High Risk

High Risk Banks

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Josh Phelps
September 01, 2023


High risk banks provide merchant accounts to high risk industries. They have separate standards for approving your account and are more lenient when it comes to your industry or chargeback rates.

Here, we delve into the world of high risk banks, shedding light on their defining characteristics, the factors that contribute to their classification, and the strategies they employ to navigate the complex terrain of the financial industry.

What Are High Risk Bank Accounts?

High risk bank accounts refer to accounts offered by financial institutions that cater to businesses and individuals operating in industries considered riskier than conventional sectors. These industries may include online gambling, cryptocurrency trading, adult entertainment, and more. High risk accounts often differ from traditional bank accounts in several ways:

  • Types of High Risk Businesses: High risk bank accounts are designed for clients engaged in industries that face regulatory scrutiny or are associated with higher potential for financial risk. Traditional bank accounts serve a broader range of industries.

  • Due Diligence: Due to the potential regulatory concerns, high risk banks might have less stringent due diligence procedures compared to traditional banks. However, this varies by institution.

  • High Risk Services: High risk bank accounts may offer specialized services that cater to the needs of their unique clientele, such as lower tax burdens, privacy measures, and international transaction capabilities.

  • Underwriting and Approval: High risk accounts are subject to increased regulatory oversight due to concerns related to money laundering, terrorism financing, and other financial crimes. Traditional bank accounts also undergo regulatory checks but may have different risk profiles.

  • Correspondent Banking: High risk banks often face challenges in establishing correspondent relationships with mainstream financial institutions due to perceived risks associated with their client base.

High Risk Bank Options

High risk banks often offer financial services that differ from those of traditional banks, such as more lenient due diligence procedures, lower tax burdens, and enhanced privacy measures.

Due to these unique features, high risk banks are subject to increased regulatory scrutiny and often face challenges in establishing correspondent relationships with mainstream financial institutions.

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Factors Contributing to the High Risk Classification

1. Non Traditional Clientele: High risk banks often serve clients engaged in industries deemed risky by traditional banks, such as online gaming, adult entertainment, and cryptocurrency trading.

2. Geographical Considerations: Offshore banks, typically located in jurisdictions with favorable financial regulations, can attract clients seeking to minimize tax liabilities and enhance privacy.

3. Complex Transactions: High risk banks handle intricate financial transactions that may involve multiple jurisdictions, making them susceptible to regulatory concerns and potential illicit activities.

4. Regulatory Scrutiny: Regulatory authorities closely monitor high risk banks due to concerns related to money laundering, terrorism financing, and other financial crimes.

High Risk Business Considerations


1. Enhanced Compliance Measures: High risk banks invest in robust anti money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) procedures to mitigate regulatory risks and ensure the legitimacy of their clients.


2. Embracing Technology: Leveraging technology like blockchain and AI, high risk banks can enhance transaction security, transparency, and efficiency, thus building trust with clients and regulators.


3. Strategic Partnerships: Developing strong relationships with reputable correspondent banks and payment processors is crucial for high risk banks to access global financial networks.


4. Transparency and Reporting: High risk banks prioritize transparency in financial reporting to alleviate concerns around illicit activities and enhance trust among regulatory bodies.


5. Adapting to Regulatory Changes: As financial regulations evolve, high risk banks must stay abreast of changes and proactively adjust their operations to comply with new requirements.

Best High Risk Banks

The best high risk bank account provider is Zen Payments. Zen Payments provides you with merchant accounts in multiple verticals and business types.

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Zen Payments


Our merchant service specialists are the best in the business and will work with you from start to finish to get your account approved!

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Josh Phelps is an experienced sales professional with eight years of expertise, including four years in payment processing. Throughout his career, Josh has successfully secured approvals for thousands of businesses, demonstrating his skill in navigating and optimizing the payment processing landscape.


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