As an FFL, the best way to expand and grow your business is online, specifically ecommerce. Whether you’re a manufacturer selling branded merch and accessories or a dealer selling firearms and ammunition, you’ll need a way to accept credit card payments.
To accept payment online, you’ll need a credit card processor – also referred to as a merchant processor or payment processor – who acts as the middleman between the credit card company and your business. For their service, the business pays the credit card processor a processor fee, offered as a flat rate, tiered, interchange-plus, or membership-based. Without getting into the weeds, this fee is a portion of the credit card fees a business pays per card transaction.
Like with fees, not all credit card processors are created equal. Depending on the size of your business, you may be able to get away with a more affordable payment processor until your ecommerce picks up. That is, if your credit card processor doesn’t prohibit your business in the first place.
Unfortunately, anti-gun payment processors are all too common, often prohibiting guns, ammunition, accessories, and even knives. But what’s worse is some of these processors will allow new businesses to get set up and use their service for weeks, months, or years before dropping a firearms business.
To prevent your FFL from getting shut down, avoid the three anti-gun credit card processors listed below when setting up your online business.
Anti-Gun Credit Card Processors
With well over 20 million merchant accounts, PayPal is one of the largest credit card processors in the world. However, that doesn’t mean they support every industry, citing the following about guns in their Acceptable Use Policy:
“You may not use the PayPal service for activities that: … (2) relate to transactions involving … (j) ammunition, firearms, or certain firearm parts or accessories, or (k) certain weapons or knives regulated under applicable law”
Used by many small businesses, Square boasts over 60 million merchants worldwide thanks to various in-store and online solutions for retailers – so long as you’re not a seller of firearms or other weapons. Per Square’s General Terms of Service:
“You may not, nor may you permit any third party, directly or indirectly, to: … (10) use the Services for the sale of firearms, firearm parts, ammunition, weapons or other devices designed to cause physical harm”
The smallest of the three, Stripe is used by over 3 million customers in more than 120 countries, but its financial services are strict when it comes to Prohibited Businesses:
“You must not use Stripe’s services for the following activities: … Firearms, explosives and dangerous materials [including] Guns, gunpowders, ammunitions, weapons, fireworks and other explosives”
BONUS – GoDaddy Payments
You probably know GoDaddy for its website hosting services, but they’ve also been offering credit card processing for millions of customers since 2013. When it comes to firearms, they’ll register your website domain, but won’t let you conduct business. Per GoDaddy Payments’ prohibited businesses:
“Merchants selling weapons, devices, instruments, materials or substances that are designed to cause bodily injury or harm including without limitation, explosives and dangerous materials, firearms, and ammunition whether online or in person.”
Firearm-Friendly Payment Processing
Though many FFLs still use these three credit card processors, it’s not a matter of if their business will be dropped, but when. Before that happens, or before your business signs a contract, it’s critical you consider and review their stance when it comes to your business.
With Orchid Pay™, FFLs get an unrestricted means of processing credit card payments backed by a firm with more than a decade supporting the firearms industry and its members. Plus, we offer some of the lowest rates on the market with locked pricing and no contract or early termination fees. Implement our payment solution into your existing brick-and-mortar or ecommerce business, or automatically get Orchid Pay™ merchant processing when you become an Orchid POS™ or eCommerce customer.
Contact us to learn more about Orchid Pay™ and how to make the switch to firearm-friendly merchant processing.