That might sound like good news for anyone who owns a gun store. Unfortunately, it has also gotten harder to find credit card processing for firearms dealers. Processing credit card payments isn’t impossible, though. You solely need to know which companies you can rely on.
High-risk merchant service providers
Credit card processing for firearms dealers presents challenges because most companies consider the industry a high risk. That means you’ll need to get a high-risk merchant account that usually charges higher fees than low-risk accounts.
Most credit card processing companies prefer to avoid the firearms industry because it has such complex laws that vary from state to state. Most financial institutions are highly risk-averse, so they stay away from industries that worry them. Although gun stores must have federal firearms licenses (FFLs) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), payment processors still keep their distance.
Other companies that struggle to find affordable credit card processing services include those that sell CBD products, vapes, eCigs, and prescription medications.
Some companies also avoid gun store credit card processing because guns have been heavily politicized in the United States and other countries. A Gallup poll shows that about 44% of Americans live in households with guns. Merchant account providers who take any position risk alienating about half of the population. Yes, the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, but guns have become a wedge issue that merchant account providers don’t want to touch.
Bankcard understands that your legal business needs a variety of payment processing services to succeed. That’s why Bankcard can process ACH, debit card, credit card, and other types of payments through a secure payment gateway.
Which companies offer firearms credit card processing?
Most companies will not provide credit card processing solutions for gun sales. That doesn’t mean firearm retailers have to take cash. A “cash only” policy would make it impossible to sell guns, ammo, and accessories online.
You just need to find firearms credit card processing from companies that aren’t afraid to serve gun brokers.
Before searching for gun-friendly credit card processors, consult the list below to learn more about what popular payment processors offer.
Stripe has a long list of industries that it doesn’t support — some of its rules make perfect sense. Obviously, the company shouldn’t process payments for illegal drugs. Stripe also refuses to process payments for firearms, ammunition, gunpowder, or any type of weapon. CBD sellers are also out of luck if they want to use Stripe. Despite CBD’s legal status, Stripe does not work with businesses that sell it. If you manage to create an account, Stripe will probably cancel it quickly.
PayPal doesn’t offer credit card processing for firearms dealers. They won’t process payments for anyone selling guns, ammo, or even pieces of guns. The company started closing the accounts of gun shops years ago, so don’t waste your time setting up an account.
Square also has a lengthy list of businesses and industries it won’t work with. Firearms-related companies are on that list. Others include service station merchants, prepaid phone cards, and identity theft prevention.
Authorize.net has high-risk firearms merchant accounts for e-commerce and in-store sales. This company offers a payment gateway that keeps credit card information secure. Authorize.net also provides credit and debit card processing services for high-risk businesses with a lot of chargebacks and low credit scores.
Bankcard provides a variety of gun-friendly credit card processing services at low rates. A Bankcard payment gateway lets you process payments from the most popular credit cards. You can accept online payments through a virtual terminal, take mobile payments at gun shows, and set up a point-of-sale (POS) terminal for in-store payments. Bankcard makes possible credit card processing for firearms dealers no matter how customers prefer to shop.
How much does firearms credit card processing cost?
You should compare costs now that you know which companies provide credit card processing for firearms dealers. Bankcard and Authorize.net are the only high-risk merchant account providers accepting credit card payments for gun stores, so it’s an easy comparison.
Bankcard doesn’t charge a setup fee. In fact, you can get a free POS terminal or mobile scanner to start firearms credit card processing as soon as possible. Bankcard also doesn’t charge a monthly fee to process credit card payments.
Authorize.net charges a $49 setup fee. On top of that, you’ll need to pay a $25 credit card fee every month. If you choose Authorize.net, you already know that you’ll pay $349 more during the first year than gun stores that choose Bankcard.
Companies that provide credit card processing for firearms dealers usually make their money by charging per-transaction fees. Bankcard charges a flat fee of $0.08 per credit card transaction. Authorize.net charges a $0.30 fee. On top of that, you’ll pay 2.9% of each sale. If you sell an AR-15 for $2,000, you give $0.08 to Bankcard. Authorize.net will charge you $58.30. That takes a big chunk out of your profit.
Both firearms credit card processing providers also have payment gateways that improve security and ensure that customers have enough money in their accounts to pay for their purchases.
- Authorize.net charges a $25 monthly gateway fee. You’ll also pay a $0.10 gateway per transaction fee.
- Bankcard charges you a $10 monthly gateway fee. You’ll also pay a $0.10 gateway per transaction fee.
At the end of the year, using Authorize.net’s payment gateway will cost you $180 more than using Bankcard’s. Even though Bankcard charges lower fees for firearms credit card processing than Authorize.net, Bankcard manages to get the money to you faster. With Bankcard, you get next-day deposits. Authorize.net will deposit your money within three to five days.
What credit cards can buyers use at gun shops?
Credit card companies don’t usually restrict how customers can use their accounts. As long as consumers buy legal products, credit card companies don’t have a reason for concern. The problem is finding a company that offers credit card processing for firearms dealers. Therefore, you need to find firearms credit card processing that works with popular credit cards.
Bankcard can process payments from:
- American Express
- Diners Club
For comparison, those are the same credit cards accepted by Stripe. Since Stripe doesn’t provide credit card processing for firearms dealers, it makes sense to choose Bankcard as an alternative that can serve your store.
Do credit card processors integrate with other tools?
Many gun dealers already use digital tools to manage their businesses. You might have tools that help you track inventory, sales, taxes, and payroll.
Ideally, you can find firearms credit card processing that integrates with the other tools your firearms business uses. For example, Bankcard can integrate with dozens of platforms and applications, including options from:
- Cantaloupe Systems
- ScanSource, Inc.
- Total Computing Systems
- Vista Entertainment Systems
- Freedom Pay
You can even integrate Bankcard services with QuickBooks, making completing and tracking payments easier.
Is there a way to keep credit card fees low?
A lot of credit card companies and credit card processors will try to add hidden fees that offset the potential downsides of working with a “high-risk” business. Credit card processing for firearms dealers already comes at a premium, making it important for you to do everything possible to know the fees you pay and keep them low.
You can do several things to keep your credit card fees as low as possible. Some of the most effective strategies include:
- Using an address verification system (AVS) to verify the customer’s address and make it harder for people to commit fraud.
- Settling your credit card transactions within 24 hours to avoid higher interchange level fees.
- Sending identifying information, such as your company’s name and website address, so they appear on customer credit card statements. It’s a simple way to lower the number of chargebacks your business encounters.
- Swiping credit cards or using chip readers when accepting in-person payments. Entering credit card information manually can make fraud easier for criminals, so credit card companies might charge higher fees to change your behavior.
The good news is that Bankcard never charges hidden fees. You know exactly what you’ll pay because you get a fee structure for firearms credit card processing and other services.
What laws regulate shipping firearms?
The US has a complicated system of gun laws. As mentioned above, the legal complexity is one of the reasons many companies avoid credit card processing for firearms dealers. Once you find firearms credit card processing that meets your needs, ensure you follow federal, state, and local laws.
As someone who deals with the sale of firearms every day, you already know how to perform background checks and whether your state has a waiting period you must follow. You might not have sold guns and ammo online before, though. There are a couple of things to know before you start selling firearms online and sending products to customers through the mail.
- First, you must have an FFL to ship firearms to anyone in another state. That’s a federal law that applies to everyone in the US.
- Second, you can only send a firearm to someone who has an FFL. Now, you see where things get a bit tricky.
After you complete firearms credit card processing and accept payment, you can’t ship a gun directly to the buyer. Unless, of course, that buyer has a federal firearms license. In most cases, you’ll need to make arrangements with a gun store in the buyer’s state.
Once you have a copy of the store’s FFL, you can ship the purchase to the address listed on the license. You can’t ship it to any other address. When the shipment reaches the license holder, the buyer can pick it up from their location.
As someone with an FFL, you can also provide this service to gun buyers in your community. You could charge a nominal fee to receive the gun and pass it on to the buyer. You won’t earn a lot of money from this, but you’re paid for your efforts while supporting your local gun community.
Contact Bankcard for firearms credit card processing
You deserve a payment gateway and firearms credit card processing service that puts your needs first. Contact Bankcard to get more information about how a high-risk merchant account, payment gateway, virtual terminal, and straightforward pricing can help your business succeed.