SEO / SEM / Web Design

Why SEO / SEM / Web Design businesses are considered High-Risk?

There are several reasons why SEO, SEM, and Web Design are considered high-risk merchants. These reasons can be grouped as follows:

Intangible Products or Services

  • SEO, SEM, and Web Design often involve intangible products or services that can be difficult to measure or quantify.
  • This can lead to disputes and chargebacks if the client is dissatisfied with the results.

Fraudulent Practices

    • There is a high risk of fraud in these industries, as scammers may promise results they cannot deliver or engage in unethical practices.
    • This can result in disputes and chargebacks, which can be difficult for the merchant to contest.

Legal Issues

  • SEO, SEM, and Web Design companies may engage in practices that violate search engine guidelines, resulting in penalties and legal action.
  • This can lead to frozen funds and account closures, which can be devastating for a small business.

Overall, the high-risk nature of these industries makes it challenging for businesses to obtain payment processing solutions. However, by working with a reputable payment processor that specializes in high-risk merchants, these businesses can mitigate their risk and ensure that they have access to the payment processing solutions they need to grow and thrive.

What are mitigation measures for SEO / SEM / Web Design merchants to reduce risks when selling online​

  • Maintaining transparency: Merchants should be transparent about their products and services, including their terms and conditions, refund policies, and fees. 
  • Implementing fraud prevention measures: Merchants should implement fraud prevention measures, such as address verification, card security codes, and transaction velocity monitoring, to reduce the risk of fraud. 
  • Keeping up with industry standards and regulations: Merchants should keep up with industry standards and regulations, including search engine guidelines, data privacy laws, and consumer protection laws. This helps to reduce the risk of legal action and account closures.
  • Partnering with reputable payment processors: Merchants should partner with reputable payment processors that specialize in high-risk merchants. These processors can help to mitigate risk by providing fraud prevention tools, dispute resolution services, and account monitoring.
  • Offering excellent customer service: Merchants should offer excellent customer service, including prompt responses to customer inquiries and complaints. 


Overall, by implementing these mitigation measures, SEO, SEM, and Web Design merchants can reduce their risks when selling online and ensure that they have access to the payment processing solutions they need to grow and thrive.


Being a high-risk merchant vs. a regular merchant

  • Higher payment processing fees
  • Lengthier application process
  • Higher chargeback fees
  • Cash reserve requirments:
    • Capped reserve
    • Rolling reserve
    • Upfrom reserve
  • Volume caps
  • Additional technical requirements
  • Being on the TMF / MATCH list


Check out our knowledge hub to learn more about what processing fees, application process, chargebacks and cash reserve requirements or TMF / MATCH list mean. 

Other risk factors?

There may be other risk factors as to why you as a SEO / SEM / Web Design merchant are classified as a high-risk merchant, such as:
  • Accepting subscription-style payments

  • Being on the Member Alert to Control High-Risk Merchants, or MATCH list — a list managed by Mastercard that monitors merchant behavior, like chargeback history

  • High average transaction sizes

  • High sales volumes

  • Highly regulated industries

  • International sales

  • Large number of card-not-present transactions

  • Little to no business experience

  • Long fulfillment time frames

  • New or poor credit scores

  • Past fraud or illegal activity


As SEO / SEM / Web Design merchant how to find a payment provider?

It takes effort for businesses to secure a payment processing partner when they are considered high-risk but it is definetly possible to find the right payment solution if you focus on:

  • Maintaining healthy cash levels. Most processors would like to see a healthy cash level in your business bank account. 
  • Try to reduce chargebacks. There could be a number of factors behind the soaring number of chargebacks in your business. Whatever the reasons may be, you can always analyze them and try to reduce your chargebacks.
  • Be transparent. Disclose all materials and relevant information during the application process. Payment processors may ask you for very detailed information about your business and finances. Be open, honest, and transparent.
  • Keep your documents ready. This could mean having six months of bank statements and a few years of tax returns. That said, each processor has its own set of requirements so make sure to check them.
  • Follow the guidelines of your payment processor. When you apply for a high-risk payment solution, besides your business needs, the risk the payment solutions provider takes also matters. So, be flexible and see if there are things you can do to reduce your risk by discussing with them and following their recommendations.

Our Platform will find the right payment solution for your business

Our biggest differentiator? 

We provide payment solutions for merchants with a 90% Succes Rate by Algoritmic matching and pre-KYC onboarding in each industry and region globally.