Kratom and the Payment Card Industry: Under Attack


As you may know there is a political war against Kratom. With the amount of money involved, the anti-kratom lobby has had nearly all of their illegalization attempts shot down by the scientific community as well as the Kratom activism community. Due to these these losses, they have lobbied Visa and Mastercard directly to put Kratom suppliers in the most restricted categories of merchants. This has made it nearly impossible to process credit card payments for Kratom without using unregulated overseas card processors.

At Virtue we value full disclosure and total transparency, and are doing everything we can daily to provide as many payment options as possible.

We’re regular people just like our customers, and we desire the security and convenience that standard payment cards provide – and while we strongly desire to offer that convenience to our customers, the fact of the matter is that the Processing Card Industry has for the meantime fully black listed Kratom, and the only options available for us to provide this service expose us to risky, overpriced foreign merchant account providers.

What should we do about this payment pickle? We’ll need to balance the risks and benefits of some alternative payment options.

Kratom is a Legal Grey Area

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) keeps a policy of absolute bans on a number of ‘high risk’ merchants such as online gaming and gambling, dating services, telemarketing services and subscription-based services. While Kratom is currently federally legal and unregulated, the pharmaceutical industry and FDA have coordinated a series of attempts to outright ban Kratom regardless of it’s proven history of safe use, evidence put forth from the scientific community, and consumer testimony. There is a possibility for Kratom sales to become outright illegal (it already is in some places) and the status will probably remain in flux until the Kratom Consumer Protection Act is adopted by a majority. While it’s an uncertainty, if it were to be made illegal having a record of purchases of a recently banned substance might carry some unnecessary stigma.

Using an alternative and almost anonymous payment option such as Bitcoin may be a better choice.

Your Privacy

One of the key benefits to using alternative payment methods such as Bitcoin is the protection of your credit card and billing information. When you checkout online using a payment card, your are required to submit your card number, expiration date, CVV code and billing address to the merchant to fulfill the transaction. A credit card transaction requires you to trust this sensitive information with the merchant and any payment processing services they might use. With the rise of fraudulent schemes and fake online stores, it can be risky to submit such sensitive information over the wire.

While we advocate for the legalization and regulation of safe, pure, tested Kratom we also understand some customers might not want to risk their sensitive information, or want Kratom transactions tied to their name, credit card number or credit score. When you use cryptocurrency as an alternative payment method you can enjoy an almost completely anonymous, secure transaction – it’s one of the biggest reasons we promote using Bitcoin to buy Kratom on our site.

If you want to get started using Bitcoin, you can read detailed instructions here to learn how to buy bitcoin and save 20% on every Kratom order.

Bitcoin Discounts

Currently most Kratom merchants that are accepting credit cards are processing their credit card payments overseas to avoid service or payment disruption, but that translates into higher processing fees. Because of the inflated processing fees, many Kratom merchants must pass those fees down through the price of their Kratom products. That ultimately means that the customer and the merchant are both having to unfairly pay more out to the processing card industry.

Most Kratom vendors acknowledge that this a problem imposed by none other than the processing card industry’s policies, and offer discounts to customers wanting to avoid paying more by using alternative payment methods.

It may seem daunting to get started with something like Bitcoin but at the end of the day it’s worth learning how to save yourself some cash. We even offer a 20% discount for customers who checkout using Bitcoin.

Avoid Interest and Taxes

Credit cards are credit cards and as such, carry unnecessary interest, fees and taxes. Especially when considering the hefty international fees imposed by overseas payment processors used by many Kratom merchants, it makes sense to avoid using a credit card.

Ultimately you’ll end up paying more for your Kratom product, and the Processing Card Industry walks away with more.

You also may incur unnecessary fees if you do not pay your balance off in full each month, or if you accidentally charge more then intended on a credit card. It might sound like basic financial responsibility but paying with an alternative method like Bitcoin guarantees the you have the money to spend.

Most Kratom Merchants Don’t Accept Credit Cards

The fact is that the majority of Kratom merchants don’t accept credit card payments anymore. It’s now become more the rule than the exception in the Kratom industry – despite Kratom merchants best efforts to continue to provide card payments to their customers.

The Processing Card Industry simply doesn’t want to take the risk of having any connection to Kratom because of it’s shifting legal status. We are working with many others including the AKA to counter this misinformation at all levels of government, but that is the reality of the situation.

We try our hardest to make card payments an option for our customers, but ultimately it’s risky, expensive, and unreliable for us – and our regular customers understand the benefits of using alternative payment methods.


Ultimately, it’s your choice

We can’t dictate the use of alternative payments when you buy Kratom, the most we can do is continue to provide as many options as possible and inform you about the aspects of each method . We strongly recommend Bitcoin over the other options because of the many benefits it offers- but we also understand there are many different reasons you might choose another method.

The bottom line is that you fully inform yourself about your payment method and it’s potential to impact the price you’re paying or risk your privacy or expose you to unnecessary fees. The Processing Card Industry does not support the Kratom industry as a policy – and it’s so simple to use an alternative method there’s little reason not to try.

Don’t forget: using Bitcoin gets you 20% off at Kratom Virtue.