What to Know Before Getting Started
Starting a New Business?
Selecting a credit card processor is often more complicated than most people expect. How much should you be paying in fees? Should you lease or buy equipment? Should you be locked into a service agreement for anything length of time? These considerations and several others are imporant to understand before signing up with any merchant account provider. Mistakes are easily made and can be very costly to your business. Along with seeing our top choices for payment services below, be sure to checkout this post to avoid common traps in the merchant services industry.
Considerations For Current Business Owners
Changing merchant accounts can be an expensive, complicated, and time consuming process. Are you really going to save as much as promised? Do you need to buy to new equipment or sign new lease agreements? Will there be other less accountable costs such as those associated with employee retraining? Before selecting one of our choices below, you may want to consider renegotiating your fees with your current payment processing vendors using the help of a contingency-compensated consultant. It can result in a dramatic decrease in costs without the pains of switching. In some cases business owner have also obtained substantial refunds of prior overcharges along with saving thousands in future processing costs. See this post to learn more about this little-known alternative to changing merchant account provider.
CBD Credit Card Processing Has Arrived
Cannabidiol oil (also known as “CBD” or “CBD oil”) is a derivative of the cannabis plant that has been shown to have the potential to treat certain ailments such as seizures, nausea, inflammation, and anxiety. It is extracted from low-THC strains of cannabis to form a non-psychoactive oil that can then be stored in capsules for accurate dosing. Cannabis is currently a Schedule I drug in the United States, which makes it illegal according to federal law. However, partially because of CBD oil’s possible medical value, states are beginning to legalize the production and sale of this substance. As a result, merchants who sell hemp-derived cannabidiol are scrambling to open merchant accounts that can process CBD payments.
Taking Credit Cards for CBD is Still Evolving
Unfortunately, there are currently very few providers out there who can place CBD vendors, and their ability to do so changes frequently. There are even fewer that we would recommend based on pricing, transparency, and customer support. Most sellers of this product should be prepared for higher-than-average transaction rates due to the elevated risk associated with their industry, and they may also encounter rolling reserves or occasional fund holds. However, the security and convenience that comes with accepting credit cards may make it worthwhile for some sellers. If you are a CBD vendor who is hoping to open a CBD merchant account, be aware that we will continually update the list below with providers that have signaled that they may be able to board such businesses. Please keep in mind that CBD processing is an ever-changing landscape at this time, and that major banks have been known to purge CBD merchants from their portfolios en masse and unexpectedly.
Looking for hemp payment processing?
See our list of the top merchant accounts for hemp products.
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Why These Merchant Account Providers
Now Accepting CBD
Currently, PaymentCloud is our top recommendation for talking card payments as a CBD business. As of the writing of this post, PaymentCloud is currently approving CBD merchant accounts, Kratom merchant accounts, and Hemp merchant accounts for credit card processing. Besides the ability to approve these businesses, PaymentCloud is one of the best rated processors in the merchant services industry.
Based in Woodland Hills, California, PaymentCloud is a merchant account provider that specializes in serving high risk business types, including CBD sellers. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, mobile phone swipers, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, EMV-compatible terminals, and merchant cash advances.
PaymentCloud provides a dedicated account rep to all new merchants for the life of the account. The company has not received any negative complaints on consumer forums, and it customizes its pricing according to each merchant’s business type and processing history. The BBB does not maintain a profile for PaymentCloud at this time, but CPO gives the company an “A.”
UPDATE: PaymentCloud is temporarily only able to offer a check-by-phone payment solution to CBD merchants. We have been told that PaymentCloud expects to have a credit card processing solution within a few weeks, so be sure to check in soon for more information.
Offshore Processing Option
eMerchantBroker is a Los Angeles, California-based company that offers high risk e-commerce processing solutions including CBD oil merchant accounts. The company’s products include credit card processing, ACH processing, an online payment gateway, merchant cash advance, and a chargeback management system to help merchants dispute and resolve chargeback claims. eMerchantBroker can place CBD sellers with both domestic and offshore banks.
eMerchantBroker offers custom pricing for each merchant and maintains a low complaint rate relative to its size and merchant portfolio. Our review of eMerchantBroker gives the company an “A” rating overall and the BBB assigns the company a rating of “A+.”
Other Merchant Account Options
The providers in this section may not have been researched as thoroughly or may lack a quality that prevented them from being listed above. We have listed them here to provide a broader view of potential merchant account options. Are you a decision maker with your company and believe that you should be listed below? Tell us here.
Centurion Payment Services
Cost-Effective CBD Processing
Founded in 2012, Centurion Payment Services is a Miami, Florida-based merchant account provider that serves both standard and high risk businesses. Centurion Payment Services offers an online payment gateway and virtual terminal as well as EMV-compliant payment processing equipment for face-to-face purchases. The company is currently able to serve CBD oil merchants but is unable to place marijuana and paraphernalia vendors at this time.
Centurion CBD Pricing
Centurion currently offers CBD merchants a per-transaction fee of 6.95% plus $0.30 and a monthly fee of $35. The company does not charge a setup fee or impose processing limits, and it does not require a cash reserve in many cases. Centurion can serve merchants who sell CBD vape products, but not those who sell CBD flower or pre-rolled products. Centurion’s CBD e-commerce solution can be used with popular platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.
Centurion Payment Services Reviews
Centurion has not received any public complaints for the entire time that it has been operational. The company claims to offer no reserve, interchange-plus pricing, single-day approval, no PCI compliance fees, and no start up fees to its CBD merchants. The BBB does not assign a rating rating to Centurion Payment Services, while CPO gives the company an “A.”
Supporting Merchants in the US and EU
Card Z3N provides merchant accounts to CBD merchants in the US and Europe. Its partnerships with some of Europe’s largest banks help merchants choose between which currency they wish to accept payments in. Those partnerships also allow Card Z3N to approve high risk merchants within 7 to 10 days. With a strict emphasis on e-commerce, CBD merchants can sell their goods across the globe thanks to Card Z3N’s virtual terminal, payment gateway, and online shopping cart integrations.
About Card Z3N
Based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, Card Z3N holds the distinction of serving both standard and high risk merchant types. With that experience in hand, the company is capable of fulfilling the unique needs of CBD merchants. Though legal, CBD sales are designated as a high risk industry which can lead to a merchant being charged higher rates than are typically offered. Card Z3N’s expertise in serving high risk merchants allows them to offer competitive rates, even to start-ups. The company also provides discounted rates to merchant processing over $100,000 per month.
Card Z3N provides merchants with phone support, a live chat feature, and a troubleshooting ticket form to instigate a customer service request. Card Z3N currently has an “A-” rating with the BBB and has fewer than 10 complaints online.
For more information, visit the Card Z3N website.
High Risk Pay
Accepts Major Credit Card Brands
Active under various names since 1997, High Risk Pay is specifically focused on serving high risk merchants. The company offers point-of-sale equipment, ACH processing, and chargeback prevention to all of its merchants. High Risk Pay can process Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Amex, debit, and ACH payments for CBD merchants. The company has retail, e-commerce, and virtual terminal payment options available, and the only CBD products it cannot support at this time are flower, pre-rolls, shatter, isolate, and wax.
High Risk Pay Reviews
High Risk Pay has received only a few complaints during its existence. The company offers custom pricing plans to all of its merchants. The BBB gives High Risk Pay an “A+” rating, while CPO gives the company an “A“.
If your company is capable of serving CBD merchants, please leave a comment below or get in touch with us directly.