Industry

Vape and E-Cig Processing Solution

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Josh Phelps
February 16, 2023


As smoking bans become increasingly common, more and more people are putting down their traditional tobacco cigarettes and picking up electronic cigarettes or vape pens. Between 2011 and 2018, the number of people who vaped worldwide grew from seven million to 41 million . In 2019, the e-cigarette and vaping industry was worth $19.3 billion.

For many former smokers, part of the appeal of vaping is the reduced risk . Ironically, many payment processors consider vape businesses as high-risk. It can be tricky to get a Vape and E-Cig Processing Solution for your business.

If you own a company in the e-cigarette industry, you need to know what payment processing options are out there and how you can go about getting an e-cig merchant account.

Why Vape and E-Cig Processing Solutions Are High Risk

Vaping and e-cigarettes aren’t illegal, but they are highly regulated. For example, you can’t sell e-cigarettes or vaping liquid to minors, which as of 2019, is anyone under the age of 21 .

Generally speaking, payment processors view highly regulated industries, such as the tobacco industry and its cousin, the e-cigarette industry, as high-risk . If minors purchase your products or there’s another violation of regulations, you can end up in hot water, and so can the payment processor that allowed the transaction to occur. That means potentially higher costs for the payment processor and an overall increased risk when working with businesses in the e-cigarette industry.

Although vaping liquids and e-cigarettes that replace tobacco products are legal for adult consumption, vaping itself can be seen as a gray area. For example, some people vape marijuana, which isn’t legal across all 50 states. Because of the connection to potentially illegal drugs, many payment processors classify vape shops as high risk.

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Why Popular Payment Processors Don't Offer a Vape and E-Cig Processing Solution

It can be tricky for an e-cig business to get a merchant account from a traditional payment processor for a few reasons:

  • Higher costs for the processor: Companies that fall into the high-risk category typically cost more for the payment processor. High-risk companies often have a high chargeback rate . Customers might purchase an e-cigarette, decide they don’t like its taste or don’t think it’s effective and dispute the charge with their credit card. When a customer disputes a charge, the issuing bank takes the money back. The merchant may or may not be able to cover it, in which case, the payment processor is responsible.
  • Potential for legal action: Vaping is legal but regulated. A merchant that sells its products to people under age 21 or that doesn’t verify age can get in legal trouble. There’s a chance that trouble could extend to the payment processor, which allowed the transaction to go through.
  • Potential for reputational harm: The public’s opinion matters for payment processors. Many processors don’t want to be associated with high-risk industries, including vape shops. Even if an e-cigarette company does everything by the book, some traditional payment processors might hesitate to partner with it.

Some of the more popular payment processors are up-front in their refusal to work with vape and e-cig processing solutions and others in the e-cigarette industry. If your company tries to apply for an account with them, it’s likely to get denied immediately.

What Can a High-Risk Vape Merchant Account Offer You?

Fortunately, high-risk merchant accounts aren’t impossible to get. The trick is finding a payment processing company that specializes in working with high-risk businesses. High-risk payment processors know the ins and outs of operating a high-risk business. They are also familiar with the industry’s regulations and with the e-cigarette industry itself.

Some of the features a high-risk merchant account can provide that a traditional account can’t include:

What Is Zen Payments' Vape Merchant Account Approval Process?

Zen Payments specializes in working with high-risk merchants , and will work to help you find a Vape and E-Cig Processing Solution. We make it easy to get approved for a merchant account and accept card payments. Our approval rating for high-risk applicants is currently 98%.

To apply for a merchant account with us, you’ll need to provide the following information:

Contact Zen Payments to Set up Your Merchant Account Today

Accepting card payments allows you to grow your e-cig or vape shop, whether you want to reach more customers online or make it more convenient for your in-person customers to pay. Don’t take the risk of getting turned down or having your account closed by a traditional payment processor. Work with a company that understands the unique needs of your business.

Get started on your Zen Payments account application today, or get in touch with us to learn more.

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Our merchant service specialists are the best in the business and will work with you from start to finish to get your account approved!

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Josh Phelps is an experienced sales professional with eight years of expertise, including four years in payment processing. Throughout his career, Josh has successfully secured approvals for thousands of businesses, demonstrating his skill in navigating and optimizing the payment processing landscape.


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