If you own a CBD store, many of the traditional payment options are not available to you. Even though CBD sales are legal, banks and other payment solutions are way off the pace and still see the product as ‘high-risk.’ For this reason, there are alternatives that need to be investigated if you are to be successful as a CBD retailer and avoid having your accounts closed.
In this example, we’ll explore the most popular payment merchants PayPal and Stripe and why they should be avoided at all costs, we’ll then share two alternatives that accept CBD stores and can be integrated as payment merchant.
PayPal and Stripe – Why You Can’t Use Them if You Sell CBD Products
There are many reports of PayPal and Stripe shutting own the accounts of CBD store owners without prior warning. This is due to the fact that CBD is considered to be a high-risk industry and because they are governed by US federal law. This means that even though it is legal to make payment via Paypal or Stripe in Europe, because the companies follow US law, they will refuse to accept payments and act as a payment processor for European CBD stores.
Can I Use PayPal To Accept Payments & Sell CBD Products?
PayPal is not a regulated bank and is therefore not subject to the same legal requirements. One of the things that you agree to when you sign up for an account with PayPal is that they can freeze any funds in your account for up to 180 days if they disagree with your business practices.
Do a quick search on Google and you will quickly find thousands and thousands of complaints where companies have had their accounts closed for no reason. There are also countless others that have struggled to get the frozen funds released.
This is largely due to the fact that PayPal looks to the US for much of their regulatory oversight and, at a federal level, marijuana sales are not legal and CBD is equated with marijuana.
In the UK it is legal to purchase CBD via PayPal, but because Paypal is governed by US restrictions, PayPal in the UK still classifies CBD as a narcotic making it very risky for CBD companies using PayPal as a payment merchant.
Throughout the UK there have been many reports of PayPal freezing the funds and accounts of CBD stores selling legal products in the UK. This includes all different products such as CBD vape liquids, capsules, and oil. And, unfortunately, there is no way to appeal the decision. This means that businesses are unable to access the funds that they need in order to continue operations, and cash flow issues have led to the closure of some businesses. This high level of risk means that PayPal cannot be considered a viable option for CBD stores.
Leading stores such as OrganicFunktion and CBDUltra issued apologies to their customers after both companies had their PayPal accounts frozen. In a post on their website, OrganicFunktion asked their clients to share about the stranglehold that payment merchants have on their business. And CBDUltra, who sell products that are THC-free, shared that PayPal had closed their accounts and withheld their funds inconveniencing the company and their customers. Worldwide there are many instances of this happening, which has led to a petition on Change.org led by the Center for Complementary and Alternative Treatments in California asking for PayPal to stop freezing the accounts of hemp oil sellers.
Can I Use ‘Stripe’ To Accept Payments & Sell CBD Products?
CBD oil is on Stripe’s UK Restricted Businesses list because it falls under the categorisation “marijuana dispensaries and related businesses” and “products and services with varying legal status on a state-by-state basis.” Similar to PayPal, their decisions are based on US law, so while CBD is legal in the UK, their terms and conditions prohibit the use of Stripe as a payment merchant.
Examples of CBD store owners in the UK having their accounts frozen or closed are widespread, in a post to customers on their site, OrganicFunktion mentioned that they had their account frozen by Stripe and were given 14 days to take payments on their website.
Alternatives Payment Merchants
It is important to find a payment merchant that accepts common payment methods such as credit cards, as well as offering the highest levels of confidentiality and security. Your merchant should also be fully certified with the PCI Security Standards Council.
Viva Wallet accept online payments for CBD Oil and other products
Viva Wallet is Europe’s leading cloud-based payment acquirer and issuer and they welcome online CBD merchants to integrate their payment solutions for their stores. They provide affordable payment services with a global reach offering efficient, transparent multi-channel payment systems for both inward and outward payments.
As a top 50 Power Fintech company, they pride themselves on offering innovative solutions and for CBD businesses that have both a physical as well as an online store they have an end-to-end solution including physical card machines, a payment gateway, virtual terminal and pay by notification. They also offer the features of a bank account with it’s on IBAN/Sort code and account number, and they issue their own debit card, all of which can be managed in real time through a personalised dashboard.
Key advantages include:
- A real-time, transparent dashboard
- Same day/Next day settlement
- Full card payment solution (POS, account and business debit card)
- No contracts
- State of the art card terminals
- No hidden costs
- No monthly or annual PCI charges
- No per transaction authorisation fees
- No minimum monthly charges
- Low to zero acquiring charges when using a business Mastercard
- The ability to export files for accounting and reconciliation
Worldnet accept online payments for CBD Oil and other products
Worldnet has offered its payment gateway solutions throughout Europe and North America for the last 12 years, offering a service that is well-established and highly regarded. Their gateway solution is available to merchants operating the CBD and Hep industry providing a secure, reliable way to process online card payments.
With Worldnet it’s easy to get started, simply fill in an application on their website, answer industry-specific questions and Worldnet will get you up and running as quickly as possible.
The company makes it simple to integrate their product with free access to plugins that make adding their PCI compliant payment gateway easy. They work with WooCommerce, WP ECommerce, Magento, OpenCart, and Joomla. Integration guides are available in English and support is provided by their Support and Integrations Team in Dublin.
Worldnet makes it easy to access your funds offering a quick turnaround time on payments. Funds are automatically settled to the company’s business account on a daily basis so that if a payment is made on a Monday, the funds will be available in the company’s account by Wednesday morning. This is in comparison to other solutions where it can take 7-10 days for payments to reflect, with reserves of up to 10% also being held back for six months in some cases.
This solution is a good option for eCommerce CBD stores as the funds are available within a couple of days, and they also offer online banking with a dashboard that tracks processed transactions and it allows for the processing of full and partial refunds quickly and easily.
The clear benefits of using Worldnet include:
- Lower fees
- Faster settlement of funds
- No rolling reserves
- English language documentation
- Dublin-based support team