High risk merchant account: 101

In the modern world, no e-commerce merchant can do without a bank online account and eWallet. However, if they want to be able to accept credit/debit cards, meaning to conduct electronic payments, they will need a payment processor, that links a seller, bank and financial networks.

Identifying your business as a high-risk one means that a bank evaluates it as such that possesses a greater chance of a chargeback, fraud or simple returns. You may say: “OK, so what? How does it change my way of doing business?” Let’s figure it out.

A high risk merchant account: definition and characteristics

A high risk merchant account is defined as a particular defined set of services that will allow a seller to conduct operations with online payments. It usually is accompanied by different harsher regulations and fees in comparison to low-risk (standard) accounts.

When you open account, e.g. bank online account for selling and getting the revenue you have to find a payment processor. They will check your scope of operation and take into account all possible dangerous factors, such as susceptibility to chargebacks and other malicious activities.

On this basis, they will label your account as the one where the risk is high or low. Simply put, if your company can possibly be hazardous in terms of financial loss to the institution, you will receive a high risk merchant account.

One of the most important criteria that defines your status is average monthly sales. For example, in the USA that number should be above 20000 USD, in the UK (Europe) – 15000 GBP (approximately 18000 EUR).

Are there any advantages of having a high risk merchant account?

While the drawbacks of such accounts may seem quite unfriendly, there are some benefits if you’re ready to spend more money on account maintenance.

  1. International sale. A high risk merchant account gives you access to international payment operations using different currencies and shipping your goods all over the world. As a result, you get the chance to expand your scope by getting access to oversee markets.
  2. More payment acquiring alternatives. While standard merchants are limited to accepting particular types of payments, high-risk ones get more options:
  • Regular payment option for your customers;
  • A larger range of goods and services to offer grows your chances to earn more money;
  • The ability to process higher sales volumes.
  1. Top chargeback protection. With this option, you can be sure that your bank online account will be tightly secured. There is a set limit of chargebacks and when it’s exceeded low-risk accounts may get postponed or even terminated. High-risk ones will be limited with a card-accepting pause. But remember to take care of your chargeback issues to prevent major problems.

Even with these benefits, it’s vital to choose a trustworthy processor that will mitigate the risk.

How to establish a high risk merchant account?

If you decided that you need one, you have to find a reliable payment processor, like Maxpay.com. You will be asked to open account and connect your eWallet to it. With this, you will be able to use a range of MaxPay services, aimed at protecting you from facing larger scam and chargeback rates.


A high-risk account is nothing to be afraid of. While it has some drawbacks, it also opens many doors to bigger earnings. All you have to do is to find a solid processor and let them do their job.