Payment Processing for Alcohol Sales

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Finding suitable merchant accounts for the sale of alcohol, liquor and spirits

Trends in alcohol sales have grown in recent years, with the market expanding in spirit fashions and vintage markets. Securing card processing for alcohol businesses, be it face to face sales via chip and pin or online stores is relatively straight forward. We’ve put together tips to ensure businesses selling alcoholic produce find the best merchant accounts available to them.

Are alcohol sales deemed high risk?

Unlike the sale of vape and CBD products, merchants selling alcohol aren’t deemed to be high risk. This means that the rates surrounding alcohol shops tend to be pretty competitive, which applies to both physical stores and online merchants. The acceptation to this are;

–         Merchants with high chargeback ratios

–        Merchants selling outside of the country of incorporation, for example wine merchants based in other parts of the world selling to the UK; for example Europe, North America and Australasia.


Card processing requirements for alcohol sales

For online alcohol merchants ensuring that the sale is legal is paramount. This also applies when searching for a merchant account and payment gateway provider. 

Upon entering the site businesses must confirm that the purchaser is of legal age (both where the merchant is registered in and country of purchase). This is carried out by an age verification tick box.

Online payment gateways for the sale of alcohol and spirits

Finding a payment gateway which is suitable for the sale of alcohol is simple, the hardest part is getting the merchant account approved first. Although the industry isn’t deemed ‘high risk’ by the majority of suppliers, it’s worth having security measures in place to prevent issues such as chargebacks occurring. Having a reliable payment gateway provider in place will ensure issues such as this are kept to a minimum.

Comparing merchant accounts for alcohol sales

There is no given method to ensuring you have a suitable merchant account or payment gateway for your alcohol business. However, it is worth considering not only the rates alone but the total costs involved with processing credit and debit cards.

This should be done on a pound for pound basis rather than a rate comparison. Using a broker can help unbiased comparison, at Merchant Advice Service we specialise in;

–          Wine wholesale
–          Vintage and collectors alcohol
–          Online Spirit Shops
–          Face to Face alcohol transactions
–          Events based venues


High volume alcohol sales

Any merchant working with large turnover might want to consider using multi merchant accounts, meaning that if ever there was a reason (such as high chargebacks) for the account to be deactivated there is a backup option in place.

This works by putting a proportion of sales through each account using the same gateway, the customer experience remains consistent in the event of termination of one of your chosen accounts.

Served notice by your current provider?

Merchant Advice Service helps business owners who have been served notice by their existing provider find alternative payment solutions. Speak to our specialists today to find out more.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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