Americans have bought more firearms in recent years than ever before. It makes sense for people to purchase more guns and ammo during a period of COVID-19 and other sources of uncertainty.
The firearms industry, however, has learned that many credit card processors don’t want to work with gun dealers. Even when business owners have federal firearms licenses (FFLs) from the ATF, they still don’t have access to popular credit card processing solutions.
That’s why so many firearms businesses want to find NRA-endorsed credit card processing that makes it easier for them to accept debit and credit card payments. Keep reading to learn more about gun sales and credit card processing services endorsed by the National Rifle Association.
What is NRA-endorsed credit card processing?
The NRA Business Alliance represents several companies that partner with the NRA. That includes some payment processing services that sellers can use in their stores and online.
NRA-endorsed credit card processing might come with lower fees than you find from other service providers. Whether you will actually save money depends on the processor you choose, though. It’s important to look outside of the NRA Business Alliance, so you know you have considered all of your options.
You get at least one benefit from choosing an NRA-endorsed credit card company: you know that the payment processor supports businesses in the firearms industry.
Do you need NRA-endorsed credit card processing?
NRA-endorsed credit card processing might give you peace of mind, but it doesn’t always offer more benefits than using high-risk credit card processing that the NRA hasn’t officially endorsed.
Realistically, you just need a high-risk payment processor that provides excellent services to all its clients, regardless of their industry. With Bankcard, you get a payment gateway that verifies credit card information and encrypts data. It isn’t endorsed by the NRA, but it works very well for gun sellers looking for an affordable credit card payment option.
Gun stores are considered “high-risk.”
Typically, businesses need to get high-risk merchant accounts because they have:
- A lot of chargebacks.
- Short histories that make them look risky.
- Poor reputations among other merchant service providers.
The business owner’s personal credit history can also damage the company’s financial reputation.
Businesses can also get categorized as high risk because of the industries they work in. Just selling firearms means that you own a high-risk business. NRA-endorsed credit card processing can make it much easier for you to accept credit card payments online, in your store, and at gun shows.
Firearms isn’t the only industry labeled as “high risk.” Businesses often have trouble finding merchant account providers with reliable credit card processing services when they sell:
- CBD products
- Adult toys
- Vapes and eCigs
- Prescription medications
- Subscription services
These are legal products, but the companies can’t rely on traditional payment processors.
Gun-friendly credit card processing options
NRA-endorsed credit card processing should make it easy for you to accept payments through a virtual terminal, point-of-sale system, or mobile credit card reader. The following companies support payment processing for in-person and online firearm sales.
Authorize.net accepts gun stores and other high-risk businesses. The company provides a payment gateway that helps limit chargebacks and keep credit card information private.
Bankcard is a payment gateway and credit card process company that works with several high-risk industries. Gun shops can create firearm merchant accounts and access high-risk payment gateways that use encryption and firewalls to protect their information.
Payment Processors That Don’t Serve Gun Stores
Don’t assume that a company provides NRA-endorsed credit card processing. Some of the companies that refuse to work with firearms dealers might surprise you. Payment solutions to avoid include:
None of these companies accept POS, online, or mobile payments for guns and ammo. If you manage to create an account, you will likely find that it gets canceled when the payment solutions review your activity.
NRA-endorsed credit card processing prices
Pricing will play a significant role in which NRA-endorsed credit card processing service you choose. High-risk credit card processors charge higher prices than companies that serve low-risk clients. The higher fees make up for the perceived risk of processing payments for gun shops, small businesses, and e-commerce stores.
Since Authorize.net and Bankcard stand out as two of your top options for NRA-endorsed credit card processing, you can start by comparing their prices.
Bankcard doesn’t charge any startup fees. In fact, you can get a free mobile credit card reader or in-store credit card system when you open your account.
Authorize.net charges a $49 setup fee.
Credit card fees
Bankcard does not charge a monthly credit card processing fee. Instead, you pay a flat rate of $0.08 per credit card transaction.
Authorize.net clients pay a $25 monthly credit card processing fee. If you choose Authorize.net, you will also pay a credit card per transaction fee which comes to $0.30 plus 2.9% of each charge.
How much do these fees affect which NRA-endorsed credit card processing solution you choose? Consider the amounts you pay Bankcard and Authorize.net when you sell a P226 for $3,000. With Bankcard, you pay $0.08 for the credit card transaction. That means you keep $2,999.02 of your sale.
With Authorize.net, you pay $0.30 plus 2.9% of 3,000, which comes to $87.30. You would pay Authorize.net $87.30 and keep $2,912.70 of the sale.
Now, think about how much that adds up. You could save hundreds of dollars each day by choosing NRA-endorsed credit card processing that charges lower fees.
Using a payment gateway improves your data security and helps prevent chargebacks. Bankcard charges a $10 monthly gateway fee. Authorize charges a $25 monthly gateway fee. Both payment processing solutions charge $0.10 per gateway transaction.
What credit cards can buyers use to purchase guns?
For the most part, credit card companies don’t get too involved in purchases. It’s up to the payment processor to determine whether it wants to accept payments for firearms.
Bankcard can process payments from six credit cards:
- American Express
- Diners Club
These are the same credit cards that Stripe can process. Since Stripe doesn’t offer NRA-endorsed credit card processing, it makes sense to choose Bankcard as an alternative.
How can gun stores keep credit card fees low?
Since most companies charge higher fees because they consider NRA-endorsed credit card processing a high-risk activity, you can take steps to minimize fees as much as possible. Some tips that can help include:
- Settling your transactions within 24 hours to avoid additional fees.
- Including your business’s name and website on credit card statements lowers the number of chargebacks you get.
- Accepting credit cards in person when possible.
- Requiring buyers to enter their CCV codes card, not present (CNP) transactions, such as online purchases.
- Using a reliable high-risk payment gateway that helps determine whether customers have the required funds to complete the transaction.
Bankcard charges flat rates for NRA-endorsed credit card processing and payment gateway transactions. With Bankcard, you don’t need to worry that your fees might increase without notice.
Common questions about NRA-endorsed credit card processing
How long does NRA-endorsed credit card processing take?
It takes time for a payment to get processed and deposited into your account. Bankcard offers next-day deposits. Authorize.net needs three to five days to process and deposit your money. Even the mainstream, low-risk payment processors like Square and PayPal say that it could take two or more days to deposit your funds.
Is it legal to sell guns online?
Yes, you can sell guns online in the United States. You must make sure you follow all federal and state regulations, though. For the most part, the laws for selling guns and ammo online are the same as selling them in a store. You just need to take a couple of extra steps.
When you sell a gun online, you need to make sure that you ship it to someone with a federal firearms license (FFL) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The buyer will need to send you a copy of their FFL. You can only send the firearm and ammo to the address on the FFL.
Obviously, most shoppers don’t have FFLs. Few people need them unless they operate as firearms brokers. That likely means that buyers will need to coordinate with gun stores in their states.
Your gun store can also provide this service. Receiving firearms for online shoppers is a relatively easy way to earn a little money and support your community of gun owners.
Where can I sell guns online?
Several websites will help you find buyers who want to purchase firearms online. Gunbroker is a popular option. The website is similar to eBay. It lets you list items for sale and encourages buyers to win the auction by bidding at the highest prices. You can also set prices so buyers can purchase guns, ammo, and accessories without bidding.
Gunbroker works well because it accepts several NRA-endorsed credit card processing solutions. If you have a Bankcard account, you can process payments through Maverick or PaySafe. Both are Bankcard partners.
You don’t have to rely on a third-party site to sell firearms and ammunition online. You can connect with customers through an independent e-commerce site that you own.
Using an independent e-commerce store could help you avoid the fees that a site like Gunbroker charge. You might not save money, though, unless you sell a lot of items online. If you only sell a couple of guns daily, you might not want to dedicate time and money to run an online store.
Many gun stores use their websites for advertising online sales. When customers click on a firearm, the link redirects them to a third-party site that handles the details. Just make sure you choose an e-commerce solution with NRA-endorsed credit card processing.
Can you accept credit card payments at gun shows?
That depends on your credit card payment processor. Bankcard makes it as easy as possible to accept mobile credit card payments. You can even get a free mobile credit card reader when opening a high-risk merchant services account.
All information will go through a payment gateway to help ensure the privacy of your NRA-endorsed credit card processing. Just because you take mobile payments doesn’t mean you should accept lower security standards.
You will need an internet or mobile network connection to accept payments at a gun show. If you have any doubts, contact the venue to ask whether you can expect a strong connection during the event.
Can you use NRA-endorsed credit card processing at your store?
If you have a credit card processing solution that accepts online payments, you can almost certainly accept in-store payments.
You have a couple of options for in-store NRA-endorsed credit card processing. Ideally, it would be best to get an EMV terminal that reads the credit card’s chip. It’s a more secure option than swiping the magnetic stripe on the credit card’s side.
You can also use a mobile credit card reader in your store. Some mobile credit card readers connect to WiFi networks so that you can use your business’s network for improved speed and security.
The advantage of using a mobile credit card reader is that you can take it to gun shows and other events. There are potential downsides, though. Mobile credit card readers don’t offer EMV technology, so you can only swipe credit cards. You will also need to make sure you have a reliable connection to your mobile network or secure WiFi network.
Some NRA-endorsed credit card processing solutions consider mobile payments high-risk, so you could end up paying higher fees for choosing a mobile credit card reader. Although not endorsed by the NRA, Bankrate charges the same rate regardless of whether you use a mobile reader or in-store terminal. Since the credit card information can go through a payment gateway, you don’t need to worry as much about security or chargebacks. Instead, you get a safe, convenient way to process credit card payments no matter where business takes you.
Credit card processing from Bankcard
Every business in a high-risk industry faces unique challenges that can stunt growth. Don’t let expensive fees make it hard for your firearms business to grow.
Contact Bankcard today for more details about how high-risk credit card processing can benefit your business.