In the UK, vaping products are widely endorsed as smoking cessation and harm reduction tools. However, with regards to the covid-related lockdowns, vape shops have been deemed “non-essential” and the industry has had to adapt and transfer its business online.

In a release on it’s website, the IBVTA highlighted that some businesses have been experiencing issues with PayPal. The association said that it is working to establish dialogue with the payment platform to discuss their approach towards the industry and the implications of their actions.

Actions businesses can take

Meanwhile, the IBVTA listed the following steps vaping businesses may take to mitigate the impact on their business:

  • 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.

The IBVTA added that it has established a partnership with WorldPay, more information can be found here.

The IBVTA’s COVID-19 Advice For The UK Independent Vape Industry

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