How to Choose a CBD Payment Processor
Selling Cannabidiol (also known as CBD/CBD oil/Hemp oil) can be a profitable business venture. It can also be a massive financial disaster if you don’t work with the right payment processor.
CBD ecommerce is considered a high-risk business, which seriously complicates the process of getting paid for online sales. As a CBD merchant doing business online, you may find it difficult to find a payment processor who will work with you, your processor may suddenly close your account, or your ecommerce platform may decide not to support the payment gateway used by your processor.
As a CBD merchant, you’ll need to find a payment processor who works with high-risk businesses and – best case scenario – one who is experienced in working with CBD ecommerce merchants. It’s fairly easy to find high-risk payment processors, but it can be difficult to identify which high-risk payment processors are legitimate and which ones are only interested in taking advantage of CBD merchants who are desperate to access payment processing services.
It’s also important to work with a proactive high-risk payment processor, one whose own business success relies on staying ahead of the laws and procedures affecting online CBD sales – and who actively works to keep you informed of changes and develops solutions to emerging problems/changes that could derail your business.
Read on for tips on how to find the right payments processor for your CBD business.
Why is CBD a high-risk business?
A high-risk business is any business in an industry that has a higher-than-usual number of charge-backs or payment card fraud. High-risk industries include online gaming, online dating, telemarketing, pharmaceuticals, adult products and services, travel services, Bitcoin trading, e-cigarette/vaping devices and products, timeshares, and many others – including, of course, CBD sales.
Additionally, if your particular business has previously experienced financial issues (such as a high number of chargebacks), if you do business exclusively online or if your business is brand new – you may also be considered high-risk by many financial service providers.
All high-risk businesses can be a challenge to manage, but CBD payment processing presents unique issues. In the U.S., under federal law, CBD products that contain less than 0.3% of THC are legal in all fifty states. That said, state laws are – in some cases – still evolving, and can be vague and open to interpretation by law enforcement authorities. Companies that offer financial and ecommerce services typically don’t like uncertainty, and many simply choose not to deal with merchants offering CBD. When they do accept a CBD merchant, they may charge exceptionally high fees for services or impose a variety of restrictions that can make it more difficult for a CBD merchant to run a profitable business.
All that said, CBD is rapidly capturing consumer interest as an effective way to manage health conditions in people and pets. As awareness grows, so does the number of people looking to build a business around CBD – including financial services for CBD merchants. Be wary of recently launched services that have no history, experience or expertise. Some high-risk payments processors could easily be rated at a higher-risk level than a CBD merchant.
Find the best CBD payments processor
When reviewing high-risk payments processors for your CBD ecommerce business, check to see if:
The payments processor has significant experience in working with CBD merchants
A payments processor who is new to CBD ecommerce is unlikely to have the expertise needed to deal effectively with ecommerce platforms, payment gateways, evolving challenges, regulatory demands and data security issues.
The payments processor has a substantial stake in working with CBD businesses
Look for a processor who has an established business with a large percentage of high-risk customers – specifically CBD merchants. These payments processors are incentivized to be proactive about providing new solutions, services and guidance to CBD merchants. You want someone who will work hard for the success of your – and their own – business.
The payments processer has a wide and well-established network of financial services partners
Given the nature of CBD ecommerce, you want a payments processor who can provide options quickly in response to new challenges. You don’t want to be sitting there, with your business offline, as your payments processor scrambles to figure out a solution – or worse, simply gives up and closes your account.
The payments processor provides additional essential services
You should be able to rely on your payment processor for services – and guidance – regarding payment processing regulatory requirements (PCI DSS), chargeback management, data security and fraud protection. Also, make sure your payments processor provides with your own MID (Merchant ID) and descriptor. Charges will appear on your customer’s statements as your website, your phone number. With an MID your transactions will be listed under your chosen business name, not the processor’s name – which may confuse or worry your customers.
The payments processor offers customizable services
Once you find a great payments processor, you’ll want to stick with them. Make sure to choose one who can support your business as it grows and prospers.
T1 Payments successfully processes millions of transactions a week for CBD merchants. To find out more about our customizable global payment solutions for high-risk merchants – including active account monitoring for fraud, chargeback management and real-time reporting – please visit t1payments.com or call 866-518-2216.