What is “the best” high-risk payment gateway?

Well, it could be NMI, Authorize.Net, or ePN. It really depends on a number of factors. This isn’t clickbait, and it’s not a sales funnel; which high-risk payment gateway is the best for you really depends on your high-risk business type and details.

We’re often asked what high-risk payment gateway is the best, and unfortunately the answer sometimes sounds a little bit like a sales pitch. Every time we answer with some variation of “it depends, let’s talk about your business,” it reminds us of the frustration felt when someone tries to get basic information from a contractor by phone. The follow-up question we often get is “can’t you please just give me a simple answer before I carve out time on a Tuesday to talk to you?” and we’d love to. Unfortunately, with our experience in high-risk payments, we know that more likely than not there’s no black and white answer to which high-risk payment gateway is best for you. Not without more details about how your business operates and what you want to sell.

But, why isn’t there a simple answer?

It is a good question, and luckily there is a good answer. Below are a few examples of why the answer is so nuanced and why we always recommend folks call us or contact us to discuss their exact situation.

High-risk payment gateway example #1: a cigar seller using osCommerce and NMI

If you’re selling premium cigars online using the osCommerce platform and you run various product types, like one-off sales and cigar-of-the-month subscriptions, then NMI is the payment gateway for you.

By using NMI, you’ll be well set-up for processing and accepting payments for different types of sales. After all, there are very different types of risks involved selling one box of cigars than with a recurring billing setup for a cigar-of-the-month. With NMI you’ll effectively manage these risks with multiple-merchant accounts. NMI is great at giving you a straightforward and simple way of managing and offering different types of sales from your high-risk sites. If you want, you can check our overview of NMI features. There you’ll find videos and short descriptions of the many features and settings available.

The NMI payment gateway allows you to log in, pull reports, and manage all your merchant accounts through one master login. You could use the NMI account balancer to direct your high-risk products to your higher cost merchant accounts and your low-risk products to your low-cost accounts (with your processor’s blessing of course). You could even create custom routing based on volume, average ticket, SKU, etc.! See! NMI is the best. This combined with the osCommerce platform’s ease of use is a certain winner for your online high-risk cigar store. But is NMI the way to go for all high-risk sites?

High-risk payment gateway example #2: a vape website using Shopify

Let’s say you’re a medium sized e-commerce business selling electronic cigarettes and e-juice online using Shopify. Or your business is mostly online. You do make some wholesale deliveries and accept some payments in person. Lastly, you want to start using Shopify as your site building software. Well, in this case, the answer is obvious! Authorize.Net is the best payment gateway for you (in our humble opinion). It will integrate so seamlessly with Shopify that you’ll think of them like milk and cookies (well, you know what I’m trying to say)!

With Authorize.Net set up with your Shopify platform, payments will automatically process, we’ll be able to make a solid vape friendly merchant account recommendation, and you’ll be off to the races! See? What did we tell you? Authorize.Net is it! Many think of Authorize.Net as an all-in-one payment solution. However, it’s really just software. With the right high-risk processing in the back-end, you can integrate Authorize.Net with a whole host of site-builders, shopping carts, and platforms. Authorize.Net is among the gateways we recommend the most to a host of different e-commerce site owners. Don’t forget, the vast majority of those who sign up receive a $0.00 set up fee. Through our vetted solutions, a free setup is standard practice. But wait, there’s more!

High-risk payment gateway example #3: an online FFL dealer looking to accept credit cards

Let’s say you’re an FFL dealer with a successful retail shop, but you want to expand your reach. You do everything by the book and you’re ready to start selling firearms on your WooCommerce site, as well as through the two most popular auction sites. Well, no gateway appears to be more entrenched in the FFL community (judging by our unscientific, not vetted surveys!) than eProcessing Network. ePN will plug right into the big boys of FFL auction sites in 5 minutes, and you’ll be off to the races!

With ePN you can easily customize your product- and check-pages for a great overall FFL e-commerce site. It also integrates brilliantly with many of the most popular shopping carts out there, making it easy and convenient for your customers to buy from your site. So, the WooCommerce and ePN combo is the best way to go, right? Well, there’s also…

High-risk payment gateway example #4: a tactical e-commerce store wanting to process credit cards

Tactical merchants sell self-defense items, knives, or weapons online – even non-lethal items like pepper spray or stun guns. Let’s say you’re a tactical merchant in the final stages of deciding between GoDaddy and Wix, but you’re looking to get the payment processing part out of the way. In this case, you’ll need to use Authorize.Net. As long as you have the Authorize.Net gateway set up correctly for your high-risk business you’ll be golden. You see, GoDaddy and Wix websites have some integration limitations. If you’re set on using either of those site builders we would advise Authorize.Net every time, and it works with both.

By using Authorize.Net for your tactical site through Wix or GoDaddy, you’ll be good to go! That is, if your Authorize.Net account is properly set up! Authorize.Net is excellent for high-risk product sales, but it needs to be set up right for high-risk processing in the back-end. That’s where you can take advantage of our expertise to help you set it up correctly. Feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation, free-of-charge talk and we can have you up and running in no time! Surely, all the best alternatives and combinations are covered, right? Well, no, there’s more…

High-risk payment gateway example #5: multi-product merchant selling different high-risk products

This basically means a large BigCommerce merchant with multiple sites, one selling pipes and glass and another focusing on vape e-juice, and maybe one selling various merch bundles (like t-shirts, caps, and gaming memorabilia, etc). In this case, you would be best served by NMI. NMI is one of BigCommerce’s preferred gateways, and it will let you easily manage multiple merchant accounts. This is a fantastic way for you to mitigate risk, and manage your sales quickly and effectively through dedicated merchant accounts.

The NMI and BigCommerce combo is great, not only for multiple sites but also if you need an additional account for a wholesale business selling to other resellers. What NMI can offer is the ability to channel specific sales through selected merchant accounts. In other words, if you sell vape juice to resellers in bulk, and also sell it directly on your website, you can channel these very different sales types through different merchant accounts. This will let you safely and sustainably handle sales with different volumes, risk types, and payment methods. Amazing, right?

Need a high-risk payment gateway and processing recommendation?

As you can tell, there’s no simple answer to the question “what is the best payment gateway?” The examples above are just a few of the thousands of different types of online stores out there. The world of payment gateways, high-risk merchant accounts, shopping carts, website builders, and payment options can be overwhelming. Don’t go it alone – we’re happy to help. We’re always excited to share our experiences and help a fellow high-risk e-commerce merchant. Contact us anytime using the form below to ask a question, or to get started.