Merchant Accounts

4 Best CBD Merchant Account Providers for Shopify

July 24, 2023

Approximately one in three online businesses use Shopify to power their stores. This represents a whopping 29% of all online businesses in the U.S., including those in the CBD industry. Unfortunately, CBD’s legal standing and regulatory requirements give CBD businesses a high-risk categorization, limiting the capability of CBD merchants to process payments.

On the upside, several high-risk merchant account providers specialize in working with businesses in the CBD industry. In this article, we’ll take you through some of the best CBD merchant account providers for Shopify and provide other helpful information to help you conduct your business and accept credit card payments seamlessly.

What Is a CBD Merchant Account?

CBD merchant accounts are payment processing accounts specifically designed for businesses that deal with CBD products. Essentially, a CBD merchant account provides businesses with the ability to accept debit and credit card payments from customers.

However, like other high-risk businesses, CBD merchants have to undergo a rigorous approval and underwriting process before they get a CBD merchant account. As a CBD merchant, you’ll also pay higher fees.


But on the bright side, CBD merchant account providers offer numerous value-added services to streamline service delivery and protect you from financial losses. Your average CBD merchant account comes with fraud filtering services, chargeback protection, reliable customer service, and other beneficial features.

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Why Are CBD Businesses Considered High-Risk?

Businesses get a high-risk categorization for various reasons, the most notable of which is the industry they operate in. The CBD industry is particularly barred by numerous regulations and financial restrictions, adding to the payment processing risks associated with the industry. Here are some of the most common reasons CBD businesses are considered high-risk.

Regulatory Compliance

The biggest hindrance to the CBD industry is regulatory compliance. Despite being legal at the federal level, states, cities, and municipalities reserve the right to change CBD regulatory and compliance requirements in their jurisdiction.

This is even more intense towards the election period when sitting governments begin to legalize or restrict CBD products to boost their ratings. From a financial standpoint, this is very risky since your merchant account provider remains unsure of your ability to continue making sales.

Regulatory compliance issues also increase the risk of litigation due to misconduct or contaminated goods. Merchant account providers want to protect their reputations, so some aren’t willing to work with a business that could jeopardize their reputation or leave them liable to fines and citations.


High Chargeback Ratios

The CBD industry is notorious for having an incredibly high number of chargebacks. Most of these chargeback requests emanate from poor advertising and customers’ misconceptions about CBD.

For instance, many CBD brands advertise their products as effective alternatives to pharmaceuticals, especially in terms of pain relief and skincare. When customers purchase these CBD products and don’t get their desired effects, they’re more likely to think it was a scam and request a chargeback.

If the business can’t resolve the chargeback and ends up issuing a refund, both the CBD business and the merchant account provider it has partnered with lose money in the form of transaction charges and additional fees.

Best CBD Merchant Account Providers for Shopify

As a merchant in a high-risk industry like the CBD sector, you want a merchant account provider that will not only help facilitate your credit card payments but also provide additional support. In that regard, you might think that your options are limited.

Fortunately, the high potential for profits in the CBD industry has attracted several merchant account providers. Here are some of the best merchant account providers that work with Shopify.

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PaymentCloud is one of the most reputable CBD payment processing service providers. The customer-oriented payment gateway partners with several banks and other financial institutions to guarantee seamless CBD credit card processing. It also offers reliable customer support with free guidance and consultation to help you raise your chances of getting your account approved.


The merchant account provider offers hundreds of e-commerce integrations, including Shopify. It also accepts payments in different currencies, even crypto.

With that said, the biggest perk of working with PaymentCloud is their incredibly low fees. You won’t find exact pricing plans on the company’s website, but on the bright side, you get a free consultation, account setup, no monthly minimum, and no PCI compliance fees.

And like other CBD merchant account providers, Payment Cloud also offers fraud filtering and chargeback protection services to help protect your financial assets.


PayKings has been around for quite some time now, so you know they’re experienced in dealing with high-risk businesses, even in the CBD industry. The payment processor has several partnerships with financial institutions, accepts international transactions, and offers Shopify and other e-commerce platform integrations.

Like our previous pick, PayKings doesn’t have any registration or account setup fees. It also has a responsive customer service team that’s available 24/7. Added to that, new businesses get free developer support to help integrate the payment processor’s system into their businesses. The payment gateway also offers chargeback protection services and advice on how to fight illegitimate chargebacks.

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National Processing

National Processing has built a good reputation for itself, offering credit card payment processing services for both low and high-risk businesses. The company offers competitive fees and partners with various other payment processors and banks to guarantee seamless financial transaction processing.

Besides their competitive rates, National Processing also offers customized plans for various businesses based on several factors, including size, industry, and financial stability.

With a National Processing CBD merchant account, you get integrations with various e-commerce platforms, a virtual terminal, and free payment processing equipment. However, note that you may have to get into a long-term contract with the company to qualify for the latter.

Bankcard International

Bankcard International is a payment services provider that offers POS and virtual processing services for diverse industries, including the CBD sector. Besides leasing POS systems, Bankcard International offers several CBD payment gateways and integrations with e-commerce platforms like Shopify.

Opening a Bankcard International CBD merchant processing account is easy. The company offers free consultation and guidance on opening an account. You also won’t be charged any account opening fees.

As further protection from financial loss, the company offers fraud filtering and chargeback protection services. You also get 24/7 customer support by phone and email. But on the downside, you may have to pay an early termination fee when closing your account.

How to Choose the Best CBD Merchant Account Providers for Shopify

The CBD industry is a highly regulated sector with a high potential for fraud and chargebacks. Additionally, as a high-risk industry, it is barred with high fees and other factors that may be off-putting for some CBD merchants. With that said, you must consider several important factors when choosing a CBD payment processing company, all to ensure you end up with the right partner.

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Are There Hidden Fees?

As a high-risk merchant, you should be prepared to pay higher fees than low and medium-risk merchants. Some CBD payment processors may even have hidden charges that may rack up your account’s running costs.

Therefore, you should go for a company with a clear payment plan like SharkPay Crypto. You can also avoid unplanned expenses by asking about other fees like early termination fees, high-risk transaction fees, and any other value-added services the company offers.

How Does the Payment Processor Deal With Chargebacks?

Chargebacks are inevitable in the CBD sector. Therefore, you need a company with a clear plan for dealing with chargebacks. The company should also have a responsive customer service team available 24/7 to help you deal with chargeback disputes whenever they arise. This way, you’ll be able to contest illegitimate chargebacks successfully and save more money.

What’s the Company’s Reputation?

You need to ask, “What are people saying about it?” Most reputable companies have many positive reviews online on customer forums like Trustpilot. When checking out reviews, it is also advisable to go for CBD merchant account providers experienced in dealing with high-risk businesses. You’ll find that some of the best companies have numerous satisfied customers and limited complaints.

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What Exactly Are You Looking For?

As a CBD merchant, you thoroughly understand the situation of your business and the kind of payment processing and value-added services that could streamline your operations. You should also consider whether you want a long or short-term contract.

Some CBD merchant account providers deal solely with long-term contracts, which can be costly in the long run for merchants who plan on getting out of the business or switching credit card processing companies. When closing a long-term contract, you may have to pay early termination fees, which could be costly depending on the company in question.

Therefore, it is advisable to consider your options first. Most preferably, you should go for a company that doesn’t charge early termination fees. This way, you won’t be charged extra fees when terminating your contract.

The Bottom Line

When looking for a credit card processing company, CBD merchants have a harder time than most high-risk merchants. This is primarily due to the numerous regulatory and compliance requirements in the industry, making any partnership with such businesses less desirable to most merchant account providers.

However, with a bit of looking and thorough research, you can find a reliable CBD payment processing partner. The companies reviewed above have a proven track record of working successfully with CBD businesses, which makes them worth considering for your business needs.

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