New York City… a fascinating place where dreams are made… an once-in-a-lifetime destination for travelers the world over. Iconic images abound: Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Empire State Building, and Times Square.

Not to mention world-class museums and a dynamic fashion industry. And did you know that New York City requires a 9-mile long fleet of trucks each day to send their trash for disposal in sites up to 300 miles away? The mind boggles.

Of course there’s more to New York than just New York City.

The third most populous U.S. state boasts the only U.S. two-time Winter Olympics host city (Lake Placid); the largest national park (Adirondack Park in northeastern NY); and the world’s smallest church that seats only two people (Cross Island Chapel in Oneida).

The state of New York is a diverse, scenic place that’s home to nearly 20 million people. Industries as varied as financial services, health care, professional and technical services, retail trade and manufacturing sustain the third-largest U.S. economy.

Not surprisingly, New York inspires ecommerce entrepreneurs of all sorts to set up shops in the state. Many of them need to see their ecommerce dreams fulfilled.

Let’s take a look at what you may not know about New York high risk payment processing, and how you can land the New York high risk merchant accounts you need.

What’s With That Darned Old High Risk Label?

Being labeled in life feels lousy. And in business, the “high risk” label confuses many merchants — costs money — and causes aggravation.

Yet many different types of perfectly legal businesses that don’t appear to have anything in common carry the high risk label. That’s usually because mainstream banks and payment processors don’t understand the unique business models — and therefore shy away.

The high risk tag represents a point of view often shared by credit card brands, banks, and some payments guys. Because risk management is necessary for their survival, those capabilities stay front-and-center.

Card not present (CNP) ecommerce sales introduce extra risk to the payment environment because of the increased risk of fraud and chargebacks. And some CNP industry sectors suffer from more ecommerce fraud and higher chargeback rates than others.

Because both represent higher costs and potential losses, some industries remain banned altogether. For example, credit card brands and some banks prohibit adult-oriented sites and casino, gambling, or gaming sites due to both financial and reputational risk.

That explains why it can be difficult — though not impossible — for ecommerce merchants to land New York high risk merchant accounts.

The Things You Need to Do

First and foremost, to operate an ecommerce business you need a banking relationship. Healthy business practices merchants can adopt make a real difference, and may help you establish and retain one.

Check out and adopt tips like these to help you qualify for and retain New York high risk merchant accounts:

  • Maintain a robust, complete, and up-to-date business plan.
  • Work toward a healthy processing history and strong financials.
  • Implement professional operating controls.
  • Strive for and maintain a reasonable chargeback rate.
  • Ensure your ecommerce website employs best practices.

A professional business plan establishes credibility. Keep it up to date, especially when major changes occur in your business environment. Include these key sections: industry analysis, revenue model, sales and marketing plan, repeatable and professional business processes, and expected ROI.

A healthy processing history and strong financials make a positive impact. A track record of at least six months of operations works best. Keep good records and retain digital sales and shipping receipts in a secure and convenient location.

Professional operating controls include key recurring processes and internal controls systems. These should address financials, inventory management (when relevant), security (think PCI compliance), and ongoing management reporting.

To develop (and protect) a healthy processing history your chargeback rate must be low (under 3%). Steps you take with your website, business processes, and the data generated during online transactions are your best defense against fraud-related chargebacks.

Be sure your business processes support achieving a good chargeback rate. Yours should include:

  • Excellent customer communication including email confirmation of orders and shipments.
  • Ensure your payment process remains easy to use, and employ appropriate security measures.
  • Use your business name as the transaction billing descriptor for easy recognition.
  • Screen your payment gateway regularly for fraudulent transactions and take quick action when needed.

Appropriate website policies and best practices help ecommerce merchants reduce or prevent CNP fraud. Help protect your business by adopting recommended anti-fraud measures on your ecommerce site.


No matter your business focus, if you’re in need of New York high risk merchant accounts give MerchACT a call. We work with high risk merchants in the New York area to get them set up with reliable, flexible, and affordable merchant services solutions.

MerchACT specializes in working specifically with high risk businesses with all types of unique business models. For almost fifteen years we’ve helped to stabilize and grow their payments operations.

Businesses can face payments processing termination for seemingly insurmountable chargeback or volume issues. If that happens to you — or if you’re afraid it will — we can help you rebuild your payments processing from the ground up, at the best possible rates.

And we’ll assist you with day-to-day needs like chargeback management, fraud prevention, risk mitigation, PCI compliance, and reporting. So you can focus on growing your business. Our customized high-risk merchant account services help you do it.

We’ll work as your business partner, expert advisor, and consultant to ensure you can achieve your ecommerce dreams.