Buy Peptides Online with a Credit Card or Debit Card
If you’ve landed on this article, you are probably wondering why it seems difficult or rare to buy peptides online (or other research chemicals) with a credit card or debit card. In this article, I’m going to educate you a bit on how the payments industry works, and why it’s difficult and not a good idea to buy peptides (or other research chemicals) with a credit card or debit card.
In fact, you – the customer – can get in serious trouble by using your credit or debit card to buy peptides or research chemicals online. You can be restricted from banking/card services and even fined up to $50,000! Later in this article, I will explain how and why.
Disclaimer: The statements I’m making in this article are facts, not conjecture. I can speak with absolute authority on this subject, because one of my several companies is a large payment processor, and I’ve been involved in this industry for well over a decade. I’ve been asked by Peptidesource.org to write this article as a guest author, to help customers and merchants understand their options when buying peptides online with a credit card or debit card.
Card Payments 101:
When your bank or financial institution issues you a credit or debit card, what you are doing is tying your bank account (debit card) or credit line from your bank (credit card) to that specific card brand’s network, which your bank or financial institution card issuer has a partnership with. This is not the same as purely spending your own money. In the following section, we’ll explain this a bit further.
Credit vs Debit Cards:
When you spend money on a credit card, you are not spending your money. You are spending money that your bank or financial institution has loaned to you as a monthly credit line. This is often why credit cards are declined more often than debit cards.
When you spend money using a debit card, you are spending your money directly from your checking account (for example). There is a caveat to both credit card and debit card payments, however. Whether you are using a credit card or a debit card to make purchases, you are still subject to the rules (terms and conditions) of the specific card brand’s network.
Most customers think that they can use their credit or debit card to spend money wherever or however they’d like. This is not at all true.
Furthermore, when you are spending money using a credit or debit card, the card brand, and the bank know exactly what you are buying, where, and when (among other things). This is just the customer facing side of things. Next, I’ll explain the merchant (vendor) side of the equation.
For the merchant/vendor, things get much trickier. Merchants who accept credit or debit cards have to apply with a bank or payment processor to get an account that allows them to charge your credit or debit card. This means that the bank and the payment processor are accepting risk on behalf of the merchant, hoping that they follow the rules and only charge cards for the types of products or services that they are approved to sell.
Banks are the parties that determine what types of merchants can and cannot get merchant accounts. They make these determinations based on the rules set by the card brands and their networks. Payment processors help facilitate the transaction by managing the transaction-level processing of each payment, refund, charge-back, etc.
The hard facts about buying peptides (or research chemicals) with a credit or debit card:
Items like peptides or other research chemicals are considered “high risk” and thus generally forbidden by banks and payment processors. This means that banks and their payment processing partners will not allow merchants to sell things like peptides or research chemicals. The main reason why is that banks and payment processors ultimately answer to the card brands who own the global card networks. The card brands do not like categories such as peptides or research chemicals.
How can SOME vendors allow you to buy peptides with cards then?
There are several ways in which peptide and research chemical vendors find “work-arounds” to accept cards…until they get caught. I will outline the most common methods below: Transaction laundering, and work-around systems.
Transaction laundering: Here is an easy way to think about this. Imagine you walk into a cannabis dispensary, and since cannabis is federally illegal, the card brands will not legally allow payments for cannabis on their networks. Here are three ways in which transaction laundering can occur:
- The cannabis dispensary has credit/debit card terminals in their shop, but the bank and/or payment processor that gave them a merchant account “lied” to the card brand network and coded the merchant as something other than cannabis. This is why card brands have secret shoppers and sophisticated transaction monitoring tools that eventually catch this and often fine the merchant significantly and put them on what’s called the MATCH list. Being on this list means that merchant account signer and the associated business cannot accept cards in any capacity for at least 5 years.
- Let’s say you see a form on a peptide or research chemical site checkout page to enter your card details. What typically happens is this information is taken offline, and manually or via software, entered through a separate payment terminal for an unrelated merchant account. That is how peptide vendors get away with this… for a little while. This is illegal, and storing a customer’s card details on a website server requires very strict PCI DSS compliance, which cannot be adhered to in a scenario like this. What this means for you the customer? Your personal and credit/debit card information is now unsecured and, on the internet, to be exposed for fraud.
- Some vendors use invoicing systems (i.e., PayPal, Square, etc.) to email you an invoice after your purchase. This is just another form of transaction laundering. The account used to issue those invoices is setup for another business or individual and is used to facilitate payments for your peptide or research chemical purchase. These all get shut down eventually.
Work-around systems: This is the other most commonly used method to buy peptides or research chemicals with a credit or debit card. You may see some peptide or research chemical vendors have a checkout method that enables the customer to use their card, but they have to go through a pop-up interface, or a redirect interface and take several extra steps to make the payment. What’s happening is that this type of system is acting like a middle-man. It enables the customer to purchase some kind of digital token, which is then applied to the purchase total. This is not the same as transaction laundering. This is completely legal, despite many banks and the card brands often frowning upon it. Thus, you’ll see these offerings come and go over time since they’re generally not sustainable.
How to buy peptides and research chemicals with a debit card legitimately:
Let me first answer this question, with a question. Given what you’ve learned so far in this article, do you really want your bank, the vendor’s bank, the payment processor, the card brands, and others in the middle of a card transaction knowing that you are buying peptides or research chemicals on the internet? No, you don’t.
While peptides and research chemicals are technically considered a legal “grey” area, these laws are subject to change. If/when laws change, you – the customer who bought peptides/research chemicals with your card using some method above – could be restricted from banking services, restricted from the use of a specific card brand, or worse, fined.
Yes, the customer can also get in serious legal trouble by participating (even unknowingly) in transaction laundering.
HERE IS HOW TO BUY PEPTIDES AND RESEARCH CHEMICALS ONLINE WITH A DEBIT CARD [LEGALLY AND SUSTAINABLY]:
Most peptide and research chemical vendors offer other payment options (i.e. Venmo, etc.), but they are all subject to shut-downs once the vendor or customer is caught. The only sustainable methods to buy peptides and research chemical online are to use e-check or cryptocurrency. If you absolutely need to use your card to make payments, then use a debit card to legally buy cryptocurrency and then pay for your peptides or research chemicals with the cryptocurrency (FYI – you cannot use a credit card, only a debit card, to buy cryptocurrency). It’s fast, easy, secure, and anonymous.
It’s also 2023, if you do not know how to use cryptocurrency, you probably have no business buying peptides or research chemicals in the first place.
In conclusion, know this:
The customer is always wrong when it comes to payments for peptides or research chemicals. Hopefully after more people read this article, this fact becomes less true. Do you wonder why many peptide or research chemical vendors offer discounts or incentives for paying with cryptocurrency or e-check? Now you know.
If you want peptide vendors to focus more on quality control of their products, have higher budgets for third party lab testing, and for customer service, then stop being part of the problem. The entire purpose of Peptidesource.org is to create positive pressure on the peptide and research chemical vendor community so that they focus more on quality control that all customers ultimately want. Everyone would agree that this should be a vendor’s focus rather than having to spend so much time and hardship trying to satisfy the naive customer’s absurd demand to buy peptides or research chemicals with a credit card or debit card via illegal methods.
As mentioned earlier in this article, when you use cryptocurrency or an e-check, you are not sharing transaction data with all of the aforementioned parties including your bank. Even with e-check payments, it is a peer-to-peer payment mechanism that does not expose the products you are buying as part of the transaction details.
For those customers who don’t take this advice seriously, maybe consider another research hobby other than peptides or research chemicals, or you may find yourself restricted from future banking services, card services, or paying a fine.