March 7, 2023

Cannabis Payment Processors: 5 Questions to Ask When Vetting Providers

Lindsay Crafford
March 7, 2023

Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. You are responsible for your own compliance with laws and regulations.

So you’re at the stage where you’re contacting cannabis payment processors and gathering quotes—you’re getting information left and right.

All the sales pitches you’re hearing sound great, but it’s hard to tally everything up and get a clear comparison of all contenders in order to choose the best cashless payment solution for your dispensary.

(If you’re not at this stage yet, go back and our blog on integrated vs. non-integrated payments to get started.)

We’re to help you out from the other side. Here are five starter questions you should be asking payment service providers when searching for the best fit for your business:

  1. Is it part of an integrated solution?
  2. How will transactions appear on customers' bank statements?
  3. What is the average deposit time for funds?
  4. What kind of support does the provider offer?
  5. Is hardware included?

Let’s dive in.

1. Is it part of an integrated solution?

The first (and certainly the most important) question: are they just a payment processor, or more? Not all cannabis point of sale (POS) providers have their own payment processing solution, and not all cannabis payment processors also offer a POS.

Selecting a cannabis payment processor that also offers a POS system is ideal for your dispensary for many reasons. For one, you’ll only have to deal with a single integrated service provider, so less time will be wasted trying to connect two different systems and become transactional. Plus, if you ever need technical help, you’ll be able to get comprehensive support (7 days a week, ideally)—instead of running between two different companies to try to pinpoint the cause of a glitch.

Getting both payment processing and your point of sale under one umbrella means your transactions and payment reports all live within one system, which makes life a lot simpler.

Did you know? Dutchie is a complete integrated technology platform for cannabis retailers. Our POS, Payments, Ecommerce, and Insurance offerings enable dispensaries to run efficiently, scale their operations, and stay compliant. Learn more.

2. How will transactions appear on customers' bank statements?

Transparency is critical when it comes to cannabis payments, so ask potential providers how purchases will appear on customers' bank statements. Do they appear as a debit transaction? Does it state the name of the dispensary? The name of the payment processor? If it states the address of the dispensary, is it the correct address?

Some providers try bypass these rules and regulations by “disguising" where transactions originate. They might use fake business names or a fake address, for example. This makes transactions seem legitimate when they aren't—which can get you in trouble once regulatory auditors start to notice.

TL;DR: If the bank statement displays an incorrect address or a disguises itself as a different type of transaction, it’s not compliant.

Did you know? Payments made with Dutchie Pay and PIN debit will show up as line items that have a simple combination of “Dutchie” and the amount of the transaction.

3. What’s the average deposit time for funds?

Generally, the average deposit time for your funds is two business days after the transaction date.

This means that any transactions processed on a Tuesday, for example, would be paid out to you on Thursday. Transactions taken on Saturday and Sunday would have those funds deposited on Wednesday. If a provider’s average wait times are longer than two business days, you might want to move on.

Did you know? In line with the industry standard, the deposit time for funds collected from Dutchie Pay and PIN debit is two business days.

4. Is hardware included?

Whether the payment provider sells or leases hardware (or doesn’t provide hardware at all), you’ll need to know so you can realistically adjust your budget.

When possible, you should purchase your hardware instead of leasing it. Owning your hardware might have a higher upfront cost, but it’ll save you money in the long run. If you ever decide to switch, owning hardware that can be used with different processors means not having to start over from scratch.

Did you know? Dutchie’s PIN debit solution accepts payments through a robust card reader by Ingenico. With your Ingenico card reader, you’ll also be able to take credit card payments, as soon as federal policy allows—with zero interruptions to your workflow and no need to purchase additional hardware.

5. What kind of support does the provider offer?

Only work with payment providers that have consistent support hours and can assist you whenever you need it. We’re talking about your revenue, here—don’t compromise!

Be sure to ask about the cost of support as well. Ideally, round-the-clock support should be free.

Did you know? Dutchie has the largest customer support org in the industry. Our reps are available 5am-10pm PST, 7 days a week, to get you the answers and help you need.

The bottom line

As payments in the cannabis industry continue to evolve, you might hear potentially unsubstantiated claims from payment providers regarding alternative payment products. We encourage you to carefully research dispensary technology providers, as selecting a cannabis payments partner is a critical business decision that can impact your operations for years to come.

About Dutchie

Dutchie is here to support retailers with our industry-leading Payments solutions. Our integrated PIN debit solution, in conjunction with Dutchie Pay's successful launch of in-store payments, allows us to streamline your business operations with payment solutions you need—and your customers love.

Get in touch to learn more.

About the author
Lindsay Crafford
Sr. Content Marketing Manager