What Are High Risk Merchant Accounts?

When you research merchant bank providers such as SolidTrustPay, you might hear the phrase “high risk merchant account” used. As you might expect, this term describes a business that merchant banks consider to be a greater risk than the average company. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s anything wrong with the business itself; it just means that the business is in a field that has been flagged as a high risk for credit card fraud.

Many businesses that use high risk merchant accounts for credit card processing deal in businesses that accept payments for instant purchases. In some cases, these are businesses that are on the edge of legality such as online gambling sites and sites offering adult-themed entertainment. In other instances, they are businesses that cater to a global audience with customers who frequently make small purchases using a credit card. A gamer who buys equipment for a character in an online video game is one example.

These high risk accounts are treated differently than regular merchant accounts because banks realize that these businesses are more likely to fall victim to unscrupulous customers committing credit card fraud to make payments. When this happens, the likely final outcome is that the payment is blocked once the fraud is detected, leading to headaches for the merchant who doesn’t receive a payment and for the bank that has to investigate the fraud claims.

To protect themselves against the additional costs associated with these high risk accounts, merchant banks frequently charge them a higher rate than they would to a typical business. However, there is a plus to high risk merchant accounts for some businesses – many high risk accounts offer lower chargeback fees and better chargeback policies than regular accounts. Chargeback fees are the fees that a business has to pay when a merchant bank has to refund a consumer’s credit card for fraud or a returned item.

Is a high risk merchant account right for you? You’ll need to do the research for yourself to see the pluses and minuses of this type of account and the services offered by Solid Trust Pay and other leading merchant banks.

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