Is Your Business Considered High-risk – How to Find Out

If you manage a high-risk company, you may encounter difficulties that may slow down or disrupt your business’s operations. High-risk firms regularly have problems getting company insurance, credit card processing services, and business loans. Online payment processing favors large, high-volume companies over small, high-risk merchant accounts. It is particularly true for online business owners who only accept credit and debit card payments.

What Is a High-risk Business?

A high-risk firm is one that credit card processors and banks consider financially unsustainable. Credit card processors and banks classify a company as high-risk if it operates in a financially risky industry with high chargeback rates.

If you operate a high-risk business, you should be prepared for chargebacks. Customers file chargebacks when they dispute the value of their purchase on their credit card bill. When this occurs, your bank may request that you reimburse charges that clients consider stolen or unapproved.

Chargebacks can generate major financial issues for firms because they diminish profits quickly, impacting your loan repayment portfolio. Furthermore, they elevate your chances of bankruptcy.

Why Does Risk Level Matter?

Compliance standards are more stringent for a high-risk business working in high-risk industries. These regulations are often imposed at the municipal, regional, or county level and are frequently associated with high-risk business types.

If you are a merchant account provider, it is not unusual for your organization to investigate the marketing activities of high-risk businesses. You may encounter issues with payment providers if your items or products are legally dubious.

Мain Reasons for a Business to Be Considered High-risk

When identifying a high-risk business, banks, credit card processors, and insurance companies look at a few variables. They may assess, for example, how heavily regulated a firm’s industry is at various levels of a company’s risk of default risk or refund policy.

Questionable Products

Products and services with uncertain legalities, such as escort, forex trading, and lingerie sales, may suggest that your revenue streams are unreliable. They are frequently associated with dubious marketing and communications practices. If you suspect that the goods or services you want to sell are illegal, you must conduct a legal investigation before selling them.

It is best to consider if you are selling illegal goods because it may make it difficult for you to enforce intellectual property rights.

Online Service-Only Businesses

There are many risks involved with running an online business. Fraudulent activity is a big problem for e-commerce businesses because they often deal with customers online, and it is difficult to gauge a client’s intention. Online businesses make it easier for some buyers to submit false information about themselves and their credit card information. This can cost a business both money and merchandise making it high risk.

International Sales

Businesses that perform international sales are at high risk due to several factors, such as the volatile nature of exchange rates. Foreign exchange risk is the risk that an investment will fluctuate in value due to changes in a currency’s exchange rate. When a domestic currency increases in value against a foreign currency, profit earned in the foreign country will decrease after being exchanged back to the domestic currency. A huge fluctuation of exchange rates or the introduction of stringent trade policies in a foreign country may significantly affect sales and lower profits.

High-Dollar Sales and Monthly Volume

Financial institutions may see your company as high-risk if it consistently accepts high-cost purchases via card transactions. This aspect has the greatest impact on the merchant account that conducts a significant volume of business-to-business transactions.

Once a company is designated high-risk, the bank will seek additional documents to process transactions. A company requires policies to guarantee that its operations are working properly and that its consumers are protected and protected against fraud.

Higher Chargeback Rate

Banks and online payment processing firms may classify a company with a high chargeback rate as a high-risk business. High-risk merchant accounts, company insurance, and loan lenders scrutinize your consumers’ behavioral patterns to see if you have a high chargeback rate.

Divide the number of chargebacks by your total sales for the year to get your chargeback rate. The greater the number, the more likely you will be allocated high-risk merchant accounts.

What to Do if Your Business Is High-risk?

Even if a high-risk business does not have the biggest sales volume, it must cope with hefty processing costs. You should expect that your account may be deemed high-risk, and you may be required to increase the interest rate. You should also evaluate if your contract includes financial damages or early withdrawal penalties.


Even though your business is considered high-risk, there are still possibilities for digital payments processing companies. Numerous carriers, such as high-risk experts and vendors, are eager to engage alongside your company as they have the necessary experience and financial resources.

You can also consider working with a merchant bank or credit card processor specializing in high-risk markets. Many companies are willing to work with businesses that operate in this industry because they understand the challenge and needs these types of businesses face.