Financial Institutions Should Give High-Risk Merchants Equal Treatment

Payment processors like eDebitDirect can offer high-risk vendors other options.

As governors across the country continue to extend shelter-in-place orders, certain industries deemed high-risk are seeing a surge in business. From CBD to Cannabis to Kratom, Americans are turning to these natural stress relievers to make it through the pandemic.

But, this surge in popularity doesn’t mean that financial institutions are more open to taking such business. Long considered high-risk merchants, these vendors have struggled with banking and credit card relationships, having a hard time securing loans or losing large sums of money, at the whim of their bank or credit card company.

Take, for example, Elavon. USBank’s processor of credit card transactions, Elavon had a corner on the CBD market, with close to ninety percent of the merchant accounts. Last year, the company informed its merchants that they were cutting ties with businesses that sold CBD, leaving owners scrambling to establish new financial relationships. The insecurity of such relationships is enough to drive a business owner crazy.

When high-risk merchants are able to secure accounts with mainstream financial institutions, they often pay for it. With high rates and fees, banks and credit card companies take a larger portion of the profits to “justify” accepting this type of business. As a result, offering alternative payment options to customers can make the difference between staying in business and having to close up shop.

Payment processors like eDebitDirect are here to help high-risk merchants sell what their clients want without risking their payment processing relationship. We welcome high-risk merchants and work them to ensure the best rates with low fees. Most importantly, we are here for all of our clients, no matter their risk level.

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