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The payments space for hemp companies changed drastically when Elavon shutdown in May. Despite a lot of payments organizations statements, there are very very few reasonably priced domestic credit card solutions currently open to service businesses selling hemp; or even CBD derived from hemp.
At this time hemp companies can set up ACH or E-check services to accept B2C or B2B orders, where a customer provides their checking account information as a form of payment. Even though this isn’t ideal, it is a solution that offers a secure payment experience.
Below are some suggestions regarding the use of other payment options.
PayPal: If the seller is using this payment option make sure you do not agree to the “Friends and Family” option, as there is no option to dispute your purchase with that method. In addition since PayPal is currently not hemp friendly, the seller is taking a risk even using that method for accepting payments.
Western Union and Bank Wires: These are essentially a cash transaction and should only be used for B to B transactions where you know who you are dealing with. There is no recourse to get back your funds if the deal goes south, so be cautious.
Cash Apps, Zelle and Other Similar Platforms: While these can be fast and easy to use they are also Bank-to-Bank transactions and may not be recoverable if needed.
Gift Cards: This method of payment is extremely risky and does not offer any option to get your money back. I wouldn’t recommend going this route for any hemp transactions.
Cryptocurrency: Is sometimes offered simply because traditional credit card options are so hard to come by. This is a legit way to payment if you are already very familiar with this sort of payment system. Again it is virtually impossible to recover your funds if product never arrives.
In summary, at this time the most secure payment options for transaction between strangers are Credit and Debit Cards and E-check options which may take several days to clear. Until another leading lending institution steps forward or the Federal Bank legislation is finalized and passed, it is still a “Buyer Beware” environment.
Stephanie – Very glad to hear you have had good success with Bank of the West. What I was posting about was credit card processing and other forms of payment by and from customers. Do you have Credit Card processing through Bank of the West?