High Risk Merchant Accounts

Generally speaking, high risk merchant services aren’t too much different than those offered to low risk businesses. A High-Risk merchant account is any business that, for any reason, presents a higher risk of fraud and is subject to higher processing fees, additional terms and security measures.

credit card processing for high risk businesses

While this is usually due to the nature of the business itself, it can also occur if the business is:

  • New and has not established a credit history
  • The industry has a high chargeback ratio
  • Card not Present / e-commerce transactions / e-terminal / e-wallet
  • Dealing with a higher rate of fraud activity
  • Subscription based (weekly, monthly, yearly, etc)
  • Categorized as a high risk  - See list of High-risk businesses here

Additional terms and security measures may be applied as a rolling reserve on the account.

A Rolling Reserve is funded while withholding a portion:

  • Typically around 5-10% in the initial 90-180 day reserve period of your credit card transaction funds will be held in the reserve account to cover any chargebacks that may occur


  • The account “rolls” because eventually, deposits will be released and funded to you after the initial reserve period (starting on day 91 or day 181), while funds from new transactions moving forward will continue to be held in the Reserves for the lifetime of the account. All remaining reserves will only be released upon termination of the account.
high risk home based business

If you are considered high-risk, there are steps you can take to lower your risk and rolling reserve terms:

  • Reduce your risk of chargebacks with strong fraud prevention tactics
  • Focus on generating stable streams of revenue and avoid occasional streams of large revenues
  • Demonstrate you’re able to manage high trading volumes