Some businesses may not realize the credit card processing industry considers them high risk. That’s not the case with marijuana entrepreneurs.
Their industry is not legal on a federal level, with cannabis still considered a Schedule I drug. Even some companies specializing in high risk merchant accounts will not deal with those in the marijuana space.
Is it possible for your dispensary to accept credit cards for marijuana sales? The answer is no, because the issuing banks in the credit card networks do not permit it. It does not matter if marijuana is legal at the state level. Only federal legalization will change that fact.
How about debit cards? That answer is yes, but in order to accept debit card payments, a workaround is needed.
Such a workaround consists of installing a terminal at the point of sale that serves as an ATM. Customers then pay by running their Visa or MasterCard debit cards through the terminal. Unlike credit cards, a customer cannot spend more for items than the funds accessible in their debit card account.
Other options for marijuana businesses include secure Automated Clearing House (ACH) and eCheck processing. As with debit cards, only the customer’s accessible funds are transferable for payment.
Keep in mind that while retail cannabis dispensaries with a good track record and high processing volume may receive high risk merchant account approval, it’s more difficult when it comes to eCommerce dispensaries or new enterprises. It’s not impossible, but it is harder. Perhaps the day is coming sooner rather than later that marijuana is legal nationally, as it is in Canada, and more marijuana retailers have access to high risk merchant accounts.
Cannabis & Marijuana Credit Card Processing
A merchant account is a specific type of bank account that allows merchants to accept payments. Typically, a merchant account is used for credit card processing and eCheck processing but can be used for a variety of payment processing needs. To get a merchant account, one must submit an application with a merchant account provider. These merchant account providers work with acquiring banks, such as Chase and Wells Fargo, to provide merchant accounts to businesses looking to process credit card payments. There are multiple types of merchant accounts depending on how the bank categorizes the industry of the merchant. If the merchant account is used for card not present (CNP) or ecommerce transactions then it must be integrated with an online payment gateway. Otherwise, a physical terminal is required to capture payment information.
Who Easy Pay Direct Works With
Easy Pay Direct works with all kinds of merchants, including, what the banks call, “high risk” merchants. These merchants happen to be in an industry that the banks label as high risk which means that they have a higher likelihood of chargebacks, disputes and fraud. The most common reason for this is card not present transactions which presents a higher risk of fraud. These merchants can have a particularly hard time finding a high risk merchant account because a lot of payment processors refuse to participate in high risk processing. Even if these merchants find a “high risk payment processor” they can still frequently deal with holds or freezes on their money and shut down merchant accounts. This is where Easy Pay Direct saves the day by finding them a high risk merchant account provider that wants to work with their business and providing them with all the resources to meet their high risk credit card processing needs.
What Easy Pay Direct Provides: Merchant Accounts
Easy Pay Direct provides merchant accounts specifically tailored to a merchant’s industry. We do this by leveraging our banking relationships to apply for merchant accounts on your behalf. However, we do not just apply for any merchant account, we use providers who want to work with your business model and underwrite their merchants. This is important because it lays out all the cards on the table and ensures that a provider gets to know who you are and your business model before working with you. That way they know what to expect moving forward. This strategy guarantees that we find a merchant account provider that wants to work with you, making the likelihood of holds, freezes and shut downs, much less and providing a stable credit card processing.
Another benefit to this is you get to avoid the nightmare that applying for merchant accounts can be. Not only do most merchant account providers do very little underwriting, but it can take many applications before you find a merchant account that is good for you. Each application that you send out hurts your chances of getting approved for the next because multiple applications make you look desperate to a provider which they perceive as high risk.
After your merchant account is set up
After we get you set up with your first merchant account, we recommend getting you an additional merchant account if you have over $250,000 in sales volume a year. This is to ensure stable payment processing. Even though Easy Pay Direct takes all the precautions to prevent you from experiencing a hold, freeze or shutdown, we can never know how banks might act in the future. If they hire someone new or implement a new algorithm, your account could have action taken against it. In the event of this, if you have a second merchant account that is already up, running and processing payments, you can pivot your revenue stream to this account and avoid holds, freezes, and shut downs all together.
Now all of this may seem complicated and a lot of work, and it would be if you were doing this on your own. However, if you are working with Easy Pay Direct, we manage all of this for you making your role in all of this very easy. We even assign you your very own Certified Payment Specialist (CPS), who will monitor your merchant accounts for you, giving you one point of contact for all of your merchant processing needs.
How to Get a Merchant Account
The first step on your path to a new merchant account is starting the Easy Pay Direct application or if you would rather chat with someone to find out more, call us at (800) 805-4949*. We can get you set up in as little as 2 DAYS!
*Hint: This is easier cause we can fill out your application for you!
Choose the right Merchant Account for your business:
The Easy Pay Direct Client experience
At Easy Pay Direct your journey will begin with your application which we use to collect information about you and your business to match you with the right merchant account provider. From there you will be connected with your very own New Client Specialist (NCS) who will help you complete this application and will be your contact to answer all of your questions.
Once we have the necessary information and have assessed your business model, you will be classified as a Gold, Platinum or Diamond merchant based on your unique payment processing needs. After this you will be introduced to your Certified Payment Specialist (CPS) who will be your one point of contact for all of your payment processing needs. This ensures that when you call, you are talking to someone that you know and who knows you and your business. They will apply for merchant accounts on your behalf and help you set up your new merchant accounts and your online payment gateway.
After that, you will be ready to start accepting payments. Your CPS will monitor your accounts and keep in contact whenever you want to chat or if they need to alert you of something that requires your attention on top of annual merchant account reviews.
Why Easy Pay Direct?
We pride ourselves on making your life easier and facilitating the growth of business across the globe. We have been doing this successfully for years and have helped countless businesses achieve their full potential, just check out some of our testimonials. More importantly, Easy Pay Direct would love to play it’s part in helping you achieve your goals and service your consumers smoothly. if you’re interested in working with us, you can start your EMAP application below or call us at: (800) 805-4949 | Get Set-up with a Merchant Account »