CBD Merchant Account

February 21, 2019

If you are setting up a cannabidiol related ecommerce store, accepting payments with a CBD friendly merchant account is essential for your business. Forget cheque and cash payments, you need digital solutions so you can access funds immediately. Thousands of payment gateways now exist online, making the move into ecommerce seamless and often incredibly quick, with new finance options such as cryptocurrencies offering even more diverse solutions.

However, when entering an emerging, high risk industry such as CBD oil or cannibidiol related products, using leading merchant accounts to accept payment usually isn’t an option, which can of course be a huge inconvenience if your CBD company is mainly based on online sales. In fact, some will refuse to on-board your business while they have also been known to reject transactions or hold funds indefinitely, a position you really don't want to find your business in.

Why are CBD merchants high risks?

You’ve worked tirelessly creating your products and developing your website, only to discover that the number of CBD payment processors available to you is extremely limited, if not non-existent. With the global retail industry now powered by online payment processors such as Sagepay, it is unthinkable that a merchant can be left without a suitable credit and debit card payment solution.

Despite CBD being legal, in most cases it's the banks that cause the primary issues you will face when trying to acquire a CBD merchant account. Banks do not like risk and will avoid it where ever possible. It's simply quicker, easier and cheaper for a high street bank to refuse to take on additional risk than it is to help a small business.

This in turn make the payment processors take a harder line on they type of payments they will process. They need to keep the banks happy and they do not want payments they transfer to you to be rejected by your bank - it's more time, more compliance, more risk and more money - they simply do not want it.

A huge issue faced by multiple CBD Ecommerce stores is having your funds frozen by these leading payment processors including PayPal, Stripe and Shopify. Once gateways such as PayPal and Stripe have froze your funds, it is usually indisputable as it goes against their ‘narcotics’ guidelines, even for legal CBD products.

This could cause huge problems for your company, and be extremely disheartening if your business is your main source of income. It’s not uncommon for CBD merchants to cease trading completely due to payment gateways freezing funds, cancelling contracts or blocking services after sales have already made.

Why is it hard to accept credit cards for CBD products?

The issue with niche emerging industries such as the medical cannabis, Cannabidiol and hemp related merchants, is that a lot of people aren’t familiar with cannabis, and its purpose, outside of illegal drug use.

However, with CBD slowly creeping its way into prominent and respected industries such as the healthcare, pharmaceutical, food the cosmetic industries, both businesses and consumers are beginning to become more familiar with CBD. This will no doubt lead regulators and with the right education, CBD Oil and Cannabidiol products could be extremely disruptive and CBD merchant accounts will become easier to acquire.

Despite a perceived turn in fortunes with regulators, the cannabis industry still comes with significant challenges for manufacturers and merchants worldwide. The crucial reason CBD has difficulty being fully accepted by institutions is due to its relation to cannabis which contains THC, with THC being illegal in most locations around the world, excluding a few states in the US and Canada.

However, with the lack of awareness around the cannabis industry, it can be difficult to grab the attention of the masses when it comes to promoting new cannabis products. 

How merchants can accept payments for CBD products

The most important thing to consider is that your products and business model are legitimate entities and do not break any regulator and legal laws, otherwise you will not get far with this process and could end up in very hot water. There is little help we can offer you in this scenario.

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