What Are Merchant Services?
If you’re new to eCommerce there’s a good chance you haven’t had to to set up a merchant account or payment gateway before. Maybe you’ve sold items eBay, Etsy, Shopify or even Amazon. Unfortunately, if you want to sell a CBD product, those options just aren’t available at the moment.
PayPal, Stripe & Shopify
For many online businesses these are great options. However, non of them at the moment allow transactions for CBD products.
Sure you can try but know this, if they catch you they will not only close your account, they may also seize your money.
Trust me when I tell you, for a few extra bucks, getting a high risk merchant account is the far better then try to get your money released.
High Risk Merchant Accounts
Don’t let the terminology fool you, there’s really is nothing wrong with a “high risk” merchant account. Especially if you are in a business deemed “high risk” such as CBD. Yes, it may cost a little more to set up. Yes, there may be higher fees charged per transaction. However, as mentioned, it’s worth the peace of mind to know it’s legit.
What You Need To Get Started
Like most business endeavors you will need a bank account and preferably a business bank account. To open that you will need a Tax ID. If you don’t want to incorporate a business that’s ok, individuals can get a Tax ID as a DBA. I’m not going to go into here but you can always contact us, we’re here to help.
After you have your bank account you need a Merchant Account. Merchant Accounts link payments to you bank account. Many banks offer merchant accounts as well as merchant services (gateways) these days. If you pick the right bank they can do everything you need to capture funds online.
The Merchant / Payment Gateway
Not that you have a bank and a merchant account you need a way for the customers to use their credit cards, that what a gateway does.
As a programmer it’s my job to put build a form on your site for customers to enter the info, then send that order and card info to the gateway. One of the most trusted gateways is Authorize.net. They have been around a long time and always the 1st company I recommend.
What To Avoid
Lastly I’d like to tell you what to avoid, especially if you plan to do business mostly / solely in the United States. That is, OVERSEAS MERCHANT ACCOUNTS!
Not that they are all bad, in fact some are quite good. However, most debt and credit cards issued in the US are blocked from making international transactions.
Not the end of the world if you have reps taking orders. They can notify the customer to call their bank and authorize the transaction. However, the truth is that 99% of the time, if a customers card is declined / blocked they’re just going to move to another site to place their order.