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Why do CBD start-ups find it difficult to find a payments provider, and what’s the solution?

The history of the cannabis plant is an interesting tale of health, wealth, crime and happiness. In the past cannabis has sparked intense political and social debate, engendered political movements and inspired the creation of a whole sub-genre of films, music and art.

As we power towards the third decade of the century, cannabis is gathering momentum within the thriving health and well-being industry in the form of cannabinoid oil (CBD). This cannabis compound differs from the psychoactive compound that causes the high from smoking cannabis – THC. Without the potentially harmful and degenerative effects of THC, CBD has been given legal status in many jurisdictions around the world, including the UK, various states in the US, and nearly all European countries.

Appearing in many products, such as orally-ingested oil, body lotions, tea, coffee, bath bombs, vape liquids and sweets, and treating such diverse ailments as rheumatic pains, anxiety and depression, cancer-related symptoms, acne and cardiovascular problems, CBD oil is big business.

Paying the price for ‘high-risk’

CBD oil businesses that want to start accepting payments for their goods will likely face issues when looking to connect with payments companies to help them do this. Payment companies will label CBD companies as ‘high-risk’, and may refuse to offer their services to CBD companies, or charge inflated rates for payment processing.

There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, CBD is an emerging market where businesses must tread carefully through a minefield of legislation to make sure that their products are legally allowed to be sold. Secondly, CBD has obvious connections with illegal marijuana, which means that certain payment companies perceive reputational risks coming with the acceptance of CBD merchants.    

Coupled with the hard work it takes to muscle their way into an already congested health marketplace, CBD start-ups may find the uncompromising attitude of certain payment providers to be damning to their chances of getting off the ground and driving the success of their business.

How do CBD businesses overcome their payment headache?

The simple answer to this is that CBD merchants need to connect with payment providers that are willing to take on merchants from emerging markets, and that have the experience and business nous to recognise when a new CBD business has the potential to be successful.

Payment companies need to take the time to assess the risks and rewards of working with the CBD business, and formulate a proper payments strategy that will maximise sales. Then, the relationship between payments provider and merchant can be profitable, and the ‘high-risk’ label rendered worthless.

A payment solution provider with a different approach

The key element to Trust Payments approach that sets them apart from the payments juggernauts that dominate the industry (such as WorldPay and Sage) is the personal touch that Trust Payments’ team of payment experts bring to proceedings during the entire relationship between themselves and the merchant. This is particularly essential for CBD businesses, who may be taking their first steps into business and accepting payments, and will need as much understanding, advice and expertise from their payments provider as possible.

Trust Payments work closely with key decision-makers from CBD businesses to work out precisely which payment solutions are needed to power their commerce and become successful within the CBD space. Whether it’s international payment options, omnichannel payment methods or recurring subscription payments that are needed, Trust Payments have the tools to help CBD businesses make it easy for customers to buy their products.

As for processing fees, Trust Payments treat emerging markets that other payment companies label ‘high-risk’ with the respect that ambitious start-ups in a congested field need. With an exclusive pricing model for CBD businesses looking to grow, Trust Payments give these merchants the opportunity to prosper without being dragged down by high processing fees.

A growing CBD portfolio

Trust Payments and their merchant acquiring arm have boarded a number of CBD merchants, who are already enjoying the benefits of an intelligent, integrated payments system. CBD start-up The Tonic is an example of this, having seen online sales boosted by 500%.

Trust Payments have a dedicated CBD branch to their Business Development team, whose sole aim is to provide fast-growing CBD businesses with the right payment solutions at the right price.  

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