The Top 14 CBD Payment Processors To Launch Your Online Store

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Katie Devoe

The CBD industry is exploding with growth and profit potential. In 2022, the global cannabidiol market was valued at USD 4.9 billion and it’s projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.2% from 2023 to 2030 (1). For CBD merchants looking to capitalize on this booming market, finding the right high-risk payment processor is crucial.

Processing payments is one of the biggest challenges facing CBD businesses today. The legal and regulatory landscape around cannabis and hemp products is complex, with many gray areas (2). This leads to a higher risk of chargebacks and makes banks hesitant to work with CBD merchants. Without a reliable way to accept payments, you’ll miss out on massive opportunities in this rapidly expanding industry.

What Makes a Good CBD Payment Processor?

To thrive in the competitive CBD market, you need a payment processor that specializes in high-risk industries. Look for a provider with these key features:

  • Experience processing payments for CBD and other high-risk businesses
  • Reasonable contract terms, processing rates, and fees
  • Acceptance of major credit cards like Visa and Mastercard plus alternative payment methods
  • Secure, PCI-compliant payment gateways
  • Easy integration with popular ecommerce platforms and POS systems
  • Responsive customer support and service

The best CBD payment processing companies will help you maximize your sales and grow your business with confidence. Here are the top 14 processors we recommend in 2023:

1. USAePay

Founded in 1998, USAePay is a veteran in high-risk payment processing. They offer customized solutions for CBD merchants, including a user-friendly virtual terminal and seamless integration with many platforms (3). USAePay has excellent customer service and recently redesigned their interface for enhanced user experience.

Pros:

  • Tailored features and solutions for your unique CBD business needs
  • User-friendly virtual terminal, recently updated
  • Top-notch customer service and support

Cons:

  • Some hardware options are slightly outdated
  • Somewhat behind competitors in terms of advanced features

2. NMI

NMI provides a unified commerce solution for CBD merchants, with support for multiple payment methods like credit cards, debit cards, and ACH. They offer detailed transaction reporting that syncs with your BigCommerce store (4). In 2021, NMI acquired USAePay to expand their high-risk payment capabilities.

Pros:

  • Accept international payments
  • Process credit, debit, and ACH payments
  • Fast payment processing
  • Multiple merchant IDs available

Cons:

  • Higher fees compared to competitors

3. PayKings

PayKings is one of the most trusted high-risk processors in the CBD industry. Working with a network of over 20 acquiring banks, they specialize in getting CBD merchants approved quickly (5). PayKings offers online payment processing, mobile solutions, and offshore merchant accounts. Their “Fast Approval” program can get you up and running within hours.

Pros:

  • Seamless integration with most ecommerce platforms
  • Low processing rates starting at 2.49%
  • Pre-approval granted within six hours
  • Direct banking relationships with 20+ acquiring banks

Cons:

  • Managing multiple accounts can be complex
  • User interface is not as intuitive as some competitors

4. PaymentCloud

As a specialist in high-risk merchant services, PaymentCloud is an ideal choice for CBD payment processing. They provide a free virtual terminal for easy sales tracking and offer integrations with popular online shopping carts and POS systems (6). PaymentCloud stays current on evolving CBD laws and regulations to keep merchants compliant.

5. eMerchant Broker

eMerchant Broker (EMB) outlines the requirements for CBD merchant accounts directly on their website. To help prevent the chargeback issues that often plague CBD merchants, EMB offers a chargeback alert system that can stop 25% of chargebacks (7).

6. Square

The POS giant Square entered the CBD processing space in 2019. Leveraging their size and stability, they’ve quickly built a robust CBD payment solution. Square serves both large and small merchants, with support for cash and card payments (8).

7. Easy Pay Direct

Established in 2000, Easy Pay Direct is one of the most experienced high-risk payment processors. They serve both low and high-risk merchants through their proprietary EPD Gateway. For CBD sellers, Easy Pay Direct offers merchant accounts with domestic banks or credit card processors. Their payment gateways are compatible with thousands of platforms (9).

8. Inovio

In addition to credit card processing, Inovio sets themselves apart with an integrated virtual terminal for online CBD merchants. While they don’t process in-person payments, Inovio is a compelling all-in-one solution for ecommerce brands. However, pricing is not disclosed upfront and integrations are limited (10).

Pros:

  • Combined payment processing and virtual terminal
  • Supports international payments

Cons:

  • No pricing transparency
  • Doesn’t offer in-person payment processing
  • Few integrations with ecommerce platforms

9. Bankful

Bankful provides advanced payment features like multi-currency processing, cryptocurrency support, and 3D Secure. They integrate with Shopify but redirect customers to an external page for checkout. Bankful has earned recognition from major business and technology publications (11).

Pros:

  • Cutting-edge features like 3D Secure and crypto payments
  • Shopify integration
  • Dedicated support team

Cons:

  • Shopify integration uses external checkout, disrupting customer experience

10. Merrco Payments

Specializing in highly-regulated industries, Merrco Payments offers secure, customizable CBD payment gateways. They provide a complete suite of services for online and brick-and-mortar merchants. With Merrco, you can accept ACH, Bitcoin, debit/credit cards, gift cards, and more (12). Their platform also supports dispensaries, delivery services, and seed-to-sale tracking.

11. Centurion Payment Services

Centurion Payment Services works with both low and high-risk merchants. For CBD sellers, they offer merchant accounts as well as payment gateways for ecommerce. Centurion currently charges CBD merchants 6.95% + $0.30 per transaction and a $35 monthly fee, with no setup costs or processing limits in most cases (13). However, their system does not integrate with Shopify.

12. Leap Payments

Leap Payments specializes in CBD and offers payment processing for a wide range of products, including oils, topicals, edibles, and pet products. They have experience working with startups and will offer merchant accounts to businesses without processing history (14).

13. Paybotic

Built for the cannabis industry, Paybotic helps CBD merchants elevate their sales and operations. They offer a comprehensive service-suite, with solutions like e-check processing, debit payments, gift cards, merchant cash advances, and banking (15). Paybotic aims to help clients understand the complexities of CBD payment processing and find a tailored solution.

14. Digipay

Digipay is a Shopify-integrated CBD payment processor that also provides risk management and customer analytics. They guide merchants through the complexities of selling CBD on Shopify, since the platform’s native payment system doesn’t allow CBD sales. Digipay offers fast approval, a full range of credit card processing, and underwriting within 14 days (16). Pricing depends on factors like your business model, financials, processing history, and time in business.

Time to Elevate Your CBD Payment Processing

With the right payment processor on your side, you’ll be ready to capitalize on the explosive growth in the CBD industry. These 14 providers are the top choices for CBD merchants in 2023. They specialize in high-risk businesses and offer the features, service, and support you need.

When evaluating your options, consider your sales volume, ecommerce platform, and preferred payment methods. The CBD payment processing fees, contract terms, and integrations should align with your business model. Look for a partner you can count on as you scale.

By implementing a reliable, efficient payment solution, you’ll streamline your operations and delight your customers. You’ll have peace-of-mind knowing you can accept payments securely and compliantly as you grow your CBD brand. Now is the time seize the massive opportunities in the CBD space—don’t let payment processing hold you back.

FAQs

Can I use PayPal or Stripe for CBD payment processing?

No, major processors like PayPal and Stripe do not allow CBD transactions or merchant accounts (17).

How can I get approved for a CBD merchant account?

To get approved for a CBD merchant account, you’ll need to provide detailed information about your business to the payment processor, including:

  • Business history and financials
  • Product descriptions and lab testing results
  • Your website and marketing materials
  • Banking and processing statements (if applicable)
  • A clear, compliant refund and shipping policy

Expect a more intensive underwriting process compared to low-risk merchant accounts. Many CBD payment processors require an initial application fee or rolling reserve to mitigate the risk of chargebacks (18).

Choose a processor with expertise in CBD payments and strong banking relationships to increase your chances of approval. Provide all documentation promptly and be transparent about your business to streamline the application process.

What are the typical processing rates and fees for CBD merchants?

CBD payment processing fees are higher than low-risk merchant accounts due to the increased risk and compliance requirements. Expect to pay processing rates around 4-6% per transaction, plus a per-transaction fee of $0.20-$0.30. Some processors charge a monthly or annual account fee as well (19).

You may also have a rolling reserve, where the processor holds a percentage of your sales to cover potential chargebacks. Compare quotes from multiple processors to find competitive pricing. Keep in mind that the lowest rates aren’t always the best option—consider the overall value, service, and stability of the provider.

How can I reduce the risk of chargebacks on CBD sales?

While chargebacks are more common with CBD sales, you can minimize them by:

  • Providing excellent customer service and prompt order fulfillment
  • Clearly describing your products and including third-party lab results
  • Using a clear, prominent billing descriptor
  • Offering refunds or exchanges for unsatisfied customers
  • Integrating fraud detection tools through your payment gateway (20)

Work closely with your payment processor to implement best practices and stay up-to-date on the evolving CBD regulations. With the right strategies and tools, you can decrease your chargeback ratio and maintain a healthy merchant account.

Implementing the right CBD payment solution is essential for capitalizing on the green rush. Put these top 14 high-risk processors on your shortlist and treat the application process like any other critical business decision. With a reliable merchant account in place, you’ll be ready to scale your CBD sales and achieve your growth goals.

Picture of Katie Devoe

Katie Devoe

Katie Devoe is an entrepreneur, educator, and cannabis thought leader. She has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences and developed the CannaCertified cannabis education platform.

• Cannabis and Hemp Enthusiast
• One of the first female business owners in the hemp and cannabis industry
• Co-founder of one of the largest and most established CBD manufacturers in the country
• Spent the past decade leading brands in the hemp and cannabis industry
• Developed a certification program
Connect with Katie on LinkedIn

Get a quote from Katie on your product idea today!

Picture of Katie Devoe

Katie Devoe

Katie Devoe is an entrepreneur, educator, and cannabis thought leader. She has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences and developed the CannaCertified cannabis education platform.

• Cannabis and Hemp Enthusiast
• One of the first female business owners in the hemp and cannabis industry
• Co-founder of one of the largest and most established CBD manufacturers in the country
• Spent the past decade leading brands in the hemp and cannabis industry
• Developed a certification program
Connect with Katie on LinkedIn

Get a quote from Katie on your product idea today!

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