MERCHANT ACCOUNT PROVIDERS: Top 10 Providers in 2023

Photo Credit: Merchant Maverick

The term “merchant service provider” (MSP) is a catch-all word that designates any hardware, software, or services necessary for a company to accept and process credit and debit card payments from customers. We will just give you a rundown of the high-risk merchant account providers both for small business(es) and in the USA.

Merchant Account Providers

You must first comprehend the definition of merchant services before you can understand what a merchant service provider is. You are a merchant if you own a company and offer goods or services online. The hardware and software products that enable your transactions are known as merchant services. Examples of merchant services include tools for processing credit cards, POS systems that accept debit cards, and online forms for card transactions.

Prior to the rise of e-commerce, merchant services were only available offline. You used to be able to trace your purchases by taking money from a card using a piece of hardware. There was no requirement for any complex payment gateway solutions because your POS would transmit money directly to your bank account.

You need more than a point-of-sale system (POS) to accept global payments. Digital-era merchant services include virtual terminals and online credit card transactions. Some people even classify inventory tracking software as a merchant service because it helps businesses keep track of their online transactions.

Merchant service providers or merchant account providers offer all the resources you need to manage transactions. A merchant service provider controls the POS and payment gateway. These merchant services providers help you open a merchant account, which allows you to accept credit, debit, gift, and loyalty cards securely.

What Does a Merchant Account Provider Do?

Your merchant account provider serves as the intermediary between your register and the electronic payments that your customers make. They let you process debit and credit transactions and guarantee both your customer’s and your own financial security.

Since 1997, merchant account providers have offered credit card processing services to businesses across a range of sectors. It has also distinguished itself as one of the best merchant account providers in the nation by providing high-quality service to retailers, restaurants, MOTO, and high-risk industries. The business provides cutting-edge technology, round-the-clock customer service, daily needs-focused technical assistance, and helpful transaction dispute resolution.

Merchant Account Providers for Small Business

Businesses can take credit and debit card payments thanks to merchant services. Many merchant account service for business(es) providers also provide payment processing technologies like payment gateways, virtual terminals, point-of-sale (POS) systems, and card-reading hardware in addition to the merchant account.

The best options provide reasonable prices, month-to-month agreements without early termination fees, and a selection of adaptable payment options for both offline and online transactions.

The following are the best merchant account providers for small businesses:

  • Square: The best overall merchant services for consumers and startup companies
  • Helcim: the best and most affordable choice for existing enterprises.
  • Payment Depot: the most affordable membership rates without any markup.
  • Stax by Fattmerchant: The best for established businesses needing recurrent billing or invoicing.
  • Chase Payment Solutions: The best traditional merchant account is provided by a bank.
  • Dharma Merchant Services: Best for clear pricing and environmentally sustainable company operations.
  • PayPal: the best option for nonprofits, online checkout, and infrequent sales.
  • QuickBooks Payments: Best for businesses utilizing QuickBooks, particularly B2B and freelancers.
  • Stripe: The best integration and online payment card processing platform.
  • Payment cloud: Best high-risk merchant accounts for companies of all sizes

As a small business owner, you ought to make an effort to accept as many payment methods as you can. You could find yourself turning away potential clients if you only accept cash. You’ll be able to accept in-person card payments as well as online credit and debit card transactions if you have a merchant account.

Additionally, merchant account providers include other capabilities like check processing services or online reporting features that might aid you in starting a small business. Furthermore, there are merchant account providers that provide services to guarantee that your account remains PCI DSS compliant, assisting you in maintaining the security and safety of your clients’ transaction data.

High-Risk Merchant Account Providers

To take debit and credit card payments, “high-risk” businesses will need a high-risk merchant account provider. A high-risk company is one where there is a higher chance of chargebacks or fraud (and certain other characteristics as well).

High-risk merchant account providers offer payment processing services that allow high-risk businesses to accept credit card payments from customers. You will require a dedicated account because high-risk businesses are frequently not accepted for standard merchant accounts. Even though the costs for high-risk merchant account providers are low, the best ones include transparent pricing, committed customer support, and automatic bill pay. chargeback prevention technologies. They are nearly always higher than those for standard accounts.

With the help of a high-risk merchant service provider, businesses may submit their applications to banks, push the necessary paperwork through, and negotiate approval. Usually, rates and fees are the primary areas of conflict, making this a rather straightforward task. However, everything changes when you enter the area of high-risk merchant accounts.

What Kind of Business Is Known As High Risk?

Banks always have the final say when it comes to high risk; they decide if a company will be classified as high risk and have the authority to refuse anyone they deem inappropriate. A reputable high-risk merchant account provider will put up a valiant battle with their bank to authorize your account. It’s time to look for a new provider if the person you’re dealing with isn’t giving it their all. Banks may consider certain business models to be dangerous for a number of reasons, including:

  • Speculative Goods or Services
  • Risks of Chargebacks Increasing
  • Delivery Delay from Purchase Date
  • Businesses Considered Controversial
  • Financial or credit problem

Several credit card processing companies boast that they are experienced at working with high-risk organizations, yet the vast majority of MSPs only work with a single bank. This indicates that the bank might take on one or two high-risk businesses, but not more. If your industry is not one of those select few, you may be rejected without additional opportunity to be approved. Since their bank doesn’t genuinely serve your business type, these one-trick ponies are common in the high-risk merchant account industry and can waste weeks of your time.

You might not be able to get a high-risk merchant account provider from every processor that offers you one. Many service providers might give you a high-risk merchant account just to get your business, but they lack the expertise to handle the demands of high-risk firms. In fact, their credit rules might not even be compatible with your sector or SIC code, which would merely lead to a fall soon after. As a result, you, as the merchant, are more susceptible than you would be in the hands of a merchant service provider that specializes in high-risk services. Furthermore, these high-risk merchant account providers frequently don’t complete due diligence or proper underwriting.

It’s critical to establish that your provider of merchant accounts is not only capable of issuing high-risk merchant accounts but also has the necessary resources to maintain them.

High-Risk Merchant Account Providers in USA

Authentic sales techniques, an open onboarding procedure, individualized customer support, fair contract conditions, and affordable rates and fees are all provided by high-risk merchant account providers in the USA.

Six High-Risk Merchant Account Providers in the USA.

#1. Paymentcloud

PaymentCloud offers services to both low-risk and high-risk companies, but it is particularly adept at securing merchant accounts for a wide range of high-risk industries.

#2. Nationwide Processing

Although it also serves a few high-risk categories, National Processing typically serves small enterprises with minimal risk.

#3. Durango Merchant Services

Durango Merchant Services, one of our favorite high-risk providers, provides a broad variety of goods and services for retail and eCommerce enterprises. The key features are the following:

  • accounts for high-risk merchants
  • Available international merchant accounts
  • There are cryptocurrency merchant accounts.
  • Durango Gateway for online payments and virtual terminals
  • Utilizing a card reader and the iProcess app for mobile processing
  • Fraud prevention program iSPY
  • Available eCheck processing

#4. Merchant Services for Hosts

Through a relationship with Electronic Merchant Systems, Host Merchant Services, which primarily services low-risk firms, also welcomes merchants in numerous high-risk industries (EMS)

#5. Soar Payments

To facilitate credit card payments and support the expansion of your business, Soar Payments provides a range of goods and services.

#6. Quick Pay Direct

Easy Pay Direct has a good standing with customers. Although eCommerce is the company’s primary area of concentration, support for retail enterprises is also provided.

Which Merchant Account Is Best?

Six top merchant accounts include:

  • Stax Review (best for receiving any form of payment)
  • Payment Depot Review (best for established businesses)
  • Square Review (best for fair pricing/fees)
  • Helcim Review (best for small businesses),
  • Flagship Merchant Services Review (best for excellent customer service)
  • Stripe Review (best for online payment processing).

What Are the Types of Merchant Accounts?

  • Accounts for retail merchants
  • Internet/Ecommerce
  • Accounts for mobile merchants
  • wireless mobile merchant account.
  • Account for telephone merchant
  • Accounts for Mail Order Merchants

How Do I Choose a Merchant Provider?

For your seasonal business, take into account the provider’s pricing strategies, PCI compliance, fees, and other factors before choosing a merchant account provider. Ask your merchant account provider about their length of operation, payment processing times, accepted payment methods, customer service, and contract.


The main focus of merchant account providers is to assist businesses in setting up their merchant accounts, which are the kinds of bank accounts that let you accept credit and debit cards. When transactions are made and the appropriate fees are paid by each side, they are held in a type of mutually agreed-upon harbor using merchant accounts (issuing bank, MSP, etc.). All parties involved see a reduction in risk as a result, and more complex party integrations are made possible.

Merchant Account Providers FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Set up a Merchant Account?

The majority of providers will charge you a recurring monthly fee for having a merchant account set up. A statement fee, account fee, or simply monthly cost may be used to describe this usual flat fee of $10 to $30.

Do I Need a Merchant Account to Sell Online?

Yes. If you wish to handle sales from your website using a payment gateway for online sales, you must have a merchant account.

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