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Gold, Silver & Pawn Shop Electronic Payment Services

Pawn shops are considered high-risk due to the potential for legal and regulatory complexities, fluctuating collateral values, and concerns related to the authenticity and provenance of items being pawned or sold.

While most banks and payment processors shy away from electronic payment services for pawn shops, we welcome you. Read more below.

What factors cause a pawn shop to be considered high-risk?

Pawn shops are often considered high-risk merchants due to several factors associated with their operations:

  1. Legal and Regulatory Complexities: Pawn shops are subject to numerous federal, state, and local regulations that govern their business operations, including licensing, reporting, and record-keeping requirements. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in legal issues and fines.

  2. High Chargeback Rates: Pawn shops may experience a higher number of chargebacks, as customers who pawn items may later dispute transactions, claim ownership disputes, or seek to recover their items.

  3. Collateral Value Fluctuations: The value of pawned items can fluctuate over time, leading to potential losses for pawnbrokers if they need to sell or redeem items at different market values.

  4. Risk of Stolen Goods: Pawn shops can inadvertently become involved in the sale or storage of stolen goods, which can lead to legal issues, loss of inventory, and reputational damage.

  5. Authentication Challenges: Verifying the authenticity and provenance of items, such as jewelry, art, or collectibles, can be challenging, and disputes over authenticity can arise.

  6. Lending and Credit Risk: Pawn shops provide short-term loans based on the value of collateral. The risk of default on these loans and the need to manage collections can add complexity to operations.

  7. Regulation of Interest Rates: Some jurisdictions impose interest rate caps on pawn loans, affecting the profitability and viability of pawn shop lending.

  8. Inventory Management: Managing a diverse inventory of items can be challenging, and the need to secure, store, and insure valuable items can be costly.

  9. Customer Base: Pawn shops may serve a customer base that includes individuals facing financial difficulties, which can lead to higher levels of transaction disputes and defaults.

  10. Currency Transactions: Some pawn shops handle large amounts of cash, which can raise concerns about money laundering and the need for compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

  11. Reputation Management: The perception of pawn shops can vary, and businesses may need to work to maintain a positive reputation within their communities.


While these factors contribute to the perception of high risk in the pawn shop industry, many reputable pawn shops operate successfully by implementing sound business practices, rigorous compliance procedures, thorough due diligence, and ethical operations to mitigate these risks.

How can Visioneer Payments help?

Since 1988 we’ve been helping merchants of all types to accept credit card payments. We have developed relationships with multiple banks and payment processors and can match our clients’ requirements with the appropriate financial institution. Approvals are quick and our no-risk agreement is month-to-month with no upfront fees and can be cancelled at any time with no cancellation fees.

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