Best Payment Processors for High-Risk Merchants

Top options include PaymentCloud, Easy Pay Direct and eMerchantBroker.

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High-risk merchants operate in industries that are age-restricted, such as cigarettes and tobacco, or have high rates of fraud or chargebacks, such as dropshipping, nonprofits or web design. These businesses often struggle to find merchant account providers and payment processors that are willing to work with them. However, there are several good options for these businesses that can offer competitive pricing, popular integrations and a variety of payment methods. Here’s a list of our recommendations.

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PaymentCloud: Best overall

Pricing: Quote-based; monthly fees start at $10. Type of transactions: In-person, online and recurring payments. Point-of-sale, or POS: Third-party only. Integrations: Customer relationship management platforms including Oracle and Intacct, shopping carts including Shopify, WordPress, WooCommerce, OpenCart and Magento, and virtual software systems like Slack and Zendesk. Pros:

  • Ability to accept all transaction types.

  • Popular integrations.

Cons:

  • Quote-based pricing.

  • Third-party POS only.

Why we like it: PaymentCloud stands out from the competition with no long contract requirements and fast deposit timing. Working with high-risk merchants and providing a large set of integrations make it a great option for small businesses.

Easy Pay Direct: Best for shopping cart integrations

Pricing: Quote-based. Type of transactions: In-person, online and recurring payments. POS: Third-party only. Integrations: More than 250 shopping cart integrations, including Ecwid, Magento, OpenCart, Shopify, Weebly, Wix and WordPress. Pros:

  • Ability to accept all transaction types.

  • Popular integrations for shopping carts.

Cons:

  • Quote-based pricing.

  • Third-party POS only.

Why we like it: Easy Pay Direct boasts integrations for hundreds of shopping cart systems, making it an option for businesses that already use a shopping cart or have a particular one in mind. There’s a good chance you can get set up to accept payments without having to switch shopping cart systems.

EMerchantBroker: Best for fast approval

Pricing: Quote-based; monthly fee varies depending on the bank. Type of transactions: In-person, online and recurring payments. POS: Works with third-party options. Integrations: Most shopping carts, including BigCommerce, Shopify, Wix and WooCommerce.

Pros:

  • Ability to accept all transaction types.

  • Popular integrations.

  • POS available through a third party.

Cons:

  • Quote-based pricing.

Why we like it: Unlike other payment processors that offer instant approvals, it typically takes high-risk processors a few days to complete the underwriting necessary before you can start accepting payments. In contrast, eMerchantBroker offers approvals for high-risk businesses in 24 to 48 hours, making it one of the speediest options available.

HighRiskPay.com: Best for adult-themed businesses

Pricing: 2.95% plus 25 cents but might vary with credit or type of transaction; monthly fee starts at $9.95. Type of transactions: In-person, online and recurring payments. POS: None. Integrations: Shopping carts including Shopify. Pros:

  • Transparent pricing.

  • Ability to accept all transaction types.

Cons:

  • Monthly fee required.

  • POS not listed as a service.

  • Limited integrations.

Why we like it: HighRiskPay.com clearly outlines its rates for all types of businesses, including those with bad credit. It also shows the rate for high-risk businesses as well as those offering adult-themed products. While that industry has a bit of a higher rate, it’s only 25 cents more per transaction and gets the same percentage charged as other high-risk businesses.

Inovio: Best for online payments

Pricing: Quote-based. Type of transactions: Online and recurring payments. POS: Inovio virtual POS. Integrations: Includes Infusionsoft for marketing and sales, Nats for advertising and CartConnect. Pros:

  • Proprietary POS available.

Cons:

  • Quote-based pricing.

  • No in-person payment processing options.

  • Limited integrations.

Why we like it: Inovio stands out with its excellent online payment processing options. It offers secure checkout pages, customizable payment gateway APIs and the ability to manage multiple locations. And because the company will handle your gateway and processing along with the POS, you only have to contact one company for support.

National Processing: Best for cash discount and ACH payments

Pricing:

  • Restaurant: interchange plus 0.14% and 7 cents per transaction.

  • Retail: interchange plus 0.18% and 10 cents per transaction.

  • E-commerce: interchange plus 0.29% and 15 cents per transaction.

  • Subscription: interchange plus 9 cents per transaction.

  • Subscription Plus: interchange plus 5 cents per transaction.

Type of transactions: In-person, online and recurring payments. POS: Third-party only. Integrations: QuickBooks, WooCommerce, WordPress, BigCommerce, Ecwid, Zendesk, Shopify and OpenCart. Pros:

  • Transparent pricing.

  • All transaction types.

  • Popular integrations.

  • POS available through a third party.

Cons:

  • Monthly fee required.

Why we like it: National Processing prices its plans based on your type of business and also has plans for offering cash discounts and ACH transfers. With cash discounts, you can pass processing fees along to your customers on card payments and charge less for cash transactions.

Payline Data: Best for membership-style pricing

Pricing:

  • Interchange plus 0.4% and 10 cents for in-person transactions, and $10 per month.

  • Interchange plus 0.75% and 20 cents for online transactions, and $20 per month.

  • Pricing varies by card type for manually keyed transactions.

Monthly fee: $10 and up. Type of transactions: In-person, online and recurring payments. POS: Third-party systems available. Integrations: QuickBooks and some shopping cart applications. Pros:

  • Transparent pricing.

  • Ability to accept all transaction types.

  • Popular integrations.

  • POS available through a third party.

Cons:

  • Some negative reviews cite unexpected fees.

Why we like it: Payline Data offers competitive pricing of interchange plus a low per-transaction rate. Depending on the types of credit cards you accept, such as Visa or American Express, its rates could save you money compared with competitors’ rates.

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Soar Payments: Best for hard-to-place businesses

Pricing: Quote-based. Type of transactions: In-person, online and recurring payments. POS: Third-party only. Integrations: Accounting systems including QuickBooks and Zoho, shopping carts including Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce and Magento and marketing systems including Click Funnels and Infusionsoft. Pros:

  • All transaction types.

  • Popular integrations.

  • POS available through a third party.

Cons:

  • Quote-based pricing.

  • Recurring billing services not available for all integrations.

  • Restrictions on recurring billing approval.

Why we like it: Compared with competitors, Soar Payments' website includes the most extensive list of industries served, with over 50 industries listed. For businesses that are nontraditional or are having trouble finding a processor that serves their industries, it's a strong option.

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