High-Volume Merchant Account

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Zenti was referred to me by my developer. From the jump, they were impressive. They were super responsive, they asked great questions and their solution was really robust. Also, working with Katherine and Hanna is a dream!
High risk merchant account
Emily Wallace
High Volume Merchant Account

Selling many high-priced items to eager consumers each month sounds like a dream to most business owners. Being a high-volume merchant doesn’t come without real complications. high-volume means higher risk and higher risk means you pay more. You can reduce the burden of higher fees, however, by finding the right payment processing company, meaning one that offers high-volume merchant accounts for businesses. 

These days, every business needs a merchant account, regardless of if you only have a retail store or a website. When choosing an account, you need to consider the type of merchandise you sell, the number of transactions you process each month, whether you conduct international sales and the health of your credit score. You should be able to find a debit card and credit card processing company that works for your needs, but you need to understand the system and research various high-volume merchant account providers before you commit your business to one of them. Companies like Zenti are specifically geared to help you in this process. 

What Is a High-Volume Merchant Account?

A high-volume merchant account is a merchant account that is specifically geared towards merchants who have a higher than normal volume. Many of its features are identical to a regular merchant account. A high-volume merchant account will allow you to have access to merchant processing services and online payment gateways. It will process credit cards and deposit that money in your bank. You may also be able to add additional services depending on your needs.

The primary difference with a high-volume merchant account is that you can run a higher than normal volume of credit card transactions. Regular accounts will have limits on the number of transactions, but a high-volume account will either have very high limits or no limits at all. For merchants who do a very high volume of calls, this can be extremely useful. 

High-volume merchant accounts are necessary because of chargebacks

Chargebacks usually happen when a consumer changes their mind about a purchase and wants their money back. They can also happen if a charge is fraudulently put on a credit card.

Once the customer requests a chargeback, their credit/debit card company will issue a chargeback fee to the merchant. For some companies, this practice means that a sales period that initially looked solid may crumble into lost revenue. Merchants are frequently frustrated because they never get a chance to make it right with the customer. 

If you are a high-volume business, you’re going to have a higher than normal level of chargebacks. This means that your credit card processing company will have to do more work, issue more refunds and lose more money. This will place you into a high-risk account. A high-volume Merchant Account is also known as a High-Risk Merchant Account.

What Is a High-Risk Merchant Account?

high-risk merchant account is an account that is geared towards certain businesses, such as high-volume ones. They come with certain limitations and extra charges. They also offer a variety of services that are specifically customized towards high-risk and high-volume vendors. These services can ultimately make it more affordable to do business. This is particularly the case for high-volume vendors who may need different services than other high-risk vendors. The right vendor will also be able to customize your services, helping you to identify weaknesses and find additional payment processing solutions that can help your vendor grow and thrive. Furthermore, they will be prepared to manage your high-volume account, as an experienced vendor understands the challenges that a high-volume merchant faces. 

At a minimum, a high-risk merchant account will have a payment processor that will let you charge credit or debit cards. This will enable you to charge credit cards and have that money go back to your financial institution. If you are working with a high-volume merchant account, you should be able to get the money promptly. 

There are real costs associated with the creation of a high-risk merchant account, and these costs often impact high-volume merchant accounts. You must take the time to find an account that can meet your needs. As a merchant, you know all too well that credit card and debit card processing fees add up. Even low-risk merchant account fees vary widely. You may also end up paying for a long list of services such as PIN debit network fees, payment gateway fees, monthly account fees, and more. 

Since account providers consider high-volume merchant accounts to be at higher risk, you will pay more for your credit card processing. How much more depends entirely on the business you choose and the terms of their high-volume merchant accounts. The reality is, though, that you can expect the following: 

  • Higher account fees
  • Higher processing fees
  • Lengthier contract requirements, often taking years to begin
  • Additional documentation requirements, including providing past processing history, processing statements, credit history and more
  • Early termination fees
  • Fewer pricing options
  • Fewer tier choices than low-risk businesses
  • Rolling reserve requirements that may limit your cash flow
  • Increased chargeback fees

These additional fees can be a heavy burden for your business. That’s why you need to search for payment processors that have a history of working with high-volume businesses and can provide affordable pricing. The company you choose should also work with you to reduce your business risk so that you can gradually reduce the number of fees you pay each month. Your processor can advise you on how to reduce merchant error to avoid chargebacks as well as how to limit chargeback fraud. They may also offer customized solutions, like zero-cost processing.

What Kinds of Business May Need a High-Volume Merchant Account? 

Many types of businesses need high-risk merchant services. There are many reasons that this could be the case, including high volume, increased risk of fraud or reputational concerns. There are ways that you can avoid such a classification in certain businesses and you should speak with a merchant professional to limit your risk and reduce processing fees. 

You may need to consider high-risk accounts if your business is part of the following industries

  • Gambling
  • Adult entertainment
  • Online dating
  • Travel
  • Furniture
  • eCommerce
  • Subscription services
  • Debt Collection
  • E-cigarettes
  • Nutraceuticals 
  • CBD products
  • Credit repair or financial repair businesses

What Other Factors May Qualify a Business as High-Risk? 

A business that has a higher-than-average volume is certainly more likely to be classified as high-risk. There are many other reasons that a business may be classified as being high risk by a credit card processor. 

High Transaction Volume 

You may need to use a high-volume merchant account because you have many transactions each month or because the average transaction rate is high. Monthly sales volume determines if you need to explore a high-volume merchant account.

International Payments

If you do business with customers in nations with a reputation of fraud, you may be labeled as high risk. Doing business with consumers in the US, Canada, Australia, Japan or Europe, is generally considered low-risk. Other countries often are associated with fraud, as these countries may lack robust controls against fraud and theft that are more commonly found in other places. 

New Merchants

New merchants are considered high risk simply because they lack a track record. You are an unknown quantity until you’ve operated your business for some months and proven yourself and your customers trustworthy.  

Bad Credit

Your credit score always counts. In business, as in your personal life, a history of bad credit will label you as a poor risk, at least until you prove that you’ve turned a financial corner and can meet your obligations.

These factors mean you need a company, such as Zenti, to help you set up a high-risk account that protects everyone involved while protecting your profits. In some instances, your business can graduate to a low-risk merchant service after some time. 

What Other Services Might a High-Volume Merchant Account Need? 

The services that you will need vary wildly and are highly specific to your individual needs. A good vendor will be able to help you determine exactly what your needs are, then work with you to fulfill them.

Many businesses are retail only. This means that they may not need eCommerce options. Instead, they will require services that are exclusive to their in-person location. This means that they need retail-specific solutions. This means that a business will need equipment to ensure that it can process transactions. These point of sale (POS) devices are critical for any business that wants to take a credit card. It is also vital that your POS devices integrate smoothly with your existing accounting and inventory systems. The goal of a good merchant account needs to be to make your life easier, not harder.

Depending on the nature of your high-volume merchant account, you may also need additional payment options. For example, an increasing number of Americans are using cryptocurrency. As such, you may need to find a merchant processor who can process cryptocurrency. Processing cryptocurrency may not be enough: You will also need to make sure that your cryptocurrency provider is in a position where they are constantly adding new cryptos that may be getting more popular. 

Your business may also need to invest in ACH payment processing. ACH payment processing allows money to move from one bank directly to another. A merchant account processor is still necessary for this type of processing, but it cuts out a credit card company completely, thus making it much more desirable for certain types of transactions. This is a lower-cost type of payment processing. They can also be batched, thus potentially making them more popular for high-volume merchants. ACH payments are now only low-cost, but they are also meant to be secure and highly monitored.

For the same reason, you will want to make sure that you investigate check and eCheck capabilities. This means that checks can be turned into electronic funds, thus allowing for the relatively instantaneous transfer of funds. Like ACH payments, they also are lower cost. This type of processing can also work well if you have a sector of business where customers consistently pay with checks. 

It’s also worth considering if you need specialized processing for offshore accounts. Offshore accounts are financial accounts that occur out of the country and there are added fees and security concerns associated with processing these types of accounts. Depending on the currency of the account, you may also have to worry about things like exchange rates. This helps explain the need for expert, professional services to manage these accounts. 

The Zenti Advantage

Zenti specializes in managing your high-risk and high-volume merchant accounts that may stem from involvement with high-risk industries or other financial factors. The experts at Zenti know that you may have been turned down by low-risk credit card processors who refuse to see the potential in high-volume businesses.  Needing a high-volume merchant account does not mean that your business has financial problems.

Instead, we work with you through the application process to expedite your business owners’ approval. Then, once you are a client, we help you with issues such as chargeback prevention, fraudulent consumer transactions and other issues that affect your bank account and business success. 

Credit card payments are a fact of life for almost every merchant, both brick and mortar and online. The company you choose to handle your payment processing affects the bank statement balance and your company’s reputation. 

Contact Us Today

Contact our professional staff today so you can get the type of merchant service account that will serve you best. High-volume merchant accounts for businesses can be a positive thing.  Let Zenti minimize your merchant service fees while offering you superior service.


Zenti Connect plays nice with others

Zenti Connect integrates seamlessly with ISV software to simplify payment processing for merchants: any payment type, on any device, anywhere. 

Zenti integrates with over 99% of the tools you are already using, including popular accounting software and e-commerce apps, regardless of your industry. Our payment services were designed to be adaptable to provide seamless integrations for our customers.

merchant account integrations c

Microsoft Dynamics
Network Solutions

Event Espresso
events manager
Paid Memberships Pro

Drupal Commerce


911 Software, Inc.
ACR Systems
Aldelo Systems, Inc.
Applied Micro Technology
Advanced Retail Management Solutions (ARMs)
Auto star
Cantaloupe Systems
Data Business Systems
Datacap Systems, Inc.
DataTech Corp
Edgil Associates
Epicor (CRS, NSB)
Freedom Pay
Gateway Ticketing Systems
Idalica Corp
IJN Systems
IT Retail
Main Street Softworks
MBS Textbook Exchange
Medasyst, Inc.
/n Software, Inc.
PC America
RATEX Business Solutions
Retail Data Systems
RTL Payment Systems
ScanSource, Inc.
Sicom Systems, Inc.
Slim CD
Tempus Technologies
Tender Retail Systems
The Software Mills
Tomax Corporation
Total Computing Solutions
TouchNet Information Systems
XProtean, Inc. (C-Payment Software)
XPient Solutions
Vista Entertainment Systems

911 Software, Inc.
Data Business Systems
Datacap Systems, Inc.
Main Street Softworks
Menusoft Systems Corp.
Micros Systems
Midnite Express, Inc.
/n Software Inc.
Radiant Systems
Revel Systems
Sicom Systems, Inc.
Squirrel Systems
Tempus Technologies
XPient Solutions
XProtean, Inc. (C-Payment Software)
Elavon (previously Southern DataComm and Global Card Services)

Dresser Wayne
Fuel Links
Fiscal Systems, Inc.
LOC Software
Main Street Softworks
Petro RX
Radiant Systems
VeriFone Ruby System

Datacap Systems
LOC Software

911 Software, Inc.
Hotel Software Systems
Slim CD
Tempus Technologies

Government organizations face a growing need for secure payment processing services while managing highly specific needs for content management and security. 

We can work with popular technology products government agencies prefer, like Ciber and Cubic, to create an integrated solution that meets all your needs for processing payments, managing information, and more.

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We partnered with Zenti in 2017 and they've been there for us every time. Everything is super fast and I love how well they communicate with our staff. They really know their stuff, and we work in a very complex industry! My account executive knows our business inside and out.

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FAQs: Table of Contents

Accepted Industries and Countries​

The industries we accept for high risk merchant accounts include, but are not limited to the below industries.

  • Adult merchant account
  • Bad credit
  • CBD
  • Credit Repair
  • MLM
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Payday loans
  • Private airlines
  • Subscriptions
  • Travel
  • Vape & eCig
  • Illegal business activity
  • Businesses without the proper license
  • Illegal drugs (CBD with less than 0.30% THC is acceptable)

Zenti can provide merchant accounts to customers in the below countries. Kindly note that many payment solutions are regulated based on location.

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Bear Island 
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Channel Island
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • France
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungry
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vatican City

Being a start-up business will not hinder a business from getting approved for a merchant account. While having a processing history helps your likelihood of getting approved,  the lack of processing will not necessarily stop you from getting an approval. Consult an experienced Account Executive today to learn more. 

There are never guarantees when it comes to the approval of a merchant account. However, we do work with merchants that have low credit scores. Reach out to an Account Executive today for a consultation. 

If you’re a United States citizen applying for a merchant account for a United States registered business, a social security number is required. 

A merchant account can be labeled high risk for many reasons. You can be labeled as such due to high average tickets, being in an industry that historically has high chargebacks, or an industry that tier one banks do not support.

Applying for a merchant account

To apply for a high-risk merchant account, you need to complete our pre-qualification form and upload all required documentation. Once the pre-qualification is complete your Account Executive will locate the best placement for your account, and send you a final agreement. Once that final agreement is signed, underwriting will complete a full package review for approval. 

There is no fee to apply for a merchant services account with Zenti. However, If you get approved with us there may be a small setup fee for your gateway account.

Square, Stripe, and Paypal are all payment facilitators and do not accept high-risk merchant accounts. Signing up with Zenti gives you a direct merchant relationship with a sponsor bank. The approval process requires more documentation, but you’re at a significantly lower risk of getting terminated.

This depends upon how quickly you, the merchant, completes our pre-qualification form. Once we have all of your documentation, we get to work. We can typically locate placement for your merchant services account in 48 hours.  

Once you get an approval, you’ll be able to accept credit card payments within 24 business hours. 

Depending upon the program, you will receive your funds anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after the batch is settled. 

The industry type is a major determining factor when it comes to risk levels of merchant services. But, other factors such as credit, card-present vs not present, and chargeback ratios can also push an account into the high-risk category as well. 

Completing the Application

Your legal business name should match the business name on the state business registration or licensure. However, if you are a sole proprietor, your name would be the legal business name. 

If you’re not sure how much processing you’ll do, we recommend applying for $5,000 to $10,000 monthly. You don’t need to hit that number each month, but if you’re close to going over, reach out to your Account Executive for assistance. 

Your average transaction amount should be the average of all transactions you would accept with your merchant account. Your maximum transaction should be the anticipated maximum amount accepted in one transaction. If you attempt to process a transaction that is higher than the maximum amount provided, additional proof of purchase may be requested. 

You may provide personal bank statements in lieu of bank statements if your business bank account is new or does not have any activity. 

If you’re applying for a merchant account for ecommerce processing you will need a fully functional website with products or services listed with associated pricing. 

Yes, a credit check is required in order to obtain a high-risk merchant account. Once a final agreement is signed, a hard credit pull is done.  Credit scores are taken into consideration when underwriting reviews a full application for merchant services. 

If you’re a United States citizen applying for a merchant account for a business registered in the United States, your social security number will be required to apply. 


The first step to applying for a high-risk merchant account is completing the pre-qualification form. Three months bank statements, three months processing statements (if applicable), a voided check or bank letter, and driver’s license or passport will be required to apply. 

If your business does not utilize checks, we can accept a bank letter that includes your full account and routing number as well as the business or account holder’s name. The letter should be on bank letterhead, be dated within the last 30 days, and be signed by a bank representative. 

If you don’t have three months of business bank statements, don’t fret. We can accept three months’ personal bank statements from a business owner, or director. 

Bank statements show a lot about a prospective merchant, namely, processing activity, and the average monthly ending balance. If a merchant is currently processing, we want to know why they’re switching, if we know a merchant’s pain points we can find better solutions for their needs. The average monthly ending balance is also relevant to show financial stability within the business as well as validating the monthly volume requested.

If a merchant is currently processing credit card payments and successfully managing a merchant account this can increase the likelihood of getting approved. Some payment facilitators such as Paypal, Stripe, and Square might not supply monthly processing statements. Underwriting may request login credentials so they can get an overview of the processing activities. 

Equipment and Gateways

For in-person retail card acceptance, Zenti can provide equipment that will arrive programmed and ready to accept payments. Discuss your equipment options with your experienced Account Executive.

Here at Zenti, we do offer our own gateway solution that’s exclusive to merchants that sign up with us. Of course, if there’s a gateway you prefer we are willing to work with you as long as integration is possible. Please reach out to your dedicated Account Executive for details. 

Zenti integrates with NMI, Authorize.net, and more. For specific gateway integration questions reach out to an experienced Account Executive. 

Your merchant account will be set up to accept Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and ATM cards. 

Load balancing is the strategy of spreading transactions over more than one MID. It’s not necessary for all high-risk accounts, but can be considered as a way to manage chargeback ratios with high-risk merchants. 

Existing Merchant Accounts

Not to worry, this number can be increased as needed. However, the bank underwriting your merchant account needs to be aware of the expected monthly volume to ensure they have capacity available for all merchants processing with that bank. 

If you go over by a small amount you might be asked for a copy of the invoice or receipt. However, if you go over the monthly limit by a large amount there is a chance your excess funds might be held temporarily. 

When it comes to high-risk accounts, banks ideally want chargeback ratios below the 3% threshold. If you can provide long term processing history the bank may take this into consideration. Lower chargeback ratios are ideal. Consult your knowledgeable Account Executive for assistance in lowering your chargeback ratio. 

Rolling reserves are a way to financially protect the processing bank from potential losses from chargebacks or refunds. Not all high-risk merchant accounts require a rolling reserve. The risk department will determine if and when a rolling reserve is required. 

Interchange fees refer to the issuing credit card brand fees such as Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American express. These fees vary depending on the card type, American Express tends to be the most expensive card to process. Interchange rates can range from 1% to 2.5%. 

Of course! Once you’ve established a healthy processing history, you may reach out to your Account Executive for a rate review. We recommend only doing this if your processing history shows low chargeback ratios and relatively low refund activity. 

You may request an increase in your monthly volume at any time. However, it’s recommended to wait until your merchant account reflects healthy processing history as well as financial stability from your bank statements. 

Reach out to our support team, or your dedicated Account Executive for any account-related updates you may need. 

Depending on the program your merchant account fees are either taken at the beginning of each month. Some programs require daily discounts. Program details will be notated on your final agreement and if you have further questions you can always consult your Account Executive. 

ACH payments

Zenti can assist with ACH or eCheck services. An application and approval process still applies to this service, or it can be an added service with your processing account. Reach out to your Account Executive for details. 

The approval process requires less documentation than applying for a merchant services account. And if you’re already processing with Zenti an approval can be expedited. 

Every account is different, however, most programs allow next-day settlements for ACH transactions. 

ACH payment acceptance can be integrated into most website platforms. Reach out to a dedicated Account Executive for more information. 

Pricing and Approval

High-risk merchant accounts are priced higher than low-risk accounts because fewer banks are willing to work with businesses labeled “high risk”. Banks also need additional financial protections from loss on these accounts.  

Zenti will always provide fair pricing based on the risk level of every merchant. And if a current processing statement is provided we’ll do everything in our power to beat the merchant’s current rates. 

While we love working with merchants that are considered high risk. There are limitations put in place by bank and card brand rules. If a merchant does not abide by the specific program rules described by the Account Executive assisting them we cannot ensure an approval.

Think of merchant accounts as a loan or a line of credit. And processing banks take on the risk of transactions getting charged back. Banks can end up liable for the actions of merchants, a problematic merchant can damage the reputation of the bank funding and processing the transactions.