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Need high risk credit card merchant services? It’s likely not YOUR fault…

It may not seem fair, but even if you have perfect business AND personal credit, you could still be considered a high risk merchant by financial institutions such as banks and merchant account providers. Even if you have credit challenges that you plan on improving, you may not ever be able to shake the high risk status (unless you switch industries).

That doesn’t mean it’s over. Your customers want the freedom to pay you by credit card and that’s something you can provide – even without having to pay outrageous processing fees.

Top Causes of a High Risk Merchant Status


What is a chargeback? It’s when a customer files a complaint against a transaction in order to have that transaction reversed. If the merchant can’t prove the validity of the transaction, then the money will have to be paid back to the customer’s bank – in addition to a hefty fee. That kind of activity doesn’t do well for the merchant account provider’s business either, so they flag merchants who get (or might get) too many chargebacks as ‘high risk’.



You don’t have to commit fraud to be categorized as a high risk merchant because of fraud. Just like chargebacks, fraudulent credit card transactions can cost processors a lot of money, whether the dishonest deed was done by the merchant, or the merchant’s customer. If you’ve had a fraudulent transaction on your merchant account, then you could immediately be dubbed ‘high risk’, but the same consequences result simply from being in an industry who’s customers tend to be shady characters.


If you have bad credit, you have a harder time getting approved for any type of account in which you must be trusted to handle the funds of others – that includes a merchant account. A challenged credit history can happen to anyone. Becoming a merchant could prove to be your way out of debt, as your business becomes profitable and brings you the funds that can help grant better financial stability, but accepting credit cards has become essential to profitability. As a high risk merchant, ironically, getting a merchant account can prove difficult and expensive (but not if you let Hawkins help!).



It’s almost counterintuitive, but did you know that any business that serves customers outside of its own country can be considered high risk? Oh yes. If your business has to process payments in multiple currencies, or if your customers live in a country known for having high rates of fraud (which is basically anywhere outside of the U.S, Canada, Japan, Australia, or Northern or Western Europe) then the financial industry has labeled you as a ‘high risk merchant’.

Your Industry

Operating a business in a certain industry can qualify you as a high risk merchant. That can be very frustrating for those who’ve worked hard to maintain excellent credit and build up trust. They start a business in the hopes of making a nice profit while serving others, only to find the unpleasant fact that financial institutions still consider them to be a high risk. The issue is that entire industries can be plagued by high rates of fraud and chargebacks. And, even if you’re business has none of these issues, as long as it’s in that industry, it’s subject to those same consequences.


Who Says High Risk Merchants Can’t Accept Credit Cards??

And who says they should be forced to pay sky-high fees for processing? Perhaps your bank said that, but not us…


Here’s a Few of The High Risk Industries We Serve

Being High Risk Does Not Change Your Potential. Hawkins Merchant Solutions Helps Put High Risk Businesses on Solid Ground (Safely).


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