High-Risk Merchant Accounts: Three Best Payment Processors to Work With

A business is regarded as a high-risk business based on two factors – financial failure exists, and it operates within a high-risk industry. Either or both of these conditions can apply. However, both of these instances can affect the company’s ability to get insurance, merchant accounts, and financing. A high-risk merchant account is a payment processing account for a business considered to be of high risk to financial institutions. These high-risk businesses are more susceptible to chargebacks, and they come with the requirement to pay high fees for merchant services. Virtually all companies nowadays need to have the capability to accept credit cards. Finding a trustworthy merchant account provider to process your credit card transactions can be a daunting task for any business. It’s even harder for a high-risk merchant. Below are some of the best high risk merchant accounts providers. They are in no particular order.


This high-risk merchant account provider has regional offices in Miami, Florida, but its headquarters is in Sherman Oaks. It has been operating since 2010 and specializes in placing high-risk businesses that need banks to get approved and rely on a net of third-party processors. This company has a high rate of success compared to most of its competitors in approving their merchants for accounts. Besides, PaymentCloud goes the extra mile to help you accept a high-risk account without charging for any account setup or application fees.

PaymentCloud doesn’t disclose its account fees or processing rates. Therefore, you’ll need to get a quote from the sales team and negotiate to compare their offer against other providers. Below are some of the benefits and disadvantages of PaymentCloud:


  • Good for high-risk businesses
  • Good for e-commerce businesses
  • No account setup fee
  • Free credit card terminal
  • No monthly minimum for low-risk businesses
  • Excellent customer support
  • Few public complaints


  • Website needs improvement.
  • No publicly disclosing pricing

Host Merchant Services

The company opened in 2009 and its headquarters is in Newark, Delaware, with offices in Naples, Florida. Commonly known as HMS, the company doesn’t specialize in high-risk accounts but lists several high-risk businesses that it can accommodate. This company specializes in e-commerce merchants by using its TSYS back-end processor. Below are some of the pros and cons:


  • No setup or application fees
  • Good customer support
  • Good website and advertising
  • No early terminal fees
  • Transparent interchange-plus pricing


  • Expensive for low-volume merchants

Durango Merchant Services

Durango Merchant Services is one of the ideal account providers specializing in setting up accounts for high-risk businesses. It started back in 1999 with its headquarters in Durango, Colorado. The company has had an excellent reputation for customer service, fair rates, and honesty. Below are the pros and cons of using DMS:


  • Specialists in placing high-risk merchants
  • Dedicated account manager for customer support and service
  • Fair pricing and contracts
  • Offers offshore accounts for international merchants
  • Provides EMV-compliant mobile card reader


  • Early termination fee in some instances

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