Best High Risk Merchant Accounts


It’s hard to find quality credit card processors for high risk business types. Many large merchant account providers will refuse to process transactions for high risk businesses, which limits the options that are available to hard-to-place merchants. With so few processors to choose from, merchants can find themselves simply signing up with the first provider that will accept them instead of shopping around and looking for reputable, experienced processors that specialize in high risk merchant accounts. This leads to headaches down the road, as high risk merchants are especially vulnerable to chargebacks, fund holds, excessively high rates, or placement on the TMF/MATCH list.

To help you find the right provider for your business, we’ve compiled the following list of the top high risk merchant account providers. Each of these processors is able to place a wide range of high risk business types, but we’ve included a specific list of industries that each provider serves so that you can narrow your search to companies that suit your business needs. Legal and banking regulations are constantly shifting, so these industry lists should only be considered current as of this article’s publication date.

In addition to having significant experience working with high risk merchants, these providers also maintain positive reputations among merchants and are known to offer fair pricing and quality customer support. As always, the best way to ensure that you receive a great deal on your high risk merchant account is to contact multiple providers and compare their pricing and service packages.

Why These Providers

eMerchantBroker is a Los Angeles-based credit card processor that primarily serves high risk e-commerce business types. The company’s high risk processing services include chargeback dispute resolution, an online payment gateway, ACH processing, merchant cash advance, and MOTO processing options. has maintained a low complaint rate since our first review of the company and appears to offer custom pricing plans depending on each business’s type and processing history. Our review of currently awards the company an “A” rating, while the BBB gives it an “A+.”

High risk business types served by Adult Merchant Accounts, Airlines and Jet Charters, Bad Credit, Bail Bonds, Cigars and Pipes, Collection Agency, Credit Repair, Debt Consolidation, Diet Programs, Ecig Merchant Accounts, Educational Seminars, Electronics, Furniture, Gaming, High Ticket, High Volume, MLM and Bizops, Moving & Transportation, Nutraceutical, Online Firearm Sales, Penny Auctions, Prepaid Calling Cards, Software and E-Books, Sports Betting Advice, Tech Support, Ticket Brokers, TMF Merchants, Travel and Timeshares, VOIP and Telecom, Water Purifiers

For more information, see the eMerchantBroker website or call (877) 301-3442.


Based in Woodland Hills, California, PaymentCloud is a merchant account provider that specializes in serving high risk business types. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, mobile phone swipers, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, EMV-compatible terminals, and merchant cash advances. PaymentCloud provides a dedicated account rep to all new merchants for the life of the account. The company has not received any negative complaints on consumer forums, and it customizes its pricing according to each merchant’s business type and processing history. The BBB does not maintain a profile for PaymentCloud at this time, but CPO gives the company an “A.”

High risk business types served by PaymentCloud: Adult, Airlines and Jet Charters, Bad Credit, Bail Bonds, Cigars, Pipes, Tobaccos, Collection Agency, Credit Repair, Debt Consolidation, Diet Programs, Educational Seminars, Electronic Cigarette, Electronics, Gaming, High Ticket, High Volume, Moving Companies and Transportation, Multi-Level Marketing and Bizops, Nutraceutical, Online Firearm Sales, Prepaid Calling Cards, Software and E-Books, Sports Betting Advice, TMF Merchants, Tech Support, Travel & Timeshares, VOIP & Telecom.

For more information, visit the PaymentCloud website or call (888) 506-7859.

Host Merchant Services

Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for most general business types as well as domestic high risk merchants. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions (with specific packages for the restaurant, salon, professional service, and contractor sectors), online marketing tools, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, mobile credit card processing, gift and loyalty programs, merchant cash advance, and offshore merchant accounts. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and email address to new merchants who require them. The company has received exclusively positive feedback on public forums, with most reviewers singling out the company’s customer service for praise. The BBB gives Host an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives the company an “A+.”

High risk business types served by Host: Web Hosting and Telecom, SEO, Events and Tickets, Furniture, E-books, Electronics, High Ticket, Vape Shops, Drop Shippers, Glass/Head Shops, Pawn Shops, Real Estate, Travel, Tours, Software Downloads, Replicas, Weapons, Credit Repair, and some international/offshore merchants.

For more information, visit the Host Merchant Services website or call (888) 591-9026.

Easy Pay Direct

Founded in 2000, Easy Pay Direct is an Austin, Texas-based merchant account provider that specializes in placing high risk e-commerce business types. The company offers traditional merchant services like credit card processing, mobile payments, ACH transfers, and POS equipment, but it also offers high risk products including tokenized payments, launch event processing, multiple banking partners, anti-fraud IP filtering, and over 30 offshore processors to choose from. Easy Pay Direct’s online payment gateway includes a feature called “load balancing” that routes transactions through multiple merchant accounts to ensure that they are not declined.

Easy Pay Direct has zero complaints across all consumer protection websites and offers custom pricing that usually does not include an early termination fee. currently awards Easy Pay Direct an “A” rating overall, while the Better Business Bureau gives the company an “A+.”

High risk business types served by Easy Pay Direct: Adult, Bad Credit History Merchants, Business Consultation, Coaching, Continuity, E-Cigs, eCommerce Business Opportunities, High Chargeback Merchants, Informational Products, International Merchants, Internet Marketing, Merchants who have filed Bankruptcy, Merchants with large launches or volume spikes, New Companies/No Processing History, NonProfits 501(c)3, NonTangible Products, Nutraceutical, MLM, Self-help products, Seminars, Subscription based Product Offerings, Travel, Trial Offers

For more information, see the Easy Pay Direct website or call (888) 316-7549.

Additional Options

Payline Data

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data is a great all-purpose merchant account provider that is also able to serve some high risk business types. Payline Data offers retail, online, and mobile payment processing solutions for hard-to-place merchants, including POS equipment, merchant cash advance, check guarantee, and an online payment gateway with QuickBooks integration. Payline Data typically offers interchange-plus pricing with month-to-month contracts and no early termination fee, and it enjoys widespread positive feedback from merchants across all consumer forums. Our review of Payline Data gives the company an “A+” at this time, while the BBB gives Payline an “A.”

High risk business types served by Payline Data: Adult Products, Adult Video (no escort services), E-Cigarettes, Firearms (retail & online), Gadget Repair, HCG (so long as it isn’t being marketed as an “all natural” product), House Rental companies, Information Marketing (Real Estate Based and Tech Support/PC Support), Nutraceuticals, Tour companies, Travel (Airline travel only available for merchants who have been in business for 10 years), Used Cell Phones and Other Technology, and Vaporizers.

For more information, see the Payline Data website or call (888) 506-7812.

Durango Merchant Services

Durango Merchant Services is a well-established high risk payment processor headquartered in Durango, Colorado. The company has been serving both U.S. and international merchants with an emphasis on difficult-to-place merchant types since 1999. Durango can supply processing for face-to-face, mobile, and e-commerce merchants and offers a wide range of services including an online payment gateway with QuickBooks integration, POS equipment, electronic check processing, and offshore banking partnerships. Durango has received overwhelmingly positive feedback with regard to its sales and support team and offers custom pricing depending on a merchant’s business type. Our review of Durango Merchant Services gives the company an “A+,” and the Better Business Bureau awards Durango an “A+” as well.

High risk business types served by Durango: Age Verification, Annual Memberships, Adult Novelties/Lingerie/Content, Alcohol/Wine/Liquor Online, Animals by Mail, Auctions, Bail Bonds – MOTO, Bankruptcy (required time since discharge), B2B, B2G (high average tickets from military contractors, $5K etc), Business Opportunity, Canadian Retail, Canadian E commerce, Check Cashing, Cigars (eCom), CNP Tobacco, Collection Agencies, Credit Repair, Continuity (free-trials, negative opt-out billing, previous history is typically required), Daily e-Coupons, Dating Websites & Matchmaking Services, Direct Marketing(Trial/Continuity), Discount Medical/Insurance Memberships, Discount buying clubs/prepaid, Ebooks/Digital/Software Downloads, eBay Merchants (no website), eCigarettes & Accessories, Extended Warranty & Protection Services, 501(c)3s, Fantasy Sports, FFL Dealers, Future Fulfillment, Furniture/Home Improvements, Gift Certificate & Stored Value, Grants, Herbal Supplements, Hotel Reservations, International Accounts, Investment Advice (Stock Trading Tips/Mentoring/Software etc), IPSPs, Large AVT (greater than 2500.00), Live Animals (puppies/lizards etc), Memberships/subscriptions, Micro loans (CC repayment), MLM, Multi-Currency, Nutraceuticals, Offshore, Pharmacy- Retail only, Penny Auctions (no startups), Poor Credit, Precious Metals, Prepaid Phone Cards, Psychics/Fortune Tellers, Sports Info (forecasting), Stun Guns, Tax Resolution, Tickets to Events (future fulfillment), Timeshare Advertising, TMF Merchants, Travel Services, Warranty Services, Vacation Rentals

For more information, see the Durango Merchant Service website or call (888) 316-1897.

Vantage Payments

Based in Scottsdale Arizona, Vantage Payments is a merchant account provider that can provide both domestic and offshore merchant accounts for high risk merchant types. The company’s products and services include remote deposit capture, European direct debit, call center services, multi-currency support, web design, and SEO assistance. Vantage Payments currently has a clean complaint record across all review websites, which is an impressive feat for a company specializing in offshore merchant accounts. Our review of Vantage gives the company an “A” rating at this time, while the BBB gives Vantage an “A+.”


Headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Instabill is a payment processor that offers merchant accounts and offshore processing for a wide range of high risk business types. In addition to credit card processing hardware and software, Instabill provides an online payment gateway, shopping cart, virtual terminal, direct server integration, international payment acceptance, and PCI compliance solutions for both in-store and online merchants. Instabill has received generally positive feedback from merchants with only a few complaints in comparison to its high risk service offerings. The company currently maintains an “A” rating on and an “A” with the BBB.

High risk business types served by Instabill: Adult, Adult Toys, Adult Videos, Airline Tickets, Antique Collectibles, Apparel, Astrology, Binary Options, Bitcoins, Car Services, Cigars/Tobacco, Cosmetic Jewelry, Credit Repair, Collection Agencies, Computer Hardware, Continuity, Dating Websites, Debt Consolidation, Direct Response, Downloadable Software, E-Cigarettes, Educational Software, Electronics, Escort Services, Extended Warranties, Fantasy Sports, Financial Services, Fine Jewelry, Forex Trading, Greeting Cards, Hospitality, Import/Exports, Insurance Brokers, Internet Gambling, Law Firms, Loan Services, Magazine Subscriptions, Matrimonial Services, Medical Collections, Medical Marijuana, Membership Sites, Mobile Apps, Multilevel Marketing, Multimedia Streaming, Nutraceuticals, Online Auto Parts, Online Casinos, Online Poker, Online Gaming, Online Retail, PPI Claims, Penny Auction, Personal Injury, Pet Supply, Pharmaceuticals, Phone Sex, Satellite TV Repair, Scholarship Programs, Social Gaming, Stock Trading, Strip Clubs, Tax Services, Tech Support, Telemarketing, Ticket Agencies, Timeshares, Travel Agencies, Website Design, Weight Loss

If your business offers high risk merchant processing, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.

Hi, I’m Phillip and I’m disgusted by the state of credit card processing in the U.S. and abroad. I believe that the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal money from hard working business owners. I’ve made it my mission to expose the companies and individuals who engage in predatory marketing, pricing, and contracts, or just provide terrible service. Along with uncovering the bad guys, I’ve also discovered the good guys who do stand out from the status quo. CPO is a website where you will find ratings and reviews of these companies along with advice on how to save money and which service providers consider. Together we can move the industry in a positive direction. If you would like to help support my work, please checkout “Fee Sweep” my eGuide to getting the lowest possible fees when accepting card payments. If you haven’t heard of “interchange” this advice will save you hundreds, even thousands, in processing fees.

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  1. Hi Phillip,
    Excellent website, clarified a lot for me.
    Running a high risk company, I am always looking for better credit card rates and other non-creditcard payment options (like Payza and Skrilll – which are currently not my best choice I learned through your reviews). I’d love to see that section expanded on your website. Especially for European countries such as France, as it continues to be a very difficult country to do business with.
    It’s a bit of a bold request, I am aware, but I really love the way you put things in order in credit-card-country!
    Best regards, Erica

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