“Paying for pot with plastic,” runs the striking headline. This article highlights the growth in so-called pot shops in the USA and the fact that more and more of them are looking for ways to start accepting credit cards. However, doing so in a low risk and affordable way is quite a challenge.
Issues in Detroit
Concerned residents and users of medical marijuana convened to discuss regulating legally-approved retailers. On the one hand were residents concerned by a recent increase and on the other hand users who say they rely on it to alleviate their conditions.
Issues in Oregon
The State is still coming to terms with a recent decision to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The first week of retail sales saw $11 million taken in revenue. In terms of sales, this would have put it fourth in the local box office.
What’s the problem?
All three of these stories point to a growing issue. As sales and use increase, retailers of marijuana are becoming more confident and ambitious in their sales strategies. They are looking to move beyond the world of cash-only transactions (which can of course be inconvenient) and start accepting cards.
The problem is – as many other so-called high risk businesses are finding out – most providers will not go near them. If a retailer goes to a bank and describes itself as a ‘pot shop’, its chances of setting up an account are slim. With so much legal uncertainty surrounding the business, it represents what most providers consider to be too great a risk.
One way around the problem that many outlets are finding is to tailor their business model. If they can prove they are not a marijuana-only business then there is a chance they can get an account. Others will have to find a high risk provider willing to help them set up and account.
Here they are finding a range of opportunities. The number of high risk merchant accounts is growing – so much so that there are price comparison sites helping companies choose between the multitude of options out there.
The problem is that finding the right provider for you and your business is far from an easy task. Ploughing through the available options and checking the small print is time consuming and costly – get it wrong and the impact on your business and revenue stream can be severe. This is why it can be helpful to employ the services of an expert. This can be someone who understands the field, has contacts with these financial institutions and can help find the right solution for you.
They can be crucial in helping you to avoid the less reputable providers, identify hidden costs, and ensure your provider is someone who can help you achieve these goals. This is one of the things we aim to do at Ultimate Merchant Providers. To find out more about the way we work, and the things we can offer for your business, give us a call.