If your business has been categorized as high-risk, it can be challenging to secure a merchant account. But there’s no need to panic! In this article, we’ll discuss the top high-risk merchant account processors of 2023. By the end, you’ll better understand which company is the best fit for your business.

What is a High-Risk Merchant Account?

A high-risk merchant account is designed for businesses that are deemed to be at a higher risk of chargebacks or fraud. This can include firms in industries such as adult entertainment, travel, pharmaceuticals, and more. Payment processing companies are wary of these businesses because they could suffer financially if chargebacks or fraud occur.

What Are the Best High-Risk Merchant Services?

High-risk merchant services are specialized payment processing solutions for businesses that operate in industries with a higher-than-average risk of chargebacks, fraud, and legal compliance issues. These industries can include adult entertainment, online gambling, e-commerce, and more. Here are some of the best high-risk merchant services available:

  • PaymentCloud
  • Durango Merchant Services
  • Host Merchant Services
  • Soar Payments
  • Goat Payments
  • SMB Global
  • HighRiskPay.com
  • Payment Depot

1. PaymentCloud


PaymentCloud delivers tailored payment solutions to high-risk enterprises that operate in high-risk fields like firearms and guns, adult merchandise, credit restoration, and dating. Since 2015, the firm has quickly scaled, motivated by a mission to ensure “secure payment processing for any business category.

This vendor provides secure payment processing using an array of technologies, including payment gateways, tools for preventing fraud, integrations with dozens of widely-used e-commerce software, and other software. Furthermore, the firm supplies “trained representatives who utilize a hands-on white glove approach to account management.”

Unlike traditional banks, PaymentCloud does not reject people with poor credit or those who have operated failed businesses. It gives such businesspeople high-risk merchant accounts. If you require funding, PaymentCloud also provides equipment financing, working capital loans, unsecured business loans, and more to assist you in launching your venture.

Furthermore, PaymentCloud provides a service called Paysley, which allows you to convert your smartphone into a point-of-sale terminal. In addition to sending invoices through SMS, Paysley can be used for contactless payments, validating fund transfers via customer confirmation code scans, and more.

In my personal experience, PaymentCloud was instrumental in my credit restoration business, providing a safe way for me to receive payments from clients.

Key Features

PaymentCloud is a payment processing solution that offers a variety of features to merchants. Some of its key features include:

  1. High-risk merchant accounts: Specializes in working with high-risk merchants, including those in industries such as e-commerce, nutraceuticals, and CBD.
  2. Customizable payment solutions: Offers a range of payment processing solutions that can be customized to meet the unique needs of each merchant, including credit card processing, ACH payments, and e-checks.
  3. Quick approval process: Boasts a quick and streamlined approval process, with most applications being approved within 24 to 48 hours.
  4. Competitive pricing: PaymentCloud offers competitive pricing for its services, with no hidden fees or long-term contracts.
  5. Fraud prevention: PaymentCloud employs advanced fraud prevention technology to help merchants protect against chargebacks and other forms of payment fraud.
  6. Dedicated support: PaymentCloud provides dedicated support to its merchants, with a team of account managers available to assist with any questions or concerns.
  7. Integration with popular platforms: Integrates with a range of popular e-commerce platforms, including Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, making it easy for merchants to manage their payments from one centralized location.


PaymentCloud doesn’t provide information about its fees on its website, so you must contact the company’s sales team for a quote.

2. Durango Merchant Services


Durango Merchant Services has an extensive history of more than two decades in the payment-processing realm. They offer access to high-risk merchant accounts to businesses deemed high-risk, such as tobacco and e-cigarette merchants, credit repair companies, and online liquor stores, among others.

Their team comprises authorized payment consultants who can aid you with in-person or e-commerce credit card processing. Furthermore, they have affiliated with a check verification service that grants them the ability to provide quick and hassle-free e-check processing services with minimum or no reserves and a guarantee of approval.

Not only does Durango Merchant Services cater to high-risk businesses, but they also provide solutions to medium and low-risk merchants. They present a user-friendly payment gateway that supports online, in-store, self-service, and mobile payments, including EMV and contactless payments. They facilitate accepting payments that credit card-processing companies like Visa, Mastercard, and Discover power.

Durango Merchant Services’ payment gateway merges with over 150 third-party shopping carts, which comprises popular options like WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, Zoho, and BigCommerce. Their EMV 3D Secure 2.0 technology helps thwart fraudulent transactions and reduces chargeback losses. Besides, Durango Merchant Services processes cryptocurrency payments.

Key Features

Durango Merchant Services is a payment processing company that offers a variety of solutions for businesses of all sizes. Here are some key features of Durango Merchant Services:

  1. Multiple Payment Acceptance Options: Durango Merchant Services supports a range of payment acceptance options, including credit and debit cards, ACH payments, e-checks, and more.
  2. High Approval Rates: Reputation for high approval rates, even for businesses that may have been declined by other payment processors.
  3. Customizable Solutions: Works with each client to create a customized solution that fits their specific needs. This includes tailored pricing and customized payment processing options.
  4. Fraud Detection and Prevention: Durango Merchant Services uses advanced fraud detection and prevention tools to help protect businesses and their customers from fraudulent activity.
  5. 24/7 Customer Support: Provides 24/7 customer support to ensure that clients can get the help they need, whenever they need it.
  6. International Payment Processing: Durango Merchant Services supports international payment processing, making it easy for businesses to accept payments from customers worldwide.
  7. Transparent Pricing: Durango Merchant Services offers transparent pricing with no hidden fees or long-term contracts, making it easy for businesses to understand and manage their payment processing costs.


Durango Merchant Services acknowledges that each high-risk merchant has unique needs and states that its fees will vary based on the business and transaction model.

The company recommends you fill out the application form on its website to get a custom quote and states that one of its account managers will contact you within 24 hours.

3. Host Merchant Services


Host Merchant Services is an experienced provider of merchant services that can cater to high-risk businesses, such as those involved in firearms, non-profit organizations, and other similar industries. With over a decade of experience, this company has been instrumental in helping these types of merchants acquire high-risk merchant accounts, process payments for both online and in-person transactions, and more.

Host Merchant Services has designed merchant service payment systems that are tailored to different payment methods, such as point-of-sale, e-commerce, EMV terminals, and mobile payments. The company aims to significantly reduce merchant fees for its clients while being transparent about the fees it charges.

One unique feature of Host Merchant Services is its quick funding times, which can be crucial for businesses that operate in cash-intensive industries. The company provides next-day funding, as long as the batch settlement is performed before the deadline, allowing businesses to receive their revenue faster and maintain cash flow.

Moreover, Host Merchant Services offers access to over 100 payment gateways for e-commerce businesses. The company also helps high-risk merchants integrate their businesses with popular online shopping carts. Its TXP payment processing system is capable of transforming any Mac or PC into a point-of-sale with features like tokenization and recurrent billing.

Key Features

Host Merchant Services is a payment processing company that offers a range of merchant services to businesses of all sizes. Some key features of Host Merchant Services include:

  1. Payment processing solutions: Host Merchant Services offers a variety of payment processing solutions, including credit and debit card processing, ACH and e-check processing, mobile payments, and more. They also provide customized solutions based on the specific needs of your business.
  2. Competitive pricing: Host Merchant Services offers competitive pricing on their payment processing services, with no hidden fees or long-term contracts. They also provide a price match guarantee, meaning they will match or beat any competitor’s pricing.
  3. Advanced security features: Host Merchant Services prioritizes security and offers advanced fraud prevention tools and encryption technology to protect your business and customers’ sensitive data.
  4. 24/7 customer support: Host Merchant Services offers 24/7 customer support, including phone and email support, to help with any issues or questions you may have.
  5. Integration with popular software: Host Merchant Services offers seamless integration with popular software and platforms, including QuickBooks, Shopify, WooCommerce, and more, making it easy to manage your payments and accounting in one place.
  6. Online reporting and analytics: Host Merchant Services provides robust online reporting and analytics tools, giving you insight into your payment processing data and helping you make informed business decisions.
  7. Customizable solutions: Host Merchant Services offers customizable solutions based on your business’s unique needs and goals, helping you maximize efficiency and profitability.


Host Merchant Services charges on a per-transaction basis, with the fee payable depending on the type of transaction. For example, face-to-face transactions for retail storefronts attract a fee of 0.25% and $0.10 per transaction.

Meanwhile, its payment gateway fees cost $5 per month, while the overall service costs $14.99 monthly. Visit the pricing page on its website for the full list of fees.

4. Soar Payments


Soar Payments is a merchant account provider that caters to a diverse range of industries, including fantasy sports, antiques and collectibles, and digital streaming. This company specializes in providing merchant accounts to businesses that may be considered high-risk by traditional banks and credit card processors.

Whether your business is high, medium, or low-risk, Soar Payments offers customized solutions to meet your needs. If you are a high-risk merchant with a physical storefront, you can accept credit and debit card payments using Soar Payments’ POS machines and credit card terminals. If you operate online, Soar Payments can integrate with your shopping cart and payment gateway software, providing built-in fraud protection technology to reduce the risk of fraud and chargebacks.

Soar Payments also offers low-cost e-check and ACH payment processing services. When you apply, you can get an instant quote, and the company’s pricing is typically at the industry’s minimum. In addition, all of Soar Payments’ customer support representatives are based in the United States.

Key Features

Soar Payments is a payment processing company that offers a range of payment solutions to businesses of all sizes. Some key features of Soar Payments include:

  1. Multiple Payment Options: Soar Payments offers a variety of payment options including credit cards, debit cards, ACH payments, and eChecks. This allows businesses to offer their customers a range of payment options, which can improve customer satisfaction and increase sales.
  2. Competitive Pricing: Soar Payments offers competitive pricing for their payment processing services, with rates that are typically lower than those of traditional payment processors. This can help businesses save money on payment processing fees, which can be a significant expense for many businesses.
  3. Advanced Security: Soar Payments uses advanced security measures to protect customer data and prevent fraud. This includes tokenization, encryption, and real-time fraud monitoring. Businesses can feel confident that their customers’ payment information is secure when using Soar Payments.
  4. Easy Integration: Soar Payments integrates with a variety of popular shopping cart platforms, accounting software, and other business tools, making it easy for businesses to start accepting payments online. The company also offers APIs and SDKs for custom integrations.
  5. Excellent Customer Support: Excellent customer support to help businesses with any questions or issues they may have. The company offers 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat, and has a dedicated team of support specialists to assist customers.


Soar Payments doesn’t provide pricing information on its website, so you’ll have to contact the sales team or fill out the application form to get an instant quote.

5. Goat Payments


Goat Payments is a payment processing company that specializes in providing services to high-risk businesses. It boasts over 12 years of experience and has serviced over 15,000 high-risk entities, with a near-perfect approval rating. The company offers a 24-hour application processing time and claims to save businesses 17.3% on their payment processing fees.

Goat Payments works with over 25 banks and provides a “concierge white glove service” to its high-risk merchant clients. Unlike other high-risk payment processors, the company does not charge for its credit card processing services or early termination fees. It runs a Paylo Discount Program that offers zero-cost processing to its approved merchants.

When signing up with Goat Payments, merchants can accept credit cards from popular processors like Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express, as well as pin-based debit cards. The company offers free POS machines to its approved high-risk merchants and provides free in-person installations for local businesses.

Moreover, Goat Payments provides dedicated 24/7 customer support to its clients, ensuring that they receive prompt assistance whenever they need it.

Key Features

Goat Payments is not a well-known or established payment platform, so it’s difficult to provide a list of key features specific to Goat Payments. However, here are some general key features that users typically look for in a payment platform:

  1. Security: Users want to feel confident that their personal and financial information is secure when they use a payment platform. Goat Payments would need to provide robust security measures such as encryption, two-factor authentication, and fraud prevention.
  2. User-friendly interface: A payment platform should be easy to navigate, intuitive to use, and offer a streamlined checkout process. Users should be able to complete transactions quickly and without confusion.
  3. Acceptance of multiple payment methods: To appeal to a broad range of users, a payment platform should accept various payment methods, such as credit cards, bank transfers, and digital wallets.
  4. Competitive fees: Users want a payment platform that charges reasonable fees and doesn’t impose excessive charges on transactions.
  5. Customer support: Users should have access to helpful and responsive customer support in case they encounter any issues or have questions about the payment platform.
  6. Integration with other platforms: A payment platform that can integrate with other e-commerce platforms, shopping carts, or billing systems can provide users with a seamless payment experience.
  7. International capabilities: If Goat Payments plans to operate globally, it should support multiple currencies and provide users with a localized payment experience.


As is typical of the high, medium, and low-risk merchant account providers, Goat Payments doesn’t disclose fees on its website. You can request more information by filling out the form on its website.

6. SMB Global


SMB Global, a company specializing in payment processing, stands out from the crowd by offering various services to businesses. With its domestic and offshore merchant accounts, it caters to high, medium, or low-risk businesses, ensuring a wide range of options. With over 15 banks in their pocket, clients can trust that they will receive the lowest rates possible.

However, SMB Global’s unique offering comes in the form of its chargeback prevention software, which enables businesses to detect chargebacks before they even occur. Equipped with real-time analytics and reporting, as well as chargeback representment, this software is designed to prevent potential losses before they can even materialize.

In addition to its payment processing services, SMB Global offers ACH payment processing services at a flat rate, making it a valuable option for businesses looking to reduce their costs while offering customers more payment options. SMB Global also partners with Lendio to provide small business loans, a quick application process, and funding within a day. Factors such as monthly revenue, business age, and industry are taken into account when approving loan applications, ensuring that businesses receive the necessary capital to grow.

Key Features

SMB Global is a financial services provider that offers a variety of products and services to small and medium-sized businesses. Some of the key features of SMB Global include:

  1. Merchant Services: SMB Global provides payment processing services that allow businesses to accept credit and debit card payments, e-checks, and other forms of electronic payments.
  2. Business Loans: SMB Global offers a range of business loan products, including term loans, lines of credit, and equipment financing. These loans are designed to help businesses access the capital they need to grow and expand.
  3. Merchant Cash Advances: In addition to traditional business loans, SMB Global also offers merchant cash advances. These advances provide businesses with a lump sum of cash that is repaid through a portion of future credit and debit card sales.
  4. Payment Gateway: SMB Global’s payment gateway allows businesses to securely process payments online. This feature is particularly useful for businesses that sell products or services through e-commerce platforms.
  5. Fraud Prevention: SMB Global provides fraud prevention services to help businesses reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions. These services include fraud detection, chargeback prevention, and dispute resolution.
  6. 24/7 Customer Support: SMB Global offers round-the-clock customer support to help businesses with any issues or questions they may have. This support can be accessed via phone, email, or live chat.


SMB Global doesn’t provide information about its fees on its website. You’ll need to contact its sales team for the details.

7. HighRiskPay.com


With over 25 years of experience, HighRiskPay.com is a reliable provider of high-risk merchant accounts and payment processing solutions. They cater to customers with all types of personal credit history profiles and offer competitive rates on their approved merchant accounts, which typically take only 24 to 48 hours to process.

HighRiskPay.com specializes in offering payment gateway solutions to businesses operating in high-risk industries such as adult entertainment, cannabidiol (CBD), credit repair, and more. Online high-risk merchants can also take advantage of the company’s ACH payment processing services to reduce fees.

The company has integrations for popular e-commerce platforms and content management systems like Wix, Shopify, WordPress, 3DCart, and Magento. HighRiskPay.com also provides advanced technology to prevent fraud and chargebacks, ensuring that their customers’ transactions remain secure and reliable.

In addition to their payment processing services, HighRiskPay.com also offers next-day funding to businesses that have been rejected by loan companies due to their owner’s low credit scores. This option provides a much-needed lifeline to businesses that need quick access to capital.

Key Features

  1. Acceptance of high-risk industries: A high-risk payment processor should be able to accept payments from businesses in industries that are typically considered high-risk, such as adult entertainment, online gambling, and e-commerce.
  2. Fraud prevention: High-risk payment processors typically have advanced fraud prevention measures in place to protect against fraudulent transactions and chargebacks.
  3. Multiple payment methods: High-risk payment processors should be able to accept a variety of payment methods, including credit cards, e-wallets, and alternative payment methods.
  4. Customized solutions: High-risk businesses may have unique payment processing needs, so a good high-risk payment processor should be able to offer customized solutions that meet those specific needs.
  5. Chargeback management: Chargebacks are a common issue in high-risk industries, so a good high-risk payment processor should have effective chargeback management tools and procedures in place to minimize the impact of chargebacks on a business.
  6. High transaction limits: High-risk businesses may need to process large transactions, so a good high-risk payment processor should be able to handle high transaction volumes and high dollar amounts.
  7. Fast and reliable payouts: High-risk businesses often need to access their funds quickly, so a good high-risk payment processor should be able to provide fast and reliable payouts to merchants.


HighRiskPay.com charges a monthly fee of $9.95 for its high-risk account service. Also, transactions attract a fee of $0.25 and 2.95% of the total value.

8. Payment Depot

Payment Depot is a reliable payment processing solution provider for businesses of all risk levels. As a Stax company, it charges its members a monthly fee and per-transaction fee that helps them save on credit card processing costs while providing exceptional service.

The company provides integrations with popular shopping carts and payment gateway software programs, point-of-sale machines, and card terminals. This allows businesses to expand their payment options, giving their customers more flexibility when it comes to making payments.

If you need a business loan, Payment Depot can help by providing next-day funding to give your business a capital infusion. The company’s advanced technologies prevent unwanted chargebacks and fraudulent transactions, ensuring that transactions remain secure and reliable. Additionally, Payment Depot does not charge any registration or cancellation fees, making it a flexible and cost-effective option for businesses of all sizes.

Key Features

Payment Depot is a payment processing company that provides businesses with a subscription-based pricing model for their payment processing needs. Some key features of Payment Depot include:

  1. Subscription-based pricing: Payment Depot offers a subscription-based pricing model where businesses pay a monthly fee for access to their payment processing services. This pricing model eliminates many of the fees and markups that traditional payment processors charge, such as interchange fees and statement fees.
  2. Transparent pricing: Provides transparent pricing to its customers, meaning that they disclose all fees and charges upfront, so businesses know exactly what they’re paying for. This helps businesses better manage their cash flow and avoid unexpected charges.
  3. Interchange-plus pricing: Payment Depot uses an interchange-plus pricing model, which means that businesses pay the actual interchange fee charged by the card networks, plus a fixed markup from Payment Depot. This pricing model is generally more transparent and cost-effective than other pricing models used by payment processors.
  4. Multiple payment methods: Supports a wide range of payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, ACH transfers, and more. This allows businesses to offer their customers a variety of payment options, which can help increase sales and customer satisfaction.
  5. Fraud prevention tools: This provides businesses with fraud prevention tools to help mitigate the risk of fraudulent transactions. These tools include real-time fraud monitoring, chargeback alerts, and more.
  6. 24/7 customer support: Offers 24/7 customer support to its customers, which can be helpful for businesses that operate outside of traditional business hours. This support is available via phone, email, and live chat.
  7. No long-term contracts: Not require businesses to sign long-term contracts, which can provide greater flexibility and reduce the risk of being locked into a service that doesn’t meet their needs.


Payment Depot has three subscription plans:

  • Starter: costs $59/month and $0.15 per transaction if the business processes $125,000 worth of transactions annually
  • Starter Plus: costs $79/month and $0.10 per transaction if the business processes $125,000 worth of transactions annually
  • Growth: costs $99/month and $0.07 per transaction if the business processes $500,000 worth of transactions annually

Also, it has a custom plan for businesses that process over $500,000 annually in credit card payments.

What Are High-Risk Merchant Accounts?

High-risk merchant accounts are specialized payment processing accounts designed for businesses that are considered to have a higher risk of chargebacks, fraud, and other financial risks.

The types of businesses that typically require high-risk merchant accounts include those in industries such as adult entertainment, online gambling, tobacco, firearms, and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, businesses that have a high average transaction value, high chargeback rates, or a history of payment processing issues may also be considered high risk.

To obtain a high-risk merchant account, businesses must typically go through a more rigorous underwriting process than traditional merchants. This may involve providing additional documentation, such as financial statements and business plans, and may also require higher fees and stricter terms and conditions.

While high-risk merchant accounts may be more difficult to obtain and may come with higher fees, they can provide businesses with the ability to accept credit card payments and other forms of electronic payments, which can be critical for growth and profitability in certain industries.

Buyers Guide Overview: High-Risk Merchants

As a high-risk merchant, it can be challenging to find payment processing solutions that cater to your needs. High-risk merchants are those who operate in industries that are considered risky or prone to chargebacks, fraud, or legal issues. Some examples of high-risk industries include online gambling, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, and travel.

To help you navigate the process of finding a suitable payment processor, here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Experience and expertise: Look for a payment processor with experience in serving high-risk merchants. They should have knowledge of the unique challenges and regulations that come with these industries.
  2. Chargeback protection: High-risk merchants are more prone to chargebacks, so it’s crucial to find a payment processor that offers chargeback protection and prevention measures.
  3. Security and fraud prevention: Security is critical when it comes to payment processing. Look for a provider that offers robust fraud detection and prevention measures to protect you and your customers.
  4. Customer support: High-risk merchants may need more personalized support and attention. Look for a payment processor that offers excellent customer support and is available 24/7.
  5. Fees and rates: High-risk payment processing typically comes with higher fees and rates than traditional payment processing. Be sure to compare pricing and fees across different providers to find the best deal for your business.

By considering these factors, you can find a payment processor that can meet your needs as a high-risk merchant and help you manage the unique challenges of your industry.


What Is Considered A High-Risk Business That Needs Payment Processing?

A high-risk business is one that operates in an industry that is considered risky or prone to chargebacks, fraud, or legal issues. These businesses are often characterized by higher-than-average chargeback rates, the potential for customer disputes, and legal and regulatory challenges. Some examples of high-risk businesses include online gambling, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, travel, firearms, and e-cigarettes.
As a result, high-risk businesses typically require specialized payment processing solutions that cater to their unique needs. These solutions often come with higher fees and rates to account for the increased risks, but they also offer additional features such as chargeback protection, fraud prevention, and personalized customer support to help high-risk merchants manage their payment processing needs effectively.

Why Are Fees So High With Merchant Accounts For High-Risk Businesses?

Fees for merchant accounts are typically higher for high-risk businesses because these businesses are associated with increased risks for payment processors. High-risk industries are more likely to experience chargebacks, disputes, fraud, and other issues that can result in financial losses for payment processors. As a result, payment processors charge higher fees to compensate for these risks and ensure that they can continue to provide services to high-risk merchants.