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This helps to reduce their exposure to fraud and keeps costs low for their existing clients.Other providers will allow certain high-risk companies, but will charge you significantly higher rates and fees for your merchant account due to the elevated risk they’re accepting by giving you a merchant account.

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While most non-high-risk businesses have some ability to negotiate the length of their contract terms, the industry average is around three years for the initial term, with an automatic renewal clause that extends it for one-year periods after that.

These lengthy contracts have been very unpopular with merchants, and the trend within the industry is moving more toward month-to-month agreements so you can cancel your account at any time without incurring a penalty.

Remember that every provider has their own criteria, so while you might be considered a high-risk business by one provider, you might be approved for a regular, non-high-risk account by a different provider.

Here are the most common types of high-risk businesses: If you’ve been reading this so far and you’ve determined that your business is in the high-risk category, it’s time to face this harsh reality: merchant accounts for high-risk businesses inevitably cost more than those for non-high-risk ones. You’ll pay more in both account fees and processing charges, and you’ll probably be stuck in longer contracts as well.

Although very small businesses can get by with a payment service provider (PSP) such as Pay Pal or Square, once your business reaches a certain size, you’re going to want to upgrade to a full-service merchant account.

While it would be nice if credit card processors treated all businesses equally, the fact is that they don’t.

If you’re having trouble getting approved, take a look at our top picks for high-risk merchant accounts.

The first thing to understand about high-risk businesses is that your processor will determine whether you fall into one of their high-risk categories when you apply for a merchant account.

All processors will carefully judge your business to determine whether you fall into the “high-risk” category.

If, for whatever reason, your business is determined to be a high-risk one, the consequences can be severe.

If you’re considering a particular provider, check their website or contact them directly to see if they find your business to be high-risk.