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Review of Merchant Services

27702 Crown Valley PKWY, Suite D4-120, Ladera Ranch, CA 92694

DISCLOSURE: Ads, Affiliates and Conflicts Merchant Negotiators accepts advertising via the Google Adsense platform, directly from advertisers, and has common parent ownership interests with other payments related companies leading to potential conflicts of interest. Read our Affiliate / Conflicts / Advertising Disclosure for a more detailed disclosure.


High Risk Pay specializes in taking on some of the highest risk merchants in the world, merchants that other processors, including high-risk processors, cannot. The reason they can is explained by their structure. Rather than a traditional processor, which has a relationship with one bank, High Risk Pay uses multiple banks to be able to accept the maximum number of merchants. For such a high-risk provider, they have relatively reasonable rates and almost no negative customer complaints.

One of the lines in High Risk Pay's website is, "Sign up today, you have nothing to lose!" That statement may be the bottom line for any high-risk merchant or bad credit merchant who need credit card processing. High Risk Pay (HRP) offers services for businesses that require merchant accounts, yet have trouble finding a service that will take a risk with the merchant. HRP offers international sales, reasonable rates considering the risk they bear in underwriting companies with bad credit, increased fraud situations, and offshore accounts.

HRP is a merchant acquirer for numerous banks. They are fairly upfront about their rates and fees, but they weren't very clear about their equipment and hidden fees. Considering some lack of transparency on topics that don't need to hidden (like hardware and software), this company registers zero complaints online...except for one disgruntled customer who keeps repeating a complaint across various websites.

If you are in a high-risk business (which includes antiques and talent agencies as well as adult dating services and gambling), you might take a look at what HRP offers for their merchant accounts. Other business can include (but are not limited to):

  • Auctions
  • Collection Agencies
  • Guns, Weapons Related
  • Outbound Telemarketing
  • Adult / Porn Related
  • Smoking Related
  • Supplements
  • Tax Relief, Debt Relief, Debt Consolidation, Credit Repair, Payday Loans, Loans
  • Some Hotel, Travel, Tours
  • Multi-Level Marketing or Free Trial Offer (aka Continuity)
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

As with any merchant account service, keep our lists in the article handy when you talk with HRP and be sure to ask about any hidden fees. We have a gut feeling that HRP, despite lack of complaints, doesn't cover all the bases on the front end.

Detailed Review

Below is a detailed review of Merchant Services offering. The review is broken down into the following categories.


Depending upon the type of business you own, some of the following features may or may not be important to you. To learn more about any given feature, just click on it.

Software Compatibility:
Intuit Quickbooks Yes
Sage 50 No
Microsoft Dynamics GP No
Hardware Compatibility:
Windows / Blackberry No
iPhone / iPad Yes
Android Yes
Alternative Transaction Types:
Phone Orders Yes
Internet Orders Yes
Wireless Orders Yes
Mobile Orders Yes
Snail Mail Orders Yes
American Express (AMEX) Yes
Add Tips to Bills Yes
eCommerce / Shopping Cart Yes
International Sales Yes
Recurring Payments No
EMV Chip Cards Yes
Contactless Cards Yes
Loyalty / Gift Cards No
eChecks / Electronic Checks Yes
Welfare Benefits (EBT/SNAP/TANF) No
Security / Fraud Prevention:
AVS Fraud Protection Yes
PCI DSS Secure Transactions Yes
Industry Specific:
HIPAA Compliance (Healthcare) Yes
Trust Account Debiting (Legal) No
Fleet Cards (Petroleum) No
Online Menu Orders (Restaurants) No
Countries Served:
U.S. Yes
Other Countries Yes
International Yes

HRP isn't as clear as some other high-risk merchant account services about their international and offshore accounts, primarily because they don't have generalized rules, but deal with each case individually. Thus, you would need to inquire about those options when you call HRP.

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Almost every merchant account services company uses either Interchange Plus or Tiered Pricing (to learn the differences read here). Where companies allow us to disclose pricing information, we show the deals that our secret shoppers were able to achieve. When companies offer both Interchange Plus and Tiered Pricing, we try to get a quote on both options.

HRP offers Interchange Plus pricing for their merchants. Their fees, broken down into various categories are offered on their rates and fees page:


Note that they include their monthly fee in this mix, which we're happy about. The gateway fee applies as an optional add-on, only if you want to accept Internet, or eCommerce, transactions. We like offering it as an option, because it means if you don't need it, you can save. As for the specific gateway used, HRP was fuzzy about that, even when we asked. We're not sure if they have their own gateway or if they use another service.

Our Experience: HRP is more transparent on their rates than most high-risk credit card processor, but at times this limited clarity can hide a host of other hidden fees. So we asked about other fees in order to find out if that price sheet contained the whole story, when we called HRP and your answers are below in our "Fine Print."

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Contract Fine Print

As discussed above, the way High Risk Pay is able to offer merchant account services for merchants that otherwise wouldn't be able to, is to have relationships with many different banks. The downside to this, however, is a lack of consistency in fees. As a merchant acquirer for numerous banks, HRP has no real control over their answers to some of the issues listed below. The bank that offers the merchant account to the merchant is the one that sets protocol for many options such as termination fees, length of contract, and even statement fees:

Fine Print Fees:
Termination Fee Depends on Bank
Setup / Application Fee Possible
PCI Compliance Fee Depends on Bank
PCI Inaction Fee Depends on Bank
Gateway Fee $10.00/month
1099-K Fee Depends on Bank
Statement Fee Depends on Bank
Online Reporting Fee Depends on Bank
Monthly Minimum Volume Fee Depends on Bank
Accept International Pymt Fee Possible
Voice Authorization Fee Possible
Monthly Min. Process Fee None
Daily Batch Fee None
ACH / Direct Deposit Fee Possible
ACH Charge Fee Possible
ACH Return Fee Possible
FANF Fee Possible
Chargeback Fees Possible
Free Setup Consultation
Free Customer Service
Free Swiper

Our Take: To be honest, it was at this point that we realized just how much information HRP did NOT offer on their website. We couldn't find information on technical support, the fact that they dealt with numerous banks as a merchant acquirer, or even helpful articles that could let the merchant know what constituted a high-risk merchant according to them.

They do offer more concrete information for merchants with bad credit who otherwise would qualify for a low-risk merchant account. For those merchants, High Risk Pay offers:

  • Instant approvals
  • No setup up and cancellation fees
  • No long term contract
  • No leases

It's important to note, however, that these benefits are not offered to merchants in high-risk industries or those who are international or offshore. While certainly you'd love to see the same benefits if you're in the market for an offshore, international, or high-risk industry merchant services, at the end of the day you aren't going to find great benefits for you with any provider.

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Verifone VX 520

While your transactions usually take place electronically, the actual device that you use to swipe a customer's card is referred to as "the equipment." This equipment includes hardware and, often, software or apps for that hardware to function properly.

HRP doesn't offer a wide variety of hardware and software, so don't expect much by way of choice. But what they do offer covers the basic needs of most every type of merchant. When we called their offices, they gave us the following information:


  • Terminals: HRP carries the Verifone Vx520 and a Hypercom model terminal. The difference between the two is connectivity - one is wireless, the other dial-up.
  • Card Reader: HRP states that they provide a free card reader to the merchant upon acceptance.


  • Virtual Terminal: HRP states they have virtual solutions for online commerce interactions.

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Countries Served Merchant Services can handle payments from and for merchants in the United States, Canada and abroad.

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Contract Length / Termination

I generally don't like long-term contracts or termination fees in merchant services agreements, because the ability to cancel keeps the credit card processor on its best behavior, including the willingness to make you happy if there's a dispute. Plus, this ability to cancel gives you the ability to move on if you find a better deal.

HRP makes it perfectly clear that they offer no long-term contracts or cancellation fees to merchants with bad individual or company credit, what they call "bad credit merchant accounts." According to the sales rep we spoke with, however, each merchant's contract is actually determined by the acquiring bank. It appears that HRP has a partner bank that offers bad-credit merchants one deal while high-risk and international/offshore merchants might get another deal.

Despite the lack of complaints about this company, I'd still advise any merchant to read your contract very carefully before signing.

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About the Company

The merchant account services industry is multi-layered. Understanding how those layers fit together can be confusing (Read More in this Article). A good thing to know, however, is whether or not your company is a direct processor (good if yes) or, if not, then to know who they process with and whether or not that processor is reliable. The second thing to know is whether or not the service or sales staffs are in-house or outsourced. In-house staffs are preferable for you, as these staff members may have more access to sources that can resolve your issues.

Processor: HRP is a merchant acquirer that works with numerous banks. That fact allows them to provide very high risk or offshore merchant account services that many other providers cannot. We're unclear, still, on whether or not they own their own gateway or if they use another service.

Account Sales: HRP has an in-house sales team that relies heavily on referrals from partners to drive its business. They don't have to do a ton of advertising, because, as one of the few companies willing to work with very high-risk, offshore and international merchants, typically clients find them.

Account Service:HRP doesn't offer a customer support page on their site or a number for that support.

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Customer Service

As part of our review process, we try to test merchant account service companies' claims by placing test calls and working through the customer service process.

We called the company directly and had so many other questions to ask that we neglected to ask them about support. Here's hoping they offer it to you when you ask.


3/4/2015; TIME: 2:14 pm EST


Call to Customer Support

Our Experience:

A receptionist answered on the second ring and wanted to know immediately if I wanted to open a merchant account. When I responded that I just wanted to learn about their hardware and software options, she patched me through to Vanessa. Vanessa, speaking in native English, sounded perky until I stated that I merely wanted to ask some questions. At that point, she lost some of her perk.

Vanessa did answer all my questions, but she didn't elaborate on anything. When she did ask me about my business, I told her I was in "antiques," or collectibles. She quickly responded that my rate would be 2.95% plus the monthly fees. That high rate for a low risk company is common for high-risk merchant services, and explains why if you're a low risk company, you should be seeking out a low risk provider.

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Common Customer Complaints / Our Verdicts

We scoured the web to find past and current customer complaints about this processor. Then, we investigated those complaints that seemed legit, and provide our verdict on how well the processor handled the issues.

We couldn't find any bad news about HRP other than that one irate customer who seemed bent on spreading the news about HRP's lousy customer service across the web. We also couldn't find any positive reviews, which is less surprising because typically reasonably happy merchants are busy making money and usually don't take the time to write positive reviews unless asked.

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Who Should / Shouldn't Use this Processor


  • High-Risk Businesses: Check out what HRP has to offer, but you'll need to make a phone call to figure it all out, as the deals offered in the high-risk niche are almost always individualized to a specific business. Generally, in this niche, we also recommend you getting a second (or third) price because it can vary so much from processor to processor. Take a look at more high-risk merchant services.
  • Offshore or International Businesses: Even among high-risk credit card processing companies, you're going to have a hard time getting processing service. These guys specialize in getting merchant account services for offshore companies, so definitely worth a shot.
  • Merchants with Bad Credit: HRP has a 98% approval rate on merchants with bad credit histories, including bankruptcy and foreclosures.


  • Low-Risk Businesses: The lowest price that High Risk Pay offers is generally higher than the highest rate that a low risk business should ever be paying. If you can get accepted at a low risk provider (without lying because ultimately you'll end up getting caught, having assets frozen, and get kicked out) then you should do so.

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For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up Merchant Services
Customer Service
Customer Reviews
1.79% - 9.95%
  • AcceptsAll High Risk
  • No Setup Fees
  • Clear Pricing
Monthly Fees Breakdown
Setup Fee$0.00
Monthly Fee$10.00
PCI Compliance Fee$0.00
Online Reporting Fee$0.00
Batch Fee$0.00
Gateway Fee$10.00
Chargeback Fee$0.00
Termination Fee$0.00
Contract LengthMonth-to-Month
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DISCLOSURE: Advertising, Affiliate and Conflicts of Interest: Merchant Negotiators accepts advertising via the Google Adsense platform, directly from advertisers, and has common parent ownership interests with other payments related companies leading to conflicts of interest. Read our Affiliate / Conflicts / Advertising Disclosure for a more detailed disclosure.

About the Reviews: These reviews, and for that matter any reviews, are inherently subjective, and should be regarded as our opinion, not as a statement of fact. Selecting a merchant services provider is an important decision, and we urge you to use no single source of information as the basis of that decision.

About the Pricing: This pricing is an estimate based on limited available information. In some cases, the Processors' pricing information was provided directly by the company, in others, we obtained it from public information, through calls to the company, or through past or current clients of the company. Where, despite these efforts, we were unable to obtain any information about certain fees, we used estimates based on similar providers in the industry. While we're working, in some cases, with the company directly to get more accurate pricing, even in those circumstances, we can't guarantee the pricing's accuracy. Complicating all of this, is that for some companies individual salespeople are given authority to modify terms on a deal by deal basis. In any case, if you know of an error, please let us know and we'll fix it.

About the Calculations: With respect to your estimated savings, this is based on a lot of factors and some hard math. The reason we do it, along with the "Actual Gross Rate" calculation is that every Processor prices their product differently (e.g. interchange v. 3 tier v. 4 tier v. flat v. membership, etc.) and some make it intentionally complicated or opaque. Trying to convert their pricing structure to a consistent "Overall Cost of Processing" is the only way you, the merchant, can do an apples to apples pricing comparison and know whether an offer is actually a good deal. Our system isn't perfect but we're trying.

Conclusion: In sum, these rankings, ratings, and scores are inherently subjective, and should be regarded as our opinion and not as a legal statement of fact. Moreover, use these prices and estimates at your own risk, and make sure to verify the pricing you see here in any formal contract you receive. Finally, if you do find something wrong in our pricing, terms, etc., tell us and we'll try to fix it. is now offline.

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