Tips on how to apply for a high risk merchant account and get approved   

Jun 05, 2014

There are certain tips you should keep in mind when it comes to obtaining a high risk merchant account. One very important thing to consider is your merchant account provider itself. According to Gareth Sales’ article for Rocksalt International, “Tips to keep in mind when applying for a merchant account”, “A good merchant account provider is very much like a good web host: when things are going well you shouldn’t be thinking of them at all. It’s an invisible service that runs in the background, there to do what it’s supposed to do in a reliable and non-invasive way.”

In order to obtain a high risk merchant account, you must first have your application approved. Because credit card processors are liable if a transaction is cleared by them and then disputed later, many credit card processors will not support high risk products.

In light of this, it is important to understand and be ready for the questions that you will be asked. The questions will most likely include: What are you selling? How long has your organization been in business? Can you provide financial statements? Are you currently processing credit cards? How much money will you process per month?

You should also explore your options when it comes to the technical aspect of obtaining a merchant account. An e-commerce transaction consists of a shopping cart, a payment gateway, and a merchant account. It is useless to establish a merchant account without knowing whether or not the shopping cart and they payment gateway are compatible.

According to Sales’ article, “It’s worth noting that many merchant account providers include the merchant account and gateway bundled together so that you do not need to cobble together a solution between multiple parties… In general, it’s almost always easier if your merchant account provider also includes the payment gateway as a part of the service.”

If you operate a business that is considered very high risk, it will probably take a little more research and time to find the ideal high risk merchant account provider. Because high risk processors often charge higher fees and/or operate offshore in jurisdictions with less regulation, it is very important that you do your research and make a calculated decision.

With rates as low as 2.99%, is the nation’s leading provider of high risk merchant accounts.  They provide services to cigar, pipe, and tobacco businesses, collection agencies, electronic cigarette businesses, gaming companies, online firearm sales, etc. According to, “The provision of credit card processing solutions to high risk businesses is eMerchantBroker’s specialty.  They aim at establishing long-term and profitable relationships with merchants and look forward to helping high risk merchants.”

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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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