Merchant Account, Payment Gateway, or Both? — Best Payment Processing Solutions for High Risk Businesses

August 12, 2019 | Merchants | Jessyka Lee

In this current digital era where electronic payments and eCommerce are taking larger and larger slices of the economic pie; how do you, as a business owner, know whether to seek out a payment gateway or merchant account to accept your customer’s credit card payments? If you are one of the many who doesn’t even know where to start, let’s explore some of the finer points of merchant accounts versus payment gateways, and how operating a high risk business will impact how you process your customers’ credit card payments.


High Risk Processing Industries

Before weighing the options between merchant accounts and payment gateways, you must first determine if your business belongs in a high risk processing industry. This matters especially when you’re opening an eCommerce store because the most popular and easy to access payment processing solutions offered through PayPal, Stripe, or Square will not approve payments through either once their underwriting process has found your business to be high risk.

If you’re wondering if your business could be classified as a high risk processing industry consider the following. Are the credit card chargeback rates typically high in your industry? Does your business operate on a subscription, recurring, or continuity billing model? Are purchases considered high ticket items? Does your industry have, for lack of a better word, a taboo reputation (for instance, adult entertainment or gentlemen’s clubs)? Does the industry face heavy government regulations or laws?

If you answered any of those questions with a yes or even a maybe, then you have a high risk business on your hands. Don’t stress about it though, you’re in the right place. We here at PayKings specialize in finding payment processing solutions for high risk businesses. Let’s walk through high risk payment gateways and high risk merchant accounts , so you know which the best approach to payment processing is right for your business.


Payment Gateways

Payment Gateways are primarily eCommerce services that authorize a customer’s credit card payment data to be processed by an acquiring bank and then transferred to your business’ bank account. The most popular eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce, Shopify, and Magento have built-in payment gateway integrations that can make accepting credit card payments a breeze. However, if you know about your business is high risk, you want to avoid signing up for an ordinary payment gateway from the jump because you’re almost guaranteed to get your account frozen and credit card sales interrupted once their underwriting process is done.

If you know your business is high risk, before you sign up with a payment gateway, you need to get a high risk merchant account approved so the gateway has a secure place to send your payments. All you need to know about high risk merchant accounts will be detailed below.


High Risk Merchant Accounts

A merchant account is a fancy name for a bank account for your business. Merchant accounts have been around since credit card payments have been accepted in stores, but they also play a big role in eCommerce and the aforementioned payment gateways. Merchant accounts are at the end of the payment processing journey. Payments typically get encrypted, processed, and approved through payment gateways and then the funds end up in a business’ merchant account.

There are two types of merchant accounts, dedicated and aggregate. As a high risk business owner, you want to seek a dedicated merchant account for your business because your high risk status will prevent you from using an aggregate merchant account anyway. Dedicated merchant accounts are set up for your business alone and you will receive custom processing rates depending on your business’ risk profile.

Separate from ordinary dedicated merchant accounts, there are high risk merchant accounts. As a high risk business, this is what you are looking for. High risk merchant accounts usually always come with higher rates due to the risk of credit card chargebacks. The acquiring bank that sets up your high risk merchant account utilizes what’s known as a rolling reserve. That’s a percentage of each transaction that is held for a certain amount of time that protects the acquiring bank from finacial losses due to potential chargebacks.

Getting approved for a high risk merchant account can be a drawn out process and if you don’t know the finer points about payment processing, and you could get taken for unnecessarily high rates. Luckily, if you know you have a high risk business and need help securing a high risk merchant account and payment gateway, you are already in good hands. We at PayKings have 20+ relationships with acquiring banks and can work on your behalf to negotiate good rates and get you accepting credit card payments quickly. Click here to get a free quote on your high risk merchant account from the experts at PayKings today!

August 12, 2019 | Merchants | Jessyka Lee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *