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Picking a Processor: How Security Leads to Success in the CBD Industry

In the year 2022, if you’re in the business of, well, business, setting up an ecommerce platform on your website is essential for success. The goal is to make the process as easy as possible for consumers so that they not only complete their purchases, but that they also come away with an overall pleasant experience shopping with you. 

This is especially important in burgeoning ecommerce spaces, such as those businesses looking to sell CBD products online. In addition to ease of use, it is paramount that companies also make sure their online payment processing for these products is safe and secure. 

First Things First: Familiarizing Yourself 

In order to bring your CBD business into the ecommerce world, you’ll need to get set up with payment processing, which means you’ll have to get knowledgeable about the process of ecommerce. There are five main points of contact in a payments transaction. 

  • The merchant, or person/business that is providing goods or services. 

  • The customer, the person purchasing the goods or services. 

  • The issuing bank, which holds the customer’s bank account. 

  • The acquiring bank, which holds the merchant’s account. 

  • The payment processor, or payment processing company, which is responsible for handling the transactions. 

The payment processing company utilizes a payment gateway for online payments — this can be likened to the cash register at a brick-and-mortar store (which have point of sale system software to accept electronic payments). Sometimes the processing company has its own gateway, sometimes it does not. 

Choices, Choices, Choices 

Since you’ve decided on selling online, your next step is to choose that payment processor. In reviewing your options, you’ll want to consider questions about your business such as: How do you want to accept payments? What payment options do you think your customers will prefer? What does your projected sales volume look like? 

The more answers you have, the clearer your needs for a payment processor are, and the easier it will be to choose which one is right for you. Most of the time, though, it’s best practice to go with a vendor that can offer a payment gateway, merchant services, and website-building tools to help you in your ecommerce journey. 

For example, to accept online credit card payments, you will need: a website or ecommerce platform, a secure payment gateway that keeps your customer’s information safe and secure, and a merchant account where your funds from your sales will be deposited. Many companies also choose to gather data on their customers during these exchanges in order to help with future marketing endeavors. Therefore, it can be helpful to choose a payment vendor that can assist in every step of the process as well as data reporting

Remember, though, that your top two priorities are ease of use and safety for your customers. Enabling your site to not only accept cards, but also click pay options, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, will go a long way.

In addition, your site must adhere to the Payment Industry Data Security Standard, so aligning with a company that is well versed in PCI compliance is especially crucial. However, this isn’t the only expertise to keep an out for. 

CBD Specifics 

Although many forms of CBD are legal in most parts of the country, the Food and Drug Administration has still not clarified all of the rules and regulations that bind this sector. Because of this gray area, in addition to other factors, the CBD industry is still considered to be “high-risk.” Therefore, potential problems that a CBD seller could encounter include things such as higher transaction rates, rolling reserves, and longer-than-average holds on funds. 

When selecting a processor, please consider solutions that can help to offset the aforementioned issues by optimizing sales. This is achieved by maximizing approval rates while minimizing fraud and chargebacks, through solutions such as an Automatic Account Updater, transaction recycling of soft declines, and fraud mitigation tools. 

In addition, you might have to establish multiple merchant accounts with multiple processing providers to accommodate all your volume/business. In doing so, it is important to find a provider that can move transactions to the correct merchant account intelligently to help in maximizing throughput. 

Once you choose a processor in a high-risk market, additional documentation and verification might be requested to help protect the business and the products and services being offered. 

The last thing you want to do is cut corners, or partner with an inexperienced payments processor for an ecommerce endeavor into the CBD industry. A secure connection with a seamless integration is the recipe for success.

Want to learn more about growing your CBD ecommerce business? See how BigCommerce and our technology partners can help you succeed in this rapidly evolving space here.

This material does not constitute legal, professional or financial advice and BigCommerce disclaims any liability with respect to this material. Please consult your attorney or professional advisor on specific legal, professional or financial matters.

Brandy Hadden avatar

Brandy Hadden is the PR & Content Manager for North American Bancard, where she supports branding, marketing, and content efforts for all companies under NAB. Prior to joining NAB, Hadden spent more than 10 years in news and trade journalism, most recently as editor-in-chief for a commercial construction publication. Hadden also teaches communication courses at Duquesne University. Hadden graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania with her Bachelor of Science in print journalism with a minor in creative writing, and from Southern New Hampshire University with her Master of Arts in English. Hadden is currently completing her Ph.D. at Duquesne University where she is studying rhetoric.