Kratom refers to a tree that is native to Southeast Asia. Its scientific name is mitragyna speciosa.
It’s not illegal, but it has some psychotropic, opioid-like effects.
People use it for a number of reasons, including to help with pain, anxiety, depression, and even alcohol withdrawal.
Kratom can be purchased in stores, and it is often found in convenience stores, gas stations, headshops, and other retail environments. It can also be purchased online.
Most customers that are interested in purchasing kratom will do so with a credit or debit card. Some might want to use echecks or mobile wallet apps like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
But in order to accept those types of payment options, a business has to have a way to accept and process them.
Merchant services make that possible.
Kratom retailers need to have a merchant account as well as the ability to process payments, which both fall under the umbrella of merchant services.
The merchant account is a type of bank account that is designed to act more like a holding tank for money from sales.
Customers will come into your store (or shop online) and pay for their purchases with a credit card. When the transaction is approved, funds are transferred from their card (or bank account if they’re using a debit card) to your merchant account.
Once the money is in the merchant account, transaction fees and any other fees are removed. From there, the funds are transferred to your business bank account.
The merchant account makes all of that possible.
And without it, you’d be stuck either making everyone pay in cash - which would be impossible for an online business - or you’d have to go with a payment aggregator, which is a bad idea.
Stay tuned to learn why.
Your payment processor is responsible for moving money from your sales through the pipeline, for lack of a better term.
This company makes sure that processing fees are paid to the credit card companies and that you’re able to seamlessly accept payments.
They also ensure that your deposits are received in your business bank account in a timely manner.
There are a lot of ways kratom businesses can accept credit card payments.
The one you choose will likely depend on your personal preferences, as well as what type of business you own (brick and mortar or online).
If you own a brick and mortar business, you may be thinking that you should use a POS system and/or a credit card terminal to process payments.
This is standard in most retail stores.
Once the payment card is swiped and the payment is authorized, funds go through the process we outlined above.
There are a lot of POS systems and credit card terminals on the market, and they offer various features that can help your business operate more efficiently too.
Some retailers selling kratom in-store may prefer the use of a virtual terminal rather than a POS system.
A virtual terminal is a way to process payments through a computer or tablet that has an internet connection.
To use it, you go to a specific website, which is given to you by your payment processor. You log in and enter your customers’ payment information.
Many kratom retailers will use virtual terminals if they take orders over the phone too.
If your kratom business operates online in any capacity, you’ll need a payment gateway to process your customers’ payments.
The payment gateway integrates with your website’s shopping cart seamlessly.
Customers visit your website, add the items they want to buy, and then go through the checkout process. Everything happens behind the scenes in a matter of seconds.
Payment gateways are often branded according to your business’ brand to add authenticity, and you really can’t have an online business without one.
If your business operates outside of a brick and mortar building, but you still need to accept payments, even if you’re on the go, a mobile card reader is the perfect solution.
Mobile card readers function just like mini-POS systems. They have much of the same functionality.
There are also ways to process mobile payments through apps offered by payment processing companies.
A lot of kratom merchants are tempted to work with payment aggregators (also called payment services providers, or PSPs) rather than opt for merchant services.
At first, it seems like it makes sense to process payments through companies like Stripe, PayPal, and Square. Their services offer a lot of perks, like:
Unfortunately, aggregators may cause you more trouble than you think.
Many of them won’t work with kratom retailers because they’re considered high risk businesses.
To get around that, some business owners won’t disclose what types of products they’re selling, and if the PSPs find out, it can result in frozen funds or even account closures.
You could end up losing access to your money for several months if that happens. It’s just too big a risk.
Finding a merchant services provider you can trust to process your payments is key. Here’s what you need to think about before you choose one.
Like we mentioned earlier, kratom retail businesses are considered to be high risk.
Even though kratom is a legal substance, it falls into somewhat of a gray area as far as legality goes. Some states - like Rhode Island and Indiana - have even banned kratom sales.
Also, this type of business runs the risk of excessive chargebacks.
A chargeback occurs when a customer disputes a credit card transaction, and it happens more often than businesses like to admit.
For these reasons, kratom is high risk and requires a high risk payment processing company in order to accept payments.
You’ll be asked to sign a contract for kratom credit card processing services. When you choose the right company, the terms should be easy to understand.
But not all contracts are the same, so read it over carefully.
Ask questions about any fees that are discussed in the contract if you don’t understand them. And find out if there are any additional fees that are not included in the written contract.
As a high risk business, you may have to commit to a three-year term with any provider you choose, at least at first. That could change down the road if you continue to work with that processor.
Every merchant account provider has its own fees and costs associated with its services. You may be required to pay any of the following:
You’ll also have to pay transaction fees on every sale. Every processor has its own fee structure, but there are three main types:
When you’re shopping for merchant services for your kratom business, it helps to know what to expect.
Here’s some helpful information to guide you as you choose the right one for your needs.
Once you submit your application for merchant services, you’ll go through the company’s underwriting process.
Your underwriter’s goal is to get to know your business and assess your risk level. You’ll be asked to provide a lot of documentation, like:
The underwriting process for a high risk business can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. But it’s much faster when you provide as much information as possible upfront.
Getting a kratom payment processor isn’t as simple as just doing a Google search and choosing one.
There are hundreds of companies that work with businesses like yours, but they’re not all going to offer you the best value for the money you’ll spend on their services.
Please take our advice and spend some time reading reviews for any business you’re interested in working with. You can learn a lot from other business owners’ experiences.
Steer clear of any merchant account provider or payment processing company that promises you instant approval.
There’s really no such thing.
On the other hand, many companies offer fast approval, which means they’ll help you get up and running in no time, and with excellent service.
Here are a few extra words of advice that will help you as you search for the right kratom merchant services provider.
It can be tricky to pay for kratom with a credit card, and many sales have been declined because of questionable legality and safety.
It helps to offer alternative payment options to your customers, such as mobile wallet payments, electronic checks, or even cryptocurrency.
Also, more people are starting to move away from using cards because they like the convenience that other methods offer them.
If you have a brick and mortar store and you’re in need of hardware, avoid getting into a long-term equipment lease.
Leasing your equipment can easily end up costing you thousands of dollars. POS systems are available for purchase, and you may even be able to integrate with one you already have.
If you’re not happy with the processor’s services, you want to know what will happen if you have to terminate your contract before the term is up.
Some high risk payment processors charge excessive early termination fees, and some are as much as $500 to $1000.
This information is often found hidden deep inside contracts, so make sure you ask about it before you sign anything binding.