by Stuart Lutterman, Brother Processing Solutions (BPS)
Accepting money for legal and licensed cannabis dispensaries has been like the wild west over the past few years. In the U.S., the banking landscape for marijuana businesses is confusing and can seem flat-out impossible to organize. Because of this, many shops still take cash for most of their payments. In 2023 this should not be the case. The problem is that many dispensaries have no access to debit card processing that allows them to take card sales but with severe limitations. Here we’ll look at some signs it is time to upgrade your cannabis debit card processing provider.
Processing Fees & Rates Per Transaction
The most straightforward item to look at is the processing rates and per-transaction fees for your cannabis dispensary. This has gotten more competitive over the years, with merchant service providers pushing down rates to stay relevant. But the fact remains that many cannabis merchant services have higher rates and more expensive per-transaction fees than what businesses should be paying in 2023.
Long gone are the days of dispensaries and marijuana accessory shops being labeled “high-risk” by banks. We’ve come a long way, but dispensaries are still looked at in an unfair light when compared with traditional business varieties. If you are facing direct deposit times longer than one business day, providing high cash reserves to your processor, and paying anything more than regular processing fees, it’s time to make a change.
Why Offer Credit & Debit Card Processing
When a patient or customer enters a dispensary to make a purchase, dispensaries that do not have a cashless payment option may find they are limiting the amount of product they can sell. Look at it this way; a patron comes into the dispensary with $80. They plan to spend a total of $80 on cannabis. However, when they get to the counter and see the great options, they think, “I’m here now; why don’t I double up my order and save myself the next trip.” Or they see the menu options and want to try a few varieties, quickly getting over $80. But they only have $80 cash in hand, no ATM nearby, and the dispensary doesn’t have a card-paying option. The dispensary misses out on more business, and the patient or patron is disappointed.
This is the last place we want to find our customers as business owners. If they have a desire and you have the product, you should be able to meet them in the middle and offer additional options for making their purchase.
The Point Is…
Dispensaries who offer cash-only payment options lose sales, period. How many times have you seen customers in this scenario? They come to your cannabis dispensary and browse the menu. Make a few choices, but when it’s time to pay, a problem, your dispensary only takes cash, and the customer doesn’t have any on them. Don’t leave sales on the table (literally) because you don’t take any form of card payment. POS systems are often free and can be installed easily in a matter of minutes. It also eliminates the need for making cash deposits at the bank or installing a cash management system to keep staff in check. It is a true win-win for dispensary owners and accessory businesses. In 2023, not offering a card payment option is just silly.
Benefits of Changing your Merchant Service Provider
There are a few key reasons to upgrade your processor; let’s take a quick look:
- get new and better processing rates
- eliminate per transaction fees
- upgrade your card reader and touchless payment options
- allow customers to make larger purchases
- eliminate cash where possible and streamline the customer experience
- take higher tickets per customer
- improve direct deposit time frames
- increase sales volume and profit margins
Offering customers every available payment option will give them confidence in their cannabis purchases. Therefore making them more likely to return.
Find the right Cannabis Merchant Service in the U.S.
So many merchant services are out there, but few specialize in the cannabis industry. This industry isn’t like others, so it stands to reason that working with a cannabis-specific company makes the most sense. You don’t want to use a big box bank that will look for reasons to pile on fees and moral judgment. Working with a smaller cannabis-focused outfit is something the entire industry should consider.
Stuart Lutterman is the owner/founder of Brother Processing Solutions (BPS), a family-run business with more than fifteen (15) years of experience in the Merchant Account/Credit Card Processing industry. BPS specializes in all cannabis business varieties from farming, processing, packaging, and sales of both recreational & medical dispensaries as well as Indigenous-owned businesses. BPS works closely with every client, understanding their individual needs, and providing a direct point of contact to financial services across the board. https://BrotherProcessing.com
Dispensaries who offer cash-only payment options lose sales, period. How many times have you seen customers in this scenario? They come to a cannabis dispensary and browse the menu. Make a few choices, but when it’s time to pay, a problem… your dispensary only takes cash, and they don’t have any on them. This problem is so common we shot a commercial about it.