High Risk Merchant Payment Gateway: An Overview

In today’s modern marketplace, businesses of any size and industry should have the ability to accept credit card payments. When you’re an entrepreneur with a high-risk considered business, finding a reliable merchant services payment provider can be daunting. Acquiring a payment gateway for your high-risk company can be even more complicated.

At this point, you may be wondering what exactly is a payment gateway. You may also wonder why acquiring a payment gateway is necessary, how to contact a merchant provider, and how each can impact your business.

In this blog, our San Diego high-risk merchant services providers at Salus Payments will discuss:

  • What high-risk merchant payment gateways are
  • How online payment processing works
  • Business industries considered to be high-risk
  • The importance of high-risk payment gateways
  • High-risk payment gateway benefits
High Risk Merchant Payment Gateway: An Overview

Table of Contents:

  1. What Exactly is a High-Risk Payment Gateway?
  2. Online Payment Processing Explained in 5 Steps
  3. What is a High-Risk Business Industry?
  4. Understanding The Importance of High-Risk Payment Gateways
  5. High-Risk Payment Gateway Benefits
  6. Conclusion

What People Ask:

What is a high-risk payment processor?

As a high-risk merchant, your payment processor and the bank have labeled your business at a higher risk for chargebacks or fraud. High-risk merchant accounts pay more in processing fees to compensate for the payment processor’s risk.

What are high-risk payments?

Payment processors label a merchant (business) high-risk if there’s a higher likelihood of chargebacks, returns, fraud, long delivery periods, or significant transactions.

What Exactly is a High-Risk Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is a merchant services tool that declines or approves online transactions that a business receives when customers purchase products, goods, or services through the company’s website.

A high-risk payment gateway allows your customers to submit their credit or debit card information and securely transmit this financial data to the business and bank.

There are two types of payment gateways regarding merchant accounts for companies that accept or wish to accept credit cards. They are:

  1. High-risk
  2. Low risk

The type of merchant services account and payment gateway your business requires will depend on your company’s risk level.

Online Payment Processing Explained in 5 Steps

  1. The cardholder’s information is encrypted with a secure sockets layer (SSL) connection when an online customer checks out. The file containing the cardholder’s information is sent through a secure link to the merchant’s (business) gateway application and prevents outside security breaches from occurring.
  2. When customers pay at a payment gateway, the card information is encrypted and sent to the card-issuing bank through another secure SSL connection for payment authorization.
  3. A card payment authorization request is sent to the card issuer, such as MasterCard or Visa, as an acting processor and customer card issuer.
  4. The card issuing bank verifies whether the card transaction is denied or approved. The outcome is sent to the customer’s shopping cart for denial or approval with a specific transaction ID.
  5. Once the credit or debit card payment is complete, merchants (businesses) are given access to all pending transactions regarding that card payment. Companies can make changes such as adding voiding charges or adding tips before finalizing the transaction through batching.

What is a High-Risk Business Industry?

A high-risk business is a company or organization considered by banks, credit card processors, and other financial institutions to represent a higher risk for chargebacks. Simply put, businesses that are considered high-risk are merchants perceived to be at a greater risk for failing.

A high-risk business industry is any industry where multiple chargebacks, high-ticket sales, and fraud are more common. These risks can be due to poor credit ratings, unclear rules and regulations, not meeting specific business standards, or operating outside of the United States.

Below are some examples of high-risk business industries:

  • Tech Support companies
  • Tobacco sales
  • Call centers
  • Offshore businesses
  • Travel agents
  • Online gaming
  • Health and supplements
  • Debt collection
  • High ticket items
  • Pharmacies
  • Payday loan companies
  • Adult entertainment

Understanding The Importance of High-Risk Payment Gateways

Any business that sells its products, goods, or services online is considered an eCommerce merchant. Because eCommerce and the digital marketplace are constantly evolving, having a payment gateway for your high-risk business is vital. Aside from allowing your business to accept payments online, a payment gateway provides more security and high performance for your customers.

High-risk payment gateways ensure that customer data remains safe while your business and employees enjoy fast processing speeds with little to no delays or downtime. Although high-risk merchant payment gateways may cost more, they’re worth the investment because they can save you money by significantly reducing transaction errors.

High-risk payment gateways work by splitting your customers into low and high-risk categories. This allows you to use a single, easy-to-use interface to create rules and apply them to low or high-risk transactions.

Additionally, high-risk payment gateways act as the go-between your website and the payment processor, meaning it can generate reports on either side for enhanced customer service.

High-Risk Payment Gateway Benefits

For businesses wishing to accept card payments, a high-risk payment gateway offers several benefits:

Perhaps the most crucial benefit of having a high-risk merchant payment gateway is making online transactions safer. These interfaces use multiple types of security measures to guarantee the safety of your business’ information, including SSL and firewalls. High-risk payment gateways also help with fraud detection and protection, reducing the higher levels of chargebacks.

High-risk payment gateways also assist with international payments, making it easier for your customers in other countries to purchase with less hassle.


Whether you’re currently processing or need a high-risk payment gateway to accept purchases online for your business, Salus Payments is here to help! Our San Diego high-risk merchant services providers have you covered if you’re looking for new equipment, better rates, or state-of-the-art security.

At Salus Payments, we offer solutions to help high-risk businesses thrive, such as PCI complaint online processing, virtual POS systems, chargeback monitoring, and much more!

Connect with our friendly and knowledgeable high-risk payment gateway experts at Salus Payments today to get started!