Vape Merchant Account

Vape Merchant Account
By max April 12, 2024

The growing popularity of the vaping industry has encouraged many individuals to set up their vape stores, both online and retail. As exciting as launching your vaping business sounds, it comes with its share of risks. One of which is the difficulty of getting approved for a vape merchant account. Every business, whether retail or online, needs a merchant account to process credit card transactions. And vaping store is no exception. However, getting a merchant account for your vaping business is not as easy as it sounds.

The industry is labeled as high-risk because of the controversies associated with the vaping market. That’s because cigarettes, vape devices, tobacco, and all kinds of smoking products are considered risky. The health risks associated with these products make the businesses that manufacture, distribute, sell, or market this line of products risky.

If you operate a vape store, chances are most traditional payment processors, such as Stripe and PayPal, will straight away reject your merchant account application or cancel an existing account. So, does that mean you have to operate without a merchant account? Fortunately, no! There are payment processing companies that serve the high-risk industry, including those producing and selling vape accessories. Keep reading to learn how to find the right payment processor for your business and how to improve your odds of getting approved for a merchant account.

A Brief About Modern Vaping

A Brief About Modern Vaping


Vaping is advertised as an alternative to smoking. It’s seen as a way to quit smoking without having to give up on your cravings. It involves vaping devices and a liquid solution that consists of nicotine and different flavors with chemicals.

People inhale the solution through a vaping device to satisfy their craving for cigarettes. Since vaping devices are not as unhealthy or harmful as cigarettes, these are considered a comparatively safer option for heavy smokers. Those who have tried every possible way to quit smoking but failed will find vaping devices quite effective. The question is, how did this industry flourish?

Vaping is relatively new in the e-cigarette industry, although its roots date back to ancient Egypt. You may have heard of Shisha, vape herbs, and hot stones. These were commonly used in ancient times. Vaping, specifically, entered the industry in 1927 when Joseph Robinson came up with the smokeless cigarette concept. He launched the first-ever vaping device that allowed people to enjoy their smoking sessions without the use of tobacco.

However, it wasn’t until 2004 that e-cigarettes gained popularity all over the world. A Chinese Pharmacist, Hon Lik, introduced a modern vaping device that would vaporize the liquid solution. The device looked just like conventional cigarettes but was harmless, as no tobacco was used in the liquid solution.

Inspired by his father’s death due to lung cancer, Hon Lik invented a device that became popular in China and gradually gained attention from smokers all over the world. As the concept became popular, professionals started focusing on creating compact yet efficient vaping devices with unique flavors and advanced functionalities. Soon, vaping products with refillable tanks and a long battery life started emerging. Earlier, vaping devices were a single-use product that worked just like regular cigarettes. Today, we see a vaping pen, e-cigarettes, and other accessories that give you an exceptional vaping experience.

Why is Vaping Considered a High-Risk Industry?

Why is Vaping Considered a High-Risk Industry?

If vaping is an alternative to cigarettes and a safer choice, then why are businesses that deal in these products classified as high-risk? Vape devices have undoubtedly attracted the attention of millions of people who are curious about smokeless cigarettes. However, it comes with heavy regulations, legal concerns, and health risks that make it a risky industry. Below, we’ve listed a few common reasons why vaping is considered a high-risk business.

FDA Regulations

The FDA has not authorized most vaping products. Selling these products means you are working in an unregulated market. Now, banks and payment processors won’t approve your merchant application if you sell unregulated products. Most processors will not want to get involved with a merchant that sells products that can later become controversial or cause problems with the FDA regulations. So, they will refuse to work with such merchants.

Health Concerns

As mentioned earlier, vaping products are sold as a safer alternative to cigarettes. Of course, they are better than smoking cigarettes as they don’t contain tobacco, but are they safe in general? Although the long-term health risks associated with the vaping industry are not yet fully known, vaping has been associated with lung injuries and cardiovascular issues. Vaping might be tobacco-free, but people are still reluctant to buy these products because of health concerns.

High Chargeback Ratio

There’s also an increased risk of chargeback in the vaping business. A customer might simply issue a chargeback because they are not satisfied with the vaping pen, the flavor, or the overall experience using the device. A simple reason, such as dissatisfaction with the vaping product, is enough for the customer to file a chargeback and win it. This makes the vaping industry risky since no payment processor or bank would like to work with a company that’s prone to increased chargeback risk.

Legal Status

Vaping regulations vary from country to country, but most have implemented age-related restrictions on vaping products. Some countries have banned the product altogether, while others have made it mandatory for the seller to verify the buyer’s age before accepting their order. Now, verifying age online can be tricky. Someone below 18 can use their parents’ credit cards to buy vapes online without getting caught. This can lead to legal penalties for the merchant who sells vaping products without confirming the age.

Financial Issues

The vaping industry doesn’t just face legal and health concerns, but these businesses have to deal with financial uncertainty. The industry is highly competitive, and with customers’ preferences changing frequently and new trends emerging every now and then, it’s difficult to keep up with the market fluctuations. This can significantly affect small businesses.

Why Do You Need a Vape Merchant Account?

Why Do You Need a Vape Merchant Account?

It’s possible to run a vaping business without a merchant account. However, it will limit your ability to process credit card transactions. Every business needs a merchant account to process credit card transactions, and the vaping industry is no different. There are many perks of having a merchant account for your vaping store. Let’s check out a few.

Secure Payment Processing

When you sign up for a merchant account with a reputable payment processor, you get a payment gateway integrated into your eCommerce, a hardware system for processing in-person credit card transactions, a virtual terminal, a card reader, and other secure processing solutions. These devices facilitate secure and seamless transactions. Moreover, most processors offer robust security solutions, such as fraud detection programs, chargeback protection and management, address verification, and other security protocols that ensure secure payment processing for your business.

Industry Expertise

Payment processors that cater to high-risk businesses, especially the vaping industry, know the industry inside and out. They are familiar with regulatory compliance and all legal regulations associated with e-cigarettes. They know where vaping is banned and what limitations the government has imposed on using these products. They are also aware of the industry’s social controversies and economic status. Working with these merchants will ensure that you get solutions tailored to your specific requirements.

Good Approval Rates

Contrary to popular belief, getting a merchant account for your vaping business is absolutely possible. In fact, you can find a provider offering services that match your industry and credit card processing requirements. Many payment processors cater to high-risk businesses. Take PaymentCloud, Host Merchant Service Provider, Soar Payments, and National Processing, for example.

These are highly reliable payment processors known for their transparent pricing structure and seamless customer experience. They have a high merchant application approval rate. Plus, they take a few hours to 2-3 business days to accept your application and set up your merchant account. Some providers even offer a dedicated representative who walks you through the entire setup process. Once you have configured the payment process in your retail and online stores, you can start accepting credit card payments right away.

Top Merchant Accounts for Vaping Businesses

Many processors are willing to work with e-cigarette and vaping businesses. We’ve rounded up the best payment processors for a vape merchant account.


If lack of payment transparency isn’t a concern for you, then PaymentCloud is your best choice for a vape merchant account. Offering an excellent approval rate, the company is one of the leading payment processing service providers that accept multiple cards and different payment methods.

Unlike Stripe and Square, PaymentCloud caters to businesses dealing in vaping accessories and e-cigarettes. Whether you are a manufacturer, a distributor, or a retailer of these products, rest assured that PaymentCloud is your one-stop destination for seamless payment processing. They guarantee no payout freezes or unannounced account termination. Here’s what they offer:

  • A vast range of hardware options, including a full-fledged EMV-enabled POS terminal, a payment gateway for eCommerce transactions, tablet POS, PIN Pad, mobile processing apps, and more.
  • A dedicated account manager who assists you throughout the POS configuration process. You can contact the manager should you face any issue with payment processing or a technical error with the hardware.
  • Integrate your shopping cart directly into your website. PaymentCloud supports Magento, Shopify, Volusion, Opencart, 3Dcart, and WooCommerce.
  • Free to setup

The company has, however, not disclosed its pricing for high-risk merchants. You need to contact them to get a custom quote. They do claim to offer the most competitive pricing on the market, though.

Host Merchant Services

Vape stores processing transactions over $20,000 a month should consider signing up with Host Merchant Services —the best payment processor for all types and sizes of businesses. Although the company isn’t a high-risk specialist, it accepts merchant applications from high-risk businesses that prove their credibility and have a good processing history. This includes businesses in the vaping industry. The good news is if you meet their eligibility criteria, you might even qualify for a free EMV terminal. Here’s what Host Merchant offers:

  • Free application and setup and no compliance fees
  • Get the Host Merchant’s native gateway, Transaction Express, to process your eCommerce transaction seamlessly. It also offers POS systems designed for both online and physical setups.
  • Compatible with most shopping carts, including Shopify and WooCommerce
  • Supports recurring billing for vaping stores that work on a subscription-based model
  • Offers a virtual terminal to process payments over the phone

Host Merchant Services is a great choice if a dedicated customer support team, flexible pricing, advanced POS systems, and a functional gateway are your priorities. The company strives to provide all its merchants with state-of-the-art technology to process all kinds of transactions. The only downside is a long-term contract for high-risk merchants.

Soar Payments

A relatively new payment processor in the industry, Soar Payments offers competitive pricing and excellent terms for high-risk merchants. So, if you are in the vaping business and have been rejected for a merchant account from payment processors, consider Soar Payments. They offer mobile payment solutions, a card terminal, a payment gateway, and eCommerce payment solutions to help you process all kinds of credit card transactions. Here’s what you get from signing up for a merchant account with Soar Payments:

  • Get advanced payment solutions, including a full-fledged POS terminal, card reader, payment gateway, etc.
  • They work with Chargeback Armor, ensuring maximum protection from friendly fraud and other chargeback-related issues.
  • Works with popular payment gateways, including and NMI gateway.
  • Accept applications from vaping companies that sell products outside their native country. If you work internationally or have customers paying you in international currencies, Soar Payments is your best option for a merchant account.

Soar Payments might impose a monthly rolling reserve for high-risk merchants to offset the risk. So, if you can meet the reserve requirement, Soar Payments is the most suitable option for your business.

Durango Merchant Services

Whether you are a US-based vape store or are serving internationally, Durango Merchant Services is your best choice if you are classified as a high-risk merchant and are struggling to find a reliable payment processor. The company has become a leading high-risk merchant service provider with an extensive range of features and its proprietary gateway (Durango Pay).

It supports currency conversion options and accepts all major credit/debit cards, plus other contactless payments. The company hasn’t mentioned its pricing. You need to get in touch with their support representative to get a custom quote based on the services you offer. Here’s why you should work with Durango if you run a vape store:

  • Durango’s native payment gateway supports recurring billing and international currencies and allows customers to easily switch to a third-party gateway.
  • It supports merchants based in and outside the US.
  • Bluetooth-enabled mobile card reader with an iProcess app that supports mobile payments.
  • Offers excellent fraud detection programs
  • Get a dedicated customer support representative offering full-time support

Durango claims to offer competitive pricing, even for high-risk merchants. For more details, contact their support team.

How to Choose the Best Processor for Your Vaping Business?

A merchant account for a vaping business offers security and seamless card processing services, ensuring an uninterrupted transaction experience for your customers. Whether you are processing card-present or card-not-present transactions, the above-listed high-risk merchant accounts are your best options for secure and seamless payment processing services. Before you choose a payment processor, research their credibility and get a quote.

The best processor for your business depends on your preference, budget, and requirements. For instance, some businesses need a processor that offers international credit card processing and accepts multiple currencies, while others want a processing service that comes with an advanced fraud detection and chargeback management program. Understand your needs, research different processors, compare their services, and choose a provider who suits your unique requirements.


Are you planning to set up your vaping business? Or, have you been running a vaping store where you sell vaping kits, vape liquids, and other e-cigarette accessories? You must start looking for a payment processor who serves high-risk businesses and understands the vaping industry. Having a merchant account ensures that you can accept credit/debit card payments easily. However, do not settle for a random merchant service provider.

Research their expertise, reputation, and processing history before applying for a merchant account. Your options are not limited. You can find a processor that offers reasonable processing rates, a flexible contract, multiple hardware options, and all the tools to ensure secure and fast credit card processing. So, choose wisely.


  1. Which processor is the best for a vape merchant account?

PaymentCloud and Host Merchant are the best options for vape stores.

  1. Do payment processors accept vape merchants?

Yes, high-risk payment processors accept the application of vape merchants.

  1. What if I want to switch payment processors?

Contact your existing processor and end your contract with them. Then, you can start researching reliable payment processors for your vape store.