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A Merchant Category Code (MCC) is a four-digit number used to classify and categorize merchants based on the merchant’s business activities and products or services being sold. Subject to credit card association guidelines, MCCs are assigned by the bank to each merchant account when the merchant account is established thereby providing a high-level description of the goods or services sold by the merchant.

The credit card associations have also established rules and regulations defining the use of particular MCCs including requirements to preregister merchants operating in specific high-risk MCC categories, for risk monitoring purposes. High-risk merchant category codes are the industries that predominantly generate the highest levels of cardholder disputes, represent higher levels of financial risk to the banks and/or create additional brand risk for regulatory reasons.

Additionally, card association registration can also be required for certain MCCs when the merchant is operating in a card-not-present (CNP) environment within that MCC, for example, with online tobacco sales as compared to retail tobacco sales.

High-Risk MCC List

The following High-Risk Merchant Category Code list describes many of the high-risk MCCs that require credit card association high-risk registration and also includes several other business categories, for which merchant accounts are also commonly difficult to establish.

MCC Code Description
MCC 3xxx Specific airlines, air carriers
MCC 4112 Passenger railways
MCC 4121 Taxis and limousines
MCC 4131 Bus lines
MCC 4411 Cruise lines
MCC 4511 Airlines not elsewhere classified
MCC 4722 Travel agencies & tour operators, charters, tours & travel packages
MCC 4812 Telecom equipment & sales, telephone & cable services
MCC 4814 Telecom services
MCC 4816 Computer network services, internet access, cyberlocker, file sharing and cloud storage
MCC 4829 Money transfer, wire transfers
MCC 5094 Precious stones and metals, watches and jewelry
MCC 5122 Drugs, proprietaries & sundries
MCC 5592 Motor home dealers
MCC 5712 Furniture stores
MCC 5912 Drug stores and pharmacies
MCC 5933 Pawn shops
MCC 5960 Direct marketing, insurance
MCC 5962 Direct marketing, travel, including discount travel clubs
MCC 5963 Door-to-door sales
MCC 5964 Direct marketing, catalog merchant, mail order, telephone orders
MCC 5965 Direct marketing, combination catalog & retail merchant
MCC 5966 Direct marketing, outbound telemarketing
MCC 5967 Direct marketing, inbound teleservices, audiotext & videotext
MCC 5968 Direct marketing, subscription, continuity / subscription merchants
MCC 5969 Direct marketing, other, not elsewhere classified
MCC 5972 Stamp & coin stores
MCC 5993 Tobacco, cigarettes, cigar stores, vape e-cigs, e-cigarettes
MCC 5999 Miscellaneous specialty retail, includes ammunition and firearms
MCC 6051 Quasi-cash, currency, money orders, travelers cheques, debt repayment, loan payment, lease payment, mortgage companies (not money transfer, non-financial institution)
MCC 6211 Securities dealers
MCC 6540 Account funding, stored value card purchase, prepaid load (non-financial institution)
MCC 7012 Timeshares, timeshare rentals, leases and sales
MCC 7273 Dating services, misc. personal services
MCC 7277 Debt, marriage, personal counseling services
MCC 7361 Employment agencies
MCC 7519 Motor home rentals
MCC 7841 Video tape rental stores
MCC 7922 Ticket agencies, theatrical producers
MCC 7993 Video amusement game supplies
MCC 7994 Video games and arcades
MCC 7997 Membership clubs, health clubs, country clubs, sports clubs, private golf courses, boating clubs, swimming clubs
MCC 9223 Bail and bond payments
MCC 9399 Government services

High-Risk Merchant Accounts

Traditional banks are often not prepared to manage high-risk merchant accounts, which makes them difficult to obtain. Banks commonly do not have the staffing, expertise or tools in place to monitor the risks associated with supporting these challenging merchant categories. As a result, many banks simply have policies in place prohibiting service to these industries.

From low-risk point-of-sale merchants to registered high-risk merchant accounts (which exclude some categories), PayPrin offers a comprehensive range of domestic and offshore merchant account solutions. PayPrin has the partnerships, experience and reputation to help most high-risk merchants obtain a merchant account.

For more information about these MCC categories or assistance with obtaining a merchant account, call +1-800-550-1303 or contact PayPrin online today.

As a sales agent, PayPrin operates as a broker and provides consultative referral services to help merchants obtain competitively priced merchant accounts. Merchants accounts are approved under direct contract with a licensed financial institution.

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