If you’re in the CBD, Hemp, or a related industry, you are part of one of the fastest-growing retail industries in the United States. Statistica reports that U.S. consumer sales of cannabidiol (CBD) will likely reach 1.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, which would represent a significant increase from around half a billion U.S. dollars in 2018.”(1) With growth potential like this, you probably want to do everything you can to capture as much of that business as you can.
As sales increase, how many of your customers come in expecting to pay with a credit card? If you don’t accept cards, maybe they’ll go to an ATM and come back with cash, or maybe they’ll find another merchant that does accept credit cards. Maybe you’re already accepting credit cards, your business has begun taking off and sales are multiplying. Don’t get too comfortable as your processing company might hit you with hidden fees, raise your chargeback rates, or worst of all, terminate your account altogether. In any case, how much are you willing to risk before you look for the right merchant processor for your business?
When you google CBD merchant processors, the sheer volume of results can be overwhelming. With many companies making similar claims, how do you know who to believe? It’s challenging enough trying to decipher fees and rates. So, how can you break through the clutter to choose the best payment processing company for you? One way to judge is to use the criteria of honesty, features & benefits, payment methods, low/locked in fees/rates, and experience.
Honesty: Most merchant processors offer an upfront price, but some include hidden fees or stipulations in the contract that says they can raise prices as soon as one year. If the processor is not transparent in their pricing, including all potential increases, this could be a red flag. You, in turn, must also be honest with your application for a merchant account. If you apply with a processor that serves more than just the CBD industry, it’s important that you disclose that you will be selling CBD products. A common reason that CBD merchant accounts are terminated is that the applicant didn’t disclose CBD products were being sold. A frozen or terminated payment processing account brings business to a screeching halt, leaving you scrambling to find a solution so you can resume accepting and processing payments.
Features & Benefits: Most merchant processors make it easy to complete transactions in-store and online, but can they perform other necessary tasks that make running your business faster, simpler, and easier? For example, a respected processor often offers “all-in-one” solutions, including the ability to easily accept mobile payments, integration solutions for CRM’s and E-Commerce websites, technical and loss prevention support specialists, and online portal and reporting features to help streamline your credit card processing.
Payment Methods: Make sure the processing company can process all major credit cards, plus debit cards and checks. The more payment options you can process, the more transactions you can accept, and the more you can add to your bottom line.
Low/Locked-in Fees/Rates: Paying low fees upfront only to have those fees raised, sometimes without justification, can put you in a bind, especially if locked into a contract. Respected companies offer complete transparency and locked-in rates that won’t go up for as long as you have an account. They do not lock you into a contract nor charge a cancellation fee.
Experience: The length a processor has been in business is an indicator of how well they serve their customers. As CBD and hemp are emerging industries, many high-risk processors are also relatively new. A few processors have been in business for 10, 20, 30 years or more. If a company has stood the test of time, it most likely has a solid record and reliability.
Not all CBD merchant processing companies can pass these criteria with flying colors. One example that does is Unity Payments, explicitly founded to support the CBD, Hemp, and related industries. Their advantages include no contracts, no cancellation fees, locked-in service rates, 24/7 support, and loss prevention specialists. Unity Payments will approve vendors selling all types of CBD and hemp products, provided the THC levels are below 0.3%, for people or our furry friends. They also support marijuana testing labs, medical facilities that prescribe marijuana, and the vaping industry. Unity Payments is backed by the power of Nuvo Company. An established leader in the merchant processing industry with over 35 years of combined experience serving various businesses. If you are looking for a payment processor, want to change processors, or would like a free audit of your existing processor, call Unity Payments at (321) 972-9838 or sign-up online.