Running any business comes with its challenges, but imagine finding out that your merchant processing account has suddenly and unexpectedly been frozen or shut down. Your customers expect the ability to pay with a credit or debit card, and if your business sells products online, it’s an absolute necessity. With your account frozen, sales come to a screeching halt, and customers quickly grow frustrated.
If you’re in an industry considered high-risk, such as the Vape Industry, this may be something you’ve experienced first hand. One Reddit user posted about their frustrations when this happened to them. The user stated their payment processing account was shut down “because I sell E-Liquid, which is considered to be a ‘Hazardous Tobacco product, outside their restricted use policy’. When I contacted them, they stated that my website dealt with drug paraphernalia, so they would no longer be able to work with me.” The user went on to say that “At the moment, we can only accept direct PayPal transfers.”
In the comments thread, another user suggested, “to keep it on the DL with PayPal until you get another payment processor because they suspend accounts and freeze funds if they find out you’re doing anything e-cig related.”
While the commenter was trying to help and is correct that PayPal has restrictions on vape products, you should never be deceitful with your merchant processor. What you need to do is, make sure that you select a payment processor that allows the processing of payments for all of the products you offer. While the merchant processing costs may be higher for industries considered to be high-risk, the cost of having your merchant processing account shut down can be immeasurable.
A straightforward solution is to increase your pricing to accommodate the higher fees. This allows you to adjust for the cost of doing business while providing your customers the ease of paying with a debit or credit card.
When researching and selecting a merchant processing solution for your vape shop, you must find one that checks off all the boxes. As you do your research, look for the following:
- They serve the vape industry and allow processing for all products you offer. While there are many merchant processors out there, most of the big names do NOT allow the sale of vaping products. You are better off finding an industry-specific payment processor that allows for sales of vaping and related products.
- They offer solutions to help streamline your business operations. Industry-specific payment processors allow you to do more than accept credit and debit card payments. They provide solutions that will increase your efficiency, provide a better customer experience, and make accounting easier. The ability to integrate with your accounting software, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and your website will help save you time and keep your business running efficiently.
- They allow you to accept all payment methods. While it’s crucial that your business can accept debit and credit cards, offering the ability to pay with e-check or ACH provides customers additional payment options. Perhaps you want to offer gift cards. To do so, you will need to ensure your processor has that capability available to you. The more payment options you can accept, the more you can add to your bottom line.
- They offer simple, transparent fees/rates. Many processors will offer low introductory rates to lock you in as a client and then increase them in the future. Worse yet, many processors will lock you into a contracted period that you can only get out of by paying a hefty cancellation fee. A good processor will not lock you into a contract or charge a cancellation fee because they know if they provide a quality service at a reasonable rate, you will choose to stay with them.
- They have a proven history of serving the vape and/or related industries. The length of time a processor has been in business is an indicator of their service quality. The financial stability of the processor is also important. Some processors that serve high-risk industries are a subsidiary of a larger processor that provides additional financial stability and functionality to its subsidiaries.
While it takes some research to find a solution that meets all of your needs, one example of a merchant processor designed explicitly for the vape and related industries is Unity Payments—backed by Nuvo Company, a processor with over 35 years of experience serving a variety of industries. Unity Payments never locks their clients into a contract or charges a cancellation fee. Their rates are locked in and will never increase, allowing their clients to know the actual cost of using the processing service. With 24/7 support and loss prevention specialists available, their support is there when you need them. Whether you’re just getting ready to open a vape shop or you’re looking to change your payment processor, Unity Payments can answer all your questions and provide a free statement audit of your existing processor. To get started, call Unity Payments at 321-972-9838 or apply online.