Running a legit cannabis business but can’t accept debit payments? It’s a major hassle – until you work with cashless ATMs.
The legal cannabis market is expected to have a stunning market worth of $146.3 billion by 2025. With numbers like this, you’d think the banks would be desperate to work with legal cannabis companies.
The truth is, cannabis dispensaries face more challenges than your average business – not least the fact that many major banks, and consequently payment gateways such as PayPal, refuse to have anything to do with them.
This is problematic and represents a dangerous situation for legit businesses who just want to turn a profit – and who can’t afford to work with cash only. The good news is that there’s hope for anyone going into the legal cannabis business, and it comes in the form of cashless ATMs.
In this article, we take a look at why the cannabis industry continues to be maligned by the major banks, before demonstrating how cashless ATMs are the way forward.
The Bank Problem for Cannabis Dispensaries
On a federal level, marijuana is still illegal in the U.S. Banks, meanwhile, are federally-backed institutions, which means their hands are tied when it comes to supporting cannabis dispensaries. Not cool.
If a bank has lots of investments and assets, backing a cannabis dispensary is a non-starter. It could compromise their assets and cash from investors, and it could put the whole organisation at risk. If trouble brews, the impact on the likes of JPMorgan could be catastrophic.
For cannabis dispensaries, this means that allowing their customers to make debit payments is next-to impossible. They might be running a 100% legit operation, but without the backing of the banks they have to stick to a cash-only operation.
Why Cash-Only Is a Problem For Cannabis Dispensaries
All cannabis dispensaries would prefer to setup credit and debit card operating systems, and take cashless payments. For the majority, however, the reality is that they have to deal with cash-only.
This is problematic because it means they end up with lots of tangible cash in their cash register. This puts them at increased risk of robberies, which then means they have to spend more money on full-time security, including armed guards.
Even then, the business isn’t safe. With thieves knowing that cannabis dispensaries are likely to have more cash on the premises than a gas station, it makes them a huge target.
At the same time, their customers who want to buy their products simply can’t. It’s a lose-lose situation.
So what can be done?
How Cashless ATMs Are The Way Forward For Cannabis Dispensaries
A cashless ATM for legal cannabis processes debit card transactions. All your customers have to do is swipe their debit card just like they would for a traditional ATM, before entering their PIN.
The difference is that the system then produces a voucher instead of cash. This voucher is available in $5 or $10 increments, and it proves that a) the cash has been debited from the individuals’ bank account and b) its intended purpose is to be spent at that merchant’s store.
As such, the individual then makes a purchase with the voucher and funds are paid directly into the cannabis dispensaries bank account.
If there’s any change, it’s paid to the individual in cash. Awesome.
A cashless ATM is cost-effective for the merchant. A small ‘per swipe’ fee is included, as well as a monthly fee. However, cashless ATMs can’t process credit card payments.
As well as making debit payments possible, here are some more benefits of cashless ATMs:
They make your business safer – You no longer need to store a large bulk of cash on-site
They don’t take up much space – You could even place your ATM on your counter!
They reduce the risk of fraud – Cashless ATMs don’t totally eliminate fraud, but fraud and chargebacks are greatly minimised
No processing fees – Instead, the customer is charged a convenience fee. This can boost profits by lowering operating costs for the cannabis dispensary
It’s also worth mentioning that cashless ATMs aren’t exclusive to the legal cannabis industry. Any high risk business would benefit from a merchant processing system such as Inclusive Pay, which understands that – no matter how legal they are – some businesses will continue to be maligned by banks. Inclusive Pay offer cashless ATMs and they integrate with the likes of Shopify and WordPress. For cannabis dispensaries, they’re a godsend.
Cashless ATMs represent an awesome solution for cannabis dispensaries who want to take debit payments. They’re hassle-free for both you and your customers, and they provide a win-win solution.
Pick a provider, set your cashless ATM up, and start taking your business to the next level. You and your customers deserve it.