Since the signing of the Farm Bill in 2018, we’ve seen the hemp and CBD industry develop into significant contributors to the U.S. GDP. CBD retail sales reached $1.2 billion in 2019. And experts are projecting it to explode to approximately $10.3 billion by 2024 according to the 2019 Annual Hemp and CBD Industry Factbook by Hemp Industry Daily. But despite this, it has been difficult for CBD merchants to obtain a dependable CBD credit card processing account.
The CBD industry is a fairly young industry. Despite that, it is growing at an unprecedented rate. Access to banking and financial services is growing too. It's just growing at a much more cautious and deliberate rate.
Banks have to consider both the legal and reputational risks that providing credit card processing for CBD products will entail.
We all already know that banks are notoriously risk averse. They don't like to take on anything that may increase their liability or increase their risk of losing their federal master account.
But they also try to find a balance between taking on new business and pleasing stakeholders and existing clients.
Payment aggregators such as Square, Stripe and PayPal won't process payments for high-risk business types. And Stripe and PayPal specifically restrict CBD merchants from processing on their platform. IF you want reliable CBD payment processing, you must look to a merchant account provider who specializes in the high-risk sector.
The fact of the matter is that CBD products and CBD flower exist in a realm of legal gray area.
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp, and its derivatives from the definition of marijuana, thereby removing it from the list of controlled substances. This basically legalized hemp and all derivatives, including CBD. As long as they stay below the allowed level of 0.3 percent THC.
But that didn’t mean there wouldn't be federal regulation. The Farm Bill put regulation of CBD products firmly in the hands of the FDA. This means that CBD and all the products made with it must comply with the FD&C Act.
Each state has implemented their own regulation with regard to the sale of CBD and CBD products. And those laws vary widely between states. To top it off, a CBD product can be legal in a state and illegal according to the FDA.
This creates a regulatory spaghetti bowl for the banks serving the industry.
In addition, the CBD industry has been wrought with inconsistencies in product efficacy, potency, and legitimacy.
CBD merchants were making health claims that are unsubstantiated. Not to mention illegal, according to the FDA. This led to the industry as a whole experiencing greater than average chargeback rates. Unhappy customers filing chargebacks for products that were falsely advertised or didn't produce the results promised.
Legal ambiguity, high chargeback rates, unregulated products… all things that ruffle a bank’s feathers. For these reasons, banks are forced to place CBD merchants in the high-risk category.
Legitimate CBD merchants are tired of the merchant account run around.
A year ago, one of the largest processors serving thousands of CBD merchants decided it no longer had the stomach for all the aforementioned issues. They announced they would be shutting down all of its CBD merchant accounts. It gave its merchants 45 days to find a new solution.
That’s actually pretty generous, considering most merchants get shut down without any notice.
In the past merchant services salesmen have gone to great lengths to offer payment processing for merchants who sell CBD oils, CBD products, and CBD flower. They've even gone as far as mis-coding the merchant under a related merchant code to gain approval. For instance, coding a business as a nutraceutical company, or a nursery or flower shop.
These always end up getting shut down, eventually. Merchants in the CBD industry have gotten used to the game. They process through a solution for as long as they can, always waiting for the news. They take the lumps.
Merchants need CBD credit card processing they can count on.
But you need a solution you can count on. There's no way your business can grow and prosper if you can't accept payments for your CBD products reliably.
You can’t get your product in your customer’s hands if they can't pay for them with their preferred method of payment. Although, most customers get it and they're usually pretty understanding. But your customers shouldn't have to jump through hoops to order the products they want and need.
When you offer multiple payment options that are recognized and secure, you gain the customer’s trust. They know they can purchase from you safely.
For a sustainable CBD credit card processing, turn to an experienced high-risk merchant account provider.
We only offer legitimate and transparent payment solutions to our merchant clients. We’ve worked hard to forge the proper banking relationships to honor this dedication. We're not in the business of exploiting some loophole to get you approved. Only to have your merchant account shut down and leave you stranded. We are aiming for longevity.
We offer payment solutions with acquiring banks that are aware and prepared. They understand the liability and increased risk that comes with serving businesses in “high-risk” industries. And they recognize that these businesses are important to the community and our country’s commerce.
With the goal of creating a sustainable solution in mind, we had to reduce liability while addressing merchant’s pain points. Merchants and their products must meet the requirements for the solution. Obviously, products must remain within the threshold of no more than 0.3percent THC.
At the same time, it must be doable for merchants. It must be affordable, and it must enhance the success of their business.
Banks still consider CBD merchants high-risk, but we believe our solution caters more to the merchants' needs than ever before. Below you’ll find all the ways our CBD merchant account benefits your business.
Benefits of our CBD and CBD flower credit card processing solution:
Domestic Merchant Account
These are domestic solutions. No risking your money at an offshore account. No expensive wire fees and waiting to have your money transferred internationally.
This is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Our relationship with multiple sources allows us to fit you with the best solution for your needs.
Not limited to certain CBD products.
Many solutions are only good for certain products. Like they’ll take topicals, but not flower. Not ours. We can process payments for all kinds of CBD products: oil, CBD flower, extracts, distillates, isolates, topicals, drinks and edibles. Again, we tailor the solution to your needs.
Multiple payment options
Our solution allows you to accept all types of credit cards from your customers. Accept Visa, MC, Amex, Discover, and Debit. We also have ACH and eCheck options for your convenience.
Hard to place merchants are used to being stuck with ridiculously high rates and fees. Yes, you’re still high-risk, and that means your rates are higher than mainstream merchants. But we promise our rates are extremely competitive for high-risk. Again, we’re looking for longevity here.
Rolling reserves depend on the specifics of each business and the solution chosen. They can often be avoided depending on business model- every business is different. This is a huge improvement from when you had to go offshore and you paid whatever reserve they took!
As quick as next day! This is a domestic bank. There’s no need to wait forever or pay high fees to have your funds wired to you. Merchants enjoy regular funding into their merchant accounts.
Quick and simple Integration
Our solutions easily integrate with Shopify and many others to have you up and running in no time. Our payment gateway even helps you remain compliant with enhanced features. For instance, you can program your gateway to filter out addresses to states where CBD is not legal.
When you run a high-risk business, customer service is key. We simply must be there for you. Our customer service is U.S. based and in-house. Merchants are able to contact their dedicated merchant account representative for all of their needs or questions. But, if you have an after-hours emergency, our U.S. based 800 line is always there to help.
Let Bankcard International Group help you with all your credit card processing needs for CBD and CBD flower.
We have over 20 years of experience working with high-risk and hard to place merchants. Over that time, we’ve built a large network of acquiring banks with proven processing solutions.
Our ETA-Certified Payments Professionals are highly educated in market regulations and the solutions available today. We strive to take a consultative approach with our merchants in order to find the solution that is the best fit for you.
Through offering our clients legitimate solutions they can rely on, we create a lifelong business partnership based on trust and service.
Come on over and “Experience The BIG Difference!”