You’ve perfected your product. Your branding is spot-on, and you know people will love it. You’re ready to start selling. And while local drop-offs and taking cash or person-to-person digital transfers can get you started, the need for a more sophisticated payment processing system will quickly become apparent.
Payment processing can get iffy when it comes to operating in certain high-risk sectors like CBD, cannabis and hemp. The shifting legal statuses and societal attitudes surrounding cannabis and hemp and the derived products means many financial institutions hesitate to transact with merchants working with them.
It’s important to find a cannabis-friendly payment processor. It can get you set up to accept payments of all sorts, from processing credit cards to setting up point-of-sale systems. Use Benzinga’s list of the best cannabis payment processors to get started or search for more options on the Benzinga Cannabis Network (aka BCN).
Best for Cannabis & Hemp Payment Processing: Canna Group LLC
If you’re a “hard-to-place” merchant, like a medical marijuana dispensary or hemp oil manufacturer, you likely face difficulty processing payments without being flagged by the bank. Since 1992, Canna Group has structured its services to serve these hard-to-place merchants. Other examples include adult product merchants, debt collectors, payday loans — anything where legality is blurred in the small details or nuances of transacting business.
Under its Get High Risk division, Canna Group offers bespoke payment processing platforms in 5 verticals. The cannabis and hemp vertical is supported by KronicPay, which unlocks access to worry-free domestic payment processing, banking solutions, funding solutions and more to both e-commerce and face-to-face sellers. It even formulated the world’s 1st cannabis medical insurance plan, seeking to reduce out-of-pocket costs for medicinal cannabis users.
Canna Group is always looking ahead, anticipating the needs of merchants as the cannabis industry becomes more legitimized. You can apply for your KronicPay high-risk payment processing account here.
Best for No Fee Credit Card Processing: Quality Payment Systems
As an operator in any industry flagged as high-risk by most banks and financial outfits, you may be used to paying inflated fees for even the most simple of business needs, like taking payments. Quality Payment Systems breaks from the mold here, offering its ZeroCost payment processing software to CBD and hemp oil merchants.
How do they do this? By adding a small surcharge to the total bill for a purchase for customers using credit cards as their payment method. While this may not be the most ideal set-up, plenty of merchants like local governments or auto repair shops utilize this method to save (a lot of) money. And you’ll be better equipped to take on more costs for your customers later if you protect your bottom line as you grow.
To find out more about ZeroCost credit card processing or get a quote, visit Quality Payment Systems here.
Best for Chargeback Protection: PayKings
While what PayKings does best is provide payment processing for CBD companies, its merchant chargeback policies really sweeten the deal. While CBD itself is legal, cannabis both is and isn’t, depending on a whole host of factors that determine its legal standing in a certain context, such as which state you’re operating your business in. For this reason, a CBD merchant account is high risk. And a high risk merchant account can come with some obstacles like obtaining lines of credit.
And, when you’re accepting payments in any high risk industry, there’s always the chance of your money being held up by chargebacks, whether by a payment processor who denies the transaction or less-than-scrupulous customers looking to take advantage of an honest business transaction with a high-risk merchant by reporting it as fraudulent.
PayKings is uniquely qualified to tackle these obstacles. It provides high risk merchant accounts and credit card payment processing to CBD sellers, protecting you from losing payments or having your funds frozen. PayKings only works with CBD companies whose products are fully legally compliant, so you can operate securely knowing you’re within the law.
Best for International Merchant Processing: Payventures
When you think about credit card processing, you likely think Visa, Mastercard or other commonly used credit cards if you’re in the U.S. But if you want to accept payment globally, it’s important to think outside the box (or, in this case, the map). Payventures is a payment processing company that works with high risk merchants and provides them solutions to their unique problems.
It can get your application for an international merchant account approved and ready to go quickly and allow you to offer your clients more payment options through its network of local banks and globally-recognized debit accounts like Maestro.
Payventures services span the gamut of payment processing. Anchored by the findings of a comprehensive assessment of your business, it provides tailored services including domestic merchant processing, fraud identification and identity verification, currency conversion, digital payment gateways and software services, mobile commerce platforms and card issuing.
In short, Payventures has everything you need to get your cannabis business set up to start making sales to customers.
Link up with Payventures here for more information on taking your payment processing global.
Best for No-Contract Payment Processing: Platinum Payments
The marijuana industry is rapidly changing, so getting locked into a long-term contract with a payment processor that may not be your best fit isn’t ideal. Platinum Payments gets it — it wants to keep your business through performance, not hold you to a binding contract. That’s why Platinum Payments offers comprehensive payment processing to cannabis merchants with no term fees, no term contracts and no marginal increases.
Platinum Payments boasts a comprehensive list of merchant-friendly financial products like terminals, e-commerce, point-of-sale, gift cards and loyalty programs, mobile support and business supplies.
Schedule a consultation with Platinum Payments to get started now.
Browse More Payment Processors
If you’re looking for a good cannabis-friendly payment processor, all of our mentions above have unique strengths. But cannabis is an exploding industry, so your options are always increasing.
Stay in the know with the Benzinga Cannabis Network. The BCN connects you with more than 8,000 professionals and companies working within the cannabis sector.
You can use this tool to expand your vendor network, find a good cannabis attorney and more.
Why a Payment Processor Matters in Cannabis
Having a payment processor that knows how to meet the unique needs of cannabis merchants is important. You want to offer your customers multiple payment options, but the facts are that marijuna remains illegal at the federal status and banks are federally regulated, marking cannabis merchants as high-risk for financial companies.
For this reason, dispensaries and CBD companies can see accounts flagged or frozen after processing payments.
Systemic change is necessary to adapt to the changing landscape of the marijuna industry. The SAFE Banking Act, passed by the House of Representatives in 2019 and currently tabled in the Senate, addresses these necessary changes and seeks to protect banks from being punished for processing payments from cannabis merchants.
While it’s great that regulations are slowly changing and legislation is being introduced to help ease the burdens shouldered by high-risk merchants, you can’t just wait to give your customers convenient ways to pay until the legal dust settles. That’s why letting a cannabis-friendly payment processor help you around and over these obstacles is the best move. Connect with viable options on the BCN to find one that meets your needs today.
Offer More Payment Options to Your Customers
If you’re ready to start selling, you need a payment processor who knows the obstacles faced by cannabis merchants. All of the companies on our list know how to navigate the murky legal waters of the cannabis industry.
But if you want to explore more options, be sure to check out the BCN. You’ll find more than 8,000 listings for payment processors and more. BCN bring you exclusive features to grow your cannabis network.