The institutions doing the underwriting, as well as the card platforms, can be “subjective” rather than “objective” in their reasoning for classifying a merchant as High Risk. As a result, the reasons can be broad and vary greatly from acquirer to acquirer. For the purposes of this discussion, I’ve listed the top five reasons below.

  • You are part of an industry, or vertical, that has unfortunately gained a bad reputation.
  • You have no or extraordinarily little processing history.  A start-up for example.
  • You have expensive items, or commonly referred to as “High Ticket” items, along with high monthly processing volumes.
  • When assigned high buy rates, or MDR, accompanied with a mandatory high rolling reserve.
  • You are threatened with account termination.

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