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Why high-risk merchants should consider crypto payments


Privacy is a key concern for many consumers purchasing goods and services from so-called high-risk merchants. These businesses, which include those involved in the CBD, firearms, and adult entertainment industries, are often classed as such due to the regulatory implications associated with the products and services they market. Whilst the majority of transactions are legitimate and legal, these so-called high-risk merchants often encounter limitations or penalties at state or national levels. In other cases, the payment gateways and processors themselves are responsible for restricting or even refusing to handle sales of certain high-risk products, such as guns and ammunition in the U.S. 

So, how exactly can high-risk merchants overcome these hurdles and leverage crypto payments to transact with consumers around the world, safely, securely and anonymously?

Who is classed as a high-risk merchant?

Some of the largest industries in the world today are classed as high-risk by payment processors and financial institutions, including online gaming, adult, tobacco and e-cigarette, CBD and firearms. The risks associated with the products sold by some of these merchants and industries, such as firearms and ammunition, are often the cause of such restrictions. However, in other industries, factors contributing to this classification are not as clear cut. For example, despite the numerous health benefits and widely acknowledged non-addictive status of CBD (the non-THC chemical found in marijuana), merchants in this industry are still classed as high-risk and face red tape when making and receiving payments.

There are several factors that contribute to why traditional payment processors might class a merchant as high-risk. Some businesses with a history of high chargeback rates are placed in this category, and consequently penalized. A high chargeback rate may indicate a higher likelihood of disputes, which may cause payment processors and banks to suspect illegitimate payments that could lead to financial loss. A merchant’s location may also influence their risk classification. Businesses operating in regions known for higher rates of fraud or financial crime may be viewed as higher risk by payment processors and banks.

Crypto payments for high-risk merchants

Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, provide an alternative payment method for executing fast, safe, anonymous and secure transactions with zero risk of chargeback. Many merchants, businesses and individuals make and receive crypto payments due to the enhanced privacy and security this railway offers. Cryptocurrency payments are inherently anonymous, although completely transparent given their registration on the blockchain, which acts as a public ledger. Privacy is a key concern for many consumers buying from high-risk merchants, and as such, crypto’s anonymity makes them an attractive payment option. Choosing to accept crypto payments also broadens merchant’s market reach to include the 570 million crypto-consumers worldwide. The borderless nature of cryptocurrencies and crypto payments removes the restrictions on sales imposed by local jurisdictions and the fees and delays involved in currency conversion. 

Choose ForumPay

ForumPay’s crypto payment solution is a safe and secure way to accept cryptocurrency payments. By using ForumPay, merchants avoid the volatility associated with cryptocurrencies through instant confirmation and conversion to USD, EUR, GBP, or other traditional currencies, depending on where they operate. With ForumPay, there is also zero risk of fraud or chargebacks, as cryptocurrency payments are final. 

ForumPay is a wallet-agnostic solution, meaning that all crypto consumers are able to transact directly with businesses from the crypto wallet of their choice. ForumPay aggregates price feeds from a number of major cryptocurrency exchanges to provide the best available exchange rate for the transaction in real-time. This seamless process results in fast transactions that are confirmed and reflected immediately on the merchant’s dashboard, to be settled into their bank account on a daily basis. 

Regarding compliance and legitimacy, ForumPay is able to authenticate the origin of funds and the duration digital assets have spent in a particular wallet, earning us the approval of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. ForumPay also works with both Sum and Substance and Chainalysis to verify transactions that breach a certain value threshold, instantly verify the consumer’s wallet and the availability of funds, and flag any security concerns. 

If you are a business or merchant operating in a high-risk industry and have yet to start accepting crypto payments, book a meeting with one of our crypto payment experts to find out more. Alternatively, visit forumpay.com for more information.


ForumPay does not disclose financial advice. Anything shared is strictly to inform, entertain, or share thoughts and ideas. Please seek a registered financial advisor if you are looking for financial advice.


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The 2024 ForumPay Crypto Spending Report presented promising insights into the views held by financial institutions and business leaders on adopting crypto payments. According