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Best High Risk Merchant Account in Europe 2020

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High Risk Merchant Account

With a merchant account the account holder receives a bundle of payment processing services including the necessary hardware and software for accepting card transactions. When a customer makes an online purchase from the merchant’s website – the payment gateway facilitates the accepting of the payment details and fraud checks – the funds arrive in the merchant account and when the payment is approved by the payment gateway they are sent to the merchant’s business bank account at an acquiring bank. Merchants have no control over a merchant account, it is simply a holding place for funds until the transaction is approved.

Best High Risk Merchant Account Providers

There are no strong guidelines for categorizing which account providers offer better services than their competition. The nature of the market is highly specialized, so that the offering is geared specifically towards the type of activity that is being offered by the customer. Although all are treated as high risk by the conventional banking services, there are in fact many differences between them and most of the merchant account providers we list below have specialized their offerings toward just a few sectors of the broader market.

It’s also important to distinguish between high-risk companies and high-risk activities. High risk companies are ones that have a bad credit history, or perhaps have not been in business for long enough to have established sufficient history of good banking practice. Such companies are labeled by banks as high risk regardless of the type of business that they engage in. On the other hand, some types of business activities are labeled by the banks as high risk, even though the operating company may be sound, well managed and stable. These activities typically disturb the smooth automatic flow of transaction processing by the banks and so they cost the banks more that the fees they can collect. Examples are “high volume – low value” where hundreds of thousands of transactions have to be processed every hour or day, but the money value is very low, so that the fees the banks are collecting (based on value, not volume) are too small to justify the strain. Another example would be a service that generates too many cancellations and recalls (such as airline bookings), which may require some manual effort in order to credit the funds back into the purchaser’s credit card or bank account, additional customer complaints and enquiries etc. 

When choosing a good merchant account provider, take into account whether they are familiar with the type of business you run, so that you can negotiate for appropriate fee levels.

When assessing the degree of safety and reliability of the account providers listed below, we have tried to take into account as many relevant factors as possible, such as the age of the company, the range of services offered, any information we can gather about reliability and stability. However, we do not in any way endorse these companies or the offered services.

Host Merchant Services

Located in USA with European services.

Provides for: eCommerce business for offshore and international merchant accounts. Partners with a range of offshore acquiring banks.

Caters for: High risk and high volume merchant accounts, lenient business legislation.

Services include: Debt collection, adult novelties/ toys, E-cigarettes, E-Liquid, airlines, loan modification, some travel & timeshares, gambling and casinos, modeling agencies, pawn & vape shops, real estate, SEO services, vitamin and supplement sales

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • BBB and CPO rating A+ 

International Bank Services (IBS) 

Headquartered in UK (London) since 2011.

Provides for: merchants in UK, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Norway and Ireland

Caters for: online pharmacies, gaming and casino websites, sports books, electronic money, imitation products, bio-technology.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Offers some advantage for UK companies since it has no complications coming from Brexit.

MerchACT

Headquarters in US, offering Europe-wide merchant account services

Provides for: secure payment gateway, simple API integration for major platforms, and flexible underwriting and risk management with relationships with numerous merchant banks. 

Caters for: dating sites, health supplements and airline booking.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Working for almost 15 years, specializing in card-not-present industry

European Merchant Accounts

Located in Riga, Latvia and Milan, Italy since 2015.

Provides for: credit card transactions.

Caters for: online gambling (Poker, Casino, Lottery); Online financial services (Loans, Debt services, forex, Binary Options); Adult entertainment; Online alcohol and tobacco shops; Online booking services (concerts/events, travels, hotels); Luxury (jewelry, fashion, beauty, watches); Affiliate marketing; Multilevel marketing (MLM) and Startups

EU Payments

Located in Serbia.

Provides for: gaming merchant, forex, cryptocurrency, dating, medical marijuana, pharmacy and replica merchant accounts; international wire transfers and prepaid debit cards.

High Risk Pay

Located for business mainly in USA and Canada

Provides for: range of international and offshore merchant accounts.

Caters for: eCommerce, travel, eCigarette, startups and adult sectors.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • BBB rating A+, CPO rating A
  • Operating since 1997.

EUPaymentz

Offices located in Serbia

Provides for: Gaming, forex, cryptocurrency, prepaid cards, bank wires

Caters for: forex, gaming, cryptocurrency, dating, medical marijuana, pharmacy, replica, prepaid debit- cards, money & wire transfer

PurePay

Located in London UK; Stockholm, Sweden

Provides for: credit card transactions for small businesses in UK and EU, multiple payment gateways for recurring payments, payment links and buttons, hosted payment and server-to-server

Caters for: CBD processing, MPOS and POS processing, cryptocurrency processing, eCommerce processing.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Located in UK means no Brexit issues.

iPayTotal

Headquarters in the UK, with operations in United States and Estonia

Provides for: customized solutions for credit card processing.

Caters for: forex; gaming (both online gaming merchant accounts and online gaming payment gateways); cryptocurrency (enables cryptocurrency exchanges and traders to accept payments on their websites through credit and debit cards. Caters for for crypto exchanges, ICOs and wallets.); adult content.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Located in UK means no Brexit issues;
  • Developed its own white-label gateway solution with advanced payment technologies. 
  • Has established relationships with international banking institutions to provide IBAN and SWIFT banking solutions.

ccNetPay

Located in UK

Provides for: UK and EU merchants requiring payment gateways to accept credit card payments through their websites or through Virtual Terminal. Retail & Mainstream; eCommerce; High Volume Merchants; Mail Order / Phone Order; Domestic & International Sales; Subscription Based & Multi-Currency Sales

Caters for: adult (digital content, downloads, subscriptions, escort, webcam, chat & dating); Gaming (gambling, online casino, sportsbook/betting, bingo, lottery & clubs, games of skill); Herbal (nutraceuticals, diet pills, vitamins, fitness & food supplements); 

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Located in UK means no Brexit issues.

Securion

Located in three main offices: in Switzerland, Spain and Poland. 

Caters for: B2B recurring products/services and subscription-based shopping; eCommerce products; educational courses; High-Risk (online gaming, travel, booking and tickets, dating, adult content, regulated forex, regulated online casinos, high risk merchant banks.

Excludes: Outbound-telemarketing, multi-level marketing money transfer, drugs and related, alcohol products, tobacco products, health & wellness products, eCigarettes, nutraceuticals.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Experience in payments, FinTech, AdTech and IT.

Best eCommerce high risk merchant account in Europe

Securion

Located in Switzerland, Spain and Poland.

Concentrates on eCommerce and B2B recurring products/services and subscription-based shopping; 

ccNetPay

Focusses on UK and EU merchants requiring payment gateways to accept credit card payments through their websites or through Virtual Terminal.

Provides for eCommerce

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Located in UK means no Brexit issues.

Host Merchant Services 

Located in USA with European services.

Provides for eCommerce business for offshore and international merchant accounts.

ccNetPay

Focusses on UK and EU merchants requiring payment gateways to accept credit card payments through their websites or through Virtual Terminal.

Provides for eCommerce

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Located in UK means no Brexit issues.

PurePay

Concentrates on credit card transactions for small businesses in UK and EU. 

Provides for eCommerce

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Located in UK means no Brexit issues.

Best payment gateway for high risk business

PayOp

Works for various business types. Offers payment processing services in more than 170 countries. Operating since 2016.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • PCI DSS level 1 compliant;
  • Preinstalled fraud prevention software;
  • Multiple payment methods;
  • Withdrawal via PayPal, Qiwi, SEPA, bank transfers, Visa/Mastercard, wallets, SWIFT, ACH;
  • Able to accept payments for businesses that do not have a website;
  • Can be connected within one business day using API, Hosted Payment Page, Server to Server;
  • Currency conversion in real time.

Payssion

International payment service provider, founded in 2013.

  • Competitive advantages claimed:
  • No chargeback risks when using alternative payment methods;
  • Covers over 200 local payment methods;
  • Multicurrency;
  • Withdrawal any time via bank transfer;
  • Mobile and SMS payments

PaySpace

Working for more than 10 years offering all types of payment processing features. Suitable for medium to large businesses, startups and companies that are looking for a high risk payment provider.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Smart recurring billing;
  • Has up to 90% of chargeback cases resolved in merchants’ favor;
  • Withdrawals can be made on a card of any bank in the world;
  • Chargeback and fraud prevention solutions
  • advanced reports and notifications;
  • Multiple alternative payment methods allowing customers to choose;
  • Dynamic currency conversion including bitcoin.

Twispay

Bucharest-based payment provider that specializes in high-risk businesses.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Instant Payments through Payment Links;
  • Set of tools enabling start of processing payments immediately;
  • Secure payment gateway powered by a API, easy to integrate and developer friendly;
  • PCI DSS compliant platform connecting to payment providers or acquirers throughout Europe;
  • User friendly transaction dashboard giving a complete overview of all important performance indicators;
  • Real-time view over data – number of orders/transactions/live revenue monitoring;
  • Allows for customization and templating;
  • Certified by the National Bank of Romania;
  • Governed and regulated by European law enforced by the National Bank;
  • Principal member of Mastercard.

PaySpacelv

Latvia registered PSP that focuses on providing tailored solutions and features

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Compliant with PCI DSS level 1 certification and assists merchants to become compliant with the standard;
  • Offers both 3D and non-3D-secure transactions;
  • Can help company with the registration and account opening processes;
  • Offers a wide range of payment methods, including all major credit card brands worldwide, a number of alternative payment methods and global payment processing and automated billing solutions.

Authorize.net

Allows merchants to accept credit card payments on the site using checks and contactless methods.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Advanced fraud detection and prevention with customizable parameters including IP tracking, verification of transaction data, blacklisting of scammers, etc.
  • Full-scale fraud and chargeback prevention tools like advanced anti-fraud solutions, unique system to predict and decrease chargebacks and fraudulent activities, uses third-party services and signals for more precise results across the system and professional case-to-case dispute management;
  • A “buy” button allowing submission of an order that can be configured manually or use ready-made code;
  • Customers can be invoiced by email, set up mailings and receive automatic notifications;
  • Customers can customize recurring payments and connect the service of automatic updating of customer bank card data;
  • Integration is possible using API, Hosted Payment Page, Virtual Terminal and plugins for all popular CMS.

iPayTotal

UK based company that caters for high-risk merchants.

Specializes in credit-card setup.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Provides international payment gateway, an international merchant account, a high-risk payment solutions, subscription accounts for gaming business, a pharmacy and travel merchant account, or setting up of an offshore merchant account;
  • Is not a Payment Processing Company. Acts as sales partner for multiple national and international payment processing companies and acquiring banks;
  • Located in UK means no Brexit issues;
  • Assists merchants in finding payment solutions and setting businesses up to accept all major credit cards and alternative payments.

PayKings

International payment provider located in Russia, for the high risk industries providing B2B solutions for e-commerce companies, online retail businesses, and high-risk companies.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • Complies with PCI DSS certification for high-level of data security.
  • Caters for MOTO transactions;
  • Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 credit cards processing methods determined by information required to process transaction;
  • Recurring payments;
  • Chargebacks management.

RISK Payments

US based high-risk payment processor that offers flexible solutions for payment processing for high risk, high volume or hard to board merchants.

Competitive advantages claimed:

  • No application, setup, cancellation or early termination fees;
  • Low rates for high risk processing;
  • Fraud protection and transaction monitoring;
  • Round the world bank relationships;
  • Multiple global currencies accepted.

High Risk Merchant Account:

All online businesses need a merchant account in order to accept online card payments. If banks refuse to give them a regular merchant account, then the company can apply for a high risk merchant account. High risk merchant accounts perform the same function as a regular merchant account but because the bank is taking a higher risk they impose higher fees and charges as well as stricter contract conditions. With high risk merchant accounts, the bank may use risk management strategies like a rolling reserve, to protect the bank and the merchant from potential losses.

Do you Need a High Risk Merchant Account in Europe?

If you have tried to open a European merchant account or take on a payment gateway for your online business and been rejected, then a high risk merchant account could be your answer. Most banks and payments providers today tend to reject new online businesses in high risk industries. These merchant account providers don’t want to take on new clients just to find that money comes into the company’s account and straight out again through chargebacks or refunds. This could put them in danger of penalties from their regulators and could even lead to the loss of their banking license.

Best High Risk Merchant Bank Accounts in Europe for eCommerce?

Lucky for high risk internet companies there are excellent banks and financial institutions that provide high risk merchant accounts as well as payment gateways, payment processors, EMIs and merchant banks that are accustomed to working with high risk online companies. However, this comes with high rates and fees and stringent contract conditions. Some banks target high risk businesses that are desperate to be approved for a merchant account and deliberately offer them a high risk merchant account at exorbitant fees and conditions. This makes it difficult to find the right financial service provider for your company. Although it may take you longer to find the right high risk merchant account providers and you will have to agree to higher rates and fees you don’t need to settle for bad service or a bank that treats you with disdain.

Offshore High Risk Merchant Account Providers

An offshore merchant bank account is one established for ecommerce companies in a non-resident country. Internet businesses with offshore merchant accounts can process payments made on their websites. Many ecommerce businesses, particularly those in high risk industries, find it difficult to open a merchant bank account in their country of residence. European banks tend to be conservative and apprehensive about opening accounts for internet businesses which often cannot produce the necessary documentation or proof of transaction history. The European banks inevitably label internet companies in certain high risk industries as high risk companies and are not interested in giving them an account. This can leave companies with no choice but to open an offshore merchant account. Offshore banks tend to be more lenient and discrete about accounts transferring funds across the globe. Offshore merchant accounts also enjoy the low tax in offshore jurisdictions. Ecommerce companies that often opt for offshore merchant accounts include gaming sites, electronic cash, travel website, biotechnology, adult entertainment, sportsbooks and online drugstores.

Why are there High Risk Merchant Accounts for Some Businesses?

Each bank has policies which determine which business industries are considered too much of a risk to take on as customers. A business may be rejected by one bank but accepted by another, depending on the individual bank’s policy. Businesses classed as high risk can be refused a regular merchant account and have no choice but to open a high risk merchant account in order to facilitate accepting card payments on their website. The factors determining whether a business is high risk or not are often in flux and businesses that were considered low risk one year may find themselves considered high risk the next and need to find a specialized card processor.

Is there Such a Thing as a Guaranteed Business Bank Accounts for High Risk Businesses?

There are no guaranteed business bank accounts for businesses involved in high risk activities. It is not so simple t open business bank account to gaming company. The parameters that determine whether a business is considered high risk plus KYC and AML procedures may make it impossible for a business to find a bank willing to accept them as a customer. It is at the bank’s discretion and banks cannot divulge a customer’s risk assessment to the customer. With no guaranteed business bank account high risk businesses will often find offshore merchant accounts more easily obtained.

What is a high risk merchant account?

2020-10-21T12:25:51+00:00
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