What Is highriskpay And How Does It Works? [Review]


HighRiskPay is an online payment processor that specializes in serving high-risk merchants – businesses that traditional banks and processors often consider too risky to work with. These include industries like adult entertainment, CBD, gambling, and more.

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For high-risk merchants, finding a payment processor that will work with them can be extremely difficult. Most mainstream processors avoid these industries entirely due to the higher risk of chargebacks and fraud. This leaves many legitimate high-risk businesses without many options for accepting payments.

HighRiskPay aims to fill this gap by providing customized payment solutions designed specifically for high-risk merchants.

Whether you’re an existing high-risk business looking for a processor, or interested in starting a business in a high-risk industry, this guide will provide you with the key information you need to evaluate if HighRiskPay is the right fit.

What Are High-Risk Merchants?

High-risk merchants are business that operate in industries that traditional banks and credit card processors consider high risk. This includes:

  • Adult entertainment
  • CBD and hemp businesses
  • Cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets
  • Gambling sites (including online casinos, sports betting, etc.)
  • High-risk supplements (weight loss, muscle building, etc.)
  • Multi-level marketing companies
  • Precious metals dealers
  • Travel clubs

There are a few key reasons these industries are categorized as high-risk:

  • Higher chargeback rates: Customers are more likely to dispute transactions and issue chargebacks in these industries, which costs processors money. For example, gambling transactions are easy for customers to claim were unauthorized.
  • Increased fraud: High-risk industries tend to attract a higher instances of fraud and money laundering activities. Banks don’t want to take on the compliance and regulatory risks.
  • Reputational risks: Banks and mainstream processors worry that associating with high-risk merchants could damage their brand reputation.
  • Prohibitions: Some high-risk business models (like gambling and adult content) are completely prohibited by some banks and payment networks.

Due to these risks, most traditional merchant account providers outright refuse to work with high-risk industries. Those that do typically charge extremely high rates and fees.

This makes it very difficult for legitimate high-risk businesses to get a merchant account and accept payments from customers. Without this ability, many cannot operate their businesses effectively.

An Overview of HighRiskPay

HighRiskPay is a payment processor focused exclusively on serving high-risk merchants. The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Las Vegas, though they work with merchants across the globe.

Some key facts about HighRiskPay:

  • Specializes in onboarding high-risk merchant accounts
  • Provides merchant accounts, payment gateways, fraud prevention tools, and other services
  • Features proprietary underwriting procedures designed for high-risk applicants
  • Accepts businesses in all high-risk categories (see full list above)
  • Charges fees and rates tailored specifically to high-risk
  • PCI Level 1 compliant and maintains high security standards
  • Has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau

In essence, HighRiskPay aims to fill the gap left by traditional processors by offering the specialized underwriting and solutions needed to safely onboard high-risk merchants.

The company is able to take on these merchants that banks reject by employing advanced fraud prevention tools and following stringent compliance guidelines. Their underwriting model accounts for the unique risks of each high-risk vertical.

Next, let’s look at what the process of getting approved and set up with HighRiskPay looks like for merchants.

The HighRiskPay Application and Underwriting Process

Applying for an account with HighRiskPay involves a specialized underwriting process designed for the needs of high-risk businesses. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Initial Application

Merchants fill out an online application with information about their business:

  • Business legal name, address, and contact details
  • Description of the business model and products/services
  • Projected processing volume and average ticket size
  • Bank account information
  • Ownership/principal information
  • Social Security Number or EIN
  • Website URL

This helps HighRiskPay do an initial evaluation of the business to determine if they are a fit for onboarding.

Step 2: Review and Underwriting

Next, the underwriting team conducts a thorough review of the business and risk profile:

  • Verifies the identities of the business owners/principals
  • Does a full credit check on the business and owners
  • Reviews the website and business operations
  • Requests any additional documentation needed (business licenses, articles of incorporation, etc.)
  • Assesses the overall risk level of the applicant

HighRiskPay has an extensive internal scoring system to assess risk based on the data collected.

Step 3: Account Setup and Activation

If approved, the account managers will help the business fully integrate and activate payment processing:

  • Set up merchant account capable of accepting major credit cards and other payment methods
  • Establish payment gateway credentials
  • Implement any necessary fraud prevention tools
  • Complete testing and go live

This process ensures the account is ready to safely accept live payments. It typically takes 1-2 weeks from initial application to activation.

Integrating HighRiskPay Solutions Into Your Business

Once approved and set up, merchants need to integrate HighRiskPay’s payment gateway and tools into their business.

HighRiskPay offers a few different integration options:

Hosted Payment Page

The hosted payment page allows you to securely collect customer payment information via a HighRiskPay-hosted template. This page seamlessly blends into your website checkout flow.


  • Quick and easy integration
  • PCI compliant out of the box
  • Works on any website platform

API Integration

For more customization and control, HighRiskPay offers a developer-friendly REST API. Their API lets you natively integrate payment acceptance and other features directly into your website, shopping cart, or app.


  • Fully customizable checkout experience
  • Access advanced features and tools
  • Build onto existing platforms like Shopify

Point-of-Sale Integration

HighRiskPay can integrate with standard point-of-sale (POS) systems to enable payments in brick-and-mortar stores. They support major POS systems like Clover, Square, and more.


  • Accept payments with your existing POS
  • Seamless checkout experience in-store
  • Built specifically for retail high-risk verticals

No matter how you sell your products or services, HighRiskPay aims to provide flexible integration options to fit into your existing systems.

HighRiskPay Pricing, Fees, and Costs

HighRiskPay offers pricing tailored specifically to the needs of different high-risk verticals. Their pricing is designed to provide competitive rates while still covering the heightened risks involved.

Here is an overview of HighRiskPay’s fee structure:

  • Account setup fee: $495 one-time setup fee to establish a new merchant account
  • Monthly fee: $49 per month account management fee
  • Transaction rates: Rates ranging from 2.95% to 4.95% based on business type, processing volume, average transaction size, and other risk factors. Includes both interchange rates from card networks as well as HighRiskPay’s markup.
  • Chargeback fee: $25 chargeback fee per dispute
  • Early termination fee: $495 if you close your account within the first 6 months
  • PCI compliance fee: $79 annually ($19.25 quarterly)
  • Various other fees: May include monthly minimums, statement fees, batch fees, and others depending on account type.

Many fees are waived for higher volume merchants processing over $25,000 per month.

Overall, HighRiskPay aims to provide transparent pricing without the sky-high rates and junk fees common among other high-risk processors. But pricing ultimately depends on your business’ specific risk profile.

Pros and Cons of HighRiskPay

HighRiskPay has differentiated itself as a leading option for high-risk merchant accounts. But is it the right choice for your business? Here are some of the key pros and cons:


  • Specializes in high-risk businesses others reject
  • Competitive rates and fees compared to alternatives
  • Fraud prevention tools to minimize chargebacks
  • Accepts all major cards (Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discover)
  • Seamless integration into online and retail environments
  • Responsive support and account management
  • Provides offshore merchant account options
  • No long term contracts or early termination fees


  • Higher rates than low-risk options (but expected for high-risk)
  • Charges various fees like most processors
  • Mixed reviews of customer support responsiveness
  • Offshore accounts come with greater scrutiny
  • Not suitable for low or medium risk businesses

As with any processor, HighRiskPay won’t be the optimal choice for every business. But they provide a much needed option for high-risk merchants needing to securely accept payments online or in-store.

Customer Reviews of HighRiskPay

HighRiskPay has received mixed reviews from customers online:

  • Positive reviews praise the company for approving accounts quickly, providing transparent pricing, and delivering great customer support. Many positive reviews come from merchants who were repeatedly rejected by other providers.
  • Negative reviews criticize HighRiskPay for sudden account terminations, slow payouts, and poor account management. However some negative reviews seem to come from misrepresented business types or prohibited activities.
  • HighRiskPay currently has an A+ rating accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2014. The company responds promptly to complaints on BBB.
  • On trustpilot.com, HighRiskPay has 3 out of 5 stars based on 300+ reviews. They respond professionally to most negative reviews.
  • On CardPaymentOptions.com, HighRiskPay has 4 out of 5 stars based on 2,000+ reviews. 76% give 4 or 5-star reviews.

Overall, feedback seems largely positive from legitimate high-risk merchants adhering to HighRiskPay’s policies. The company seems responsive to addressing issues. Negative reviews often come from merchants misrepresenting their businesses or disregarding policies.

Frequently Asked Questions about HighRiskPay

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about HighRiskPay from merchants:

What types of high-risk businesses does HighRiskPay accept?

HighRiskPay accepts nearly all types of high-risk businesses including CBD, adult content, gambling, nutraceuticals, payday loans, and more. The full list is available on their website.

How long does the HighRiskPay approval process take?

The underwriting process typically takes between 5-7 business days. Quicker funding may be available for established businesses.

Can HighRiskPay help if my business was already declined by another processor?

Yes, HighRiskPay specializes in approving merchants who have already been rejected elsewhere. Their underwriting is customized for high-risk.

Does HighRiskPay offer offshore merchant accounts?

Yes, HighRiskPay provides both domestic merchant accounts as well as offshore accounts based out of jurisdictions like St. Kitts and Nevis. Additional documentation is required.

What payment methods can I accept with HighRiskPay?

You can accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Diners Club, UnionPay cards, and more. Crypto, checks, and ACH may also be supported.

How do I get in touch with HighRiskPay’s support team?

You can contact support 24/7 via phone, email, or live chat through their website. Phone support is available toll-free at 1-888-521-6398.

Can I use HighRiskPay with my existing shopping cart or payment gateway?

Yes, HighRiskPay can integrate with all major shopping carts, payment gateways, and POS systems through their API or plugins.


High-risk merchant accounts provide essential payment processing abilities to businesses in industries that traditional banks deem too risky. Without processors like HighRiskPay willing to take on these businesses, many legitimate companies would be unable to operate.

HighRiskPay aims to fill this gap by providing the specialized underwriting, pricing, and tools needed to safely onboard merchants in high-risk verticals. Their services allow these businesses to securely accept payments both online and in retail stores.

If you are a business in a high-risk industry struggling to get approved for payment processing, HighRiskPay can be an excellent option. Their application process, while rigorous, is designed specifically for the realities of high-risk. And their pricing aims to be competitive within the high-risk space.

Just be sure to provide accurate information during on-boarding, adhere to their policies, and take steps to minimize fraud and chargebacks. This will provide the best experience and longest lasting merchant account.

For high-risk businesses without many alternatives, HighRiskPay can provide the payment processing abilities essential to operating and growing your business successfully.

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