MMJ Card Processing Review

MMJ Card Processing Overview

Cannabis Payment Processing

Also known as 420 Credit Card Processing, MMJ Card Processing is a merchant account provider that claims to process credit card payments for marijuana dispensaries. The company appears to be a DBA or subsidiary of Strategic Merchant Partners, a small ISO located in Thousand Oaks, California. MMJ Card Processing is one of only a few credit card processors that advertises a merchant account through a domestic bank that enables marijuana dispensaries to accept debit and credit cards from customers. This is notable because Visa, MasterCard, and most national banks have gone on the record stating that they will not allow their networks to be used for marijuana transactions. MMJ Card Processing states that it can enable dispensaries to accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit cards and have those funds deposited into a domestic business banking account.

MMJ Card Processing Location and Ownership

Vince Ferro is the CEO of MMJ Card Processing, which is headquartered at 16501 Ventura Blvd, Suite 400, Encino, California. The company does not disclose its banking partners, but this is likely a tactic to deter regulatory scrutiny.

MMJ Card Processing Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: MMJ Card Processing appears to offer variable contract terms depending on each merchant’s business type and processing history.
  • Complaints & Service: MMJ Card Processing has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: MMJ Card Processing (as Strategic Merchant Partners) currently has no rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 0 complaints in the past 3 years.
  • Sales & Marketing: MMJ Card Processing does not appear to hire independent resellers and has received only 1 complaint related to its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With MMJ Card Processing
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Products & Services Offered

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • Virtual terminal
  • Mobile payment processing
  • ATM placement
  • Cash management and security

Types of Businesses Served

  • Medical marijuana
  • Recreational marijuana

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MMJ Card Processing Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swipe Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Keyed-In Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Virtual Terminal Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Payment Gateway Fee Undisclosed
Termination Fee Up to $299
Setup Fee $299
Equipment Lease Variable

Variable Contract Terms

There is very little publicly available information about the standard MMJ Card Processing contract, and the company does not disclose any of its pricing or contract terms on its website. One merchant complaint describes a setup fee of $299, which is very high for the industry, and another (mentioned in the above section) complains of quarterly, annual, and add-on fees from Harbortouch. It is likely that MMJ Card Processing offers variable contract terms depending on each merchant’s business type, but dispensaries can likely expect a per-transaction fee in excess of 5% due to their business’s high risk nature. Other contractual obligations such as cash reserves and long-term equipment leases may also apply.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, MMJ Card Processing also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. However, pricing on either of those services is not disclosed. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.

Higher-Than-Average Pricing

Although the lone setup fee of $299 that we have found is very high for the industry, it would be premature to lower MMJ Card Processing’s score just because it can’t compete with cheap merchant accounts. Any processor that can provide reliable credit card processing to marijuana dispensaries is justified in charging fairly high prices, as this type of processing is still in conflict with Visa/MasterCard protocols. We will assign MMJ Card Processing an “A” in this category with the advisory that its full pricing package may ultimately not be very competitive. If you have any information about the company’s pricing (including any early termination fees or PCI compliance fees), please share it in the comment section below this review.

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MMJ Card Processing Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Complaints <10
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint N/A

Low Complaint Total

We are currently able to locate 1 negative MMJ Card Processing review. This review describes a costly early termination fee of $299. The merchant goes on to complain about extensive attempts to address the fee but to no avail. Eventually, the merchant emailed the CEO of the company who promised to refund their fee. However, the company never responded to the merchant with a resolution. Despite this complaint, the company’s low overall number of complaints will allow it to keep an “A” grade in this category for now.

MMJ Card Processing Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against MMJ Card Processing. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

MMJ Card Processing Customer Support Options

MMJ Card Processing does not list dedicated customer support contact information on its website, but it does list a phone number and email form by which merchants can contact the company. These options are the bare minimum that we expect from top-rated payment processors for great customer service.

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MMJ Card Processing BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 1
Billing & Collection Complaints 0
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.

Under 5 Complaints

The Better Business Bureau does not maintain a profile for MMJ Card Processing at this time, but it does maintain a profile for Strategic Merchant Partners. Strategic Merchant Partners currently has a no rating and is not BBB-accredited. At the time of a previous review, the company had a “B-” rating. The company has received 0 complaints in the past 36 months, which was related to its products or service. It has not replied to this complaint, which is the primary factor lowering its BBB score.

A “B” Performance

Although this profile is not specifically for MMJ Card Processing, Strategic Merchant Partners appears to share an address and ownership with MMJ Card Processing. We consider this profile to be a relevant document of the service that MMJ Card Processing provides. We agree with the BBB’s rating after taking into consideration the company’s low overall complaint total and failure to address a single complaint.

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

Uses Independent Resellers No
Promotes Deceptive Rate Quotes No
Discloses All Important Terms No

In-House Sales Team

MMJ Card Processing appears to be a small operation that relies primarily on digital advertising and referrals to market its services. There is no evidence that the company employs a large team of independently contracted sales agents at this time, and we are able to locate only one complaint that describes nondisclosure of fees by sales representatives. This complaint was filed in relation to MMJ Card Processing’s contract terms through Harbortouch, which included quarterly, annual, and add-on fees that the merchant claimed were never mentioned. It is unlikely that MMJ Card Processing currently uses Harbortouch as its marijuana merchant account provider, so this issue may not be applicable to this particular brand.

Domestic Banking Claim

MMJ Card Processing’s claim that it can process payments through a domestic bank requires either a close relationship with a bank employee who is willing to look the other way or the intentional miscoding of a merchant’s business type. Both approaches are risky and unstable, so it’s rare to see a credit card processor openly advertise this service. However, we have seen no complaints that suggest that MMJ Card Processing’s claims about this issue are misleading. If you need a professional review of MMJ Card Processing’s contract terms, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit.

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Response from MMJ Card Processing

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MMJ Card Processing Logo

Our Opinion of MMJ Card Processing

A Possible Domestic Option for Marijuana Merchants

MMJ Card Processing rates as a reliable marijuana merchant account provider at this time. However, its high rating is mostly due to a lack of negative feedback rather than a large amount of positive feedback. We do not have a good sense of the company’s contract terms at this time, and we have also found a handful of negative reviews about its customer service. Merchants who sell marijuana products without any THC content may be better served by hemp and CBD merchant account providers.

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Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.

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