Durango Merchant Services Review

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Date Established
Durango, CO


Usually, when I see a provider advertising a specialization in “high-risk” accounts, it sends up a red flag for me. Many such providers cling to the shady underbelly of the merchant market, alongside their clients who often traffic in pyramid schemes, snake oil, rigged gambling and prostitution, among other unsavory and unfair business endeavors defined as “high-risk.” Durango Merchant Services (DMS) is one of the only completely reputable, honest, fair merchant services providers who advertise as high-risk specialists. I began this review ready to denounce them but ended up loving Durango. (They’re based in Durango, Colorado, as you might have guessed.)

Truth be told, many high-risk merchants don’t even realize that they’re high-risk until they begin to pursue a merchant account. But then, after a string of rejections, they get desperate and willing to work with whoever will take them. This is a huge mistake. If you’re running an honest business that just so happens to be high-risk, you deserve to work with a dedicated partner, not some processor looking to take advantage of your desperation. Durango will deliver the kind of exceptional service our other 5-star processors do, with the added benefit of expertise in high-risk accounts.

You’re rates and fees will depend on your business and your risk level (higher-risk equal higher rates), but overall I can say that Durango will act with integrity and treat you fairly regardless of your business type. They’ve had one complaint with the BBB in the past three years and very few elsewhere. I recommend them not only to merchants with higher than average risk but to any merchant looking for quality service and industry excellence, especially e-commerce merchants. Durango has earned a perfect 5 stars from me as a high-risk merchant account provider, and they’re not too far off from being 5 stars all around.

Read on below for more details, or get started with Durango.

Products & Services:

Durango offers the basics when it comes to products and services, including:

  • Merchant accounts: With an emphasis on high-risk and international businesses. They use about a dozen different processors from across the globe, depending on your needs.
  • Gateway service: Durango has an in-house gateway that they’ll give you a good deal on. If you want something like Authorize.Net instead, they have no trouble getting you set up with that either.
  • Check processing: This includes a number of services to reduce and even eliminate the chance of bounced checks, and a number of additional services to allow check acceptance via web or phone.
  • Equipment sales: Yes, that’s right. SALES. Instead of trying to rope you into an expensive and aggravating lease, Durango fully discloses the cost of every single credit card machine they offer and, encourages you to make the smart decision and buy it outright. Check out our article to learn why to buy instead of lease.
  • Fraud protection services: Including Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode, among other services. For high-risk merchants, fraud protection should be high on your priority list.

Fees & Rates:

Durango doesn’t disclose rates or fees. With so many different processors and business types, these numbers are simply impossible to standardize for a provider like this. My advice to you: Call and negotiate. Durango Merchant will treat you fairly and do their best to win your business. See if you can get interchange-plus pricing and your early termination fee waived. It’s worth a shot. But for high-risk merchants, expect higher than average rates alongside a standard early termination fee ($300-500).

Contract Length & Early Termination Fee:

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to pin this down for a provider like Durango Merchant Services. In some cases, you can get a month-to-month contract with no termination fee. But for most, expect two to three-year contracts and at least some early termination fee. Negotiate as much as you can, and for the love of all that is holy, ask to have the auto-renewal clause removed if an early termination fee is present! You’ll thank yourself later, I promise.

Sales & Advertising Transparency:

While Durango Merchant doesn’t disclose any hard numbers on their website, they don’t make any outlandish claims either. On the DMS site, you’ll find a lot of useful, descriptive, earnest information and sales copy that will actually help you to make an informed decision. For me, that’s the bottom line. Spouting a bunch of arbitrary numbers and calling it “disclosure” is actually pretty useless, so I’m okay with the lack of number present here.

Of course, I’d like to see some better disclosure of the types of fees a merchant would expect to see (PCI compliance, early termination, monthly fee, etc.) as well as billing models (such as interchange-plus and tiered).

Customer Service & Technical Support:

We personally know of a few merchants that we’ve sent to Durango, and all of them are happy with the customer service thus far. Aside from that, many merchants and reviewers across the web have joyously heralded Durango’s customer service as completely unlike any other high-risk-focused provider. Dealing with high-risk accounts is a lot more work than a standard account, especially on the customer service end. Complex questions and obstacles come up frequently. That Durango has such an outstanding reputation for customer service is truly extraordinary, and boosts my confidence in them big-time.

Negative Reviews & Complaints:

The Durango BBB profile is sporting an “A” as of this review, with 2 complaints in the last 36 months. We’ve been following them for several years now, and this is the first BBB complaint we’ve seen! Even so, it doesn’t seem like the consumer dealt with Durango, but with someone claiming to be Durango.

One commenter on this page complained that he was denied by Durango, which is bound to happen in some instances. But even here, a service rep took the time to respond to the complaint and invite the merchant to reach out directly to see if they could find a way to resolve the problem. This level of attention and responsiveness speaks volumes and is a sure sign of a quality provider.

In some cases, merchants have complained about a processor used by Durango, Intabill, as seen in this confusing and misleading thread on Scam.com. Even there, a service rep for Durango chimes in with an eloquent and professional response, setting the record straight.

Aside from that, you’ll have a hard time finding any complaints. In general merchants and independent reviewers alike have praised Durango as a remarkable provider, especially given their focus on high-risk.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials:

You’ll find an impressive 31 reviews of Durango Merchant Services on the Better Business Bureau’s TrustLink website, with every single one at 5 stars. They draw from some of these reviews in their official testimonials page.

Of the positive reviews I read, these qualities come up most often:

  • High approval rate: Even when a merchant has been previously denied multiple times by other providers, Durango can usually find a solution for almost any business type, US-based or international.
  • Quick, reliable setup: While you might expect a ton of delays for setting up a high-risk account – and it certainly can take longer than a standard one – Durango won’t leave you hanging.
  • Excellent customer service: This is, without a doubt, the most important feature to my mind, especially with high-risk merchant accounts. They’re high-risk for a reason, namely increased possibility for chargebacks and fraud. Given this, a high-risk merchant will need more support (and more competent support) than a standard account holder would. Durango passes this test with flying colors, according to the reviews I’ve seen.

Final Verdict:

When it comes to high-risk merchant accounts, I’m yet to find a service that even comes close to what the people at Durango Merchant Services are doing. They invariably provide excellent solutions to complex merchant situations. And if they can’t work with you for whatever reason, they’ll be straightforward and honest about it. Durango has customer service that far exceeds the industry standard, and a sales team that features honest, knowledgeable staff. They provide the expertise needed to set up international merchants from basically any country in the world, and to deal with fraud proactively and effectively.

While I’m primarily reviewing and recommending this service as a high-risk option – held to a different set of standards than an average account provider – I also believe that traditional merchants, especially eCommerce merchants, can expect outstanding service and support from Durango Merchant Services. I like this business very much, enough to give them our coveted 5-star seal of approval. Check them out!

Get Started With Durango Merchant Services

Tom DeSimone
Tom loves asking tough questions and getting straight answers, so he has a lot of fun calling payment processing companies for Merchant Maverick to cut through their smoke and mirrors and find the real deals. He has run a full-time editorial business from his home in New York’s Hudson Valley since 2010 and could not imagine a better job. When not busy writing about merchant services and keeping credit card processors honest, Tom enjoys backpacking in the mountains.
Tom DeSimone
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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.


    I’m interested in pursuing a merchant account with Durango and was wondering if there are services that can help with the negotiation process? I’ve checked out Cardfellow, but Durango is not supported, probably because they require a contract. I have an online training business and have not accepted credit cards before.

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hi Elaine,

      We actually have a blog post that can help you navigate the negotiation process! I think you’ll find it helpful. Durango may be a good option for high risk businesses, but if you’re not high risk, you’d be better served by any of our top rated merchant account providers.


        i have professional website design business and i want online merchant account help me if someone knows how to get merchant account payment getaway for high volume 1st party merchant. can i apply straight from bank in usa high amount merchant or for tech support business how i get merchant please help

          Jessica Dinsmore

          Hi Sony,

          Instabill is definitely the way to go for tech support businesses. Best of luck to you!


            I just applied at durango and was sent back an e mail saying we don’t fit their business model. wtf I thought they did high risk. we sell nutraceuticals.


              Hi, I’m trying to get a merchant account or some thing to run credit cards on, I keep getting denied and my bank statements are weak at best. How can I get a merchant account with this god awful credit? Should I change company names?

                Jessica Dinsmore


                If you haven’t already tried Durango, I suggest you give them a shot. They usually don’t have any problem with bad credit, unless it’s very bad. Otherwise, you can give a third-party processor like Square a shot. Third-party processors are usually more lenient when it comes to bad credit.


                  HiI am looking for a high risk merchant account.I am running a trial offer in the Nordic region promoting a male enhancer product.I am looking to accept Visa and Master card with reoccurring payments.Would this company be a good option for me ?I got no processing history Would appreciate any help :)Best regardsEnzo


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

                    Chloe Bahal

                    Hi Enzo,

                    It wouldn’t hurt to try but you might have better luck with Instabill.

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


                      hello brother please tell me which bank will give merchant facility i have professional website design business with no work history i want online payment by credit and debit card if someone knows please tell me how to get merchant account payment payment please i’m very thankful mgs me


                        I suggest you patiently study a list of highest rated merchant service companies and then see which has overall fewest complaints. Then contact each of those sites customer support and see which ones answer friendliest, fastest, and best described of their procedures. Then you’ll know where to start from.


                          I just would like to take a minute to thank you for your website and all the help you offer to new businesses as well as businesses who need a bit of extra help be it due to products we sell/our credit/options we have etc. I ran an online shop 10 years ago and though so much as changed much still stays the same 🙂 — One thing that has changed is the barage of the 3rd party payment processors who are out there now and after a couple of hours reading through your site and popping in and out to check things out I truly feel very educated 🙂 — High Risk scares folks because they honestly have no clue what it’s like out here when trying to get a merchant account – starting up a new business I’ve learned the meaning of that once before and rather than reach forward to stars I know I can’t catch starting up a new company I was happy to see your site with all it’s comparisons and honest upfront conversational articles as they have given me a great deal to work with. I just filled out a quote request with durango (I’ll let you know how that goes!) but too because I chose the store platform I did (SparkPay Stores) I’m able to incorporate more than one payment method so I’m looking into also incorporating Paypal or Stripe (Square (www.squareup.com) offers online payments too for your own shops already set up elsewhere or a shop with them and is worthy of checking out and doing a comparison for us 🙂 But I appreciate your thorough review of both paypal and stripe. I’ll offer a quick opinion here but if it’s better used on that page let me know and I’ll place a comment there for you. One thing that I don’t like about Stripe is how long it takes to get your money ie two day roll-over. Paypal Pro is immediate but a costly immediate. I’m only worried about stripe because I’ve not used it before but I will try it and see how it goes because the costs are much more friendly be it just to try them out or use them regularly. I wish Paypal would come down on their fees but they know they have the market through ebay and such so they can run your business in the ground if you don’t watch out. That’s one thing that shop owners I think should watch out for is the overall cost of doing biz because too quick and without warning you can find yourself on the verge of losing your business before you get going. That is another reason why am so thankful to have found you because had you not of gave me such great information for both merchant accounts and 3rd party accounts I may have made the mistake of going with someone who has a bunch of hidden fees or wasted a bunch of credit inquiries on my report because I sell jewelry and it’s one of the goodies that’s considered high risk for chargebacks which most folks don’t know nor would they expect. Having sold it before I knew but I didn’t know who to seek out that would keep me from running circles like a dog chasing it’s tail getting turned down or wasting a lot of time losing sales while I researched all the things you did for us. So there’s a great deal of gratitude coming your way from me for all you have provided here on your site. I look forward to keeping up with your posts and hope you’ll add me to your mailing list for newsletters or updates if you offer those! So many thank you’s from The Jypszy Trading Post and we look forward to reviewing your site more as well as future posts etc. Would also love to know if you have a way that we can ask you things in general that you may be interested in doing future posts on – if so please share as I’m sure there’s lots of questions out here as well as things folks do they may would like to share with you to let you share with others just because without each other I don’t think we could make it out here in this wild untamed (still and thank goodness for it 🙂 internet world.


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


                            Anyone know a high risk merchant that will take on a small collection company?

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

                              Chloe Bahal

                              Hi Mark,

                              I would recommend Durango Merchant Services, Payline Data, or Instabill.

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


                                I recently applied for an account with Square. I went through the entire process, shared banking information, etc. and then was told my account was terminated. I was never given a reason and I could not contact Square to find out the reason.

                                Many years ago I was scammed via PayPal which caused a deficit with my bank and with PayPal as well as the IRS. I took care of (or so I thought) the issue after numerous faxes, etc, to the aforementioned account holders. But, I just found out that I still owe PayPal funds but have not been able to contact anyone to find out why or/and how much.

                                I just want to be able to send invoices and accept payments so i can continue to sell toys (via Facebook) on line and break away from a silent business partner.


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


                                  Hi community,

                                  I currently am having a difficult time getting approved for merchant services. I was first approved through authorize.net and my merchant account was approved through PowerPay via authorize net. 2 days later, my account was closed so I ended up closing my authorize gateway too. I called PowerPay and they said their policy does not accept the sale of gym shoes. I read their policy and it indeed says they do not accept the sale of knock-off athletic shoes, problem is I run an ebay store selling authentic shoes, although I have some negative reviews disclaiming my authenticity of products (reason why paypal limited me). I have about 5 negatives out of 93 positive reviews….people online consider this amount of negatives is high. Amad considered ebay stores high risk in his article. PowerPay had this information (my ebay store link as the website) and they did not even attempt to ask me for any verification of my products. Do you think they reviewed my ebay store feedback?

                                  I got suspended on Paypal for providing receipts which they did not accept and permanently limited my account which was holding 2 grand and they said they will not return it for 180 days. I have 8 grand in inventory and I am losing money every day, please help me. Is my business considered high risk? I am starting to believe so. I move around 20pcs/month (high ticket – $300-$999) Many are scam buyers through ebay too though. I hear a lot about Durango Merchant Services…is this good for ebay store? (as long as it links to authorize.net gateway)

                                  …I am losing my mind, I am currently involved in an underwriting process with MerchantFocus but they have the SAME prohibited list as PowerPay that includes “knock off athletic shoes”. I have not heard from them in 48 hours. Do these merchant companies ever notify you of DENIAL? Maybe I am impatient and will receive my decision tomorrow perhaps?

                                  PowerPay also did NOT tell me my account was closed. I actually had to call these knuckleheads to find out..no email, phone call, …nothing! I am so sorry for the long post…I hope everyone reads it all though…please help me any help is greatly appreciated.



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


                                    we are a tech support company please assist me which gateway is best for our business . we are a start up company …..

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

                                      Chloe Bahal

                                      Hi Pradeep,

                                      I would recommend taking a look at Instabill.

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

                                        manish kaushik

                                        DMS set us up with h2opay.net

                                        Who scammed us for 5000 usd .

                                        I do not recommend them at all.

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

                                          Amad Ebrahimi


                                          Can you tell us how you were scammed out of $5000?

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

                                            kenny terizak

                                            im looking merchant for drinks and party events?

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

                                              Chloe Bahal

                                              Hi Kenny,

                                              We have a great filtering tool that you can try here. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

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


                                                Hallo everyone, I stay in Kenya and I have been operating a local dating site, since we have a different merchant service which is pretty much less complicated my experience has been great. However, I want to invest in a bigger project that will include customers globally. I am fully aware how difficult it is to get accepted by merchant services outside the US especially now that I am in the high risk business. Can someone recommend a merchant service that caters for countries outside the US or Kenya to be specific that is less dramatic. I have had of crazy stories about paypal and maybe an alternative merchant will help me set up my business smoothly. Will highly appreciate your ideas.

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


                                                  I am consulting for a multi level marketing firm and is in need of a reliable processor. We are listed as high risk by most industry standards but have a solid business model along with financial information to support the projected sales. Please recommend. Thanks.

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

                                                    Tom DeSimone

                                                    Hi Qasim,

                                                    Durango or Payline Data are your best options based on the companies we’ve reviewed. The solidity of your business model and sales projections will not be as important to processors as the perceived risk of fraud, illegal activity and chargebacks associated with your business type. Definitely talk to these two processors, though. They specialize in high-risk accounts.

                                                    Best of luck,

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


                                                      Durango is great. They rejected us last year and they explained the reason to us. They seem like they are not human. A guy called Nathan Counley handled our case. It felt like we were getting free consultancy service. Even though they did not accept us, I will rate them 5 stars.


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

                                                        Pledged Plugins

                                                        Durango is great for high risk transactions — if you have WooCommerce you can now easily integrate your ecommerce platform with the Durango payment gateway.

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


                                                          I applied to Durrango. Brad Jess handled my case. I think they are very professional. They declined my application though. I am not High-risk category business, have SSN, EIN, excellent credit history, have active accounts in Stripe, Braintree and provided 6 months of good credit card payment history. I won’t complaint because it is their decision to accept me as a merchant or not. I wanted to be with Durango because they provide a real merchant account which Stripe and Braintree do not provide. And they have got excellent reviews all over the internet.Anyway, all I wanted to say that they are very professional and answer all queries even if they are not interested to accept you as a merchant.


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

                                                            sajan surti

                                                            Hello,I contacted them but seems they do not support all high-risk businesses. I was disappointed by the fact that they would not accept us even when we are located in USA with SSN, EIN and a Bank account.Stripe accepted us, so did authorize.net, so did fidelity payments…but Durango didn’t. Even cardinal commerce is ready to provide their services to us.I think its time to remove them from the “Best for high risk” option and look at another.


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

                                                              Nathan Counley

                                                              Hello,We tried our best but we were unable to get Mr. Surti approved based on several reasons that we are not able to disclose publicly (please feel free to call myself or Brad Jess at 866-415-2636 x 4 or 2 to discuss these reasons again Mr. Surti). Mr. Surti is correct, we are not able to get “all” merchants regardless of circumstances or business model approved for accounts; certain merchants simply pose too much risk and unfortunately this was one of them. We have assisted many thousands of both low & high risk companies acquire direct merchant accounts since we opened for business in 1999, and our A+ rating on the BBB I believe attests to the honesty & integrity of our mission.Thank you,Nathan CounleyDurango Merchant Services, LLCwww.Durango-Direct.com


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

                                                                Larry Taylor

                                                                Hello Mr. Surti, i have applied d for payment gateway with Authorize.net and got rejected. I have everything which requires to have it. Got easily a business paypal without any hassle and in a process with stripe. Need to apply for merchant account with company which accepts online Tech support business, we are not from Asia. we are located in U.S itself and doing legitimate business. Please help somebody. Thank

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

                                                                  Chloe Bahal

                                                                  Hi Larry,

                                                                  I would recommend taking a look at Payline Data or Instabill.

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


                                                                    Does this integrate with shopify?

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

                                                                      Amad Ebrahimi

                                                                      Roman, you can use Authorize.Net through Durango and it will integrate with Shopify.

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

                                                                        Alfred, Sonia, & Brian Cardozo

                                                                        JUST APPLIED LETS SEE WHAT HAPPENS, HOPE ALL WORKS OUT IM SURE IT WILL!

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


                                                                          I contacted Durango after I found out my business is considered higher risk. My representative Brad, is extremely professional & experienced…He helped me get all set up and the fees are fair. I would recommend Durango and Brad to anyone who needs a merchant account. The approval process was fast and amazingly not painful! Thanks Brad and Durango (& Merchant Maverick!)

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


                                                                            I applied to CDG. They didnt want to take my account because they considered it “High Risk” since 100% of my clients are overseas.

                                                                            They referred me over to Durango. Durango answered back within 15 minutes telling me that they cant accept my account.

                                                                            I sell clothes, shoes and electronics on mywebsite.

                                                                            You state that this company “specializes mainly in high risk, overseas and internet based merchant accounts”.

                                                                            I guess not.

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

                                                                              Merchant Maverick Admin

                                                                              Thanks for the comment Said.

                                                                              I don’t think that just because they turned you down, they should be discredited. Even the high-risk providers have certain underwriting guidelines, so there must be a legitimate reason why your account wasn’t accepted. Were you given a reason?

                                                                              I know you asked a question in the QA section, about this a while ago, and because of my lack of response, you were unable to use my help. That was my fault.

                                                                              I just sent you a PM, so let’s see if we can figure this out together. Ok?

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

                                                                                Nathan Counley

                                                                                Hello,This is Nathan Counley from Durango Merchant Services. Regarding the comment’s from Said, we unfortunately cannot assist *every* international merchant I’m afraid. We do work with international merchants outside of the US, Canada & EU, however our options are more limited outside of these 3 regions. We do feel that we have some of the stronger international solutions available for ecommerce merchants, albeit some countries and business models are restricted. If you have any questions or inquiries please feel free to contact us directly, as each account is reviewed case-by-case.


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


                                                                                  I am a merchant inside the USA who sells internationally. I am a domestic merchant with a Fed Tax ID #. Don’t know what the problem is. Paypal works with me, not sure why you guys can’t.

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

                                                                                    Nathan Counley

                                                                                    Said,It is true that a merchant that does not have a principal who is a US citizen (with a SS# with credit history) “cannot” get a US merchant account. US processing banks require a SS#, not only an EIN# to pull credit to verify their risk. Perhaps this is what you mean. Yes, PayPal can accept such merchants, but with direct processors in the US its not really an option I’m afraid. This isn’t a decision from Durango, its across the board with every processor in the US as far as we are aware.Again, there are many other factors that influence what the banks can accept, each account is reviewed case-by-case. Why don’t you give me a call at 866-415-2636 so we can discuss in person?Thank you,Nathan


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

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