Overcoming High Risk Processing Hurdles

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According to research, there are 200 million digital shoppers in the U.S.  More than 75% of U.S.-based adults who were surveyed stated they buy online on a regular basis.

With this boom in Internet purchases, it is essential for every online retailer to be able to accept payment by credit card and debit cards.

However, for some retailers establishing an account with a merchant services provider isn’t quite so simple; no matter how solid the business is, you might still struggle to get an account. If you’re finding it difficult to find a merchant services provider, there is an option: high risk credit card processing.

Why Is Your Business Considered High Risk?

A number of businesses will fall into the high-risk category merely because of the niche they are trading in.  For example, some types of businesses have a higher statistical incidence of charge-back or fraud.

Even if your particular company has low charge backs, classification within these industries will automatically categorize your business as high risk.  High risk industries include, but are not limited to:

  • E-commerce stores/buyer not present transactions
  • Digital content & steaming websites
  • Subscription, continuity, recurring billing & recurring payments
  • Travel & transportation companies
  • MLM & direct sales
  • Financial services
  • Adult/dating websites
  • E-cigarette / vaping
  • Loans/Finance businesses
  • Nutraceauticals, vitamins & supplants
  • Cyrptocurrency

In addition, there can also be some less obvious businesses that fall into a high risk category. This includes businesses that sell custom-made products.  Or companies that sell high ticket items.  Or fast-growing companies that require high volume processing capacity.

However, there can be other reasons why your business is considered high risk. For instance, you might have a bad credit record or you could have had an excessive number of chargebacks with a previous merchant services account. Alternatively, you could be selling goods that are high value and more open to the risk of fraud or run a subscription based business. If you are a new business, this could also mean you are put in the ‘high risk’ category.

All of the above factors can make it difficult to get an account with a merchant services provider, and without the facility to accept online credit/debit card payments, your business is likely to lose out to competitors.

Finding The Right Merchant Services Provider

Just because your business is considered high risk, that doesn’t mean your company has to suffer. If you have the potential to build a successful retail business, but you currently only offer limited payment choices, the answer is to find a merchant services provider that is willing to cater for your needs. These types of companies are referred to as high risk merchant service providers.

How Do You Set Up An Account?

Setting up an account to handle high risk credit card processing is a straight forward procedure – and if you are using a reputable company, it will be free of charge. To get the process underway, you’ll need to fill out an application form and submit your paperwork. Domestic customers should know within a week whether their application has been accepted.

If you’re a start-up business, many high risk merchant account providers will not work with you. However, if you have a strong business model and are well-capitalized, you are sure to find a risk merchant account provider. 


Some businesses naturally attract a higher chance of a charge-back or fraud. Also, businesses with recurring billing models, high ticket sales, high volume processing, and fast growing companies can all be classified as high risk.  Still, you can still obtain payment processing at favorable rates.  

By applying to the right high risk credit card processing provider, you can offer an increased range of payment services to your customers. And you benefit from improved sales and profits as a result.

How are you handling your high risk payment processing?

Contact  info@paynetsecure.net today


E-cigarette Merchants Payments Impacted by Regulations 

The market for e-cigarettes continues to soar.  Online sales of e-cigarette represents an undeniably lucrative market for merchants.

Over the past few years, tobacco companies have been pivoting to the e-cigarette market.  Powerful competition combined with changing health regulations can impact your ability to obtain payment processing accounts.

Overview of E-cigarette Industry

The CDC reports that younger people are less likely to start smoking or buy traditional cigarettes. Tobacco consumption is also down considerably around the world, with developed countries showing the greatest reduction.

But, there is no doubt that e-cigarettes are gaining ground. Large tobacco companies are salivating at the market potential.

Big tobacco is is eager to push forward.  British American Tobacco – one of the world’s biggest tobacco companies – says that new e-cigarettes could help reduce the health impact of tobacco.

E-cigarettes are new and exciting enough for younger people to try them. They can be manufactured in a number of flavors and packaged uniquely every time. Manufacturers can reduce the amount of nicotine and add new ingredients to the filters offered with the e-cigarettes to enhance smoker experiences.

E-cigarettes can be manufactured cheaply and sold online, which makes them a lot more accessible for people. Vaping is starting to gain traction as a cultural phenomenon. 25% of US adults have tried it and the market is now estimated to be worth $1.7 billion.

Health Regulations Limit Growth

Vaping devices are generally considered safe, but most experts agree that further studies are needed.

This puts e-cigarette vendors in a tight spot. To keep growing, e-cigarette sellers need an environment that supports startups that are trying to create a new market. But the industry is held back by the slow pace of research and the stranglehold of medical regulations.

Not only does this limit the market for a fast-growing new sector, it also makes it difficult for retailers to get access to payment solutions.

E-cigarettes Classified as High Risk

Banks consider the e-cigarette business high risk. Certain businesses are generally considered high risk merchants due to the threat of chargebacks or fraud.  Yet most ecig merchants have very few chargebacks.

Whenever there is uncertainty about an industry, including regulatory risk, businesses in that industry are automatically thrown into a high risk classification category.  Uncertainty makes banks nervous.  

And the lack of clarity in terms of regulation is considered a major risk factor for both tobacco companies and e-cigarette retailers.

A high risk classification does not mean you can’t get processing.  It does mean that your choices are much more limited than standard risk merchants.  

Solutions for Payment Processing

Ecig merchants are considered high risk by payment processors.  Still, you can obtain access to online payment gateways that mitigate the risk of the business model and allow you to get paid by customers from around the world. 

Reliable credit card processing is essential for you to maximize online sales.  US shoppers prefer card payments.

Some domestic acquiring banks are still boarding ecigarette merchant accounts.  And domestic accounts are the best solution due to fast settlement times and high card approval rates.

Still, given the regulatory environment in the US, it’s wise to consider adding international merchant accounts to your processing mix.

Diversification of processing accounts is simply a prudent strategy for ecig merchants. The combination of domestic and offshore merchant accounts is the ultimate way to protect your business operations from uncertain regulatory outcomes.  


The e-cigarette industy will continue to grow.  All you have to do is take a look around you to see people vaping everywhere.

Yet, uncertain health regulations and the intrusion of big tobacco have created challenges for online retailers.  Among these challenges is payment processing.

There are still good e-cig merchant account solutions available to you. Consider diversifying accounts to best protect your business.  A combination of domestic & international payment processing ensures that your customers will always have a way to pay you.

Do you sell e-cigarettes online?

Contact us and learn more about payment processing for the e-cigarette industry.


Payment Processing Barrier to Growth for Nutra Merchants

This article discusses payment processing solutions for nutra merchants.  

Nutraceutical merchants require high volume processing capacity to accommodate growth.  Yet few banks accept nutra accounts.  

The risk of chargebacks from dissatisfied customers and the vague legal status of some supplements has placed nutra companies in the high risk merchant category. Many acquiring banks simply refuse to process payments for nutraceutical companies.

You want to grow your business.  Yet need merchant accounts so you can grow.  Creating the classical “chicken/egg” situation for you. 

Overview of the Nutraceutical Industry

The nutraceuticals industry is growing rapidly. Some experts estimate that the entire industry could be worth $38.7 billion by 2020. The market is growing at an annual compound rate of 7.2%.

Nutraceutical firms offer nutrients, herbal products, supplements and vitamins. These products help people fight aging, improve concentration, blood circulation, and sexual health. Many of the products are completely natural, which encourages people to try them.

KPMG suggests that the convergence of food and pharmaceuticals could help millions of people around the world deal with some health issues. Nutraceutical companies offer much needed solutions for sexual, mental and physiological health problems. Nutraceuticals are attracting more attention as consumers realize the benefits of using natural products to help improve overall quality of life.  

Nutraceutical products made with natural ingredients are in high demand.  Customers in the US and around the world are eager to buy your products.  The nutra industry could be on its way to incredible growth if it can deal with two issues – regulations and payments.

The lack of merchant account services for these nutra merchants limits the payment options for clients that want the products.  Without electronic payment processing accounts, customers are restricted to traditional payment options like cash and check, which are both inconvenient and risky.

Payment Processing Strategies for Nutra Merchants

Here are some tips on how nutraceutical merchants acquire the payment processing needed to power business growth. And increase sales.  

  • Diversify payment processing accounts. Establish more than one merchant account. But be sure the acquiring bank on the back end is different. Many high risk merchant account providers use the same acquiring banks. If you have multiple accounts with the same acquiring bank, your processing is at risk if the bank decides it will no longer process for nutra merchants.
  • Diversify jurisdictions. Consider establishing both domestic and offshore merchant accounts. International acquiring banks often have no caps on monthly processing volumes. And are open to processing for nutra products that may not be accepted by domestic acquirers.  
  • Load balance accounts on a single gateway.  A high risk gateway simplifies account management & reconciliation. All of your merchant accounts are managed through a single login to the gateway. View accounts individually or on a global basis. Allocate the amount of processing you want to send through each merchant account. 
  • Enable fraud prevention and chargeback mangement tools. Effective management of chargebacks protects your payment processing accounts. The biggest reason for loss of merchant accounts is excessive chargebacks. Many of which could be prevented if proper fraud & chargeback management weapons are properly deployed.  
  • Offer alternative payment methods. The more ways customers can pay you, the more sales you make.  In the US, echecks are the most popular alternative payment method. Internationally, local bank transfers are frequently preferred over card payments for online purchases. Alternative payments have far lower chargebacks than cards. By encouraging buyers to use alternative payments rather than cards, you reduce the chargebacks on your card processing account.
  • Multi-currency payments.  If your customer base is international, show prices in local currency. This keeps buyers focused on buying from you rather than on figuring out how much a product costs in local currency. And inspires buyers’ trust in you.  
  • Accept payments through different channels. Expand the way customers can buy from you. If you are a an internet merchant, consider taking orders by phone, fax, or mail using a virtual terminal. Surprisingly, many buyers still prefer to talk to a representative before buying. Or to sending you an order by mail or fax.  
  • Enable recurring billing.  Nutra merchants with recurring billing models can set up unlimited payment plans.  Stabilize cash flow while providing customers another convenient way to purchase from you


Access to payment processing capacity is the greatest hurdle for nutraceutical merchants.  Without the processing volumes necessary to accommodate growth, business is stifled.

Payment processing for nutra merchants is available from a select few payment processors & acquiring banks. You can get unlimited processing capacity to accommodate growth if you know the trusted companies that provide accounts for the industry.  

Do you have the payment processing capacity you need to accommodate growth?  

Contact info@paynetsecure.net today

International Payment Solutions Merchant Account Vs. Payment Gateway

Online payment solutions seem like a complicated aspect of running a business till you do the research and understand some basic concepts. Which is why it helps to start with the differences between payment gateways and merchant accounts.

Here’s what you need to know:

Payment Gateways

As the name suggests, payment gateways act like online gates through which your customers can pay you. A payment gateway allows you to accept credit or debit card payments from customers. Think of it as an online version of the point of sales terminal you find in most stores.

The gateway is the connection to the secure banking network through which transactions are processed.  When your customers make a purchase online, card details are transmitted to the secure payment processing network for authorization & approval. Funds are settled to your business bank account.   

Merchant Accounts

If you want to accept card payments online through your website, you need a merchant account, which is why some providers package the gateways & merchant processing together as an international payment solution.

Merchant accounts resemble bank accounts  A merchant account is similar to a short term line of credit extended to you by a bank.  

Your merchant accounts that lets you accept credit and debit card payments.  The gateway is the secure network through which the transactions are approved or declined.   

Offshore merchant accounts help you accept payments from all over the world. Even non-US companies can open a merchant account to accept payments from their US clients. International payment solutions like these make it easier for your customers to buy from you.

Dedicated vs. Aggregated Merchant Accounts

Merchant accounts come in two distinct flavors – dedicated and aggregate.

A dedicated merchant account and gateway is used only for your business. It is an exclusive account that is used only by a single business.  Aggregate merchant accounts pool your transactions with other merchants on a single gateway. 

If you qualify for a dedicated merchant account, that’s the best way to go.  Since you are the only business using the account, you don’t have to worry about any other merchants negatively affecting your processing ability.  Other benefits of dedicated merchant accounts include:

  • Dedicated descriptor. The descriptor is the information your customers see on their credit card statements showing the details of the transaction.  With a unique descriptor & customer service number, it is far less likely that buyers will forget what was purchased.  And they can contact you directly if there are any issues with the purchase.
  • Lower rates.  Rates for dedicated merchant accounts are much lower than rates for aggregate accounts.  
  • Greater control.  You control the gateway, including setting your own parameters regarding the transactions that are allowed to be accepted or declined.

Aggregation accounts have many different merchants processing on the same gateway. Rates are high. Settlement times are long. You have a generic descriptor.  And your processing can be put in jeopardy if another merchant on the gateway has high chargebacks or is not managing their account correctly.

Generally, merchants that cannot obtain a direct merchant account sign up for an aggregate account.  It’s a decent way to get started processing and build some processing history before you move to a direct account.  

Picking the right one

Member service providers (MSPs) or Independent sales organizations (ISOs) have arrangements with payment processors and international acquiring banks to provide international payment solutions. There are a lot of MSPs and ISOs out there and they all charge different fees and offer different features. For an online business, picking the right provider is absolutely essential.

Picking the right provider depends on the nature of your business. High risk merchants have different processing requirements than standard risk ones.  And need the special features offered on a high risk processing gateway to mitigate fraudulent transactions. 

A global e commerce company should be able to accept payments across borders and in multiple currencies. Picking the best one from a wide range of international payment solutions is a balancing act. You need to weigh the fees and terms against the convenience and features of a service to see what fits your business the best.

A recent survey showed that customers online preferred a payment method that protects data, is simple to use and easy to understand.


Trust and security play a key role when you offer online payment options to your customers. Securing payments has never been easy, but with a shift to online payments and international payment solutions, security features have been built-in to protect your clients and your business.

Simplifying and securing the payment process is your responsibility. Customers expect a seamless process from you.

Reach out to a payment processing expert if you need questions answered.  Payment processing agents get paid by the banks & processors, not by you.  So, take advantage of the free advise that is readily available to you when making your decision.  

Need help finding the best international payment solutions?

Contact info@paynetsecure.net