IBVTA advice to members regarding online payment gateways
The UK’s vaping industry is regulated by Government and recognised as legitimate. Vaping products are recognised in the UK as a positive influence on public health and utilised in NHS, local authority and other health settings.
The IBVTA recognises that any payment transaction provider needs to be confident that they have adequately mitigated risks to their business and must therefore ensure merchant compliance with their terms and conditions and with the law. Bad actors exist in every sector. However, the majority of vaping businesses trade within the law and are willing to demonstrate their due diligence in discharging their legal responsibilities.
With the continuation of restrictions due to Coronavirus, businesses who sell online need to have their websites operating with minimal downtime and disruption due to issues such as their payment transaction gateway.
We are aware that some vaping e-commerce businesses are experiencing issues with PayPal. While the IBVTA are working to establish dialogue with PayPal on their approach to our sector, and the implications of their actions, there are practical steps vaping businesses can take to mitigate the impact on their business. Yesterday, November 26th, the IBVTA advised our members that:
- If their PayPal account is active, consider withdrawing the funds to their bank account, to minimise any potential future impact on their business.
- If PayPal have frozen the funds in their account, to make sure that they follow their instructions to complete the information they ask from them.
- If PayPal have frozen their account and they have contacted them to appeal for the release of their funds, keep a record of communication with them – what they sent and when.
- If they have contacted PayPal to appeal for the release of their funds and they have not responded after 8 weeks, they can report this to the Financial Service Ombudsman for Small Businesses by making a complaint. Bringing a complaint to the Financial Service Ombudsman is straightforward and won’t cost anything. See here for more information, and how to make a complaint.
- Look into alternative transaction gateway providers, making sure to carefully read all terms and conditions, and consider if the payment gateway is compatible with their e-commerce platform, e.g. Shopify, etc.
There are a number of payment gateways operating in the UK market and business should do their due diligence on which provider best suits their needs.
The IBVTA have established a partnership with WorldPay, and more information can be found here.