What to Know Before Getting Started
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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.
Due to the increase in public smoking bans in cities across the country, e-cigarettes are increasingly viewed as a viable alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, merchants who would like to sell this technology face obstacles to payment processing for vape shops. Many major credit card processors have dropped their placements for e-cigarette merchant accounts, citing the unclear legality and safety of the product, the likelihood of increased regulation, and a high potential for chargebacks among e-cig consumers. E-cigarette credit card processing is available only as a “high risk” option in most cases, which means that it usually comes with higher rates and less room for merchant negotiation.
We have compiled a list of the top e-cigarette merchant services providers in the space below. Most of these credit card processors either specialize in high risk merchant accounts or utilize partnerships with offshore banks to allow merchants to process credit cards for e-cigarettes. In order to find the right provider for your vaporizer business, be sure to check out each company’s products and compare costs.
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Why These Merchant Account Providers
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 and storefront e-cigarette sellers.
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.”
eMerchantBroker.com is a Los Angeles, California-based company that offers high risk e-commerce processing solutions including e-cigarette 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 places an emphasis on providing credit card processing for vape shops.
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+.”
Host Merchant Services
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is able to process payments for vape shops, glass shops, and online sellers of smoking accessories. However, the company cannot facilitate online sales of tobacco itself. 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 at signup.
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 interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees to all of its merchants, meaning that users will enjoy the most transparent pricing model and can cancel service without penalty. The BBB gives Host an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives the company an “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.
Durango Merchant Services
Based in Durango, Colorado, Durango Merchant Services offers traditional credit card processing and offshore payment processing for e-cigarette vendors and suppliers. Durango was founded in 1999 and provides e-commerce solutions, debit and credit card processing, payment gateways, and eCheck processing services to high risk and TMF merchants. Durango consistently receives positive reviews from merchants with regard to its sales staff and customer service. Our review of Durango Merchant Services awards the company an “A+” rating at this time, and the BBB is currently granting the company an “A+” grade.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data is a rapidly growing merchant account provider that offers e-cig credit card processing as part of its high risk merchant account program. Payline offers face-to-face, mobile, and online payment processing solutions for vaporizers and e-cigarettes. The company typically provides a customized pricing option for its high risk e-cigarette merchants, which means that the terms of each contract will depend on the merchant’s specific business type, size, and time in business. Our review of Payline Data awards the company an overall rating of “A+,” while the BBB gives Payline a score of “A” due to one complaint having been filed in the last three years.
Vantage Payments is highly a rated merchant account provider based in Scottsdale, Arizona, that specializes in the moderate and high-risk sector. Due to its focus on hard-to-place business types, Vantage is able to board e-cigarette companies with relative ease. In addition to offering credit card processing, the company offers ACH payments, check acceptance, direct debit, offshore merchant accounts, prepaid debit cards, payment gateways, web marketing tools, and support for multiple currencies. Vantage has a high success rate when boarding e-cig and vape merchants.
As of our last update, we were unable to locate any complaints or negative reviews for Vantage, reinforcing its exceptional reputation for providing a high level of customer service. Our review of Vantage currently awards the company an “A” rating while the BBB rates the company at an “A+” score.
Electronic Transfer Inc.
Electronic Transfer Inc. is a merchant account provider based in Spokane, Washington, that offers e-cigarette merchants the ability to process card payments online, in-store, or by phone. Electronic Transfer Inc. also markets a proprietary online payment gateway called Fast Charge, which is a service it extends to e-cig vendors. Our review of Electronic Transfer Inc. is currently awarding the company a grade of “A,” and the BBB is currently assigning an “A+” rating to the company based on one complaint filed in the last three years.
Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Instabill is a credit card processor specializing in high risk merchant accounts. The company advertises offshore e-cigarette merchant accounts, debit and credit card processing, a payment gateway, payment processing in over 160 currencies, and a dedicated account supervisor for each merchant account. Our review of Instabill currently awards the company an “A” rating, and the BBB also gives Instabill an “A” at this time.
If your business offers merchant accounts and payment solutions to e-cigarette merchants, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.