For our current recommendations please fill out this form and we’ll introduce you to ones that are ACTIVELY taking on CBD clients.
Update Nov 2019:
I’ve spoken to the guys at GroovePay and they have an application process for CBD vendors. Pretty standard application process, but they can get you up and running pretty quickly. Plus they have the lowest rates at 2.85% and .25 per transaction.
Download the CBD application here and get started taking payments for your CBD transactions asap.
Also Square is starting to approve more CBD vendors. You can signup with them here.
In this review, I’ll take you through how to find the best payment processing solution:
How to Choose the Best Payment Processing Solution for an Online CBD Merchant
The payment processing landscape for CBD merchants so far has been a real rollercoaster. Solutions come up, and go down on a daily basis, in other words, on any given day, you will encounter a shop that can provide you with a merchant account for CBD, and at that same moment, another bank is stepping back. Why? There are a ton of reasons, from regulatory risks, branding implications on the banks supporting CBD merchants, some of the bad apples on the marketing side of things, or pricing.
Pricing A Merchant
Pricing for a CBD merchant is all over the place, banks are underpricing, and more often than not, overpricing as well. Before committing to any solution, be sure that the pricing model, which is your cost at the end of the day, maintains the profitability and viability of your business model.
Most merchants do not understand the pricing models for traditional payments banks, but the main things to know are:
- Interchange – This is a percentage fee charged by the card brands (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) depending on the card being used by your customer.
- Discount Rate – This is also a percentage of volume fee charged by the bank providing you with the merchant account. It will account for about 75-85% of your overall fees.
- Transaction Fee – This is a fixed dollar amount, usually less than 30 cents, charged for each transaction placed on your merchant account.
- Chargeback/Retrieval Fees – This is a fee charged for each chargeback or retrieval flowed through your merchant account. Rates typically vary between 15-35$ per occurrence.
As I mentioned earlier, when it comes to CBD processing, many banks are here today and gone tomorrow. Therefore, it’s imperative to find a bank you have reasonable comfort will be open for CBD for a foreseeable future. Here are some signs on how to determine it:
Barriers to Getting Approved – If a bank is accepting anyone and everyone for CBD processing, there is a higher chance of your merchant account getting closed. At the end of the day, it can only take one bad apple to ruin the party, and it’s the same when it comes to CBD merchants.
History and Experience – There are so many banks trying to monetize the payment processing industry and many of them are very new. Therefore, dealing with a bank with a longstanding history and a good reputation is key to making sure it works in the long-term.
Pricing – Any bank underpricing a CBD merchant is likely taking on too much risk for the reward and therefore is more likely to close your account once any pressure is placed on their solution.
Transparency and Service
The level of service provided by a bank will determine how cooperative they may be to keep your business running. If they do not answer your calls or emails, they may be here for just a short time, not a long time. Try to understand why the bank is willing to accept CBD risks when it comes to merchant accounts and filter out those banks looking to make a quick buck on you and then shut you down.
The Best Solution is…
As of today, there is not a single solution that has a longstanding public reputation for being the best payment processing solution. The truly best payment processing solutions are accepting the CBD business in a non-public basis since they only want to deal with the best merchants and stay out of the public light while doing so.
Given the above, your best bet is to deal with a broker or agent (aka Independent Sales Office) where you can get a white glove service and get the same pricing as going direct to the processing bank. The best agents or brokers are on your side to ensure you get the best long-term solution since their reputation is on the line, which is everything in this industry.