing levels are unavailable on their website, you can note that their pricing and contract terms are known to be fair.

These will depend on your risk level, credit and processing history, as well as your business category. If your risk level is higher than average, you can trust that they will give you a fair shot at approval for your merchant account. Merchants who have seen a hefty amount of chargebacks or who have been on the Terminated Merchant File may consider Durango.

Interested merchants will be happy to hear that Durango is willing to walk you through your pricing options, and disclose the breakdown of your account’s unique pricing plan. They will not charge you for setting up an account, even as a high-risk merchant.

Durango’s payment processing solutions include account managers for the entire life of your account. They have almost every type of payment processing solution, for in-store or e-commerce merchants.

Any account with Durango will be assured to have anti-fraud services such as fraud scrubbing, Verified by Visa, EMV 3D Secure 2.0, or Mastercard SecureCode. Nearly all of Durango’s merchants are given month-to-month contracts and no fees for early termination.

SOAR Payments

Upon reaching out to SOAR Payments, they will analyze which bank can serve your needs best depending on your level of risk. You will immediately receive a price quote online, with Industry Minimum Pricing. Pre-approvals happen in 24 hours, and afterward, you may be fully approved in three to five business days.

They have a suite of processors for high-risk merchants, from traditional systems and mobile processing to virtual terminals and eCommerce payment gateways.

Partnering with, SOAR is able to create a Chargeback Armor package, with integration in NMI payment gateways. They can help detect fraudulent activity with an iSpyFraud filter, and will also block any strange activity and transactions.

Tiered pricing is the standard for mid-to high-risk merchants, with monthly fees for chargebacks, gateways, early termination, and ACH debits. Mid- to high-risk merchants will receive a two-year contract, which automatically renews for another year.


High-risk merchants often face many more hurdles compared to other businesses that do not have this label. Choosing a processor that offers comprehensive coverage for all payment solutions and needs is key in ensuring business success.

You will have an idea of which payment processor to pick as a high-risk business when you are given a wide range of payment options, assured chargeback management and assistance, ensured fraud prevention, and also promised quality support.

Before you come to a decision on which payment processor will serve you best, take your time shopping around for options. When the time comes, you will realize the value of having a payment processor that specializes in high-risk merchants such as yourself.

Related Post: 5 Best Subscription Billing & Recurring Management Software with Free Trial

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