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Adventures in Payment Processing - (updated)

ThatKiwiGuy
ThatKiwiGuy VapeFam

Since posting this, there have been a few developments that need to be added.

  1. ASB have outright refused eMerchant Services.
  2. Account2Account by WindCave seems to be functioning properly, but there is a cosmetic issue in Shopify that will confuse the customer. Working on getting that solved with Shopify.
  3. Westpac are the only ones left in New Zealand who have not yet given me a reply
  4. Asiabill have not yet replied either. It’s been about a week, so I will follow up with them.

So you’re an up and coming Vape Shop in New Zealand, and you’re looking to take online payments. Guess what… You’re Fucked.

In recent months, practically every financial institution in New Zealand, has begun refusing; rejecting or banning and closing accounts of Vape Vendors across the country. This seems to be related to Visa clamping down on Vaping as an industry, classing it as a High Risk financial category.

Unfortunately, no banks will take a stand against Visa, and our Vape community is far too small to fight it.

I decided that it’s time to figure out once and for all, which banks and payment processors will actually help (rather than hinder) our industry. Below, you’ll find a list of banks, their websites and their contact information. I’ve also added a couple of notes to each, telling you where they stand on providing eMerchant facilities to Vape Shops.

BNZ

  • Websitehttps://www.kiwibank.co.nz/business-banking/
  • Contact Number: 0800 269 763
  • Notes: BNZ directly refuse to provide eMerchant services for our industry. In store EFTPOS is fine when using a normal Merchant bank account.

TSB

ASB

ANZ

  • Websitehttps://www.anz.co.nz/business/
  • Contact Number: 0800 212 269
  • Notes: May make an exception if you’re a long term customer (more than 2 years), and strictly limited to New Zealand only. Otherwise no.

Cooperative Bank New Zealand

SBS Bank

HSBC New Zealand

  • Websitehttps://www.business.hsbc.co.nz/
  • Contact Number: 0508 443 924
  • Notes: HSBC are primarily a commercial bank, and would actually help. Unfortunately, to qualify for an account, you would require a minimum turnover of $40 million NZD

Heartland Bank

  • Websitehttps://www.heartland.co.nz/
  • Contact Number: 0800 852 020 & 0800 809 191
  • Notes: They seem to be having issues with their IVR. After answering the call, I was presented with options, pressed the button and immediately got hung up on multiple times. Unable to get a live person on the phone.

Kiwibank

  • Websitehttps://www.kiwibank.co.nz/business-banking/
  • Contact Number: 0800 601 601
  • Notes: Kiwibank are directly aligned with BNZ, and will therefore not provide eMerchant services for our industry. In store EFTPOS is fine when using a normal Merchant bank account.

Westpac

  • Websitehttps://www.westpac.co.nz/business/
  • Contact Number: 0800 177 200
  • Notes: Westpac might provide eMerchant services, but it is subject to approval. I’ve emailed the details they requested, and am awaiting a reply. In store EFTPOS is fine when using a normal Merchant bank account.

PayPal

G2A Pay

  • Websitehttps://pay.g2a.com/
  • Contact Number: None available
  • Notes: Rejected, citing incompatibilities with internal policies and external service providers

AsiaBill

  • Websitehttps://en.asiabill.com/
  • Contact Number: None available
  • Notes: Request has been submitted, as well as supporting documentation. Awaiting reply.

Authorize.Net

  • Websitehttps://www.authorize.net/
  • Contact Number: None available
  • Notes: Is a subsidiary of Visa, and have directly confirmed that they will not provide eMerchant services to our industry.

Checkout.com

  • Websitehttps://www.checkout.com/
  • Contact Number: None available
  • Notes: Currently does not operate in New Zealand, but are expanding. When they are available here, they will be able to provide eMerchant services to our industry. Currently, only available in US; EU; Asia and Australia.

eWAY

  • Websitehttps://eway.io/
  • Contact Number: None available
  • Notes: Australia Based, but can service New Zealand. Unable to provide eMerchant services directly, but are willing to provide a Gateway for online transactions, if a Bank is willing to provide an eMerchant number.

Payment Express/WindCave

  • Websitehttps://www.windcave.com/
  • Contact Number: +64 9 309 4693
  • Notes: Unable to provide eMerchant services directly, but are willing to provide a Gateway for online transactions, if a Bank is willing to provide an eMerchant number. Also, have provided an alternative solution to POLi called Account2Account. Have submitted application, and awaiting reply. In store EFTPOS is fine when using a normal Merchant bank account.

To be clear, I contacted each of these financial institutions personally. I made the phone calls; I contacted their sales teams; I checked their terms of service; I requested clarification. I’ve put in the leg work, so you don’t have too.

Based on the details above, this is my list of hopefuls, in order of preference:

  1. Westpac with WindCave Gateway
  2. ASB with WindCave Gateway (no longer an option, see their listing above)
  3. WindCave Account2Account

Note that WindCave is listed 3 times. This is because WindCave have offered to be a payment gateway for any eMerchant services provider we can give them. They’ve been the most supportive so far, and are the only group to have offered any solution, with their Account2Account product. I have to give them Kudos for that. It takes balls to step up to the plate and do the right thing, when everyone else takes the easy road.

As a side note, we’ve decided to definitely go with Account2Account from WindCave. We don’t like the idea of using POLi, as it would be subject to not only New Zealand laws, but also Australian rules and regulations. WindCave is a wholly New Zealand entity. If anyone is able to navigate the New Zealand political landscape, I would much rather it be in the hands of a company in New Zealand.

In the end, this hasn’t been the most fruitful Endeavor, but it has yielded some interesting results.

Firstly, that almost no Bank in New Zealand will stand up to Visa.

Secondly, that the only institution who offered a possible solution, is Kiwi owned; and not even a Bank.

Let that sink in. WindCave is NOT a bank.

The Vape industry in New Zealand is defined by the New Zealand Government as an Essential Service, but not a single bank (with the exception of ASB and Westpac, as we’re waiting on replies) will support their function in a post Covid-19 world.

We’re forced to move a lot of our business online, due to Social Distancing and lockdown rules, but Visa and Banks are making it as difficult as possible for us to function.

This is some of the worst bullshit I’ve seen from Banks in a long time.

It’s time for something to change.