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Best Tobacco Payment Processing Tools: 5 Solutions for 2024

Running a smoke shop often means razor-thin profit margins. You operate on volume and small markups across cigarettes, cigars, vapes, accessories, and more. So what if you could expand margins by two to five percent — or more — without raising prices?

Most tobacco retailers don’t realize that outdated payment systems leak away profits in hidden ways; through inefficient ordering processes, compliance failures, lack of actionable insights, and reliance on predatory processors. 

The right tobacco payment processing tool unlocks game-changing advantages. But how do you know which point of sale (POS) system is right for your smoke shop?

In this guide, learn about the benefits of cutting-edge POS systems and the top five tobacco payment processing tools in 2024 to help you find your ideal payment processing solution. 

Why You Need A Tobacco Payment Processing Tool 

Smoke shops and other tobacco-related businesses have unique needs when it comes to payment processing. As a "high-risk" category, smoke shops like yours may struggle to get approved for standard payment processing services. This hard truth makes a tailored tobacco payment processing tool critically important.

Related Read: CBD Payment Processing: 3 Considerations Before Selling CBD

A specialized tool designed for the tobacco industry can provide smoke shops with the required credit card processing abilities. You must also maintain compliance with state and federal age verification and reporting regulations. Investing in a tobacco payment processing tool with built-in features gives you the most bang for your buck — and the least amount of headaches. 

There are also financial benefits to using a tobacco payment processor. These providers may offer reduced rates or interchange-plus pricing, reflecting the specialized nature of working in higher-risk retail. The savings can be substantial compared to traditional merchant services, especially for higher-volume shops. 

Another advantage of investing in a tobacco payment processing solution is enhanced fraud protection. The right tool will help you screen for risks associated with your customer base and provide tools to help you minimize disputes and chargebacks. 

In short, selling tobacco can be complicated. If you want to manage these complex processes and requirements without frustration, you need a payment processing tool designed for your industry. From compliance to cost savings to service quality, a specialized tobacco processor delivers significant benefits that generic alternatives can’t match.

Considering this, let’s review our list of the top tobacco payment processing tools currently on the market. 

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5 Best Tobacco Payment Processing Tools 

If you run a smoke shop, cigar lounge, or other tobacco-focused business, you need more than just a standard POS system to process sales — you need a specialized tobacco payment processing tool. 

But what exactly constitutes a POS as a tailored “tobacco processing tool”? The key is the right features! Some of those critical features include: 

  • Age verification integration: Scans IDs and validates customer age to prevent unlawful sales.
  • Regulatory compliance capabilities: Supports mandatory protocols like age checks and reporting.
  • Specialized payment processing: Supports high-risk merchant services that work for tobacco, kratom, delta-8, and more. 
  • Custom tobacco price book creation: Offers tools for complex product categories and bundles.
  • Configurable state tobacco tax rates: Applies correct excise taxes automatically.
  • Customer database limitations: Caps purchase volumes and prevents bulk orders.

Essentially, these POS systems handle the complexities of running a modern smoke shop. They shield against compliance infractions, provide reporting to satisfy audits, optimize wholesale tobacco orders, and maximize profitability. Let’s now examine some of the top tools on the market today.

1. POS Nation 

Best for: Small business retailers seeking a customizable, plug-and-play POS system

POS Nation is a top point of sale provider for small business retailers, particularly tobacco stores, seeking a customizable and user-friendly solution. It combines robust core POS functionality with specialty features tailored to the tobacco industry's unique needs.

For tobacco merchants, POS Nation offers must-have features like carton-pack inventory tracking, age verification integration, scan data reporting, and advanced pricing controls for discounts and promotions. POS Nation also provides the flexibility and support smaller retailers need to succeed. The system can be configured to match current workflows rather than forcing complex changes. Customers can access 24/7 technical assistance, so help is always a quick call away.

Payment processing is another standout, with no long-term contracts or hidden fees. Retailers can easily accept payments using existing merchant accounts or leverage POS Nation's integrated processors. 

Pricing: Available by custom quote through their website’s pricing tool

2. Lightspeed 

Best for: Larger tobacco retailers with multiple locations

Lightspeed is an advanced cloud-based POS system that may be an ideal fit for larger tobacco retailers managing multiple locations. This solution provides centralized inventory oversight, sales reporting, and e-commerce integration that unifies your data across channels.  

By consolidating real-time inventory counts, sales metrics, and other performance indicators from all stores and online in one dashboard, owners gain clear visibility despite scale and complexity. Built-in e-commerce capabilities like SEO optimization tools, online store builders, and omnichannel order fulfillment options also appeal to larger tobacco retailers or those who hope to sell online as well as in-store. 

Pricing: Lightspeed’s pricing starts at $119 per month for the basic plan, but goes up with advanced capabilities and the number of locations.

3. Loyverse POS 

Best for: Small retailers with little to no budget

Loyverse POS is a free point of sale solution. This system may be a good option for small retailers on tight budgets who can get by with just a basic POS system. Loyverse provides an intuitive interface to help small businesses streamline sales and reporting processes. 

Notable features include robust inventory management with low stock alerts, customer purchase tracking, support for multiple payment types, and sales analytics. Loyverse also offers add-ons, including barcode scanners and loyalty programs.

The entirely free platform makes Loyverse POS accessible even to merchants unable to afford monthly subscriptions. However, the free solution is missing a few key features you’ll find in most paid systems. You may struggle to get what you need from reporting and customization. Additionally, Loyverse is open-source, so the vulnerabilities associated with open-source solutions may also raise security concerns for some retailers.

So, while the simplicity and free price point hold appeal, Loyverse POS suits retailers focused strictly on basic POS functionality rather than advanced intelligence or customization. 

4. Korona POS 

Best for: Smoke shops with complex inventory

Korona POS offers a small business point of sale solution that caters to smoke shops and specialty retailers. Korona is often applauded for its inventory features, offering tools small businesses can use to optimize stock and minimize outages. Automated tracking and reordering capabilities also help to reduce gaps that impact sales.

Notable features include real-time visibility into current inventory levels across all products and variants. Dashboard alerts notify staff when popular items run low so they can reorder before stockouts occur. Other key capabilities include age verification and loss prevention security features. 

Pricing: Korona POS starts at $59 per month, scaling up to include additions like payment processing, e-commerce channels, and custom development services. 

5. Cigars POS 

Best for: Independent tobacco and smoke shops seeking an all-in-one solution

Cigars POS is an all-in-one cloud-based point of sale solution ideal for small tobacco and smoke shops seeking tailored functionality without complex servers to maintain. Our solution offers custom configurations, exceptional support, and specialized retail features, all at a reasonable price point for small businesses.

Our solution offers a user-friendly staff interface with fully accessible back end workflows to optimize your inventory processes and other back office needs.

Another area where Cigars POS shines is in our capabilities to cater to tobacco merchants. Robust inventory control, age verification integration, scan data automation, high-risk payment processing, and other niche features can help simplify industry-specific challenges. We also offer features like carton-pack inventory management and simplified compliance reporting

These specialized tools allow tobacco retailers to focus on core business growth rather than wrestling with inefficiencies.

Pricing: Get a custom quote for your perfect solution using our transparent build and price tool.

Finding Your Ideal Tobacco Payment Processing Tool 

When managing tobacco sales, a specialized point of sale system wins out over a traditional payment processing tool 10 times out of 10. These all-in-one solutions offer tailored features critical to regulatory compliance and operational efficiency that you cannot achieve with a simple tobacco payment processing tool. 

Tobacco POS systems offer must-have features like age verification, custom tobacco tax calculations by state/product/volume, and carton-pack inventory tracking. By connecting directly with high-risk merchant processors, these solutions also ensure smoother approval at the lowest available rates.

Whether you operate one high-volume smoke shop or a chain of stores, leveraging these specialized POS capabilities can help you streamline compliance, reporting, payments, and more.  

Cigars POS offers a dedicated tobacco retail POS system designed specifically for smoke shops, cigar bars, and vape stores. Schedule a demo of Cigars POS today to learn more about our specialty solution for tobacco retailers and how we can help you optimize your operations, maximize efficiency, boost sales, and simplify compliance. 

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About Cigars POS

Cigars POS offers the ideal solution for tobacco, cigar, and pipe shop owners.No complex integrations, no contracts, no waiting on hold to talk to service reps who can't help you.

Find out how much your dream POS system will cost you - you might be surprised.

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