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Date Updated: November 3, 2022


A CBD merchant account is a dedicated CBD retail processing account and a CBD eCommerce account that allows merchants selling CBD and Delta-related products to accept debit and credit card payments. However, most banks and processors still do not allow CBD merchants on their platforms. Many CBD merchants have experienced getting approved for a merchant account firsthand, only to be shut down a few weeks or months later because selling CBD goes against their boarding policies.  


The short answer is that you want to focus on growing your company, not worrying about if your processing account will get shut down without notice. Knowing what CBD merchants had to go through to take credit card processing just a few years ago is essential to understand why you must have a dedicated CBD merchant account. See the History of CBD Merchant Processing below for a full breakdown of what merchants had to go through in the past to sell CBD products.


You need a CBD payment gateway compatible with your shopping cart to take CBD payments online. AllayPay has the widest variety of CBD virtual terminals that will connect to the major online shopping carts, including Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Drupal, Magento, and many others. 

How long does it take to set up an online CBD merchant account? AllayPay will get your online CBD business approved quickly. The average setup time from submittal to approval is less than 2-3 business days for most CBD merchants.  


If you intend on selling CBD and Delta 8 products in a retail store, you’ll need the ability to take credit card payments seamlessly via a POS system. AllayPay offers the best POS systems today, including Clover, Vend, Quantic, Ovvi, and many others. We usually get CBD retail merchants approved the same day they submit their applications.


What is a zero-cost CBD merchant account? AllayPay offers retail CBD merchants the ability to pay nothing when customers use their credit or debit card. We accomplish this by applying a small non-cash adjustment automatically to the total transaction. Best of all, because the terminal displays dual pricing, cash, and card, there is no signage or need to manually adjust prices for compliance.


What is a surcharging CBD merchant account? AllayPay offers retail CBD merchants the ability to pay nothing when customers use their credit cards by adding a small surcharge automatically to the total transaction. When customers use their debit cards, no surcharge is applied. However, merchants still benefit by saving over half in standard processing fees, especially compared to Square!


AllayPay was one of the first processors to focus exclusively on CBD merchants. So many processors came and went, but only a handful seem to be okay with merchants selling CBD today, with Square being the most notable.

However, there are significant limitations when getting set up with Square for CBD. The main issue that most merchants should realize is that Square is a payment facilitator and not a processor. As a result, they board merchants quickly but then shut them down just as fast for even the slightest issue. No matter how prominent the merchant is, they will still shut them down without warning. The reason for this is Square does minimal underwriting when first approving merchants. As such, the moment there is a rise in chargebacks or anything goes slightly wrong; Square will either hold back enormous amounts of money in reserves or drop merchants altogether. 

Even before Elavon came and went a few years ago, Square opened a pilot program for specific CBD merchants but quickly canceled the whole program leaving merchants out to dry. Square’s current CBD program is still in beta, meaning Square can eliminate the entire CBD beta program as it did a few years ago. 

Another major limitation is Square outsourcing its entire CBD merchant program to other processors. When merchants add products that Square goes against their policies, they will drop them almost immediately without any opportunity to rectify the situation. These products include Delta-8, Delta-9 THC, and Delta-10 THC, to name a few. Most of AllayPay’s recent merchants were previously boarded with Square and had their accounts canceled for this exact reason.

AllayPay has been the top CBD merchant processing provider for years by ensuring our merchants stay updated with the ever-changing risk requirements. We have the knowledge and experience to thoroughly understand our high-risk merchants’ needs. For example, our merchants can freely sell the following CBD-related products without the stress of being shut down: 

  • Delta-8
  • Delta-9 THC
  • Delta-10 THC
  • THC-O
  • THC-V
  • Kratom 


AllayPay has perfect 5-star reviews, mainly from CBD and high-risk merchants. With almost 7 years dedicated to getting CBD merchants approved, AllayPay has the most experience compared to any other company. Our approach when boarding merchants is to ensure that we minimize potential underwriting issues so merchants have no problems in the future. See why the average merchant saves over 20% with AllayPay compared to Square. 


Before 2018, it was commonplace for U.S. merchants to obtain an international processing account to accept credit cards. There were many issues with international merchant accounts for U.S. merchants:

  1. It was technically against the card brand’s rules.
  2. To comply with the international processing rules, the U.S. company had to sign an overseas lease agreement to create nexus in that jurisdiction.
  3. It was much more expensive for both the merchant and the customers.
  4. Because it was an international merchant account, many customers’ banks blocked the transactions, resulting in lower sales. 

Then, around October 2018, Elavon, one of the top processing companies, announced they would allow CBD merchants to board their platform. However, less than 6 months after the Merchant’s Acquirer’s Committee (MAC) conference in Vegas, Elavon’s sponsor bank U.S. Bank stated that they disapproved, and all merchants had approximately 30 days to find another solution.

CBD merchants had to scramble to find stable credit card processing solutions. Many pop-up solutions claimed they would be the next Elavon, but unfortunately, they were in over their heads or lied to make a quick buck. AllayPay ensured that 100% of our merchants kept their ability to accept credit cards, allowing our merchants to flourish when others had to close their doors. As a result, we gained a reputation in the industry as the go-to CBD merchant provider with the best customer service.