Vitamin and Herbal Supplements Merchant Account

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"This company was wonderful to work with. The representative I worked with was an amazing help and had constant support and responded rapidly to any questions or concerns I had."
Gabe Palma
CEO of Musty Inc.

Herbal and vitamin supplements are big business. The industry is primed to reach 220 billion USD in global revenues by 2022, while weight loss supplements alone are slated to reach 40 billion USD by 2024.  The numbers aren’t surprising, considering that 77 percent of Americans currently take supplements, vitamins, nutraceutical products, and other types of herbal preparations.

What is surprising, however, is the fact that herbal and vitamin merchant accounts continue to be extremely difficult to get, even for business owners with a successful track record in sales and profits.

If you own or operate an herbal or vitamin supplements company, you may have already gone through the application process, only to be denied payment processing services. Or you may have opened up a Stripe or Paypal account, only to discover that your account was canceled after the first transaction.

If any of this sounds familiar, Zenti can help. As a leading merchant account provider for high-risk industries, Zenti can provide you with a full line of credit card and online payment options for your customers, as well as a wide range of payment processing and management solutions for your business.

Why are herbal and vitamin merchant accounts high-risk?

For a number of reasons, many successful industries — including the herbal and vitamin industry — are considered high-risk by banks and financial institutions. Here’s a short list of some of the most popular high-risk industries:

  • Vitamins, herbal products, and dietary supplements
  • Cannabis and CBD
  • Document preparation
  • Adult entertainment
  • Property management
  • Online dating
  • Property management
  • Antiques and collectibles
  • Travel/tourism
  • Guns and ammo
  • Fantasy sports
  • Health and beauty
  • Subscription billing services
  • Online gaming and gambling
  • Pawnshops
  • Payday lenders

Why do industries get this high-risk designation? Primarily, it’s because of financial considerations, and in particular, high chargeback rates. Because of high chargeback ratios, supplements entrepreneurs have an extremely difficult time getting herbal and vitamin merchant accounts.

How chargebacks affect your business

Chargebacks are refunds that are issued when a customer wants to reverse a credit card transaction. When used properly, chargebacks can offer an extra level of protection for consumers, because they serve as a money-back guarantee in case a customer isn’t satisfied with their purchase.

However, chargebacks can also be abused, especially by fraudsters who are trying to scam businesses out of money, products, or services.

In 2017, businesses lost a staggering 31 billion USD because of chargebacks. These numbers increase every year. Currently, eight out of 10 business owners are seeing an increase in the numbers of “friendly fraud” chargebacks. Analysts believe that, by 2023, one in 10 chargeback transactions will involve this type of fraud.

How does friendly fraud impact your company?

Friendly fraud occurs when a customer makes a charge on a credit card, then later claims that they didn’t authorize the purchase and demands a refund.

In many cases, friendly fraud isn’t intended to be malicious. For example, a customer might forget they made a purchase, or their spouse might have made it and neglected to tell them. Likewise, customers might cancel a subscription service because the price went up, or because they’re trying to economize on their monthly bills.

However, in too many cases, customers may be acting fraudulently when they demand their money back. For example, a customer might make a purchase from an adult entertainment vendor, and then pretend they didn’t make it if the bill is accidentally seen by a spouse or employer. In the case of scamming schemes, fraudsters may order a product, and then pretend that they didn’t get it and demand a refund.

Depending on how it’s committed, friendly fraud can include a wide variety of scenarios, with many of them involving bad actors and scammers. 

Herbal and vitamin merchant accounts are at especially high risk for chargebacks because many customers are already highly skeptical of holistic products. If they perceive that a product doesn’t work — even if they don’t use it correctly or don’t give it enough time to take proper effect — they’ll automatically demand a refund from the merchant or the credit card company.

And all too often, too-hopeful customers may expect miraculous results. When reality sets in and they see that the benefits don’t meet their expectations, they’ll often demand a refund. For these reasons, it’s extremely difficult for even successful businesses to get an herbal and vitamin merchant account.

In addition to chargebacks, the herbal and vitamin industry faces other obstacles for payment processing, including:

FDA approval and reputational issues

Any company that involves public safety is going to be more highly scrutinized by financial institutions, and herbal and vitamins fall into that category. Herbal and vitamin products are physically consumed, so there’s always a safety issue involved. Coupled with that, there are control and safety issues concerning access for minors, as well as limitations on how much of these products should be taken.

Finally, many herbal and vitamin products aren’t approved by the FDA. It’s still perfectly legal to sell and purchase them; but without that government stamp of approval, there might be even more reason for banks and financial institutions to fear lawsuits and consumer safety issues.

Likewise, there’s a matter of reputation to consider. Unfortunately, the nutraceutical industry has its share of fraudsters, in the form of “snake oil” salesmen who are knowingly peddling products that don’t work. This is especially true of the herbal and vitamins industry, where products may not be regulated as stringently as are pharmaceuticals and food products.

Historically, there have been too many incidences of scammers who misrepresent or overhype a product, which cons people into purchasing it and expecting miraculous results. And unfortunately, the negative publicity generated by one bad product or vendor can impact the entire nutraceutical industry, making financial institutions reluctant to underwrite merchant accounts for these companies.

How does underwriting affect herbal and vitamin merchant accounts?

“Underwriting” refers to financial backing, which may come from a bank or from a large financial institution. If you take out a loan from a bank, it’s underwritten by the bank or the financial institution that owns the bank. In much the same way, credit card companies like VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express, as well as the payment processors they partner with, are all underwritten by the nation’s major banks and financial institutions.

If a bank believes that a company’s credit is shaky, it won’t take the risk of offering a loan. And if a bank or financial institution sees that a business is in a high-risk industry, they’ll typically refuse to approve merchant account services for that business.

With all of these obstacles, the good news is that you can still get merchant services for your herbal supplement and vitamin business. Zenti offers a variety of payment processing solutions for high-risk merchant account holders, including credit card processing, plus tools for streamlining e-commerce payments and billing.

Additionally, you can be proactive in getting herbal and vitamin merchant account approval by implementing a few strategies that can help you prevent chargebacks.  

What you can do to prevent chargebacks

Provide detailed product descriptions

When it comes to health supplement products, successful nutraceutical companies know that the more information they provide, the more interested customers will be. It’s always a good idea to give plenty of information in your product descriptions, including photos of the product and its labeling, and include videos whenever possible.

Also, if customers feel that they’ve been overcharged, they’ll likely ask for a refund. So be clear on the price and exactly how much product customers get for that amount.

Provide full information about returns and refunds

Implement a fair refund policy, written in a clear-cut way that everyone can understand. Make sure it’s placed on your site where people can see it. If customers are confused about your return policy, they may bypass your company and head straight to the credit card processor for a chargeback.

Have alternatives on hand

If a customer feels that an herbal or vitamin product is ineffective, be prepared to offer an alternative product instead. This strategy can help you mitigate expensive credit card refunds.

Display your business contact information

It’s crucial to display your business contact information — including your full business name, email address, and phone number — on every page of your website, as well as every bill, invoice, and transaction document. If customers can’t access your contact information right away, they might give up on trying to reach you and instead go straight to the credit card company for a chargeback.

Offer top-notch customer support

Good customer support means that you’re always there for your customers, so make sure someone is on hand to take calls and emails, and to answer questions as knowledgeably as possible. The key to great customer support is communication, and by communicating with your customers, you can potentially stave off refunds and garner customer loyalty and retention.

Process refunds immediately

If a refund is inevitable, process it quickly. Email or write to the customer to let them know that the refund is on its way. By taking this extra step, you can create a sense of trust and reliability that can bring customers back, even if a product wasn’t satisfactory.

Even with the best chargeback prevention strategies, it’s essential for high-risk businesses to work with a merchant account provider to satisfy their customers and reach a sustainable level of success.

Benefits of an herbal and vitamin merchant account

Multiple payment methods

If you don’t have a merchant account, you can’t offer credit card processing — and in today’s economy, this can make your business look like a dinosaur. Studies show that 90 percent of customers prefer having access to a variety of different payment options when they make a purchase.

With Zenti, your company will be able to take credit cards, debit cards, mobile app payments, and e-checks, so your customers can use their method of choice. By offering these payment options, you can boost your company’s reputation, and avoid looking like a less-than-reliable vendor.

Payment tracking

Tracking payments manually can be time-consuming and fraught with problems. Zenti offers up-to-date payment tracking tools that can trace each payment from its point of sale to its completion.

Billing solutions

Unless you want to spend hours every day doing the books and sending out invoices, it’s essential to have automated tools for billing and invoicing. With Zenti, you’ll be able to send out automated bills and invoices according to your preferred schedule.

Fees and high-risk merchant accounts

For high-risk businesses, fee increases are unavoidable. These higher fees help to offset the risks that payment processors incur by taking on high-risk merchant accounts. No matter what type of industry you’re in, Zenti provides merchant account services at reasonable rates that businesses can afford. Plus, Zenti charges the same rates for all credit cards, including VISA, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

If you’re trying to get an herbal and vitamin merchant account, Zenti can help you get the payment solutions you need for your high-risk business. We’ll help you get a full roster of payment processing services, including credit card, debit card, mobile app, and e-check payment options.

Plus, we offer a wide range of automated billing and invoicing solutions, as well as payment tracking tools to protect your business. In addition, our fee structure is fair and affordable, no matter what type of business you’re in.

Want to hear more? Contact Zenti and let us help you get the payment processing services and management tools you need for success.


Zenti Connect plays nice with others

Zenti Connect integrates seamlessly with ISV software to simplify payment processing for merchants: any payment type, on any device, anywhere. 

Zenti integrates with over 99% of the tools you are already using, including popular accounting software and e-commerce apps, regardless of your industry. Our payment services were designed to be adaptable to provide seamless integrations for our customers.

merchant account integrations c

Microsoft Dynamics
Network Solutions

Event Espresso
events manager
Paid Memberships Pro

Drupal Commerce


911 Software, Inc.
ACR Systems
Aldelo Systems, Inc.
Applied Micro Technology
Advanced Retail Management Solutions (ARMs)
Auto star
Cantaloupe Systems
Data Business Systems
Datacap Systems, Inc.
DataTech Corp
Edgil Associates
Epicor (CRS, NSB)
Freedom Pay
Gateway Ticketing Systems
Idalica Corp
IJN Systems
IT Retail
Main Street Softworks
MBS Textbook Exchange
Medasyst, Inc.
/n Software, Inc.
PC America
RATEX Business Solutions
Retail Data Systems
RTL Payment Systems
ScanSource, Inc.
Sicom Systems, Inc.
Slim CD
Tempus Technologies
Tender Retail Systems
The Software Mills
Tomax Corporation
Total Computing Solutions
TouchNet Information Systems
XProtean, Inc. (C-Payment Software)
XPient Solutions
Vista Entertainment Systems

911 Software, Inc.
Data Business Systems
Datacap Systems, Inc.
Main Street Softworks
Menusoft Systems Corp.
Micros Systems
Midnite Express, Inc.
/n Software Inc.
Radiant Systems
Revel Systems
Sicom Systems, Inc.
Squirrel Systems
Tempus Technologies
XPient Solutions
XProtean, Inc. (C-Payment Software)
Elavon (previously Southern DataComm and Global Card Services)

Dresser Wayne
Fuel Links
Fiscal Systems, Inc.
LOC Software
Main Street Softworks
Petro RX
Radiant Systems
VeriFone Ruby System

Datacap Systems
LOC Software

911 Software, Inc.
Hotel Software Systems
Slim CD
Tempus Technologies

Government organizations face a growing need for secure payment processing services while managing highly specific needs for content management and security. 

We can work with popular technology products government agencies prefer, like Ciber and Cubic, to create an integrated solution that meets all your needs for processing payments, managing information, and more.

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We partnered with Zenti in 2017 and they've been there for us every time. Everything is super fast and I love how well they communicate with our staff. They really know their stuff, and we work in a very complex industry! My account executive knows our business inside and out.

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