Merchant Accounts For Tobacco and Cigar Businesses

SoarPay offers credit card processing solutions for tobacco and cigar businesses.

Why We Proudly Offer Solutions for Tobacco and Cigar Businesses (Even When Many Processors Don’t)

Businesses selling tobacco, cigars, and other accessories work in a solid industry that has been around for hundreds of years. Yet, many merchant services companies do not work with tobacco/cigar industry businesses, for two primary reasons:

Credit card processing for tobacco and cigar businesses

  1. Tobacco products are age restricted and regulated by the federal government. That means that they require extra underwriting knowledge and procedures by the credit card processor, which many processors are not prepared to offer.
  2. Tobacco products have become a “political” issue, and many sponsor banks and their credit card processors have decided that the political costs to their business outweigh the benefits, and therefore refuse to offer merchant services to legitimate and well run tobacco related businesses.

Due to these two risks, many merchant services providers decline to accept any tobacco business, regardless of their business model.

Soar Payments, by contrast, has consistently offered solutions for the tobacco industry since our founding. Our extensive relationships with credit card processors and sponsor banks who have the capability to underwrite regulated industries, in addition to our integration of chargeback and fraud prevention software, uniquely positions Soar Payments to provide retail tobacco and cigar businesses with stable, effective, long term credit card processing solutions.

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Frequently Asked Questions for Tobacco & Cigar Credit Card Processing

Here are common questions specific to tobacco and cigar merchant accounts:

What types of tobacco & cigar businesses do you service?

Soar Payments offers merchant processing solutions for a wide range of retail and mobile-based businesses in the tobacco industry. These include your typical brick-and-mortar tobacco or cigar shops, businesses selling products via mobile swipers, and others conducting in-person sales.


I want to sell tobacco products online, can I get a merchant account through Soar Payments?

Currently we are unable to offer merchant services to tobacco/cigar businesses that wish to sell their products via ecommerce. Due to the regulated nature of these products and legal age requirements (which are difficult to verify properly online), we do not have any processing or sponsor bank relationships that can accept this type of business model.


Do I need to purchase equipment in order to work with Soar Payments?

Not necessarily. Our processing solutions are compatible with a wide variety of equipment that works with the TSYS network. We are always happy to confirm if existing equipment you’re using can work with our solutions. If it cannot, we offer a wide selection of options at competitive pricing.

Have another question? Click here to read our full FAQ.

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Types of Tobacco and Cigar Merchant Accounts

Soar Payments offers a full-array of merchant accounts to brick-n-mortar, and other “card present” businesses in the tobacco and cigar industries.. These include:


A retail merchant account for tobacco and cigar products enables businesses to accept face-to-face debit and credit card payments via a traditional credit card machine or point of sale system.
Ideally suited to a storefront or retail setting with reliable internet access, retail tobacco credit card processing accounts typically have the lowest chargeback and fraud risk and as a result are afforded the lowest credit card processing pricing.

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A mobile merchant account for tobacco and cigars enables your business to accept face-to-face credit and debit card payments via a swiper (included with each account) that plugs into your mobile phone or iPad.

Appropriate for businesses that frequently conduct face-to-face sales outside of a storefront, such as “pop-up” tobacco stores, mobile accounts are priced similarly to retail, due to their lower chargeback risk.

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Virtual Terminal

Also called a payment gateway merchant account, a virtual terminal enables businesses to accept payments over the phone, via mail, or typed into a computer (without needing outside equipment). They also have invoicing solutions which allow the merchant to email an invoice to the customer, which they can pay online.

A tobacco payment gateway account is ideal for businesses that accept payments over the phone, or via mail order. Virtual terminal payments are particularly vulnerable to fraud, therefore Soar Payments offers integrated chargeback protection.

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eCommerce – Smoking Accessories Only

Currently Soar Payments cannot offer merchant processing options for businesses wanting to sell tobacco via ecommerce. We can offer options for smoking accessories, but current bank and processor rules prohibit tobacco sales online due to age restrictions.

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