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How to Set Up Your Business for Online Payment Processing

Every business owner is focused on a singular goal, which is to make a profit from the goods and services they provide. Sales is the name of the game. In order to compete and attract today’s digital-savvy shoppers, your online purchasing process is critical to get right.

More and more people are shopping online. In 2019, there was a 14.3% growth in online shopping. But 2021 showed a 50.5% upsurge in online shopping compared to 2018 – mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a cannabis merchant, you know that accepting online payments is crucial for your business. Not only does it make it easier for your customers to self-serve, but it also makes it easier for you to manage your business.

However, setting up online payment systems can be complex - especially if you're not familiar with the process. So before we dive into how you can set up your business for online payments, it's essential that you first understand what they are.

What Is the Definition of an Online Payment System

Online payment systems or e-payment systems are a way of paying for goods and services. Online payment systems are what enable you to accept payments on your website leveraging electronic methods.

This blog post will walk you through the steps to set up your business to accept online payment. So whether you're just venturing into business or you've been in the cannabis industry for a while, read on for helpful tips and advice!

Why Online Payments is Now a Must-Have

Accepting online payments can have several advantages for your business. Here are just a few;

  • Accepting online payments can help you expand your audience. When customers have a seamless payment method, it provides a good customer experience, increasing the probability of them coming back.

  • Online payments help you get paid faster. Collecting your funds digitally is a faster method of receiving payments than waiting to receive an invoice or a check.

  • Ecommerce businesses have a competitive advantage. We live in a digital world where Amazon sales only continue to rise, so if you’re not offering an online checkout process, your competitors will. Don’t lose out on the opportunity for more business and increased sales!

How Do Online Payment Systems Work?

Online payments involve three parts:

  1. A payment gateway

  2. A payment processor and

  3. A merchant account.

Here is a better explanation of what they are and their role in online payment systems.

Payment Gateway

A payment gateway is a cloud-based software that reads and transfers payment information from the customer’s credit card to the payment processor. It's basically a middleman between the credit card company and the payment processor.

A payment gateway is what confirms the customer's card details to ensure the safe transfer of funds. In online payment systems, payment gateways transfer the customer's financial information to the necessary entities to be either authorized or declined.

Payment Processor

If you want to accept online payments, you will need a payment processor; there's no way around this. A payment processor is a service provider that handles credit card transactions for merchants. It acts as a mediator between the merchant, the issuing bank (customer's bank), and the acquiring bank (the merchant's bank).

As a cannabis merchant, you should reach out to a payment processor that understands highly regulated markets (like Merrco).

Merchant Account

To be able to accept online payments, you will need a merchant account. A merchant account is a type of business account that enables businesses to accept and process electronic payments like debit and credit card payments. To open a merchant account, you will need a business license because it is a business bank account.

Merchant accounts are what make it possible for online payments to be processed quicker. For example, instead of waiting for your customer to pay off their credit or debit card bills to receive your payments, a merchant account allows you to get paid immediately.

How to Set Up Your Business for Online Payment in 5 Steps

Ready to start? If you have decided to create your online payment system instead of using a payment processing service, you will need to follow these steps to set it up:

  1. Do your research. Make sure that you talk to an expert to ensure that you get the correct information on how you can set up an online payment system.

  2. Ensure you’re set up with a reputable hosting platform and apply for a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. An SSL is an encryption-based internet protocol.

  3. Build out your website to host a shop section. Ensure it’s a good online user experience with minimal barriers to check out. Build out a specific payment page.

  4. Find a high-risk payment processor that specializes in the cannabis business and allows you to offer various payment methods.

  5. You can then integrate your payment processor or merchant account into your payment page.

Final Thoughts

Setting up your business to accept online payments is essential to catering to today's buyers.

By setting up a secure and seamless online payments system, you can ensure that your customers have a variety of payment options available to them and that they experience a smooth and easy checkout process.

So make sure to research and find a payment processor that can make all this possible for your CBD or cannabis business!

How Can Merrco Help?

Merrco is one of the leading providers of payment processing solutions for cannabis businesses in the US and Canada. We're excited to help your business grow by making it easy for customers to pay you. Contact us today at or call us at 1-800-957-0534 to learn more about our services and how we can help streamline your payment processing!

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