With some states legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and cannabis in recent years, as well as talks of federal legalization in the near future, the cannabis industry is projected to grow immensely in the coming years. As the industry experiences rapid growth and more merchants enter the cannabis marketplace, the payment processing industry is starting to realize the headaches and frustrations that face both consumers and merchants. Most importantly, why credit card payments aren’t accepted for cannabis purchases.
What Are the Rules When it Comes to Cannabis Payment Processing?
While cannabis dispensaries in states where recreational sales are legal can accept payments in the form of cash, cashless ATM or ACH transfer, credit card and debit card payments are not currently allowed. Because cannabis sales are illegal on a federal level, major credit card providers, including Visa and Mastercard, refuse to enable payments for marijuana sales.
Selecting the Right Payment Options for Marijuana Businesses
Even though credit and debit card payments aren’t an option for cannabis business owners, there are still convenient options that can be offered to consumers. In addition to accepting cash, merchants can consider providing their customers with the following payment options:
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are becoming a more acceptable payment option; however, they’re still not fully trusted or reliable. Legally, accepting digital currency for cannabis sales is perfectly acceptable and as an added bonus, it’s completely anonymous. However, the technology merchants need to set this up can be expensive and complicated for consumers to use. For most, it’s best to rely on other payment options that are specialized for high-risk industries.
A cashless ATM operates in a similar way to an ATM machine: the customer uses their bank card and pin number to withdraw funds from their bank account; however, the cash remains with the merchant. Typically, a cashless ATM only enables the customer to withdraw round dollar amounts, such as $20, $50, or $100. When conducting this type of transaction, the merchant typically provides the customer with change in cash. This type of system is ideal for high-risk merchants in any industry that have difficulty obtaining payment processing services and is a great choice for those selling cannabis products.
An option that’s available for both online and standalone cannabis businesses, Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers enable customers to electronically transfer funds from their bank account to the merchant’s account. While this process is secure and legal within the cannabis industry, accepting it in retail locations does require additional, third-party services in order for customers to initiate the transfer and in most cases, the customer requires an app on their smartphone that’s connected to their bank. While these services are generally secure, some customers may be unwilling to take that extra step. When it comes to virtual merchants, ACH transfers can be initiated by high-risk payment processors, such as PayDiverse.
PayDiverse Solutions for Cannabis Merchants
PayDiverse specializes in providing payment solutions for high-risk merchants, including those in the cannabis and marijuana industry. We use solutions such as offshore and multi-bank payment processing to keep merchant accounts stable and operational, minimizing downtime and risks such as account closures and freezing.
PayDiverse is dedicated to ensuring that transactions run smoothly for cannabis merchants. We offer quick settlements, a secure payment gateway, competitive processing rates, and 24/7 support to ensure merchants’ systems are operating effectively at all times. We work with more than 40 banks to provide our clients with reliable ACH and Check 21 processing options.
To get started with PayDiverse or to learn more about our processing solutions for marijuana and cannabis business owners, complete our easy online application form today.
Diverse Payment Processing is Smart Processing
Fill out our free and quick merchant account application and let us match you with many banks that want your business.