Many CBD merchants express to our consulting team that they run a perfectly legal business, yet still do not qualify for a means of accepting credit card payments like any other eCommerce merchants. The answer lies in the Merchant Category Code (MCC). MCCs are identifiers of the merchant’s industry and products/services sold. In this context, products that contain CBD are thrown into the same category bucket with marijuana and cannabis. Thus, it remains challenging for online CBD merchants to apply and get approved for a credit card processing solution.
Most often, CBD merchants move from one credit card processor to another processor within a couple months. Having to switch credit card processors often requires those CBD merchants to have a flexible shopping cart that allows for integration with multiple credit card processors and payment gateway providers. We’ve encountered many CBD merchants who get approved for credit card processing after going through such an exhausting and time-consuming underwriting process to find out that the credit card processor and preferred payment gateway is not compatible with their online shopping cart.
Some common shopping carts that are very flexible with many high-risk processors are: WooCommerce, Magento, etc. Shopify is also a good and popular shopping cart that many CBD merchants use. However, please be advised that Shopify typically charges merchants high additional fees if using a third-party credit card processor (rather than using Shopify Payments). For WooCommerce and Magento that are flexible with many third-party credit card processors and gateway providers, we usually refer to those shopping carts as “processor-agnostic”.
In summary, even though it is critical that the credit card processing solution is compatible with your shopping cart, it is of the essence to consider building your CBD online store platform on a “processor -agnostic” shopping cart. How to know if the shopping cart of your choice is “processor-agnostic”? The answer is: it’s complicated. However, there are some tips below that we believe to be helpful in determining whether your shopping cart is processor-agnostic or not.
1) Does your shopping cart of your choice have the capacity for open APIs or work with multiple external plugins?
2) Can your shopping cart be integrated with popular payment gateway providers such as: Authorize.net, Network Merchants (NMI), etc.?
3) Does your shopping cart charge you additional fees for not using the credit card processor(s) recommended by your shopping cart?
The process of evaluating the best-fit eCommerce platform for your online CBD business takes into account several factors, and in our experience, “processor-agnostic” should be one of the key determinants alongside with cost, ease of implementation and use, and extended features.
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We thrive to provide you the absolute best transaction processing experience merchants in the cannabis space. Any solutions you need, we will get it to you at the best pricing, from credit card processing to point of banking to E-check to ACH and Gift Cards. Not just that, we are constantly developing enhancements at our clients’ requests to help make your business as successful and profitable as possible.
Even when the payment landscape for the cannabis industry constantly changes, you deserve to be able to utilize actionable payment insights can be combined with your existing decision tools/metrics to maximize values added to your business, just like any other traditional industry. We help you make it happen, assisting you take appropriate measures and actions to accommodate their payment needs while also remain compliant, protected, and cost-effective.
Customer support has been key to getting us where we are today, and will continue to be at the core of business. We want your business for many years to come. That is why all of our support is done in-house. Anything you need, ask away anytime. Our support team is there for you whenever you need us.