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PayKings Review: Is PayKings The Best High-Risk Processor For Small Businesses?

PayKings is a solid choice for a high-risk merchant services provider, especially for cannabis-related businesses.

    Chris Motola
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Frank Kehl

    Frank Kehl

    Senior Staff Writer

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.


Total Rating 3.8
Fees & Rates4.0

Products & Services5.0


Sales & Advertising Transparency2.2

Customer Service3.9

User Reviews3.0

PayKings At A Glance

  • PayKings offers high-risk merchant accounts with no setup fees
  • Good feature set for high-risk businesses
  • Excellent resources for developers

Chris Motola

Chris Motola

Senior Staff Writer at Merchant Maverick
Chris has been writing about small business topics since 2003. In 2015, he joined Merchant Maverick, where he writes about business financing, payment processing, and demographic trends in entrepreneurship. Chris has been featured in Fox Business, ABC News, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, Newsweek, BizJournals, and other publications. He has a Bachelor’s of Arts in English Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego, and a Masters of Science in Interactive Media from the University of Central Florida. He currently resides in the Hudson Valley region of New York.
Chris Motola
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Chris Motola

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High-Risk Merchant Account Ratings Methodology

We research, evaluate, and test each high-risk payment processor that we review at Merchant Maverick, placing special emphasis on key characteristics to generate granular ratings for high-risk merchant account providers.

High-risk merchant accounts, by definition, require the provider to take on more risk and liability; they tend to be more expensive overall than traditional merchant accounts, with more fees and limitations. For this reason, our high-risk rating methodology differs from our standard credit card processor rating methodology, so we don’t mislead our readers by comparing apples and oranges. Many businesses in high-risk industries cannot qualify for a normal payment processing account. That said, there are good and bad options available in the high-risk space, and we judge these high-risk providers against each other to provide the most balanced assessment.

High-risk services can be complex, so we use a 24-point rubric to evaluate each provider. First, we look at pricing structure – interchange plus, subscription-based, tiered, or hybrid – giving the most points to providers that provide fair, transparent pricing and docking those that rely on tiered models. Then we examine rates, the presence and transparency of early termination fees, and any additional fees.

We also look at contract length and fairness and test out sales staff and customer service channels ourselves to ensure that the company uses reputable, above-the-board sales techniques. Finally, we take the company’s online reputation into account, reading customer reviews and comments.

Read more about how we rate high-risk merchant account providers.

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To learn more about how we score our reviews, see our Credit Card Processor Rating Criteria.