The 10 Best Head Shop Merchant Account

A Head Shop is a retail outlet that specialises in selling tobacco and marijuana-related products, including paraphernalia, as well as vinyl records and clothing. Originating from the hippie culture in the ‘60s, these shops are associated with an underground movement.
Head shops are heavily watched by lawmakers, citizens, and banking institutions. Store owners are required to post signs indicating that all paraphernalia should be restricted to tobacco use only. Drug related words or phrases are also banned from use inside the head shops.
Despite the scrutiny, with the ever-growing popularity of medical marijuana, head shops are becoming more lucrative. So much so that head shop merchants are looking into moving their brick and mortar businesses to online.
Still, Headshop businesses are considered high risk. Fortunately, there are solid, reputable payment processors that do specialize in the high risk sector, especially in head shop businesses.
Take a look at these 10 head shop merchant account providers, they offer reliable, customised high risk merchant accounts for your business needs.

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Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and founded in 2009, Payline offers its merchants the following benefits: access to a virtual terminal, no cancellation or termination fees, next day deposit of funds, direct integration with Quickbooks, and a chargeback prevention platform.

The application process is quick and painless in which their high risk experts work to create a customised solution.

Payline has partnerships with 20+ banks ensuring a relationship that will last.

They also offer a dedicated support team to navigate the different options available to high risk merchants.

The Pros

Their virtual terminal alone, as a vast array of features, including: invoicing, a hosted payment page, billing plans and scheduled payments, shopping cart integrations, ACH payments, Mobile App, securely stored customer data, in-depth reporting, emailed receipts, void and refund capabilities, free PCI compliance, and unlimited users.

The Cons

The few complaints filed against the company include withheld funds, product malfunctions, and slow customer service.

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Host Merchant Services

Based in Newark, Delaware and founded in 2008, Host Merchant Services provides customizable payment processing solutions for high risk merchants.

Host boasts that their merchant accounts team exceeds their sales team by 4 times. This is to make sure they provide first-rate customer service.

The Pros

Their features include a guaranteed lowest rate, free mobile options, affordable point of sale, free equipment for qualified accounts, transparent statements, online marketing tools, multiple payment gateways (Transaction Express and Authorize.NET), virtual terminals, online shopping carts, PCI compliance, merchant cash advances, EMV credit card machines (including traditional, mobile/wireless, and PIN Debit PIN Pads), point of sales systems, gift and loyalty programs, cash discount programs, small and large ticket processing, and data breach protection.

The Cons

Only a handful of complaints have been reported and were related to merchants being denied an account or malfunctioning hardware. The others were about a misrepresentation of rates and an unexpected equipment lease. It is imperative that merchants read the fine print thoroughly to avoid these unnecessary charges.

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Founded by leading global payment expert Patricia B. Weber and payments industry veteran, Jared Ronski, MerchACT has been providing payment solutions to high risk industries for 15 years.

Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, MerchACT specialises in UK head shop products and services.

Rather than using “bait and switch” practices that other merchant account providers engage in, MerchACT provide stable, affordable, and reliable rates for merchant accounts from day one.

The Pros

Some of the benefits and features of their merchant accounts include: in-house support, PCI Compliant gateway, fraud tools, chargeback management and reporting, no application or setup fees, MerchACT directly processes the merchant account, long-term partnership through life of the account, assistance with global expansion, multi-currency options, SSL Encrypted Servers, all major credit card acceptance, recurring billing, safe and simple API system, and high volume merchant account facility.

The Cons

The only way to get in contact with the company is via email or the contact page on their website. Merchants need more ways to be able to speak to an actual person, especially for more complex issues. Chat and a direct line to a representative would be highly beneficial.

Furthermore, their acquiring banks are known to terminate merchant accounts based on volatility of sales.

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Allied Payments

With offices in North Palm Beach, Florida, Allied Payments specialises in providing high risk processing services for online merchants.

The Pros

One of their features, an e-Check solution, has the following benefits: low costs, account stability (transaction disputes are 2-3%), increased protection from chargebacks, a fraud protection system which is linked to their fraud scrubbing platform, check conversion processing solutions, check verification, check guarantee, and check drafting.

In addition, there are no volume limits.

Both the approval and setup fall within the same timeframe of 1-3 days. Deposits will be received within 48 hours.

They offer integration with payment gateways such as: WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, Ecwid, Limelight, Magento, Opencart, and Prestashop.

The Cons

This company only offers communication by phone, mail and contact form. Would be best to have a live chat feature that merchants can utilize for pressing matters and urgent questions.

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Green Pay

Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, Green Pay Merchant Services specialises in providing head shop merchants with customised payment processing solutions.

The Pros

Some of the benefits offered to head shop merchants include: a state of the art gateway that is secure and PCI compliant, major debit and credit card acceptance, secure virtual terminal, ACH and electronic check processing, great rates, free integrations, same-day funding, 24/7 customer service and tech support, chargeback insurance, as well as minimum and rolling reserves. Rates are determined based on the type of business.

The Cons

The only ways to communicate include phone, email and contact form. There is no live chat feature that would expedite an urgent question or concern.

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Durango Merchant Services

Founded in 2004 and located in Durango, Colorado, Durango Merchant Services works with many gateway processors and suppliers with sponsor banking relationships that offer credit processing solutions for both the US-based and internationally based companies.

Durango also provides assistance to startups/existing businesses and both high ticket merchants and merchants with bad credit.

The Pros

Features in the contract include: variable contract lengths (month-to-month), free application processing, direct financing with regular deposits (daily or weekly, depending on whether onshore vs offshore), recurring billing, competitive rates, acceptance of multiple currencies and deposits, compatibility with major gateways and shopping carts, integration assistance with more than 100 shopping carts, chargeback prevention tools and advice, eCheck processing, gateway includes fraud detection and prevention tools.

The Cons

The only complaints received about this company were about Durango’s inability to get approval for a high risk merchant account and about a partnering bank withholding a merchant’s funds.

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iPay Total

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in London, iPay Total is a head shop payment processor that also offers end-to-end high risk merchant solutions to customers around the world.

The Pros

Some features offered on online dating merchant accounts include: multi-bank processing (including offshore), secure payment gateway, chargeback alerts, chargeback disputes, ACH/Check 21 processing, fraud prevention and protection, and competitive processing rates (below 6%), as well as 24/7 support online or by phone.

The Cons

High risk merchant account contract terms are not disclosed to the public. iPay Total also claims to charge a set up fee of up to £4,500, an incredibly exorbitant and prohibitive amount, especially for small businesses starting out.

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Radiant Pay

London-based Radiant Pay is an agency offering payment solutions to merchants across all “legal” industries, including head shop merchants. It is a leading payment solution provider in the UK, European, and Asian countries.

The Pros

Some of the advantages offered include quick approvals, partnership with banks around the world, round the clock support, affordable pricing plans, quick payouts, minimal transaction charges, no deductions from revenues, uncapped transaction volumes, multi-currency processing, low taxes, risk management solutions, and personalized consultations.

The Cons

Some complaints about the company have to do with sales agents imposing highly undesirable contract terms. It is best to read the fine print thoroughly before signing anything with this company.

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Based in Los Angeles, California, eMerchantBroker offers high risk processing solutions, including head shop merchant accounts.

The Pros

EMB offers custom-made paid solutions, excellent customer service, approval rates between 24 and 48 hours, chargeback management tools, PCI-compliant payment gateways, as well as fraud filters.

The Cons

Very little information about the standard contract. This could only mean that the contract terms vary widely from merchant to merchant. There are early termination fees that are up to $295 for 1 year contracts and up to $595 for 3 year contracts.

Provider of the Month

To ensure you choose the best head shop merchant for your business, determine if this provider demonstrates extensive experience handling head shop merchant accounts.
Some key features to look for are domestic solutions to credit card processing, ACH, Check-21 and e-check processing services.
Quality customer service, up to date and compliant industry standard solutions as well as 24/7 security monitoring would facilitate operating your business, hassle-free.