Coming This October: Visa High-Brand Risk Merchant Registration

Already in use by Mastercard, Visa is also introducing new rules for high-brand risk merchants requiring global registration. Visa will also expand the categories identified as a high-brand risk. This change will become effective on 17 October 2020.

As you already know, Mastercard requires registration of the high-risk merchant types, including sub-merchants of payment facilitators, using the Mastercard Registration Program. Mastercard assesses an annual USD 500 registration fee for each merchant and sub-merchant under the high-risk categories.


Visa’s High-Brand Risk Merchant Registration

Now Visa is expanding the existing high-brand risk (HBR) merchant registration program globally and adding categories to the list of merchants warranting additional oversight. During registration, key information about the merchant is gathered and provided to Visa for review such as the merchant’s URL(s), principal identity/identities, business address, dates of site inspection, and approved monthly sales volume.

Registration of the Merchant Category Codes

Starting on 17 October 2020, all HBR merchants must be registered with Visa. The following merchant category codes (MCCs) are classified as high-brand risk and must be registered with Visa:

Transaction type











MCC 5962—Direct Marketing—Travel-Related Arrangement Services

Sale of travel-related services such as timeshares and discount vacation travel clubs via outbound telemarketing calls or mass emailing

MCC 5966—Direct Marketing—Outbound Telemarketing Merchant

Sale of products or services using outbound telemarketing; examples include services such as unsolicited tech support desks or credit card protection

MCC 5967—Direct Marketing—Inbound Teleservices Merchant

Adult content and services such as website subscriptions and video streaming

MCC 7273—Dating Services

Dating and escort-related services such as online classified ads that include escort services or monthly subscriptions to dating websites

MCC 7995—Betting, including Lottery Tickets, Casino Gaming Chips, Off-Track Betting, and Wagers at Race Tracks

Funding for games of chance such as placement of wagers on an outcome or purchase of chips at a gambling establishment


Transaction type






MCC 5122—Drugs, Drug Proprietaries, and Druggist Sundries


Sale of prescription-required drugs

MCC 5912—Drug Stores and Pharmacies

MCC 5993—Cigar Stores and Stands

Sale of tobacco-based products such as cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, vaping devices and smokers’ supplies

Visa high-brand risk merchant registration


Overview of High-Brand Risk Activity Requiring Registration


High-Brand Risk Activity Requiring Registration


Transaction type

Cyberlockers and similar remote digital file-sharing services where uploaded content is accessible to the public or the service pays uploaders for content

MCC 4816—Computer Network /
Information Services







Games of skill such as daily fantasy sports gaming where consumers pay a fee to enter and the outcome of the game is determined by skill instead of luck

MCC 5816—Digital Goods—Games

Purchase of cryptocurrency, funding of crypto wallets or funding of initial coin offerings (ICO)

MCC 6051—Non-Financial Institutions— Foreign Currency, Non-Fiat Currency (for example: Cryptocurrency), Money Orders (Not Money Transfer), Account Funding (not Stored Value Load), Travelers Cheques, and Debt Repayment

TrustPay is already registered as High-Brand Risk Acquirer. To remain compliant with the updated Visa rule, we will register all our existing high-brand risk merchants in April 2021.

Registration fees are USD 500 per merchant annually. The initial registration fee is billed at the time of registration, and annual renewal billing will occur each September beginning in 2022; renewal billing applies to all merchants registered in the previous calendar year. The merchant registration fee is nonrefundable.


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