CBD merchants are having a tough time these days. Operating in legal grey area between state laws and federal black cloud making it difficult to sell, accept payments, even market their products. But now, many merchants offering CBD products are even finding trouble just keeping their websites up and operating. It seems that recently Shopify has been shutting down or terminating many websites of merchants who are selling CBD, Hemp, and Ancillary cannabis products.
Shopify’s new stance is going to effect a lot of CBD businesses and could possibly point to a bigger picture.
Obviously, shopify wants the merchants who use their Ecommerce services to also process payments through their preferred payments provider, Shopify Payments. They will integrate with many other payments providers, for a price. They tempt merchants into using their preferred payments processor by charging up to an additional 2.0% transaction fee if you use your own processor.Verbiage on their website clearly states their opinion on using your own merchant service provider instead of their services: “You’ll be charged transaction fees each time a customer makes a purchase using a third-party provider. To avoid transaction fees, you can activate Shopify Payments instead.”
However, their provider is not high risk friendly. They will not approve high risk industries like CBD sales. If you are a high risk business such as CBD, Hemp and other ancillary cannabis merchant their payment processor will not approve you and now they won’t integrate with the payments gateway you may currently be using.
Up until now high risk merchants were still allowed to process payments with their own merchant service provider as long as Shopify integrated with them. But Shopify’s recent decision to no longer integrate with NMI is an indication that they are moving away from any industry that may cater to high risk business. Because NMI is one of the most common gateways for high risk industries such as CBD oil, Hemp and other businesses whose products support the cannabis industry.
Many CBD, Hemp and Ancillary businesses are finding themselves slapped with a termination notice for “violating [Shopify’s] Acceptable Use Policy.”
This is most likely because the accounts were mis-coded in the first place in order to get approval from Shopify payments and now that they have been discovered are being shut down.
These merchants unfortunately will now have to export and save their e-commerce store as well as all of their ecommerce materials so that they can successfully migrate their ecommerce site information to another platform. And, of course, will be need to find a new merchant account provider as well.
Others who already do have a high risk merchant account, but were using NMI to integrate with Shopify will also find themselves at a standstill until they find another gateway.
But how long will it be before Shopify cancels integration with those gateways as well? Could all of this be an indication that Shopify is looking to become registered as an ISO and attempt corner its users into using their services as the payment provider to increase their bottom line?
This of course injures business owners access to a free and competitive market when it comes to merchant services!
We can hypothesize all day as what Shopify’s end game is, but the more important point is what the CBD merchants are going to need to do to protect themselves.
The best thing you can do right now is be proactive. IF you are a merchant who has already received a termination letter from Shopify, time is of the essence. If you have yet to notice any problems, it is only a matter of time. Make sure you are taking steps to export and save your e-commerce store. There are many other options where you won’t have to worry about being shut down for the type of product you sell. Platforms such as Woo-Commerce-which is Open Source, Optuno’s full service web design & e-commerce service and/or Ecwid if you’re looking to add a shopping cart to an existing website or social media channel. The main goal is to choose an option where you won’t again be troubled with being shut down for the product type you are selling.
At Bankcard Brokers we work with dozens of gateways that can integrate with almost any Ecommerce platform including the above mentioned. More importantly, we offer reliable and transparent processing for any merchant whose products include CBD and Hemp. The last thing any business owner needs is to worry about having their site shut down and there is no reason CBD merchants should either. Call us today to experience the Bankcard Brokers difference! Let us focus on you while you focus your attention on increasing sales and productivity.