Processing Fees

High Risk Merchant Account Fee

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Josh Phelps
August 25, 2023


High risk merchant account fees range by company and industry, but are often around 3% - 5% of your sales volume and around $0.30 per transaction. High-risk industries, such as online gaming, adult entertainment, and CBD products, offer potential for substantial gains but require specialized payment processing solutions to manage the associated risks.

High risk merchant accounts are a gateway to conducting transactions in these sectors. However, with great opportunities come associated fees. In this article, we will delve into the world of high risk merchant account fees, shedding light on their components, factors influencing costs, and how businesses can navigate this financial landscape with clarity.

Understanding High Risk Merchant Account Fees

High risk merchant account fees encompass various charges that businesses operating in high risk industries may incur while processing transactions. These fees are designed to address the unique challenges and risks present in these sectors, which may include chargebacks, fraud, and regulatory compliance.

High Risk Merchant Account Fee Cost Breakdown

1. Application Fee: This fee covers the processing and evaluation of a business's application for a high risk merchant account. It includes the assessment of the business's risk profile and determines if it qualifies for the account.

2. Setup Fee: A setup fee is charged to establish the high risk merchant account. It covers the administrative costs of configuring the account for the specific business.

3. Transaction Fees: These fees are incurred with each processed transaction. They are typically composed of a fixed fee and a percentage of the transaction amount.

4. Chargeback Fees: High risk industries often face higher chargeback rates. Chargeback fees are levied when a customer disputes a transaction and the business is required to refund the amount.

5. Monthly Maintenance Fee: This fee covers the ongoing maintenance and support for the high risk merchant account, including customer service and technical assistance.

6. Rolling Reserve: In some cases, a portion of each transaction's funds may be held in a rolling reserve. This reserve acts as a safety net to cover potential chargebacks and other risks.

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Factors Influencing High Risk Merchant Account Fees

1. Industry Risk Level: The inherent risk associated with the industry plays a significant role in determining the fees. Higher-risk industries may incur higher fees due to increased chargeback and fraud potential.

2. Business History: The business's credit history, processing history, and chargeback rates impact the fees. A positive history may result in more favorable fee structures.

3. Volume of Transactions: Businesses with higher transaction volumes may negotiate better rates, as they bring more business to the payment processor.

How To Pick A High Risk Provider

1. Comparison Shopping: Businesses should explore multiple high risk merchant account providers and compare their fee structures. This helps in identifying competitive rates and favorable terms.

2. Transparency: Seek providers that offer transparent fee breakdowns, ensuring there are no hidden costs.

3. Risk Mitigation: Implement robust risk management strategies to reduce chargebacks and fraudulent activities. A lower risk profile may lead to better fee negotiations.

Cheapest High Risk Merchant Accounts

The cheapest high risk merchant accounts are from Zen Payments. Zen Payments takes into consideration your business model and provides all of the best discounts the industry has to offer. We understand the components and factors influencing costs. As such Zen Payments offers effective strategies to manage risks so businesses can make informed decisions about their payment processing solutions.

While fees are an essential aspect, they should be considered alongside the benefits of accessing a specialized high risk merchant account that enables businesses to thrive in their chosen sectors. By striking a balance between cost management and operational efficiency, businesses can confidently embark on their high risk ventures while optimizing financial outcomes.

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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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