What Industries Are Considered High Risk ?

High Risk Business

Online Merchants may never think their business is risky. The merchant is offering a regular item or service, following every rule and regulation then why it might be viewed as risky?
Usually, a merchant discovers that his area of business is considered a medium or high risk business when he tries to set up a payment gateway and is rejected in the first go as he is required of a high risk merchant account. It can come as a significant surprise to many of them.

Shockingly, a few industries are more inclined to refunds and chargebacks than others. This implies a great deal of money which further ruins the records of the account. And therefore, it is not good for either merchant or the payment service provider. Clearly, both the parties would favor the money going one way– into the account!

The merchant is most likely not astounded to hear that specific industry are viewed as high risk and improbable to discover a bank or payment service provider. The merchant in certain cases is certain to possess risk if he’s offering an item or service which isn’t legal in all states, for example, weapons or adult services. In addition to the subject of legitimacy, the banks and installment organizations also reject the application if the product or brand image matches to a specific industry/brand.

A few areas where high risk seems harmless. For example- Why online air ticketing is considered as high risk business?

One of the factors that makes a field risky is long accomplishment duration, i.e. when there’s a long period of time between an item or service purchased and conveyed. This implies that a refund or chargeback could take place in quite a while after the genuine payment has occurred.


This would seem entirely basic service nowadays, particularly with a considerable programming going from a single payment model to the Software as a Service (SAAS), which requires a membership/subscription. Obviously having money removed from a client’s record every month can lead to unpleasant surprises.
recurring payment

There are at times misunderstandings, for example, individual signs up for a monthly box of goods but considers it to be a one-time subscription. On the other hand, there are merchants who intentionally confuse the buyer and makes it difficult to understand the terms, for example, an iPhone in just one euro, following with higher monthly payments. The later part is hence hidden somewhere in the contract.
There are also contracts which are renewable by tacit consent. Something which a consumer might not realize while signing. All these contribute to a very high number of chargebacks for recurring payments.
Another factor is the implementation delay. While a customer is paying for the subscription every month for a service, he/she will have time until the last day of the month to request a chargeback. Consistently this will extend the period, which implies that chargebacks could come at any time far into the future.


Mostly the tickets for an event, concert or travel are purchased ahead of time. It could be a week, a month or even a year before leading to an extended period for conceivable chargebacks and refunds. This delay is one reason behind the incorporation in the high risk category.
tickit travel services

Another reason is the possibility of disappointment when the experience is sour or isn’t as expected. For example, a client goes on a holiday with everything pre-booked and finds it to be the opposite of what was expected, he/she is most likely to request a refund or put a chargeback. Likewise, flights tend to get delayed, matches might get canceled, events might go wrong. It’s difficult to anticipate precisely how any sort of event or holiday experience will go down thus there is always a possibility for disappointment.

Another reason why tickets are viewed as high risk is that of the hackers and fraudsters of cards such as VISA and MasterCard. Fraudsters purchase tickets with stolen cards and sell them at a discounted price. A recent case of Australian tourist website is the best example of such frauds.
And when the actual cardholders find out about the fraud and that they haven’t made such purchase, they request the chargeback.


Generation X is not only full of love but is obsessed with an online world, and thus indulge themselves in online love. A few years ago people were reticent to mention that they used such sites but now it has become commonplace to talk about one’s experiences on websites and apps such as Tinder, OkCupid or CoffeMeetsBagel. Dating websites give a profitable service bringing people closer. So, why is this business looked upon as a High Risk Business?
online dating

One of the common reasons for a chargeback is when people don’t discover what they were searching for or are baffled by the results. Another issue may arise when an individual is already in a relationship but is seeking an extramarital affair. When caught or looked at the statements with such charges, the partner unknowingly considers them as a deceitful charge and request a chargeback from the bank.
If you are an online merchant and selling a product or service with a high probability of refunds and chargebacks or with a long accomplishment duration you may need to look around a little to find the perfect payment solution for you.

If you’re unsure whether your business is low risk, medium risk or high risk you can contact us at Merchant Stronghold and we will find the best payment solution for you.

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High Risk Business



  • Great Post! This post will hopefully mean fewer businesses to do the things you have highlighted. Really nice idea, I am just starting a new blog and this really helped, thanks

  • Herschel Jordan /

    I Was Looking for Tips on Chargeback Representment to create a blog and there I saw your website link in your blog regarding chargeback is very informative, I love the way you described each and every tips or point. Thank you for such a nice blog.

  • Impressive article. Your points are really helpful to begin a business. Also I want to start a high-risk business and your information will help me.

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