Cannabis Industry
Merchant services

Credit card processing solutions

for cannabis and THC businesses

Start accepting credit
cards today

We know that finding quality domestic cannabis credit card processing has been difficult, if not impossible, over the past several years. Well, all that’s changing! AdvoCharge provides a unique, US-based payment processing solution that allows your cannabis business to accept all credit and debit cards at an affordable rate. No loading of physical gift cards, no need for multiple systems to accept credit cards, and no offshore banking at criminally high rates.

Here’s how it works

AdvoCharge now offers a proprietary processing solution that uses a patented, closed-loop, dual-transaction technology. Here’s how it works: A customer swipes their credit card at a dispensary, as they would do for a transaction at any other store. This transaction creates a virtual gift card for the exact purchase amount – no physical gift card is required. That transaction automatically initiates a second transaction using the virtual card to purchase products from your dispensary or online website. Transactions approve in seconds, like a normal credit card sale. It’s like purchasing a gift card for an amount that matches your purchase price and then at the same moment using that gift card without ever holding it in your hand. The processor and the customer’s credit card never touch the product, as it is the virtual gift card that makes the purchase. You, the bank, the processor, and the customer are all interacting simultaneously and in compliance with all network rules as well as federal and state regulations.

Here’s what you get

  • Secure, legal credit card processing
  • Acceptance of ALL card types, not just PIN Debit
  • Domestic banking and card processing
  • Patented closed-loop, dual-transaction technology
  • In line with all state and federal regulation
  • Quick transaction times in under 3 seconds

Why choose AdvoCharge

Retain your revenue

It’s your money, don’t cut into your margins by paying unnecessary fees.

Legal and safe

Legal, domestic & accredited, we took the complication out of cannabis accounting.

Lowest rates

If you find lower rates, just show us and we’ll match or beat them.

Seamless integration

Implement our solutions without disrupting your sales flow.

Quick transaction time

Our unique proprietary method processes credit cards in under 3 seconds.

No physical gift cards

Finally, accept credit cards with just one swipe, as they were meant to be.

Not all Cannabis credit card solutions 
are created equal

You should be wary of any business offering card processing without a unique solution to stay within Federal regulations. Remember, the processing of credit cards is regulated at the Federal level and marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Any card processing used to purchase Schedule 1 drugs is illegal at the federal level, so unless your processor can explain to you exactly what allows for a legal transaction to occur (as AdvoCharge has done through our patented virtual gift card program), you should be very concerned that your processor is operating in an illegal manner – with negative consequences for you.

Our solution IS NOT

  • Not a Point of Banking Solution
  • Not an ACH transfer between your bank and your customers’ bank account
  • Not an off-shore banking and processing solution
  • Not the loading of a physical gift card
  • Not the holding of your funds for weeks (or months!) at a time
  • Not Masking – mislabeling a transaction for the purpose of disguising the true nature or source of the transaction or creating a false entity to mask the identity of the source of the transaction.
  • Not Factoring – allowing an illicit, fraudulent, or otherwise unapproved entity to utilize the account of a legitimate or approved entity to move cash or other transactions through the legitimate account.
  • Not a Fake Storefront – the creation of a fictitious entity for the purposes of making the underlying entity look legitimate.
  • Not reliant on a few independent bankers who are willing to “look the other way” in order for you to accept credit cards
  • Not a cashless ATM
  • Not cryptocurrency conversion

We grow with you

As the rules and regulations change so will AdvoCharge. We will continue to adapt our technology to the ever-changing environment of the cannabis industry’s regulations.

Frequently asked questions about
Cannabis & THC merchant services

Are there any other legal options for accepting credit cards other than through AdvoCharge?

To be frank, we have not seen any other processing options that offer full credit card processing for the cannabis industry while still protecting you and your business, so the answer is no.

You may have seen claims by other processors that they can allow you to accept credit cards for your dispensary, but likely they are using one of the following tactics:

PIN Debit Only – Some card processors have relationships with smaller, local banks that have their own PIN Debit network.  They claim the ability to accept credit cards, but really they can only accept PIN debit cards that run on a different network than the major cards networks (Visa/Mastercard/Discover/AmericanExpress).  In this case, your customers could use a Visa or Mastercard-branded debit card, but they wouldn’t be able to use Discover, American Express, or any Mastercard or Visa rewards or signature cards.

Masking – Masking can take the form of either mislabeling a transaction for the purpose of disguising the true nature or source of the transaction or creating a false entity to mask the identity of the source of the transaction.  For example, most card networks (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, etc.) will not allow their cards to be used to purchase cannabis, therefore merchant acquirers may attempt to mask cannabis transactions as another transaction type such as “gift card purchase” or “ATM cash withdrawal”.  This is in violation of BSA/AML regulations as financial institutions are not allowed to mask the true purpose (in this case, a cannabis purchase) of a transaction.

Factoring – Factoring is allowing an illicit, fraudulent, or otherwise unapproved entity to utilize the account of a legitimate or approved entity to move cash or other transactions through the legitimate account.  For example, a cannabis dispensary may not be able to obtain a merchant account at a financial institution, therefore the dispensary may attempt to obtain the use of another entity’s account, such as a restaurant, to allow the transfer of cash or other payments into and through the restaurant’s account.

Fake Storefront creation – a Fake Storefront is the creation of a fictitious entity for the purposes of making the underlying entity look legitimate.  For instance, most banks won’t provide a merchant account to a cannabis dispensary, therefore instead of creating or submitting a merchant account for “Bud’s Bud Shop”, an unscrupulous agent may submit or set up an account / fake storefront for “Bud’s Oriental Rugs” to mask the true identity of the underlying merchant.  This technique is also masking the identity of the underlying entity which could be construed as money laundering under the various BSA / AML rules.

As you can see, either these card processors are offering a limited credit card acceptance program for your business, or they are doing something fraudulent that puts your business at risk.  The only way to be sure is to work with a company like ours, that has a legitimate, legal method to keep you and your customers in line with Card Network, State, and Federal regulations.

 

Can I accept credit cards for Cannabis and CBD purchases?

With our closed-loop system, you are not accepting credit cards to purchase your product.  However, you can accept all credit and debit cards so your customers can buy a virtual gift card from our banking partner.  With that virtual gift card, your customers can then buy THC/cannabis and CBD/hemp products. This is a subtle but very important distinction that allows you and your customers to operate legally within the banking, Federal, and card network regulations. We can offer both retail and eCommerce options for both products as well with some variation depending on your industry.  Contact us with your business needs to learn more.

How are you able to provide credit card processing to Cannabis clients?

We offer a patented, closed-loop, dual-transaction technology which is fully compliant with the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (Credit CARD Act), the card brand associations, Federal, and State law.

Here’s the solution in a nutshell.  Your customer presents their credit card for a purchase.  Upon the swipe, two nearly simultaneous transactions occur: the first transaction creates a virtual gift card for the exact purchase amount – no physical card is required.  The second transaction uses the virtual card to purchase products from your dispensary or online website. Transactions approve in seconds – like a normal credit card sale. It’s like purchasing a gift card for an amount that matches your purchase price and then at the same moment using that gift card without ever holding it in your hand!  The processor and the customer’s credit card never touches the product, it is the virtual gift card that makes the purchase. You, the bank, processor, and the customer are all interacting simultaneously and in compliance with all network rules as well as federal and state regulations.

Can I use my existing Point of Sale system or Business Management Solution?

Yes, you can continue to run your business as you always have in the past and we offer the ability to accept credits card payments for your Cannabis business using a stand alone terminal. If you would like the terminal to integrate with your POS system, that functionality is also available.

How long does the transaction take?

Credit card transactions approve in three seconds for both card present and online sales, just like any credit card sale.

When do I receive my funds?

Funds are deposited into your bank account 48 hours after they are received by the bank.

Is the Cannabis acquiring bank in the United States?

Yes, the acquiring bank is located in the United States.

Can you offer a domestic banking relationship for my Cannabis business?

Yes, if you are looking for a banking relationship for your Cannabis business, we will connect you with one of our banking partners. All are domestic, established banks and we’re sure we can find one that meets your needs.

Are you saying we don’t have to use physical gift cards?

That is correct, the gift cards are virtual and the transaction runs just like a regular credit card transaction, a seamless Cannabis credit card processing solution.

Can I sell Cannabis online using my “eCommerce” website?

Just like in a retail transaction, you are able to allow your customers to purchase, from our banking partner, a closed-loop gift card in your online environment as well.  These gift cards are then used to purchase products from your business.

Can I use a stand alone terminal?

Yes, we can provide you with a terminal that will arrive ready to begin accepting Cannabis credit card payments.

Can I use a wireless terminal?

Yes, the terminal we provide you with for your Cannabis payment processing is a DejaVoo terminal that works over both IP and WiFi connection.

Do you offer “point-of-sale” solutions?

Yes, we have solutions to manage your business from seed to sale. Contact us to schedule a demo here.

What are your rates?

We offer transparent flat rate pricing for both THC and CBD customers. Please reach out to us for a flat rate quote.

Is there a 24/7 support phone number?

Yes, you will have around the clock phone support for all of your Cannabis merchant service needs.

Is there a long contract for my Cannabis credit card processing account?

The contract for your account is like a normal credit card application with any other US-based bank.  Because of your industry, there is additional paperwork that you will need to provide to prove your legal operation status to the bank.  However, if you ever attempted to get card processing for your business previously, you will see our process as much less onerous with far fewer steps, and a much quicker turn time to see your account approved.

What is Gift Card Act?

On May 22, 2009, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (Credit CARD Act)1was signed into law. While the law’s title suggests that it only applies to credit cards, the law also created new consumer protections for gift certificates, store gift cards, and general-use prepaid cards through amendments to the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA).2 Specifically, section 401 of the Credit CARD Act requires disclosures for gift certificates, store gift cards, or general-use prepaid cards fees and expiration dates; limits dormancy, inactivity, and service fees for these cards and certificates; and establishes a minimum period of five years before the underlying funds for these cards and certificates can expire. Section 401 also excludes certain gift certificates, store gift cards, or general-use prepaid cards from these requirements. Section 402 of the Credit CARD Act amends the EFTA to provide that the EFTA does not preempt any state laws that address dormancy, inactivity, or service fees, or expiration dates for gift certificates, store gift cards, or general-use prepaid cards if such state laws provide greater consumer protection than the gift card provisions in the EFTA. The Federal Reserve Board (Board) published a final rule amending Regulation E to implement Sections 401 and 402, which became effective in 2010.3 This article reviews the compliance requirements of the final rule.

To learn more: Visit This Site

 

 

What options do you have for CBD/Hemp businesses?

With the passage of the Farm Bill, CBD and Hemp have been legalized nationwide, making CBD and Hemp credit card processing legal. Our CBD processing solutions are fully compliant with card brand regulations per the Farm Bill that legalized Hemp nationwide.

The 2018 Farm Bill fully legalizes hemp production, by defining “industrial hemp” as cannabis plants with a concentration of 0.3 percent or less of psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, overriding a conflicting definition in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. “The passage of the 2019 Farm Bill is good news because it provides a strong safety net for farmers and ranchers, who need the dependability and certainty this legislation affords,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement after the bill passed the House. Congress has voted for an $867 billion farm bill with strong bipartisan support, spurred in part by pressure from farmers. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and hemp champion, signed the final version of the bill with a pen made from Kentucky-grown hemp.

What options do you have to THC/Cannabis businesses?

For THC/Cannabis customers, we offer the ability to accept credit/debit cards to purchase a virtual gift card from our banking partner in our closed-loop system.  We can also offer domestic banking through our partner. Our processing partner is fully compliant with card network regulations. Transactions happen in real time bringing your Cannabis business a seamless domestic credit card processing solution.  We can work with several point of sale systems that form more of a full enterprise solution for your business.  Through a POS you can track not only seed to sale but also pay state taxes, track employee time, and manage bookkeeping.  Contact us to learn more!

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