What is the most secure form of payment for dispensaries?
February 14, 2023
The widespread legalization of cannabis has been one of the most revolutionary events of the 21st century. The most recent, related development—President Biden’s pardon of federal convictions for cannabis possession—is a monumental and surprising step in addressing decades of unjust criminalization. The industry is booming, cannabis related jobs and educational workshops are surging, and new, innovative dispensaries are opening up at lightning pace nationwide. Despite all of this positive activity, however, a significant issue still deeply plagues the cannabis marketplace, and that is the security of cannabis payments. How can this industry continue to thrive if it can’t solve this most basic of problems essential to the exchange between supplier and consumer?
Risks of using cash or debit for cannabis payments
Historically, when cannabis consumers were treated with hostility and relegated to hiding their affection for the substance in obscurity, there was only one method of payment: cash. With all the financial technology available to us in 2022, and with the nearly universal celebration of cannabis’s holistic benefits from esteemed medical authorities, many dispensaries have been reduced to the same limitations as their predecessors in the illegal market — accepting cash exclusively for cannabis payments, and with it, the associated and numerous, well-known risks of cash transactions.
To list only a few of these risks, cash payments come with increased risk of fraud due to counterfeit bills, a greater capacity for human error, increased theft, general inconvenience, reduced expediency for cashier and customer, and a higher spread of pathogens. Furthermore, all too often, cannabis consumers (like most consumers these days) arrive at dispensaries without cash and are forced to either make a circuitous trip to their bank or pay extraneous fees by using in-store ATMS. Many choose the latter because time is money, after all. But when cannabis payments are circumscribed by cash transactions, a relatively reasonable relationship to cannabis can become expensive and impractical in a matter of weeks or months for a consumer.
Finally, cash is far more expensive in terms of risk for dispensaries themselves given the extreme threats they face as public-facing institutions. Most budtenders are already familiar with how often dispensaries are held up for cash and cannabis. To say the least, the threat of theft daily can be burdensome for employees.
To bypass a few of these issues, dispensaries have turned to charging debit cards using the cashless ATM method, but of late, there have been numerous claimed violations associated with this form of payment. In fact, it is prohibited, and it is very likely that in the not too distant future, major financial institutions will escalate their claims of violations to disciplinary legal measures.
What other payment options are there? Well, a credit card, but given that cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, most major credit card companies don't allow THC credit card processing. The ever questionable lure of cryptocurrency hardly seems like a solution to an industry already rightfully cautious over the security of cannabis payments. It goes almost without saying that the most major predicament with digital currency is that it is dangerously unregulated, rendering its value incredibly unpredictable.
ACH cannabis payments are most secure
Surveying the cannabis payment services landscape, it’s a simple conclusion that the best form of payment for dispensaries is ACH. ACH utilizes an electronic bank-to-bank fund transfer, and bypasses the aforementioned security risks by connecting the merchant directly to the financial source. ACH payments are regulated and processed further protecting all parties concerned. It is no wonder why cannabis eCommerce is on the rise and cannabis payment processors have become the preferred method for dispensary debit card processing.
Aeropay is the most secure and reliable payment solution, helping customers and businesses move money seamlessly and safely. Aeropay is absolutely devoted to security and is vigilant in protecting customer information and enabling multi-factor authentication in order to protect accounts. Top-line compliance is integral to Aeropay’s mission, and the company adheres to regulatory transparency. Plus, there are zero chargebacks. Businesses no longer have to pay all the fees because of their payment provider’s declines. Plus, Aeropay is partnered with the leading compliance-based banking program for cannabis businesses, Safe Harbor Financial.
Using Aeropay, cannabis business owners can remove the hassles of cash management and all the nightmares associated with it and various other forms of payment. It is the perfect resource for resolving the perilous conundrum around secure payments for dispensaries.
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