WooCommerce High-Risk Payment Gateway

As a high-risk WooCommerce payment gateway partner, Zenti provides all the services your business may need to accept payments, including access to advanced capabilities that will assist in your company’s growth.

Getting started takes one minute

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

WooCommerce High-Risk Payment Gateway Overview

High-Risk Payment Gateway for WooCommerce

Most online stores are classified as high-risk and require a high-risk payment gateway for e-commerce credit card processing. While there are many WooCommerce plugins for payment methods, it is important to find one that is high-risk and suits your business needs. 

WooCommerce users need to have a high-risk payment gateway in order to process transactions on their website. The high-risk payment gateway allows customers to enter their credit card information and have that financial information transmitted to the bank and your business. 

There are two types of merchant account services offered to businesses: low-risk and high-risk. The type of industry, amount of monthly transactions, and the number of chargebacks will determine your level of risk and which type of merchant account that companies will approve for your business. 

What industries are high-risk?

Most online businesses are considered high-risk due to a high number of chargebacks and the fact they are a card-not-present transaction. Highly regulated industries are also considered high-risk. These industries have a higher degree of liability, so their fees and charges are greater. 

The following are high-risk industries that require high-risk merchant accounts: 

  • Tech support industries
  • Tobacco sales
  • Call centers
  • Vape and CBD products
  • Travel agents
  • Supplements and nutraceuticals
  • Online gaming
  • Debt collection
  • Adult entertainment
  • High-ticket items

While these industries are highly profitable, it is important to take into consideration the potential for chargebacks and liabilities when designing your business model. It may seem unfair to be labeled as a high-risk business, but there are some advantages. The businesses go through a greater degree of scrutiny before their merchant account is approved and have more fraud protection.

How online payment processing works

Before selecting a payment gateway and merchant account services, it is important to understand how online payment processing works and why it is important to have a secure payment gateway for your WooCommerce store. 

When a customer goes through the checkout process in your WooCommerce store, they enter their online payment method. The credit card payment information is encrypted with an SSL connection. The encrypted file is sent through a secure link to the merchant’s gateway. 

The credit card information is encrypted and sent to the bank for authorization. The authorization request is then sent to the card issuer, like Visa or Mastercard. The card issuer processes the transaction. 

If the transaction is approved, the response is sent to the shopping cart with a unique transaction identification. After the transaction is completed, the merchant receives access to all pending authorizations. Merchants can then make changes like adding tips or voiding the transaction. 

How much are WooCommerce payment gateway fees?

The WooCommerce payment gateways charge a transaction fee for each sale on your WooCommerce store. The fee will vary based on your location, the card type, and the selected payment gateway. 

The transaction fees typically range between 2-3% of the sale. Many merchants pass this financial burden to their customers with higher product prices. Be careful because higher prices can decrease your business. If prices are too high, customers will find their products elsewhere. 

It is best to compare the transaction fees with other providers before selecting a payment gateway. Find one that will fit your business model. 

What are the benefits of a high-risk payment gateway?

Even though the high-risk payment gateway has higher costs associated with it, there are many advantages if you are one of the high-risk businesses. High-risk payment gateways accept debit cards and credit cards, so you be able to offer your customers the ability to pay with their preferred payment method. 

High-risk payment gateways are also but it is also safer. They help with fraud prevention and can lower your number of refunds and chargebacks. 

In addition to being safer and accepting more payment methods, you can expand your business internationally. High-risk payment gateways are capable of accepting payments in different currencies from other countries. 

What are the best WooCommerce high-risk payment gateways? 

There are many WooCommerce payment gateway plugins that can help your e-commerce business accept payments. The best payment gateways for your WooCommerce store will provide you with the services that you need and provide service in the country where your business is located. 

Some of the most common payment gateways for WooCommerce stores include PayPal Pro, Stripe, and Authorize.net. While some of these gateways can be integrated free as a WordPress Plugin, many of them have premium pricing and services associated with them. 

Zenti is a great WooCommerce high-risk payment gateway partner. They offer all of the services that you will need to accept online payments whether you are high-risk or low-risk. Their premium services can help your business grow. 

How to choose a high-risk payment gateway for your business

When considering the payment gateway that is right for your online store, you will want to take into consideration whether they will accept mobile payments, premium pricing, and the countries that they provide the service. 

The first thing to do is to evaluate how many transactions that you have each month for your WooCommerce store. The risk is increased with a greater number of transactions. 

Next, you’ll want to determine where your target market is located. If you are selling internationally, make sure that your payment gateway provider offers international services. 

Finally, if you want to accept mobile payments (like Apple Pay), you need to make sure that mobile services are included in the payment gateway provider services. 

One thing to watch out for is that businesses are incentivized with discount rates for more transactions. If you are eligible for a discount rate, make sure that it isn’t too high. Compare the discount rate with the competitors to ensure that you are getting the best deal. Evaluate the other fees that the provider charges as well. 

What do you need to get a WooCommerce high-risk payment gateway?

Before you are able to get a high-risk payment gateway there are some things that must be in place. You must have a high-risk merchant account, an SSL security certificate installed, and a 3D verification system with high-risk customer authentication. 

Banks require a high-risk merchant account for debit and credit card processing. A high-risk merchant account is a business bank account that provides services to businesses that pose a higher degree of risk for chargebacks and refunds. 

The payment gateway needs an SSL security certificate because the websites deal with sensitive customer financial information. Hackers will try to obtain sensitive confidential cardholder information, so it is important to take security measures and encrypt data. 

You will also need a 3D secure verification system is designed to be an additional layer of security for online transactions. It refers to the “three domains” that must interact including the merchant domain, issuer domain, and interoperability domain. 

Why Zenti is your high-risk payment solution

Zenti offers all of the requirements that you need for your WooCommerce payment gateway. They provide high-risk merchant accounts, offshore business accounts, and retail merchant services. 

Some of the benefits of Zenti’s high-risk payment gateway are that they allow you to sell globally with online and mobile payments. They integrate with over 125+ shopping carts and 200+ processors. 

Zenti’s payment services are easily managed from a single account. Merchants are able to use a variety of services to improve the transactions and generate reports in real-time. 

The Zenti payment gateway offers tokenization which allows you to reuse the customer data for future transactions. This is very convenient for the customer and the transaction gets processed immediately. 

Additional payment services 

Zenti provides additional services that can help your WooCommerce business run smoothly. The following services give customers the ability to pay in a way that is convenient for them. 

  • Accept major payment methods: Merchants can accept debit cards, credit cards, and PayPal. They can also accept mobile payments and international payments. 
  • A virtual terminal: Allows customers to pay for phone purchases with a browser by entering payment information or swiping their cards. 
  • Recurring billing services: Merchants can set up a payment plan for their high-end products or offer subscription services with recurring payments.
  • Collect checkout: Zenti’s hosted payment page allows merchants to sell products without a shopping cart through a payment button generator. 
  • QR codes: Merchants can quickly create payment links through a QR code generator. The QR codes allow them to access the benefits of having contactless payments. 
  • Batch processing: Merchants may use the platform to manage, store, and process large amounts of transactions in a single batch. This makes the processing more efficient.  
  • Product manager: The merchants can use streamlined product management services to enter, organize, and manage their SKUs to keep track of their inventory.
  • Gateway Emulator: Easily migrate from other gateways without having to rework or reprogram software or applications.
  • Customer vault: The customer vault allows you to use the tokenized cardholder data for recurring purchases. 
  • Electronic invoicing: Customers can pay their invoices through the merchants’ websites easily with just a few clicks. 
  • Fraud prevention services: Add another layer of protection against fraudulent transactions. Rule-based parameters are used to identify potential fraud.
  • Mobile payments: Merchants can accept EMV card payments through tablets and iPhones. The apps are available for Apple and Android.
  • Quickbooks integration: Merchants who use Quickbooks can integrate our services with a plugin. They can process transactions and create accounting entries in the Quickbooks program.  
  • Automatic level 3 processing: The Level III fees get applied automatically to all the CNP transactions for merchants using the Enhanced Data service. 

Zenti provides WooCommerce stores like yours the services that they need to grow. They not only help high-risk businesses get approved for merchant accounts when others can’t, but they also offer security measures and high-risk payment gateways. 

In addition to getting your business approved for merchant services, Zenti makes sure that you stay approved. It matches you with services that will work with you as a high-risk business. Zenti has a 98.7 percent approval rate for e-commerce businesses to help them get the services they need. 

Whether you need a WooCommerce high-risk merchant account to qualify for a high-risk payment gateway or are looking for a WooCommerce payment gateway, Zenti can help your business. We have the right tools and knowledge to help you make an informed decision about your payment processing solution. Contact us today to learn more about our high-risk payment solutions. 

Getting started takes one minute

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


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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Friendly, US-based support from our headquarters in Michigan.

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.

High risk merchant account payment gateway

Accept Payments

Integrate with everything. Scale with confidence.


Cryptocurrency Payments

Virtual Terminals

Payment Gateways

Wire Transfers

Zero Cost Processing

Accept Checks Online

Retail POS

Online ACH Payments

Telephone Orders

Text Message Payments

EBT & SNAP Payments

Digital Wallets

Send Invoices

Recurring Payments

ATM Machines

Self Service Payments

Accept Mobile Payments


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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.