The increasing popularity of mobile and online credit card processing solutions has led many firearms dealers to seek out these services for use at gun shows and in their online gun sales. Unfortunately for these merchants, nearly all of the leading mobile and online merchant account providers—including Square, PayPal, Intuit GoPayment, and First Data—are now refusing to process online and mobile firearms transactions. This has resulted in numerous complaints among firearms dealers who have found sudden holds placed on large payments that were processed through entirely legal means.
In response to requests for a list of gun-friendly credit card processors, we have created this breakdown of the top five merchant account providers that allow gun dealers and gun shop owners to accept credit card payments for gun and ammunition sales. These providers can only process online firearms transactions between Federal Firearm License (FFL) gun vendors; in other words, they cannot enable merchants to sell guns directly to consumers over the internet. However, most of them can supply in-store credit card processing for direct consumer sales. It’s best to contact several providers to confirm what each company can and cannot support and to compare service offerings.
Quick Reference: Best Merchant Accounts for Firearms
Why These Providers:
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, including gun and ammo suppliers. The company’s products and services include remote deposit capture, European direct debit, call center services, multi-currency support, web design, and SEO assistance. Vantage has a particularly high approval rate with sellers of ammunition and firearm accessories.
Vantage Payments currently has a clean complaint record across all review websites, which is an impressive feat for a company that serves high risk business sectors. Our review of Vantage gives the company an “A” rating at this time, while the BBB gives Vantage an “A+.”
Durango Merchant Services provides both traditional credit card processing and offshore payment processing for online gun dealers. The company, which was founded in 1999 and is based in Durango, Colorado, provides credit and debit payments, payment gateways, e-commerce solutions, and eCheck processing services to card-present and card-not-present merchants. Durango can provide credit card processing solutions for physical locations and can also process online payments between FFL-licensed dealers.
Durango consistently receives positive reviews regarding its sales and support staff and is currently showing zero recent complaints on the usual consumer protection websites. Our review of Durango Merchant Services awards the company an “A+” rating at this time and the BBB is currently granting Durango an “A+” grade.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data is a rapidly growing merchant account provider that offers processing for face-to-face and online firearms vendors. Payline specializes in providing card processing for gun and ammo dealers with physical retail locations, but it is also possible for the company to place FFL vendors who sell firearms to other dealers online. Payline’s products and services include an online payment gateway, a virtual terminal with QuickBooks integration, POS equipment, and merchant cash advance.
Payline Data provides customized pricing for its firearm merchants, which means that the terms of each contract will depend on the merchant’s specific business type, size, and time in business. The company has a reputation within the industry for fair rate disclosure and quality customer service, so merchants can expect to receive transparent pricing. Our review of Payline Data awards the company an overall rating of “A+,” while the Better Business Bureau gives Payline a score of “A” due to two complaints having been filed in the last three years.
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is capable of placing firearms vendors based in the U.S. 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 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+.”
Based in the firearm-friendly state of Texas, Easy Pay Direct specializes in providing card processing services to business types that traditional banks and processors neglect to serve. The company can facilitate both in-store and online payments for guns (FFL license required), and specializes in e-commerce and mail-order/telephone order processing through its proprietary payment gateway.
Easy Pay Direct has earned an “A+” on CPO and “A+” with the Better Business Bureau. As of this writing, the company has registered no complaints on CPO and the BBB, earning it a top placement in this list.
Electronic Transfer Inc. is a merchant account provider based in Spokane, Washington, that offers gun dealers the ability to process card payments online, in-store, or by phone. The company seems to use at least one ISO, GunMerchantAccount.com (gunmerchantaccount.com) to resell its services specifically to gun vendors. Electronic Transfer Inc. also markets a proprietary online payment gateway called Fast Charge, which is a service it extends to firearms merchants.
Electronic Transfer Inc. has been in business since 1989 and specializes in serving high risk businesses of all types. Our review of Electronic Transfer Inc. awards the company an “A” rating but we do not currently have a review for GunMerchantAccount.com. The BBB gives Electronic Transfer an “A+” based on zero complaints in the past three years.
eMerchantBroker.com is a merchant account provider that can supply online and in-store payment solutions for firearms dealers. eMerchantBroker provides credit card processing and check processing online in addition to multiple online payment gateways, including Authorize.net. The company also offers a chargeback dispute resolution system that assists merchants in contesting and resolving chargebacks.
eMerchantBroker.com operates out of Los Angeles, California and is showing very few complaints online relative to its size and merchant portfolio. Our review for the company awards it an “A” rating at this time, and the BBB assigns the company an “A+” rating.
Payment Alliance International, a Louisville, Kentucky-based company, is a major credit card processor that has received endorsements from the NRA Business Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Single Action Shooting Society. The company relies on Global Payments for its processing network and appears to utilize several independent resellers to market its services, including Accension Financial Systems (accatm.com/shooting-sports) and Retail Profit Systems (retailprofitsystems.com).
Our review of Payment Alliance International gives the company an overall rating of “B-” based on its standard contract terms. It’s possible, however, that the company is capable of extending custom rates to firearms dealers considering its multiple endorsements from major gun-friendly organizations. The BBB currently gives PAI an “A+” rating overall.
If your business offers merchant accounts and payment solutions to firearms dealers, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.
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