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List of products prohibited by the Stripe payment gateway –

Stripe is a very popular payment solution for a large number of online businesses and platforms. However, they don’t accept all products or business types.

Stripe is an excellent solution for many website owners selling simple, low-risk products. Unfortunately, some honest, legal business owners might not realize their products or services are on Stripe’s prohibited business list (also referred to as prohibited products or restricted businesses).

Being prohibited by Stripe, PayPal, or any “Big Bank” merchant account processor is an issue many, if not most, high-risk businesses face. These types of restrictions are usually part of broader policies often referred to as “allowed use”, “prohibited products”, “prohibited activities”, or “restricted business activities.”

Why is Tasker Payment Gateways LLC writing about Stripe?

As an A+ rated BBB accredited business, we specialize in helping web site owners find the best high-risk payment gateway solutions to fit their unique needs.

We’ve been in the payment gateway and processing world since 2002. Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of businesses recover the ability to accept payments online.

Long ago, we learned that high-risk e-commerce site owners should know as much as they can up-front rather than being forced to back-track and fix problems after they happen.

This is why we want to cover Stripe: it’s a widely used and popular solution but isn’t a realistic and reliable option for many legitimate high-risk businesses.

Which products and services are prohibited by Stripe?

Outside of the obvious (illegal businesses such as pirated music, illicit drugs, etc.), there are several legitimate, legal activities that Stripe prohibits based on various factors.

Before we move on, we would like to add and highlight a quick disclaimer:

We’re not Stripe representatives, and we’re not attorneys. What we discuss here is intended as a general resource based on experience gained from helping thousands of site owners and from reading Stripe’s publicly available restrictions and guidelines.

At their discretion, Stripe excludes various legitimate, legal businesses from using their services. In other words, if Stripe chooses to characterize your site as any of the following, they are extremely unlikely to offer you their services over the long haul – if at all. 

  • Tightly regulated businesses
  • “Shady” businesses as defined by Stripe, which includes multi-level marketing (read more in Stripe’s own words)
  • “Financially risky” businesses
  • Activities that attract money-laundering or fraud
  • Companies that pose a brand risk

While some of these categories are more clear cut than others (brand risk is an excellent example of subjective decision making, as opposed to businesses that are statistically more exposed to fraud).

Will Stripe allow my website to accept credit cards?

We specialize in helping high-risk business owners find ideal payment gateway and third-party shopping cart integrations. Below, we cover a few examples of high-risk business types. Hopefully, this will make it easier for you to see whether your business should use Stripe for online credit card processing.

Does Stripe allow CBD businesses?

No. It’s doubtful that CBD businesses can effectively use Stripe for any period of time without being shut down. CBD e-commerce clearly fits within the general definition of a regulated product category – which Stripe prohibits.

Does Stripe allow vape businesses?

No, Stripe outlines that e-cigarettes and e-liquid businesses are not allowed to use their services. This is due to their status as a regulated product.

Does Stripe allow cigar businesses?

No, Stripe states that any business involved sale of tobacco products is prohibited from using their services for those sales. This is due to the regulated nature of the business and product.

Does Stripe allow FFL to FFL businesses?

No, FFL sales and other weapons are not allowed by Stripe. Using a high-risk merchant account and a high-risk payment gateway is vital for FFL e-commerce sales.

Does Stripe allow pipe and glassware businesses?

No, Stripe does not allow pipe, bong, and glassware products sales through their gateway. This is presumably due to the product category being restricted by their financial partners.

Does Stripe allow Tactical product businesses?

No, as a regulated product type, tactical products such as knives and other weapons cannot be sold using Stripe. However, if you don’t sell products that can be construed as weapons, you might be able to use Stripe. However, brand compatibility is a potential issue, so we recommend contacting Stripe directly.

If your website isn’t allowed to use Stripe to process payments, don’t worry. There are payment gateway alternatives available to you. We specialize in finding the best possible solutions that allow high-risk businesses to accept credit cards online.

Top Stripe payment gateway alternatives for prohibited products and businesses

Plenty of big-name e-commerce platform and software brands use Stripe. Stripe powers some big payment gateways, for example, Shopify Payments (and probably the new and emerging WooCommerce Payments). This can cause some confusion, not to mention frustration, for new high-risk business owners as they invest hours of hard work into creating their websites, only to find that there are no out-of-the-box payment methods available for their products.

We’re glad to say that we can help when this situation occurs by pairing you with a payment gateway and merchant account recommendation that allows you to use the site you’ve already invested heavily in creating. For example, we often help high-risk businesses use platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, and many more.

The best Stripe payment gateway alternatives we’ve found over the years are Authorize.Net and NMI. Authorize.Net is a go-to high-risk gateway for many e-commerce site owners across many different high-risk industries. NMI is one of our favorites, and it’s an excellent choice for your high-risk online business, especially when you use multiple merchant accounts.

Important note: Authorize.Net and NMI are only high-risk friendly when properly paired with a high-risk merchant account on the back end. Contact us any time to learn more.

While we’re happy to help if your Stripe or PayPal account has been shut down or frozen, you don’t have to be in trouble to make use of our free advice and expertise. We’re happy to talk about your business, needs, and unique situation. We’ll help you find the best combination of high-risk merchant account, payment gateway, and platform.

High-risk resources and more information on Stripe alternatives

We provide high-risk website owners with information upfront to avoid frustrations and hurdles whenever possible. You can either contact us or visit the resources below for more details.

Stripe alternatives for CBD businesses

CBD is an exciting new frontier in the e-commerce world, but Stripe won’t work for CBD businesses. The good news is that we have done the research for you and have a “CBD payment gateways 101” resource.

Stripe alternatives for vape businesses

Stripe doesn’t work for vape e-commerce sales, but we’ve found some excellent options that do. Here you can find more information on how to process payments online for vape products.

Stripe alternatives for cigar businesses

Since you sell a restricted product, we recommend that you use Authorize.Net or NMI. To find which is best for you, you can read our resource on which platforms and software are available to cigar sites using either NMI or Authorize.Net.

Stripe alternatives for FFL businesses

Finding 2A friendly payment processing can be difficult,  and unfortunately, Stripe isn’t the answer.  We have an extensive FFL payment gateways guide that provides plenty of useful information for online FFL dealers.

Stripe alternatives for pipe and glassware businesses

While you can’t use Stripe to accept payments on your smoke shop site, there are plenty of ways for you to process credit card payments online for pipe and glassware products. Here are some viable alternatives to Stripe for glassware and pipe e-commerce sites.

Stripe alternatives for tactical product businesses

Even though Stripe isn’t the answer to your tactical site’s processing needs, we have plenty of great alternatives. You can read our article on how big brand site builders can be high-risk friendly for tactical e-commerce.

If your legal US or Canadian business category wasn’t listed above, don’t worry. More likely than not, we have a solution for you, with up-front information readily available on our site. Please see our high-risk resource page to find the platform you intend to use, or your business or product type.

You can also get in touch with us through the contact form below. We’re happy to talk through your needs and recommend what solutions are best for your business.