Vape Merchant Account

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Bankcard was referred to me by my developer. From the jump, they were impressive. They were super responsive, they asked great questions and their solution was really robust. Also, working with Katherine and Hanna is a dream!
High risk merchant account
Emily Wallace
vape merchant account

These days, vaping is big business. As traditional cigarettes continue to fall in popularity, vaping use continues to rise. Current estimates hold that there are at least 80 million vapers, resulting in an industry that is now worth billions of dollars—and, the increasing number of individuals who vape has created increased opportunities for new businesses. As a result, the vaping industry has exploded, with more and more companies attempting to provide vaping services to consumers.

The vaping industry also faces no shortage of problems. Regulatory challenges and a less-than-stellar reputation among medical professionals and government officials have created many issues for vaping-related vendors. These issues often make it difficult for people in the vaping industry to access essential financial services, including the ability to process credit cards or make sales over the internet.

Starting a vape merchant account is not easy and often expensive. These difficulties are a direct result of vape merchant accounts being classified as high-risk by payment processors and credit card processing companies. A high-risk classification is not fatal to a vaping merchant. It can add significant challenges and force vendors to seek out other credit card processors who can suit their business needs. There are merchant account vendors who can handle the creation of a vape merchant account. Bankcard is one such vendor. With years of experience in the high-risk merchant account services business, Bankcard is more than capable of handling all of your high-risk processing needs. 

Why Are Vape Merchant Accounts High-Risk?

There are real challenges that come with a vape account. You may have a harder time accepting payments with a Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or any related debit card. You may not be able to adequately engage in eCommerce, and you may struggle with being able to access a variety of other basic business and financial services. Bankcard can help you find the payment gateways that you need. It has years of experience in the vaping industry, and with other high-risk businesses.

One of the real challenges with the area of selling vaping products is the possibility of completely losing your credit card processing. These days, no business can operate without having access to merchant account solutions. Most processors will not allow for a vape merchant account to operate as a low-risk business. You should be able to continue to operate, but it will have to be as a high-risk account.

high-risk account is a classification that merchant account vendors will give to certain types of businesses. This is not a classification that is exclusive to vaping businesses. Many other businesses have this classification. These tend to be businesses that are subjected to high amounts of chargebacks, like subscription-based businesses or other businesses with lower customer satisfaction and more customer confusion.

Reputational issues are also common roadblocks for high-risk businesses. This is the case for vaping businesses, which often struggle with perceived health risks and regulatory challenges. Furthermore, vendors tend to be more worried that a high-risk account will have issues that result in governmental regulators or law enforcement making more inquiries about services. Again, this is a concern that applies to vaping businesses.

High-risk classifications come from numerous factors, and no individual factor will be singularly responsible for a high-risk classification. Vaping merchants tend to have numerous factors that make them more likely than not to be classified as high-risk. These include:

  • Chargebacks: A chargeback is one of the most important factors that can lead to a high-risk classification. Chargebacks occur when a good is returned. This means that the customer must have their money refunded. A refund obviously means that a vendor loses their money. It also means that a processor must expend time and money refunding the consumer, and this costs them money. A chargeback will thus negatively impact numerous parties.
  • Fraud: The vaping industry is still a relatively new one. It’s also rife with issues related to fraud, including the sale of counterfeit goods. Many credit card processors are thus less likely to want to do business with the vaping industry. They may this make a high-risk classification.
  • Reputational issues: The vaping industry currently struggles with many reputational challenges that are directly related to counterfeit goods and the potential negative health impacts of their products. These issues make it more challenging for credit card processors to want to do business with vaping merchants. This often results in high-risk classification.

High-risk accounts are more problematic for credit card and online processors. In order to offset the added expenses that come with managing high-risk accounts, credit card processors will typically increase fees and other requirements for their high-risk customers. This results in more expenses for your vaping. In a thin profit margin business—like vaping—this can be the difference between business success and failure.

What does this mean for a vaping business? You will have to spend extra time finding merchant services that can suit your needs and give you access to the high-quality services that you deserve. You will have to make sure that they provide you with all of the services that your business needs, including a payment gateway, eCommerce solutions, and more. 

What Businesses May Have Trouble With Vape Merchant Accounts?

There are many businesses that may be impacted by this high-risk classification. This obviously includes any vendor that sells vaping products. This is not the only vendor that may earn a high-risk classification. As a result of the way these high-risk classifications are made, other vendors may find themselves impacted by such a classification. These include:

  • Convenience or grocery stores that sell high levels of vaping products
  • CBD stores that sell vaping products
  • Tobacco or cigar stores that sell vaping merchandise

The risk of this occurring is even higher if a vendor already has other aspects that might make it more likely to be classified as high-risk. For example, CBD vendors are already likely to face a high-risk classification. This likelihood increases if sales data shows that a store sells a relatively high level of vaping products. Keep in mind that selling any vaping or related products can earn you this classification. 

How Can a High-Risk Classification Damage Your Vape Business?

A high-risk classification can be a serious burden to your business. These classifications are commonplace in the vaping and cigarette industry, and if you open a vaping business, you can likely expect to be classified as high risk. Such a classification can have a variety of negative impacts on your business. This includes:

  • Higher payment processing fees: Every business pays a portion of a charge to their merchant account vendor. If you are a high-risk business, you are likely to owe a higher percentage of fees to your vendor. You may also find that you have a higher flat fee per charge and a higher fee for chargebacks. 
  • Longer application process: Applying for payment processing solutions means filling out a lot of paperwork. If you are high-risk, you’ll have to provide even more records, including additional insight into your past financial history, credit history, and bank accounts. In some cases, you may not even have the option of filling out an online application, and you may have to provide a slew of paperwork for your merchant account application. 
  • Higher levels of cash reserves: All payment and credit card processors keep a certain amount of money as a cash reserve. Your money will eventually be deposited in the appropriate financial institution, but you will find that a portion of the money you are owed is kept for chargebacks or other refunds. If you have a high-risk business, you find yourself needing a higher level of cash reserves. 

What Services Does My Vape Merchant Account Need?

A vape merchant account will need to provide you with an array of financial services. The basics—including processing credit or debit cards—simply aren’t enough anymore.

Many vaping companies now have an internet component. If this is the case for your operation, your business will need to have some sort of eCommerce component. This means that you will need to take credit cards securely, over your website. You may also need to take other forms of online-exclusive payments, such as a Paypal account, Venmo, or more. The array of payment options has become massive at this point, and it seems as if a new and popular method of payment comes out every month. As such, you will need a merchant account provider who can not only handle processing credit card payments but has constantly been updating and upgrading the number of payments that they process. 

If you have a retail business, you will need a vendor who can provide you with POS services. This means giving you the necessary equipment that you need in order to take payments in person. You’ll have to get clarification about how the point of sale devices will be serviced. What happens if one breaks? Do you have to pay for maintenance? How quickly can you get customer service on this device? 

Furthermore, depending on your type of business, you may want to explore other payment options. For example, could your business benefit from zero-cost processing? This is a processing method in which the cost of your high-risk credit card processing is passed along to consumers. Zero cost processing can save you money, but it obviously comes with trade-offs, as it will increase the price that your customers pay, potentially leaving you in a less competitive business position. You will have to speak with an expert in the field of credit card processing and make sure that such a move would be the best for your business.

Your business will also need access to world-class, knowledgeable customer service. Individuals who help your business must be available to quickly answer any questions whenever your business is open. If there are technical issues, these must be resolved in the speediest manner possible. 

How Do These Services Integrate With Accounting and Marketing?

If you are creating a vape merchant account, your account must integrate well with already existing services. This means that they must smoothly operate with the financial payment models that you have already set up in your business. The accounting programming must easily integrate with your website, providing shopping cart support and easily exporting any information. This will help ensure you have the most accurate accounting of your finances. It can also make sure that your taxes are paid on time and accurately.

You should also make sure that merchant account services can provide you with marketing assistance. Think about all of the contact information that travels through your accounting software: Names, addresses, phone numbers, Emails, and more. If you can gain access to this information, you can do more than just automatically Email someone a receipt. You can also ensure that you are giving them appropriate, targeted, and relevant marketing info. 

Some businesses may also need custom computer software to ensure that their accounting syncs with their website. This means that a merchant account provider must have technical and programming efforts on staff. These individuals should be able to get your website up and running, thus making sure that your shopping card will easily integrate with any new software. 

As you are probably well aware, these services can be difficult to find. Vaping business owners need to find a merchant account provider that is comfortable with their industry and who can provide all of these services at competitive rates. This is where Bankcard can help. We can provide all of these services and more, ensuring that you can stay competitive in business at affordable prices. If you want more information on how Bankcard can provide you with the bank services you need, please contact us today.


Bankcard Connect plays nice with others

Bankcard Connect integrates seamlessly with ISV software to simplify payment processing for merchants: any payment type, on any device, anywhere. 

Bankcard integrates with over 99% of the tools you are already using, including popular accounting software and e-commerce apps, regardless of your industry. Our payment services were designed to be adaptable to provide seamless integrations for our customers.

merchant account integrations c

Microsoft Dynamics
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Event Espresso
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911 Software, Inc.
ACR Systems
Aldelo Systems, Inc.
Applied Micro Technology
Advanced Retail Management Solutions (ARMs)
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Data Business Systems
Datacap Systems, Inc.
DataTech Corp
Edgil Associates
Epicor (CRS, NSB)
Freedom Pay
Gateway Ticketing Systems
Idalica Corp
IJN Systems
IT Retail
Main Street Softworks
MBS Textbook Exchange
Medasyst, Inc.
/n Software, Inc.
PC America
RATEX Business Solutions
Retail Data Systems
RTL Payment Systems
ScanSource, Inc.
Sicom Systems, Inc.
Slim CD
Tempus Technologies
Tender Retail Systems
The Software Mills
Tomax Corporation
Total Computing Solutions
TouchNet Information Systems
XProtean, Inc. (C-Payment Software)
XPient Solutions
Vista Entertainment Systems

911 Software, Inc.
Data Business Systems
Datacap Systems, Inc.
Main Street Softworks
Menusoft Systems Corp.
Micros Systems
Midnite Express, Inc.
/n Software Inc.
Radiant Systems
Revel Systems
Sicom Systems, Inc.
Squirrel Systems
Tempus Technologies
XPient Solutions
XProtean, Inc. (C-Payment Software)
Elavon (previously Southern DataComm and Global Card Services)

Dresser Wayne
Fuel Links
Fiscal Systems, Inc.
LOC Software
Main Street Softworks
Petro RX
Radiant Systems
VeriFone Ruby System

Datacap Systems
LOC Software

911 Software, Inc.
Hotel Software Systems
Slim CD
Tempus Technologies

Government organizations face a growing need for secure payment processing services while managing highly specific needs for content management and security. 

We can work with popular technology products government agencies prefer, like Ciber and Cubic, to create an integrated solution that meets all your needs for processing payments, managing information, and more.

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We partnered with Bankcard in 2017 and they've been there for us every time. Everything is super fast and I love how well they communicate with our staff. They really know their stuff, and we work in a very complex industry! My account executive knows our business inside and out.

Alexandria, CMO
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FAQs: Table of Contents

Accepted Industries and Countries​

The industries we accept for high risk merchant accounts include, but are not limited to the below industries.

  • Adult merchant account
  • Bad credit
  • CBD
  • Credit Repair
  • MLM
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Payday loans
  • Private airlines
  • Subscriptions
  • Travel
  • Vape & eCig
  • Illegal business activity
  • Businesses without the proper license
  • Illegal drugs (CBD with less than 0.30% THC is acceptable)

Bankcard can provide merchant accounts to customers in the below countries. Kindly note that many payment solutions are regulated based on location.

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Bear Island 
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Channel Island
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • France
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungry
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vatican City

Being a start-up business will not hinder a business from getting approved for a merchant account. While having a processing history helps your likelihood of getting approved,  the lack of processing will not necessarily stop you from getting an approval. Consult an experienced Account Executive today to learn more. 

There are never guarantees when it comes to the approval of a merchant account. However, we do work with merchants that have low credit scores. Reach out to an Account Executive today for a consultation. 

If you’re a United States citizen applying for a merchant account for a United States registered business, a social security number is required. 

A merchant account can be labeled high risk for many reasons. You can be labeled as such due to high average tickets, being in an industry that historically has high chargebacks, or an industry that tier one banks do not support.

Applying for a merchant account

To apply for a high-risk merchant account, you need to complete our pre-qualification form and upload all required documentation. Once the pre-qualification is complete your Account Executive will locate the best placement for your account, and send you a final agreement. Once that final agreement is signed, underwriting will complete a full package review for approval. 

There is no fee to apply for a merchant services account with Bankcard. However, If you get approved with us there may be a small setup fee for your gateway account.

Square, Stripe, and Paypal are all payment facilitators and do not accept high-risk merchant accounts. Signing up with Bankcard gives you a direct merchant relationship with a sponsor bank. The approval process requires more documentation, but you’re at a significantly lower risk of getting terminated.

This depends upon how quickly you, the merchant, completes our pre-qualification form. Once we have all of your documentation, we get to work. We can typically locate placement for your merchant services account in 48 hours.  

Once you get an approval, you’ll be able to accept credit card payments within 24 business hours. 

Depending upon the program, you will receive your funds anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after the batch is settled. 

The industry type is a major determining factor when it comes to risk levels of merchant services. But, other factors such as credit, card-present vs not present, and chargeback ratios can also push an account into the high-risk category as well. 

Completing the Application

Your legal business name should match the business name on the state business registration or licensure. However, if you are a sole proprietor, your name would be the legal business name. 

If you’re not sure how much processing you’ll do, we recommend applying for $5,000 to $10,000 monthly. You don’t need to hit that number each month, but if you’re close to going over, reach out to your Account Executive for assistance. 

Your average transaction amount should be the average of all transactions you would accept with your merchant account. Your maximum transaction should be the anticipated maximum amount accepted in one transaction. If you attempt to process a transaction that is higher than the maximum amount provided, additional proof of purchase may be requested. 

You may provide personal bank statements in lieu of bank statements if your business bank account is new or does not have any activity. 

If you’re applying for a merchant account for ecommerce processing you will need a fully functional website with products or services listed with associated pricing. 

Yes, a credit check is required in order to obtain a high-risk merchant account. Once a final agreement is signed, a hard credit pull is done.  Credit scores are taken into consideration when underwriting reviews a full application for merchant services. 

If you’re a United States citizen applying for a merchant account for a business registered in the United States, your social security number will be required to apply. 


The first step to applying for a high-risk merchant account is completing the pre-qualification form. Three months bank statements, three months processing statements (if applicable), a voided check or bank letter, and driver’s license or passport will be required to apply. 

If your business does not utilize checks, we can accept a bank letter that includes your full account and routing number as well as the business or account holder’s name. The letter should be on bank letterhead, be dated within the last 30 days, and be signed by a bank representative. 

If you don’t have three months of business bank statements, don’t fret. We can accept three months’ personal bank statements from a business owner, or director. 

Bank statements show a lot about a prospective merchant, namely, processing activity, and the average monthly ending balance. If a merchant is currently processing, we want to know why they’re switching, if we know a merchant’s pain points we can find better solutions for their needs. The average monthly ending balance is also relevant to show financial stability within the business as well as validating the monthly volume requested.

If a merchant is currently processing credit card payments and successfully managing a merchant account this can increase the likelihood of getting approved. Some payment facilitators such as Paypal, Stripe, and Square might not supply monthly processing statements. Underwriting may request login credentials so they can get an overview of the processing activities. 

Equipment and Gateways

For in-person retail card acceptance, Bankcard can provide equipment that will arrive programmed and ready to accept payments. Discuss your equipment options with your experienced Account Executive.

Here at Bankcard, we do offer our own gateway solution that’s exclusive to merchants that sign up with us. Of course, if there’s a gateway you prefer we are willing to work with you as long as integration is possible. Please reach out to your dedicated Account Executive for details. 

Bankcard integrates with NMI,, and more. For specific gateway integration questions reach out to an experienced Account Executive. 

Your merchant account will be set up to accept Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and ATM cards. 

Load balancing is the strategy of spreading transactions over more than one MID. It’s not necessary for all high-risk accounts, but can be considered as a way to manage chargeback ratios with high-risk merchants. 

Existing Merchant Accounts

Not to worry, this number can be increased as needed. However, the bank underwriting your merchant account needs to be aware of the expected monthly volume to ensure they have capacity available for all merchants processing with that bank. 

If you go over by a small amount you might be asked for a copy of the invoice or receipt. However, if you go over the monthly limit by a large amount there is a chance your excess funds might be held temporarily. 

When it comes to high-risk accounts, banks ideally want chargeback ratios below the 3% threshold. If you can provide long term processing history the bank may take this into consideration. Lower chargeback ratios are ideal. Consult your knowledgeable Account Executive for assistance in lowering your chargeback ratio. 

Rolling reserves are a way to financially protect the processing bank from potential losses from chargebacks or refunds. Not all high-risk merchant accounts require a rolling reserve. The risk department will determine if and when a rolling reserve is required. 

Interchange fees refer to the issuing credit card brand fees such as Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American express. These fees vary depending on the card type, American Express tends to be the most expensive card to process. Interchange rates can range from 1% to 2.5%. 

Of course! Once you’ve established a healthy processing history, you may reach out to your Account Executive for a rate review. We recommend only doing this if your processing history shows low chargeback ratios and relatively low refund activity. 

You may request an increase in your monthly volume at any time. However, it’s recommended to wait until your merchant account reflects healthy processing history as well as financial stability from your bank statements. 

Reach out to our support team, or your dedicated Account Executive for any account-related updates you may need. 

Depending on the program your merchant account fees are either taken at the beginning of each month. Some programs require daily discounts. Program details will be notated on your final agreement and if you have further questions you can always consult your Account Executive. 

ACH payments

Bankcard can assist with ACH or eCheck services. An application and approval process still applies to this service, or it can be an added service with your processing account. Reach out to your Account Executive for details. 

The approval process requires less documentation than applying for a merchant services account. And if you’re already processing with Bankcard an approval can be expedited. 

Every account is different, however, most programs allow next-day settlements for ACH transactions. 

ACH payment acceptance can be integrated into most website platforms. Reach out to a dedicated Account Executive for more information. 

Pricing and Approval

High-risk merchant accounts are priced higher than low-risk accounts because fewer banks are willing to work with businesses labeled “high risk”. Banks also need additional financial protections from loss on these accounts.  

Bankcard will always provide fair pricing based on the risk level of every merchant. And if a current processing statement is provided we’ll do everything in our power to beat the merchant’s current rates. 

While we love working with merchants that are considered high risk. There are limitations put in place by bank and card brand rules. If a merchant does not abide by the specific program rules described by the Account Executive assisting them we cannot ensure an approval.

Think of merchant accounts as a loan or a line of credit. And processing banks take on the risk of transactions getting charged back. Banks can end up liable for the actions of merchants, a problematic merchant can damage the reputation of the bank funding and processing the transactions.