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Which Businesses & Industries Are Considered High-Risk? (& What It Means If You’re On The List)

High-risk businesses often have more trouble finding payment processing options, lenders, and business insurance. Learn if your business is high-risk, and what you can do about it.

    Noah Miller
  • 240 comments
  • Updated on:
Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.
Noah Miller

Noah Miller

Expert Analyst & Reviewer
Noah is a writer and content creator currently living in Fairfax, VA. When he isn't writing about IT solutions and innovations that help his clients, he's probably sitting behind a drumkit or adding new hardware to his computer. Since 2017, Noah has worked for federal, state, and commercial clients as a proposal writer, technical writer, copywriter, and analyst. He has a BA in Creative Writing and a Minor in German from Goucher College.

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240 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Jason Diller

    This post is solid.

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Nisha Inalsingh

      My newly launched website selling luxury dresses ($1150) and accessories ($200-$500) has been flagged as high risk by Shopify payments. They are holding from one sale 90% of the money for 5 months to ensure no fraud (the charge is from my sister based in NYC ironically). As a result of this rating my Google ads and merchant accounts have been suspended which is terrible for my business. If I switch to a different credit card payment service will that help get the Google accounts reinstated? I don’t mind having a reserve but how long does a high risk category last? Shopify only says it’s based on their algorithms and provide no other details.. This could kill my business after all the money I’ve spent on manufacturing these items. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

        Jessica Dinsmore

        Hi Nisha,

        So sorry to hear this! Being classified as a high-risk business is generally not a temporary condition (unless it’s a result of the business owner’s poor personal credit rating). Shopify’s customer service should be able to provide more information as to why the account was flagged. You might want to sign up with Square or a similar PSP to (hopefully) get your Google Ads back and to be able to take credit cards. If that account also gets shut down, you’re probably going to have to sign up with a high-risk provider (PaymentCloud or Durango being good choices). Just be aware that you’ll almost certainly have a reserve with any high-risk provider. Best of luck with this!

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          D Schillinger

          Dear Community, Our Business is Data Solutions. Clients would pay between $1 – 10 per transactions. Are you able to confirm if we fall under High-Risk business Categories as data solutions does not appear on the category list? Are you also able to suggest the most suitable offshore merchant services provider as we expect customers predominantly from the US, Europe, Asia and relatively Africa.
          Thank you
          D Schillinger

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            Jessica Dinsmore

            Hi D,

            It’s not clear what kind of services your business provides based on the info you’ve provided here, but from the sounds of it, you’ll likely be considered high risk by most providers. Here is a list of The 8 Best Offshore Merchant Account Providers that I think you’ll find helpful. Good luck!

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              Steffen

              How much is typically meant by “high average ticket sales”? Are we talking $200 or $2000?

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Jessica Dinsmore

                Hi Steffen,
                Great question! We’ve never seen a specific amount disclosed, and it’s highly likely that every processor sets their own limit. High average ticket sales would be closer to $2k and up if we had to guess. I hope that helps!

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                  Aleem Ajmal

                  Hi,

                  We are running an IT solution marketing company based in the U.S. We provide SEO, web development, ad campaigns. Also, we do marketing for an IOS and Android applications. We do call the customer for the B2B services it wouldn’t be wrong if you call us a call center or a small BPO.

                  Just wanted to ask, would you be kind enough to help us in this matter to tell that which merchant we should apply for.

                  We will keep an eye out to your response.

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    Jessica Dinsmore

                    Hi Aleem,

                    In looking at this high-risk comparison chart, I’d say Host Merchant Services looks like a good choice for you. You could also try entering in your specifications into our filtering tool to get a more closely matched recommendation. Best wishes!

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                      ali chouerreb

                      Dear Community,
                      Hi I am a tech support company based in UK which merchants will work better for me.
                      Best Regards

                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                        Jessica Dinsmore

                        Hi Ali,

                        We would recommend getting several quotes from high-risk providers, and this post provides an excellent list to start with. You can also check out our comparison chart. Best of luck!

                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                          dopsia

                          Could you please recommend some adequate payment processors for me? my business is related to blockchain based items such as NFT(non fungible tokens). Many thanks!

                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                            Jessica Dinsmore

                            Hi Dopsia,

                            This article lists several payment processors that may be able to accommodate your business needs. Hope that helps!

                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                              Alibaba

                              Hi,

                              I’m almost done with setting up my coffee truck. I will be mobile mostly and most of my transactions will be below $10.00. What POS system do you recommend for me to use? I appreciate your input and all available information you are providing which helps people like me who are new to the POS world.

                              Alibaba

                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                Hi Alibaba!
                                We actually have a post exactly about that! Check out How To Choose A POS System For Your Food Truck. Best of luck with your coffee truck!

                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                  Greg Simpson

                                  I need an account for my high-risk business.

                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                    Hey Greg! This would be a great place to start. You can also compare high-risk processors here. Good luck!

                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                      Criselle Flores

                                      Hi! I’ve been in the Online Pharmacy Industry for 8 years and counting. We have some big plans for this coming year 2020 and I’m in the market looking for a reliable merchant preferably “US based” since our main market are US citizens. Care to help?

                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                        Emily Hale

                                        Hi Criselle,

                                        Thanks for reading and for your question. Here is a list of some of the best high-risk processors that would be a great starting point to check out. Each has a full review so that you can investigate further and contact them. Best of luck!

                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                          Nick

                                          I want to start a Credit card processing company. Am looking for underwriters for my business. Can you help me figure out their details and what’s the best way to reach them.

                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                            Emily Hale

                                            Hi Nick, Finding information about underwriters and setting up credit card processing companies may be a bit outside of our expertise. We’d rather not give you an answer that we’re not certain about, but we wish you all the best!

                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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