UPDATE: As of 2020-02-10: Easy Pay Direct is now supporting CBD merchant accounts in both the US and Canada – With NO monthly minimum volume requirement!
While we are accepting startup CBD companies – we are only doing so with companies that have sound financial backing or have had success with running another company.
- APPROVALS typically take 7-14 business days.
- Funds will be deposited in 24-48 hours
- Reserves will be held on an as needed basis – but not always required.
- The business’ name will be displayed in the descriptor of the consumer’s credit card statement.
- The merchant account, bank account and business will all be in the United States (Or Canada, respectively).
- You can sell CBD and other products on the same site.
- both ingestible and topical CBD products are accepted
- ** Startups WITH PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE *ARE* accepted
Accounts are for hemp based CBD only. Lab tests results are required to validate the products as CBD derived from Hemp.
We can also setup a CBD Bank Account for you as needed.
Easy Pay Direct has focused on Cannabis business since 2010
With the rise of medical legalization, recreational legalization and also CBD adoption, the banking and credit card processing climate around cannabis has been volatile to say the least.
Over the last 4 years alone, the ability to process credit card payments for marijuana and CBD has been allowed and disallowed several times. Generally, when a solution has cropped up (pun intended), it has been a workaround that pushes the limits of legality.
Those options have been expensive, unreliable and ultimately resulted in a huge expenditure of time and money for CBD entrepreneurs who used those options. FINALLY, we have the first 100% above board, legal CBD merchant accounts in the US & Canada. You can process credit cards for your CBD business without issue.
Cost associated to CBD businesses:
** Guaranteed Lowest Rates **
Base Rates for US CBD Merchant Accounts:
- $29.99 per month
- Start at 2.50% + $0.25 per transaction (rates vary based on volume)
- Gateway Provided
Base Rates for Canadian CBD Merchant Accounts or Canadian Marijuana Merchant Accounts:
- $29.99 per month
- Start at 2.50% + $0.25 per transaction (rates vary based on volume)
- Gateway Provided
Are you a CBD business looking for a payment processor? This can be difficult for many CBD companies due to their designation as “high risk,” but it doesn’t have to be.
‘High Risk’ carries negative connotations that can seem like a mountain-sized obstacle. The best way to overcome any challenge is to find the right tools. Finding the right payment processor is like grabbing the perfect tool for the job ahead of you. Trusting that the processor has the experience to guide you along the path can be stressful. Remember, choosing the right processor can take a lot of that stress out of your decisions.
CBD is no different than any other ‘high risk’ business, there are just specifics that need to be navigated by an experienced payment processor. There are easy ways that you can simplify and strengthen your business’ payment processes today, so let’s discuss.
Brief Overview & Background of CBD & Marijuana
CBD is shorthand for Cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in marijuana and hemp products that binds to neurotransmitters in the brain. It can beneficially affect the way the body processes pain, memory, sleep, and mood, and has been known to be a beneficial and therapeutic molecule for about 80 years.
Before the Farm Bill of 2018, it was not widely studied. Before then, both hemp and marijuana were classified as controlled substances. Research is still being conducted into these compounds, and how they affect humans.
The Farm Bill excluded hemp, a primary source of CBD, from the definition of marijuana, which at the time of this writing is still classified as a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. However, only in South Carolina, Kansas, Wyoming, and Idaho is marijuana completely illegal.
The Farm Bill legalized farming and production of hemp products. As defined by the Bill, hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, which is the psychoactive agent that “gets you high.” If hemp contains more than 0.3% THC, then it is federally considered to be marijuana, which is, as of this writing, still an illegal drug.
So both marijuana and hemp contain CBD, but only hemp is legal, on a federal basis. In other words, the source matters: If your CBD comes from hemp, you’re fine. If it comes from marijuana, it’s illegal.
Hemp-based CBD is legal nationwide. However, some states still have laws on the books that make cannabis products illegal. That said, most states in the US allow for some type of cannabis use. Check the laws of your state before you start!
Understanding the different aspects of holding a CBD merchant account will help you make educated decisions about your business.
Solutions for CBD Merchant Processing
When you want to start processing money from your CBD sales, you’ll need someone to process those payments. Of course, if you want to remain a cash-only business you won’t need a payment processor. But if you do take only cash, you’re unnecessarily limiting yourself. Credit card sales constitute around 81% of all transactions in 2022 and it is estimated that over 66% of CBD transitions take place online.
Regardless of whether you have an online presence or not, you’ll want to accept credit cards. In the 21st Century, it’s just bad business to remain a cash-only business.
If you want to take payments online, then you’ll need to take credit cards in a card-not-present environment. Accepting card-not-present (CNP) transactions is inherently riskier than accepting the actual card. And when you work in the CBD space, which is still heavily regulated, then you’ll need a high risk payment processor.
We’re proud at Easy Pay Direct to say we’ve been working with the CBD industry since 2010. Legislative changes have forced the entire industry to remain adaptive. Many credit card processors have tried to establish themselves in the CBD space, but gave up after only a year or two.
Twelve years has provided a lot of experience, which has translated into success for the majority of the CBD businesses we work with. Despite the fact that CBD is considered a ‘high risk’ industry, experience and reliability can guide a business through the legal obstacles in the way.
High Risk Merchant Accounts
But what is a merchant account? A merchant account is a special type of bank account that allows you to accept credit card payments. A merchant account acts as a holding tank between your working bank account and the customer’s bank. It holds their money until the credit card transaction is completed (or settled), and the funds are deposited into your working bank account.
When your customer makes a purchase, their payment is deposited into your merchant account. Only after this payment is verified by all entities involved (issuing bank, acquiring bank, etc.) is their money sent to your business bank account (that you can withdraw from). This means that your merchant account is completely separate from your business bank account.
There are two major factors that make the CBD industry “high risk” in the eyes of credit card companies:
- The CBD industry is heavily regulated, similar to the alcohol, tobacco, and firearms industries.
- CBD quality is still subjective, and quality standards are just starting to come out in the industry. Between different manufacturers, there can be dramatic differences in product quality, and how it affects an individual. A product from one company might provide a very different effect than the same product from a different company. This leads to more returns and chargebacks, which credit card companies don’t like.
When you’re looking for a ‘high risk’ merchant account provider, you want to find a company that works in the CBD space, and that has a good reputation. Additionally, you’ll want to look for reasonable prices, fair contract terms, and high-quality customers.
CBD Merchant Account Approval
Finding a merchant account is not the only goal when you are looking to establish your business. Instead, you need to look at what’s being offered.
There are countless credit card processors out there, but they aren’t all the same. Make sure you look at the experience and know-how a merchant account provider brings to the table. Do they have years of experience or did they just slap up a CBD sticker on their website to bring in business?
What most accounts need is:
- Business bank account
- 3 months of Bank Statements (if established)
- 3 months of processing statements (if established)
- Articles of Incorporation
- Legal ID
- A signed application
As a CBD business, there are a few more ‘high risk’ hoops to jump through and you’ll also need COAs (Certificates of Analysis) for each product being sold, and possibly supplier/manufacturer agreements. Because of the nature of the business and the government regulations, you will have to deal with higher rates and fees, a larger reserve, and potentially multiple accounts to make sure the business continues if there is a problem with one account.
Getting and evaluating this information is a process called underwriting. This process allows merchant account providers to offer much better rates than the aggregators. This information is crucial for the merchant account provider to understand you and the business model you’re using. They also use it to understand the risks of doing business with you — credit card companies want to hold on to the money that’s theirs, just like you do.
On top of this, make sure you have a merchant account provider with the experience to guide you in the right direction with your new account.
CBD Payment Processing Gateway
Since the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, the CBD industry has enjoyed more acceptance of its products in the marketplace. This cleared the way for states to determine the legalization of CBD dispensaries within their borders and paved the way for online sales. In turn, it allowed payment processing companies to use their payment gateways for the CDB business.
Payment gateways are the software equivalent of the credit card terminal that you use at your favorite brick-and-mortar retailer. The gateway accepts payment card information, transmits it to the banks involved, and displays the result. They’re also the software that enables integration with the new crop of payment technologies, such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, Samsung Pay, and so on.
Your payment processing service works behind the scenes to make sure you process your payments and get your money quickly, easily, and accurately. To ensure smooth business transactions, your payment processing service must integrate seamlessly with as many shopping carts, marketing platforms, tools, and point-of-sale systems as possible. A diverse processor can give you a variety of options for setting up your business.
POS (Point-of-Sale) Options
It’s also important to find a payment processor and gateway that will work with the point-of-sale system (POS) you want to use. For example, we integrate with many POS systems, such as Clover, Toast, Lightspeed, and SwIPe Retail.
However, we’ve found that one of the best POS systems is the Clover range of products, which offers four different POS solutions, each serving a different marketplace need. Clover offers an all-in-one POS solution with an optional cash drawer and printer. Clover systems also enable you to access real-time inventory reports, track employee time, customer gift and loyalty programs, and more. If you’re not sure your POS system will work with our software, please call our team of experts, and we’ll let you know!
CBD Credit Card Processing Fees
Many credit card processors tack on extra fees to process CBD payments. Some of this is the ‘high risk’ marker on the industry, while some are just because CBD is a hot industry right now and processors know there’s money to be made. All fees should be laid out in a presented contract. This will allow you to measure different companies against each other and make a wise decision.
There are several types of fees that you will incur when working with a payment card processor. It’s important to understand these fees since as your business keeps growing, higher fees can ultimately cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a month in lost revenue. The primary types of fees you might encounter are:
- Assessment — These fees are levied by the major card networks, such as Visa, American Express, Mastercard, and Discover. They are how the networks make money.
- Markup — This is how the payment processor makes a profit. Some providers take a small portion of each transaction, while others charge a flat rate.
- Interchange — These fees flow between the business owners and the customer’s banks. They are deducted from the total amount processed, and cover the cost of processing the payment.
Processors do not control the assessment and interchange fees, which are set by banks and card networks, so they are not negotiable. Fortunately, you can sometimes negotiate the markup fees with your processor. Also, you can always compare contracts with different companies to find the options that fit your business and give you the best chance for success.
CBD Merchant Account FAQs
As you learn about the payment card industry, especially as it relates to CBD products, and as you search for the perfect payment card processor, you’ll have many questions. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions we see.
Why Should My CBD Business Accept Credit Cards?
Use of credit cards has the ability to expand your business by almost 80%. The Global CBD market has topped $6 million this year.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is a chemical compound found in marijuana and is usually sold as CBD oil. It can improve pain, memory, sleep, and mood in the body, but does not get people high.
Is CBD Legal?
While the Farm Bill legalized CBD on a federal level, the actual legality is in the hands of each state. Each state has its own varying degrees of legality.
Why are CBD and Hemp Oil Considered “High Risk?”
It is considered high risk because of the legal restrictions and shifting laws. This is due to the high chargeback and potential for businesses to have to adapt rapidly and affect their revenue.
How Do I Process CBD Payments?
The first step is finding the right credit card processor and then establishing a merchant account with them. You do have multiple options, but ultimately, you need a processor who can handle the ‘high risk’ business while offering you a competitive contract.
What is a CBD Merchant Account?
Simply put, a merchant account is a special type of bank account that allows you to accept credit card payments for CBD. The account is set up with special safeguards to protect both the company and the business from chargebacks and closed accounts.
What Should You Look For in a CBD Payment Processor?
When looking for a CBD payment processor, the list of things to look for isn’t that different from a ‘regular’ payment processor. Look for great customer support, reasonable contracts, low fees, availability of point-of-sale equipment, easy integrations, and of course the ability to process high risk transactions.
What’s Required to Get a CBD Merchant Account?
To secure a merchant account, you will need to check with the provider to find out exactly what they require. You can check the list above, but know that each processor may require slightly different material.
Can I Get an Online CBD Merchant Account?
If you do not have a brick-and-mortar storefront, your merchant account will take that into consideration and allow you to have the appropriate type of account.
Does PayPal Allow CBD Payments?
PayPal recently started allowing CBD payments on their platform. At the same time, they have been known to close accounts trading in CBD products — without warning.
Does Square Accept CBD Payments?
Square has started to work with CBD merchants. However, their fees for processing CBD-related transactions are somewhat high.
Can I Sell CBD with WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source platform that does allow the sale of CBD. However, if you want to sell CBD internationally, there may be law restrictions in place which limit what a merchant can accept from an overseas buyer.
Can I Sell CBD Products on Shopify?
Yes, Shopify will let you sell CBD products in states where it is legally permitted. You will need to use a third-party credit card processing company like Easy Pay Direct, though.
Why Easy Pay Direct?
We pride ourselves on making your life easier and facilitating the growth of businesses across the globe. We have been doing this successfully for years and have helped countless businesses achieve their full potential — check out some of our testimonials. More importantly, Easy Pay Direct would love to play its 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 or call us at: (800) 805-4949 | Get Set-up with a Merchant Account »
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