The Best Continuity Merchant Account Providers

Continuity/subscription-based billing businesses are becoming increasingly popular. Over the past decade, revenue in this industry grew five times faster than both the retail sector and S&P 500.

Anything from shipped meal kits to music streaming services can be continuity-based. In recent years, even businesses from automobile industries and health and wellness have migrated to subscription-based models.

Charging customers reliably on a regular, recurring basis relies on the use of a credit card processing company. This service can be convenient for the customer to receive goods and services regularly while also providing the business with consistent revenue.

By working with a credit card processing company, your continuity business can collect credit card payments and more.

Our Top Picks for the Best Continuity Credit Card Processors

Easy Pay Direct
Offers Load Balancing to mitigate risks to continuity businesses that often experience higher chargeback rates compared to other industries.
Domestic accounts have zero early termination fees.
Variable contract terms.
High risk tolerance.
Single point of contact for multiple merchant accounts.
Public pricing is available.



Best for

E-commerce companies, SaaS companies, "high-risk businesses", & established small/medium businesses ($500,000+ in annual sales)

Specializes in

Easy Pay Direct has unique gateway software and banking solutions to optimize payments for eCommerce, SaaS, information products, supplements, and CBD amongst other verticals.

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee:  $99

Monthly Fee: $24.95

Swipe Rate: 1.59% + $0.17

Keyed-in Rate:  2.39% + $0.29

Early Termination Fee: $0 (domestic accounts)

Contract Terms:

1 Year 3 Years
Specializes in high risk businesses and touts chargeback dispute resolution and prevention programs.
Works with any size high risk business.
No setup fee.
Variable rates depending on the merchant's volume.
Merchants are notified whenever a fraud or chargeback occurs.
Checks are allowed to be accepted from customers.



Best for

eMerchantBroker is best for any size business that is considered high-risk. It's considered one of the top payment processors for high-risk businesses that would otherwise have difficulty finding a standard merchant account provider. 

Specializes in

eMerchantBroker specializes in credit repair, collections agencies, adult websites, travel and timeshare, firearms and guns, bankruptcy and bad credit, online and in-person smoke shops. They also work with electronic cigarettes and other companies that fit into the high-risk merchant account category.

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee: $0

Monthly Fee: Undisclosed

Swipe Rate: 3.00% + $0.15

Keyed-in Rate: 4.00% + $0.25

Early Termination Fee: Up to $595

Contract Terms:

1 Year 3 Years
Experienced in the space (partnership with Subscription Trade Association) and offers integration with multiple CRMs to seamlessly integrate.
No setup fee.
No monthly fee.
Every business has a dedicated account manager to serve them.
Merchants have access to around the clock seven day a week support.
Account setup within twenty-four hours.



Best for

High-Risk Merchants

Specializes in

High Risk

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee: None

Monthly Fee: None

Swipe Rate: Unknown

Keyed-in Rate: Unknown

Early Termination Fee: Unknown

Contract Terms:

What is Payment Processing for Continuity Subscription Businesses?

Whether your business registers customers initially in person, on the web, by mail, or over the phone. It is likely that when you want to bill them in the future, you will want to have these payments charged automatically to their credit cards.

In order to accept credit card payments, you will need to work with a payment processor.

Establishing a merchant account with a payment processor gives your company the ability to accept:

  • All major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover
  • eChecks and ACH payments
  • Contactless payments
  • Mobile payments
  • Digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay

Choosing a payment processor that has experience working in the continuity subscription space and carefully considering options will allow you to establish a long-lasting relationship with your processor.

Why are Continuity Businesses Considered ‘High Risk’?

Payment processors each establish unique criteria to determine what factors qualify a business as high risk.

Some common characteristics of a business that may result in it being considered high risk are:

  • Industry experiences higher than average risk for fraud
  • Industry experiences higher than average rate of chargebacks
  • A high proportion of card-not-present transactions
  • Large sales volumes

Since cards are not present often when subscription charges happen, the processor is taking on more risk compared to other businesses.

Also, a customer may cancel their subscription after being charged and request a refund or initiate a dispute with their card company. This typically results in chargeback rates higher than other industries.

Due to these factors, continuity businesses are considered high risks by banks and credit card processors.

What Does Being High Risk Mean for Credit Card Processing?

Though it may be alarming to hear that your business is considered high risk, not all hope is lost.

There are many experienced credit card processors that specialize in dealing with these types of businesses.

Often, the most popular processors will not accept high risk businesses so you will need to seek other qualified processors.

Being high risk will require your business to accept higher processing costs. In addition to this, your credit card processor may request additional documents during your application process.

For example, you may need to provide past transaction history, bank statements, or past tax documents.

Your processor may also hold a capital reserve to cover the possibility of chargebacks that overextend your account.

Discuss the requirements of high risk accounts with your payment processor before entering into any agreements.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Continuity Credit Card Processor

With many payment processors to choose from, selecting one that is right for your business can seem daunting. By being knowledgeable of things to look for, you may feel confident you will be able to select a partner that is a good fit.

Rates and Fees

This is often the first consideration when choosing a payment processor. Of course, you want this service to complement and enhance your business, not cripple it.

As previously mentioned, continuity businesses will be subjected to higher rates and fees due to the nature of them being high risk.

Since your subscription business will likely have several pre-set transaction amounts, there is much less variability in pricing compared to other businesses.

This is good news as you will be able to predict the cost of processing much more reliably.

Typically, payment processors use one of four pricing models:

  • Interchange-plus: Billing shows interchange fees as well as a percentage per transaction and a small markup charge.
  • Flat-Rate: Assigns a consistent percentage and a small markup charge per transaction. The interchange fees are not visible on your statement.
  • Tiered: Transactions are classified into tiers based on criteria and subjected to varying rates accordingly.
  • Subscription: Businesses are charged a monthly subscription fee as well as a small markup charge per transaction. There is no percentage rate applied.

By using recent transaction history, you can work with your payment processor to determine the best model for your business.

Beyond transaction fees, payment processors have additional fees that are important to compare.

Being aware of the chargeback fees is especially important for continuity businesses.

High risk businesses may be asked to commit to the processor for a period of time so be aware of what that term is as well as if there are any early termination fees.

Credit card processors should be able to provide a clear breakdown of all rates and fees so you can review and compare them.

Security and Compliance

In a continuity business, you will often need to hold onto customer card information. Unfortunately, as time goes on, the risk for your business to be the victim of cybercrime only increases.

In order to protect your business and the data of your customers, you will want to choose a processor that takes security seriously.

Each year the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council sets minimum security standards that are considered best practices.

Failure to be in compliance with these standards can result in fees for your company.

If a company implements the standards, they are said to be PCI Compliant.

Some examples of best practices that result in compliance are:

  • P2PE (Point to Point Encryption)
  • Maintaining a secure network
  • Regularly updating antivirus software

Ask your credit card processor if they are PCI compliant and what additional measures they may employ to protect your data.

Value-Added Features

Beyond giving you the ability to process credit card payments, processors can provide digital tools that can enrich your business and are built into the cost of processing.

Customer Management

Most card processors offer digital platforms to manage your customer base.

This allows you to collect and review your customer information efficiently.

If you already have an established customer management system, most processors also have the ability to integrate with other systems.

If you have a database you have worked hard to create, you do not want to start over so be sure your existing system will be able to be imported or integrated.

Customer Portals

Some card processors also have tools to give your customers access to their own accounts via a web-based customer portal.

This would allow your customers to change their payment information, delivery details, or other preferences at their own convenience.

Implementing this would cut down on customer service requests as the client is able to make their own changes.

Data Analytics

Harness the power of technology by reviewing your transaction information through an analytical lens.

By using reporting tools, you can analyze your sales data for trends that can influence your future business decisions.

For instance, you can determine what percentage of customers do not renew after their initial subscription cycle. This will let you know how many new customers you will need to acquire to maintain your revenue levels.

Most digital tools offer powerful reporting that can give you insights into your business that may not have been otherwise realized.

Chargeback Prevention and Resolution Programs

Some processors have developed techniques and programs to reduce the frequency of costly chargebacks.

Chargebacks can result in additional fees for the merchant as well as lost revenue.

Choose a card processor that offers some type of program to minimize risk to your business.

For example, a processor may provide you with immediate notice of when a dispute occurs. This might allow you to reach out to the customer and resolve the issue before it escalates.

There are also security measures that can be implemented to reduce fraudulent transactions that could also result in disputed charges.

Discuss what services your card processor is able to provide to protect your business from unnecessary chargebacks.

Additional Considerations

While the items mentioned above may be the most critical to compare when choosing a processor, you may also want to consider the customer service and the reputation of companies when doing your research.

Customer Service

If your payments are not processing correctly, you will want quick and easy access to support to resolve the situation.

Choose a payment processor that offers live support when you will need it most.

Some processors offer 24/7 support while others only offer it during normal business hours.

This may not seem like an important factor until you are in need of assistance and cannot access support.

Going with a processor that has support available when you will need it will give you peace of mind and minimize interruptions to your business operations.


Many payment processing companies claim to specialize in high risk businesses but not all are created equally.

Do a quick internet search to see if you find any reviews for the processor.

These reviews may reveal insights that you previously did not consider or red flags that may deter you from choosing to work with that company.

Another good resource is the Better Business Bureau. Through the BBB website, you can see if there are any current or past complaints against the business, as well as any resolutions.

You can also see how long that business has been in existence. It may be wise to choose a business that has been operating for a few years.

It would be very discouraging to go through the process of establishing a card processing account only to have the company go out of business.

Investing the time to do this due diligence is one more step you may take to make sure you are choosing the best processor for your business.

Final Thoughts

When choosing a credit card processor for your continuity business, it is important to take the time to compare many factors between payment processing companies.

Being a high risk industry results in the need for additional considerations.

Be sure to choose a payment processor that offers competitive rates and fees for your business.

Even small differences in these amounts can add up in the long term.

Make sure your processor is PCI compliant so that your business and your customer payment information are protected.

If two payment processing companies offer similar rates, you should also compare what value-added features the processors can provide.

Payment processors have tools that can give you added business features like customer management, data analytics, and customer portals.

They may also offer special programs of services that help you minimize chargebacks or fraud.

These features can improve your bottom line and are built into the cost of processing so if you have the choice between two similar processors, choose the one with valuable features.

Before entering into any agreement, it is important to carefully read any contract so you have a good understanding of the commitment you are making.

Credit card processing is an integral part of any continuity business so taking the time to do your research and review options will pay dividends in the long term.

Be sure to check out our top picks for the best continuity credit card processors: