It was an exciting time when the 2018 Farm Bill removed CBD from Schedule I of the list of controlled substances. Entrepreneurs everywhere rejoiced. But the excitement quickly waned. It soon became evident that access to banking and CBD merchant services were just as hard-won as the de-schedule.
Entrepreneurs quickly realized that selling a legal product and accepting payments for that product were two different things. This is especially true in the eyes of the Federal Government.
Since then, reliable payment processing has been the bane of existence for CBD merchants.
At that time, there were no domestic banks that would openly service CBD merchants. The main problem? The FDA had not developed any guidelines for consumer products containing CBD.
CBD merchant services have a turbulent past.
It seemed like each time a great program opened up for the industry, it was shut down just as quickly. Every time a bank took a chance on processing payments for the CBD industry, they would take a pause. It was only a matter of time before they realized the risk was too high to keep these merchants on board. Sooner than later they would have to (or be pressured to) close down the program.
There were no affordable merchant accounts that were both transparent and reliable.
CBD merchants had to deal with a myriad of workarounds and subpar solutions to accept payments for CBD.
CBD merchants enjoyed the instant approval of being lumped into an aggregate account. But it was short-lived once the underwriting team found out what they were selling and shut them down. Offshore processors, a necessity for certain high-risk businesses, are not without their own difficulties (and costs).
Blockchain wallet solutions required businesses to jump through hoops to get paid causing cash flow problems for business owners. Elavon issued a mass shut down of all their CBD merchants. Merchants found themselves listed on the Terminated Merchant File (TMF). Which, unfortunately, it made it even more difficult to obtain a merchant account. Warning letters went out as the FDA embraced their new role of CBD oversight. CBD merchants had to learn about making product claims. And, learn to abide by regulations governing to whom and where they could sell their products.
It was a tumultuous time that resulted in lost money, lost business, and loss of trust with the credit processors.
Fortunately, those early experiences have forged the way for access to transparent payment processing for CBD. By now, you’ve probably gone through more than a few trials and tribulations with accepting payments in your CBD business. While there are, finally, options for obtaining CBD merchant services, it's where you get them that makes the difference.
Obtain CBD merchant services through a reputable high-risk merchant service provider.
When you’re in need of high-risk merchant services, you want a reputable merchant service provider on your side. You want to work with someone who isn't just jumping on the bandwagon. Your merchant service provider should have ample experience servicing the high-risk sector, of course. But, they should also have plenty of experience in the CBD and cannabis-related payments segment.
This type of merchant account has more requirements than a traditional retail merchant account. You will be creating a long term partnership with this company and your success relies on their service. They will also have access to you and your customer’s sensitive information.
Because of this, you’ll want to vet the merchant account provider you’ll be working with. For instance, if they don't ask you to provide lab reports, it's probably not a transparent solution.
Insist on working with an advisor who is certified as an ETA-Certified Payments Professional. Representatives who’ve made the effort to complete this rigorous training are dedicated to bringing integrity to the industry. This way, you can be sure you're working with someone who is educated in the payment industry regulations.
As always, we work hard to offer our clients only the best and most reliable payment solutions available today. We have many years advocating for and creating transparent payment processing solutions for the CBD industry. We make it our duty to stay abreast of the laws and regulations surrounding the industry. And make every effort to bring that information to our clients.
We’ve gone to considerable effort to bring a payment solution that is both reliable and affordable. This way CBD merchants can begin accepting credit cards quickly and securely.
Real CBD merchant accounts - no sketchy tricks.
It is because of this work that we have forged a strategic partnership with a domestic acquiring bank. This partnership allows us to provide reliable and transparent payment options to CBD merchants. Accept payments online with a domestic eCommerce CBD merchant account. Brick and Mortar stores can accept payments through a retail CBD merchant account.
Our merchant accounts are both card brand-compliant and transparent - as stable as it gets. Merchants can accept all card brands, not just Visa and MasterCard. This helps to create a much more frictionless payment and buying process for your customers.
No locking you into long term contracts, and no hidden fees. Simple, transparent pricing makes it easy to understand exactly what you’re being charged.
There are also no setup fees, holds, or reserves. Thankfully, there are no requirements for huge reserve accounts with our domestic CBD payment solution. So, you won’t be subject to having your hard-earned profits held hostage.
And to make things easy, we can Integrate with your current store website or POS system.
Have you had your CBD merchant account shut down in the past or was your business put on the MATCH list for selling CBD? No Problem. We can take merchants who are on the MATCH list as long as they closed the merchant account due to selling CBD.
We aim to provide competitive pricing coupled with top-notch service. We want to be your go-to source for all of your merchant services and we want to see our clients succeed. If there is ever a problem, we want you to call us. That’s why we provide our own customer service to our clients. During business hours, you can reach out to your personal account rep. And after hours, we provide a 24/7, American based, customer service department. You will always have access to representatives that know how to service your needs.
Tips for quick and painless CBD merchant account approval.
I can’t promise that it’s as easy to get a CBD merchant account as it is any other retail merchant account. Maintaining a compliant CBD payment processing solution requires due diligence and a bit more paperwork. Don't worry, our aim is to help you succeed in obtaining a CBD merchant account, not just apply for one!
That’s why we’ve taken the time to put together a list of the documents CBD merchants will likely need. In addition, we help to prepare our clients with tips on how to get approved quickly.
When Applying for CBD Merchant Account, here are some of the top things to remember:
You only want to complete one application with your merchant account provider. A lot of providers work with the same bank. Turning in multiple applications with the same bank raises a red flag and will only serve to get you denied. When you work with a reputable advisor, they will often have multiple solutions to fit your needs. This is another reason why it’s so important to find the right merchant account provider.
Only turn in your application once your package is complete. Gather all supporting documents requested by underwriting. Scan them and assemble them in the order listed on your application “checklist”. Then submit the entire complete package in one email attachment or fax. A complete and tidy package goes a long way for quick underwriting and approval.
Lab reports and CBD product supporting documents will be required. You are required to produce a Certificate of Analysis (COA) lab report for every product sold on your website. The product name on the lab report must match the product name on the website. And, of course, all labs must be 3rd party.
Type the information into the application fields. This helps to avoid difficult to read handwriting and numbers. And be sure to fill out the application in its entirety before submitting it. If you have a question, call and ask. Empty fields will only delay the underwriting process and most banks will not process incomplete applications.
Make sure you know how they want your signature on the application. Some banks still require a “wet” signature and won't accept digital signatures.
A trusted partner for your CBD merchant services needs.
Finally, partner with a merchant service provider who offers the solutions you need right now and in the future.
We are steadfast advocates of fair and transparent payment processing for the cannabis industry as a whole. We’ve partnered with only the most innovative financial institutions. Our focus has been on bringing transparent solutions for payments, compliance, and technology, to the industry since 2006.
At Bankcard International Group, we stand behind our core values of “legitimacy, credibility, and transparency”. We hold ourselves to these values with our clients, as well as our banking partners. BIG is dedicated to providing you with compliant and stable solutions so that we can forge a thriving long-term business relationship. We've put a lot of hard work into creating partnerships that bring sustainable growth to the industry and to help your business succeed.
Contact us for specific underwriting guidelines and restrictions as well as one of those transparent quotes we've been talking about!
Come to the BIG side and experience what we like to call the "B.I.G. Difference!"