Is My Business High Risk? How to Still Secure Credit Card Processing

Jun 25, 2020

Running a small business is difficult enough without being told your business is considered “high risk”. This categorization makes it incredibly challenging to operate smoothly, secure business funding and partner with a reputable, fair payment processor. Even if you are able to find a processor willing to work with you, you will be charged higher rates and receive other undesirable terms.

So, how should you proceed? What can you do if you are high risk and in need of a credit card processor? Better yet, what does it really mean to be a high risk business?

What Does it Mean to be a High Risk Merchant?

While there are a variety of factors involved in a business being considered high risk, simply put, it means your business functions in an industry banks categorize as high risk and are hesitant or unwilling to take the risk of working with. The business either operates within a high risk industry or there is a risk of financial failure (or both). Below is a list of factors that might explain why your company has fallen within the high risk categorization:

  • You are a startup with poor or no credit history
  • Employee turnover rate is above average
  • Your industry comes with a large amount of chargebacks
  • Your company experiences a large amount of returns and refunds
  • Excessive chargebacks have classified you as a terminated merchant (TMF)
  • Your business handles multiple currencies
  • Your products or services result in high dollar transactions

Some businesses are completely unaware that they are a risk until they apply for business funding or seek out a credit card merchant account or processor. Other companies and industries are all too familiar with the classification and expect to run into problems when they seek merchant services. The following are just a few of the many business types and industries that are typically labeled “high risk”:

  • CBD
  • E-commerce
  • Adult
  • Pawn Shops
  • Vape
  • Firearms
  • Dating
  • Subscription Boxes
  • Trucking
  • Hotel & Motel
  • Travel
  • Auto Warranties

What Your Small Business Should do Next

Finding out your business fall into the high risk category can be stressful, but there is good news. Even with this categorization, there are payment processing companies more than willing to facilitate transactions. In fact, they specialize in working with high risk companies. has years of experience in assisting high risk business owners secure the merchant services they need.

If you are seeking to avoid being labeled a high risk business, the best move is to avoid chargebacks as much as possible. Our team also provides the chargeback protection and prevention program you need to be proactive in preventing chargebacks and managing them effectively when they do occur. Our application is easy, fast and hassle-free, and you gain a reputable, fair payment processing partner and resource.

Let us help you get a high risk merchant account today!

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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