You’d think that the 2018 Farm Bill would have made running a CBD business in 2021 much easier. But with so much red tape still surrounding what is now a legal substance, business owners find themselves having to jump through hoops just to cater to their audience. One of the most difficult obstacles on the way to establishing a successful CBD business whether on or offline would be finding the right payment processor.
It’s no secret that most financial institutions and payment processing service providers try to bob and weave out of the way of CBD businesses. For the most part, it’s because of the associated risk. But even then, there are some options out there that see CBD merchants as a risk they’re willing to take.
As one of the OG’s of the payment processing sphere, Payment Cloud is recognized as perhaps the most reliable provider out there. They’ve been around since 2015, and offer a range of payment collection services and merchant services for businesses both great and small.
Not wanting to leave CBD merchants out of the loop, Payment Cloud has expanded its reach to include the high risk industries of hemp and CBD. And to make sure they get the tailored experience their industry requires, Payment Cloud has beefed up its chargeback protection and fraud prevention features to prevent unwanted chargebacks.
But more than just their rugged security and anti-fraud features, Payment Cloud also offers a range of payment processing solutions that streamline and expand your payment options for both in-store and online transactions. Of course, the best part is that they’re pretty transparent with their rates, so you can get a good idea of what their services will cost you before you even sign a contract.
The reason why Easy Pay Direct has become so popular in recent years is that they’re relatively cheaper than most other merchant service providers you’ll find. They provide their solutions to over 60,000 customers, which says a lot about the quality of the payment processing services they offer.
Marketed mainly to high risk merchants, Easy Pay Direct has a wide reach throughout the CBD and hemp industry thanks to their tailored solutions that really keep the nuances of high risk markets at heart. Their feature-packed package includes load balancing for high transaction volumes, shopping cart integration, payment gateways, and mobile payments.
While their services are pretty cheap, it’s important to mention that Easy Pay Direct charges a setup fee of $99. Their typical pricing for swiped card sits at 1.59% + $0.17, online card sits at 2.39% + $0.29, and their eCheck rate sits at 1.6% + $0.29. Do note that these are estimates and may change depending on the specifics of your business.
Based in Utah, SMB Global is yet another well known payment processing service provider that caters to CBD and hemp businesses, among many others in the high risk sector.
One thing that’s important to keep in mind about SMB Global is that most of their solutions are tailored specifically for online merchants. So they don’t really provide too many tools for in-store payment processing needs.
If there’s one thing that really sets SMB Global apart, it’s the fact that they offer impressive customer support for all of their clients. Reliable, responsive, and ever ready, SMB Global offers prompt resolution for client concerns, giving timely troubleshooting solutions that make it possible to clear up any issues that might be blocking the way to seamless payments.
However like most other payment processing providers, SMB Global keeps most of its fees under wraps. So if you want to know more about the kind of fees they impose, it would be best to reach out to them directly. Nonetheless, they are known for their fair prices that make them one of the more competitive providers for CBD and hemp businesses.
Now, their website won’t wow you with the same polished professional look that Payment Cloud provides, and that might affect the way you perceive their reliability. But PayKings is one of the most trusted payment processing service providers for CBD and hemp businesses, and their long-standing reputation proves that.
While they might not be quite as old as other providers, PayKings offers PCI-compliant solutions, multi-currency options, integration with most available shopping carts, international processing, and developer support. They also don’t charge application and set-up fees, so you can get started on their services without having to shell out too much money.
As for pricing and fees, PayKings, like many others, don’t divulge their pricing in public. What we do know however is that they offer tiered pricing that means you can get significantly higher rates depending on the intricacies of your business. It’s also worth pointing out that PayKings charges an early termination fee, which might be one of their few downsides.
Last but not least on our list of the 6 best CBD payment processors is Host Merchant Services, or simply HMS. These guys are an authority when it comes to providing solutions for low risk merchants, but they’ve recently upped the ante and expanded their reach to include high risk merchants involved in the CBD and hemp industries.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one provider, Host Merchant Services might be it. They provide a full package, including all of the solutions and tools you might need to streamline your payment processing for both online and offline transactions. They also have rugged protection and detection features that keep you well guarded against fraud and chargebacks.
While the rates on their website are pretty detailed, it’s worth noting that these apply mainly to low risk merchants. High risk merchants should expect to get completely different rates all together.
Nonetheless, Host Merchant Services does provide impressively available customer support that can address your questions and concerns for a hitch-free sign-up experience.
Having been around since 2001, Instabill works with 12,000 merchants which makes them a smaller-scale provider compared to other names on the list. Nonetheless, they use their limited audience to their advantage by beefing up their customer support and addressing their clients’ concerns with more individualized solutions.
Simply put, their small customer base gives them the advantage of working with you more closely as you navigate your way through their payment processing solutions.
What’s nice about Instabill is that they try to make the set up and application process as easy and effortless as possible. That means anyone can set up an account with the provider in no time, allowing CBD businesses to take advantage of the payment processing tools without a moment to lose.
Offering mobile EMV POS solutions, credit card terminals, ACH processing, and international gateways, Instabill offers all of the basics you might need to expand your reach and provide consumers with the options they want. Their rates, however, are not disclosed on their website. But based on reviews, they cost almost the same as other providers but are typically more open to negotiations.
The thing about CBD and hemp is that these industries are considered high risk due to their increased chances of getting slapped with chargebacks. That’s why not every payment processor will engage in business with CBD or hemp merchants.
On the upside, there are payment processing service providers that have greater risk appetites, allowing them to cater to the needs of businesses operating in the CBD and hemp industries. But be warned – just because they accept the risky business, doesn’t mean they’re worth partnering up with. Here’s what you might want to look for in a CBD payment processor:
As a high risk business, these safety nets against fraud and chargebacks should be your first consideration. Remember that chargebacks come with painful penalties, and banks can temporarily freeze or permanently close your account if you get slapped with too many chargebacks.
Protection and prevention tools can help you reduce the chances of fraudulent transactions and keep your transaction-to-chargeback ratio on the downlow.
Another factor that should affect your choice are rates. While all of the services are pretty much the same, rates can be immensely different. Fortunately, most of these providers will let you negotiate their terms so you can come to an agreement that works well for both you and the provider.
Keep in mind though that payment processing fees are separate from merchant account fees, that is unless you get both services from a single provider. In that case, they might be at a better position to give you a discounted rate.
Payment hiccups happen, and when they do, you’ll want a provider that’s there to really help you out. Unfortunately, a lot of the providers you’ll find will probably fall short of customer support expectations. Responsive, reliable, and available assistance can help you resolve issues and keep payments coming in with no problem.
While it might be a little harder to find a payment processor for a CBD business, there are definitely a bunch of viable options out there. Make sure you check the rates, read into the specifics, and really weigh what features and solutions are most important to you as a business. This should help you narrow down your options and find the best CBD payment processor to cater to your business needs.