There is no federal law that prohibits the online sale of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, or loose-leaf tobacco, but you wouldn’t know it from the way the credit card processing industry treats card-not-present tobacco sellers. Banks are generally hesitant to process payments for online tobacco stores due to the inconsistent way tobacco is regulated by different states. In addition, there’s always a greater degree of risk associated with online sales as opposed to in-person transactions. For these reasons, you may find it necessary to pay higher per-transaction fees and lower deposit limits through a dedicated high risk merchant account in order to sell tobacco through your online store. If you can find a quality credit card processor, however, the value of increased sales, streamlined operations, and reliable customer support will offset the higher rates you pay.
To help you find a top-rated credit card processor, we’ve put together the following list of the best merchant accounts for online tobacco sellers. The companies on this list offer online shopping cart integration, payment gateways, internet marketing tools, and other useful services for selling tobacco online. They are also known to provide low-commitment contracts with transparent pricing and quality customer service. To find the right provider for your online tobacco store, be sure to research each processor’s products and features and compare pricing and terms.
Best Merchant Accounts for Online Tobacco Sales
Based in Woodland Hills, California, PaymentCloud is a merchant account provider that specializes in serving high risk business types. 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 is a good option for online cigar, pipe, and tobacco sales.
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.”
For more information, visit the PaymentCloud website or call (888) 506-7859.
eMerchantBroker is a Los Angeles, California-based company that offers high risk e-commerce processing solutions including card-not-present tobacco merchant accounts. The company’s products include ACH processing, an online payment gateway, merchant cash advance, and a chargeback management system to help merchants dispute and resolve chargeback claims. eMerchantBroker.com can provide an offshore merchant account for online tobacco sellers as long as they are not selling illegal items.
eMerchantBroker.com 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+.”
For more information, see the eMerchantBroker website or call (877) 301-3442.
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is able to provide merchant accounts for some online tobacco merchants. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, online marketing tools, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, mobile credit card processing, gift and loyalty programs, merchant cash advance, and offshore merchant accounts. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and email address to interested merchants. Host is a good fit for online tobacco vendors that have an established credit card processing history.
Host Merchant Services has received only positive feedback on public forums, with most reviewers singling out the company’s customer service for praise. Host offers custom pricing to all of its merchants, but most merchants will enjoy transparent pricing and the ability to cancel service without penalty. The Better Business Bureau gives Host an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives the company an “A+.”
For more information, visit the Host Merchant Services website or call (888) 591-9026.
Durango Merchant Services is a well-established high risk payment processor headquartered in Durango, Colorado. The company has been serving both U.S. and international merchants with an emphasis on difficult-to-place merchant types since 1999. Durango can supply processing for online tobacco stores and offers a wide range of services including an online payment gateway with QuickBooks integration, POS equipment, electronic check processing, and offshore banking partnerships. Durango is a good fit for online cigar and tobacco sellers with limited payment processing history or the need for offshore merchant accounts.
Durango has received overwhelmingly positive feedback with regard to its sales and support team and offers custom pricing depending on a merchant’s business type. Our review of Durango Merchant Services gives the company an “A+,” and the Better Business Bureau awards Durango an “A+” as well.
For more information, see the Durango Merchant Service website or call (888) 316-1897.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data has consistently rated as one of the best merchant account providers on CPO since we first reviewed the company. Payline is capable of serving merchants of all sizes and types, including some online tobacco sellers. The company offers traditional retail credit card terminals, mobile phone credit card processing, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, third-party shopping cart integration, API integration for websites, and various point-of-sale solutions. Payline Data is a great option for tobacco shops with solid business credit that have been operating for a long time and would simply like to start selling online.
In addition to its wide array of services, Payline Data offers custom pricing to most of its high risk merchants. As a result, the company enjoys a large number of positive testimonials from its clients on this website and in other consumer protection forums. The Better Business Bureau currently assigns Payline Data an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives Payline an “A+.”
Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Vantage Payments is a merchant account provider that can provide both domestic and offshore merchant accounts for high risk merchant types like online cigar and pipe tobacco stores. The company’s products and services include point of sale equipment, remote deposit capture, European direct debit, call center services, multi-currency support, web design, and SEO assistance. Vantage Payments accepts its tobacco merchants on a case-by-case basis, meaning that approval will likely depend on each merchant’s size, processing history, and state of operation.
Vantage Payments currently has a clean complaint record across all review websites, which is an impressive feat for a company specializing in offshore merchant accounts. Our review of Vantage gives the company an “A” rating at this time, while the BBB gives Vantage an “A+.”
For more information, see the Vantage Payments website or call (888) 582-4903.