First Card Payments > Merchant Support  > Are You One of These 5 High-Risk Merchants That Need Payment Processing?

Are You One of These 5 High-Risk Merchants That Need Payment Processing?

Top 5 High Risk Business

high risk

If you’re running an online business, you probably have some sort of payment method in place. But perhaps, you’re also one of those many businesses that don’t realize they’re high-risk merchants until they encounter problems with their online payment transactions.

The thing is, you can’t afford to lose money or your entire business just because you’re naïve about payment processing.

If you belong to these five high-risk merchants, it’s time to start thinking about changing the way you process online transactions in your business:

Adult Entertainment

adult entertainmentLet’s face it; adult entertainment websites are a favorite target of scammers. Since there’s a lot of discretion and privacy involved, it’s easy to get into a transaction with a scammer and end up getting a chargeback due to friendly fraud, which is essentially a chargeback filed by a customer for a seemingly legitimate transaction.

Buyers remorse is real and more often than not, a customer might regret a charge after the heat has worn off. It’s important that you have a high risk merchant processor that can help you navigate these common situations. 

If you’re in the business, it’s best to apply for a high-risk merchant account for adult entertainment, that will allow you to protect your business from these fraudulent activities.


Nutraceutical IndustryNutraceutical companies include businesses selling dietary supplements, medical foods, functional foods and “farmaceuticals” or a combination of farm and pharmaceutical products.

These types of businesses are considered high risk because they could have a high chargeback rate due to the fact that they have no approved medical claims and customers who are not satisfied with the results of the product can easily file a chargeback claim.

Finding a balance here is key and we believe that an honest, and balanced return policy is can be favorable. Chargeback mitigation is vital. However, we also believe that it is up to your credit card processor to fight the banks and ISOs on your behalf. Allowing customers to unduly require refunds is not good business. 

So if you belong to this industry and you don’t have a payment processing system in place yet, this is the best time to apply for one.

Guns & Ammo Retailers

warning sign

Being in the firearms industry makes you especially prone to losses due to fraudulent transactions because of the nature of your business.

The label of high risk was added in 2014 and it has very little to do with the customer based. In fact, most gun owners do not return merchandise or dispute charges. The truth is, firearms high risk merchant accounts are required because they represent a reputation risk to banking institutions

This is why it’s very important to get a high-risk merchant account that will not only protect your business from losses but also make sure that your customers’ information are safe, especially since they are buying sensitive products from you.

Vapes & E-Cigarettes 

The vape and e-cig business is thriving these days, but so are the risks. In fact, we have written about the federal vape flavor ban, and about the untold reasons why banks consider vaping high risk

The truth is, at a medical and federal level, law makers believe that the effects on social consequences of vaping is not yet fully understand. And because of that, banks refuse to standardize accounts for vaping businesses in case the industry is deemed illegal suddenly in the future. 

If you’re running a vape and e-cig website, it’s very important to understand why you’re a high-risk merchant because of the nature of your business and the products that you’re selling, which is why you need to apply for a high-risk merchant account with a trusted payment gateway provider.

Subscription Boxes

Although it’s not as obvious as other high-risk merchant businesses, a subscription box business is still considered a high-risk merchant because of its recurring billing methods that are especially prone to chargebacks and other payment processing problems.

Of course, that should not prevent the business from earning from happy customers. We believe it’s vital to ensure that payment can be reliably processed and that all chargebacks are dealt with accordingly. 

So if you don’t want to constantly worry about settling issues regarding your online transactions, it’s best to find a reliable merchant provider that will make everything easy so you can focus on the other aspects of your business.

The Bottomline

At the end of the day, it’s all about being smart with your business decisions. If you’re a high-risk merchant, applying for a high-risk merchant account should become a no-brainer because it protects your interests and your customers too.

Ryan Kemp Zulu Shack Creative
( Director of Digital Marketing )

I am passionate about delivering results and helping my clients succeed. With my expertise in SEO, branding, and marketing, I lead the agency’s efforts to create and implement effective strategies that drive business growth. Our all-inclusive approach sets us apart from other digital media companies and ensures that our clients receive the full range of services they need for online success. If you can think of it, we can build it!

Zulu Shack Creative team members thrive on momentum. Like Zulu warriors, we strive to spearhead your idea with speed and quality.

When I’m not helping my team implement new digital marketing strategies, I enjoy playing music, hosting poker nights, reading Stephen King novels, and spending time with my wife and baby daughter.

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