While kratom is an ingested plant with different effects, kratom merchant account solutions remain classified as high risk. In fact, kratom businesses are among the highest of high risk, and solutions for such are not easy to come by. Not many acquiring banks offer e-commerce merchant account solutions for kratom, but Instabill is partnered with those that do.
It is a complicated issue, as we explain.
A quick refresher: What is kratom?
Kratom is a plant-based supplement from a type of tree grown in Thailand. In lower doses, the effects of kratom are said to include focus, alertness and more energy. When taken in higher doses, however, kratom is said to produce the ‘high’ that opioids such as marijuana and oxycontin produce.
In the U.S., nine states currently have laws surrounding the use of kratom:
- 5 states have outright banned the use (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin).
- Two states have banned kratom use for those under the age of 18 (Illinois, New Hampshire).
- Certain cities in three states have banned kratom (San Diego, Sarasota, Fla., and Jerseyville, Illinois).
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency was set to classify kratom as a Schedule 1 drug (with marijuana, oxycontin and heroin) in 2016, but backed off, citing it wanted to designate a period for public comment before it made any ruling.
The case for a kratom merchant account
The vast majority of merchants that inquire about kratom merchant account solutions are nutraceutical or dietary supplement merchants who wish to include it in their menu of offerings (they are very smart to contact us to do so). Advocates of kratom will support its use as a painkiller, and how, when taken in limited doses (less than 5 grams), enhances focus and attention. Other reported benefits include:
- Increased sex drive
- Decreased appetite (for weight conscious users)
- All natural substance
There are also claims of side effects such as tremors, anxiety and agitation when ingested in small doses.
The case against kratom
Though the fate of kratom has yet to be decided upon by the US DEA or the Food and Drug Administration, addiction to kratom is the overwhelming case for legislation. An online search of the substance yields many blogs, penned by addiction/recovery experts, citing that very danger. One telling fact is that the country from where it originates, Thailand, has ruled the use and sale illegal.
Though all the long term effects of kratom are still unknown, researchers have found patterns of liver damage and kidney failure. Other side effects include anorexia, constipation and insomnia.
Attention merchants: Before you add kratom to your menu…
Too often, we see nutraceutical, pharmaceutical or dietary supplement merchants lose their merchant account privileges because they added a relevant product or service to their menu of offerings that was not approved by their acquiring banking partner or payment service provider when they signed their contract.
This is a major, and often fatal mistake made by far too many merchants.
Recently a physician who owned a private practice contacted us inquiring about pricing for a CBD oil merchant account. He began selling CBD oil to several of his patients and, upon seeing its effects on patients — anti-inflammatory, painkilling, nausea and anxiety — he wanted to sell it off his website.
We explained that he was very lucky to have contacted us.
Had his acquiring bank, that processed payments for his entire practice, discovered he was accepting payments for CBD, he would’ve lost his merchant account on the spot. The good doctor’s merchant account contract was for his practice only — for his patient co-pays or the amounts patients’ insurance did not cover. Selling CBD was a completely different entity, not part of his original merchant account contract.
But all is well that ends well: we got him the merchant account solution he needed.
What kratom merchants need for a merchant account
Approvals for a kratom merchant account are given on a case-by-case basis and we require merchants to have three things for a strong case (at this time, Instabill can only offer an e-commerce solution, no storefront solutions):
- Payment processing history (3-6 months)
- Three months of business banking statements
- Company must be based in the US with US owners selling to US consumers
Speak one-on-one with a dedicated merchant account manager today at 1-800-530-2444.