Payments

Cannabis payment processing: integrated vs. non-integrated payments

By
Lindsay Crafford
January 3, 2023

From the eyes of the consumer, purchasing cannabis is (relatively) straightforward. But for dispensary operators, the process of having customers pay with cashless alternatives like PIN debit or ACH transfers can feel intimidating. In this article, we’ll help you in your search for a secure payment processor for your dispensary by breaking down the difference between integrated and non-integrated payments.

When it comes to your retail checkout workflow, you can either choose to have your payments integrated or non-integrated to your cannabis POS. In other words, your payment terminal either “speaks” to your cannabis point of sale, or it doesn’t. In this article, we’ll answer the following questions:

  • What are integrated payments?
  • What are non-integrated payments?
  • What are the benefits of integrated payments for dispensaries?
  • What else should I know about cannabis payment processing?

Defining integrated payments vs. non-integrated payments

Integrated payment processing

An integrated cannabis payment system is one that communicates with your cannabis POS to process payments and complete transactions. Transactions are recorded automatically in your cannabis POS system, removing the need for manual entry. This makes for a speedier checkout experience for both your budtenders and your customers.

Because it’s linked directly with your POS system, an integrated payment system provides data related to reporting, inventory, analytics, and other features your POS relies on. Having an integrated payment solution means your ecommerce customers won’t be taken to a third-party website or app to complete payments. It’s an ideal solution for omnichannel businesses (those that operate both online and in-store).

Non-integrated payment processing

As you might guess, non-integrated payment processing is when your payment processor doesn’t communicate with your cannabis POS. Transaction data isn’t automatically recorded when you ring up a sale, which means you have to manually enter information.

When your payment solution isn’t connected to your POS system, you don't have automatic access to data related to reporting, inventory, and other valuable insights. For online transactions, customers are taken to third-party websites or apps to complete payments. 

While non-integrated payments may cost less to implement, there’s a catch: the communication disconnect between your payment terminal and POS can expose your dispensary to some costly mistakes. If you ever run into an issue and need support, you’ll likely be stuck with having to coordinate with a third party to resolve it.

What are the benefits of integrated payments for dispensaries?

Integrated payments streamline the checkout process to create a more efficient and enjoyable experience for both your budtenders and your customers.

If you use a non-integrated payment processor, not only are you adding more steps to your checkout process, you’re also missing out on all that valuable data that comes with every sale. The only information you would be collecting is the fact that there was a sale, and that a card was used to pay for it. That’s not exactly conducive to business growth.

Let’s dig deeper into some of the benefits integrated payments can offer your dispensary.

1. Faster checkout process

Uninterrupted communication between your cannabis POS and payment processor ensures a more efficient checkout process. You don’t have to manually enter information or record transactions yourself—it’s all done for you, making checkout a breeze. Plus, this allows your budtenders to process more transactions (and drive more sales as a result).

2. Increased customer satisfaction

A streamlined checkout experience makes for happy customers. Non-integrated payments lead to longer checkout workflows, which could cause frustration among your customers. Plus, an online checkout experience that’s slow and involves third-party sites increases chances of customers abandoning their carts.

An integrated payment system eliminates these issues: your customers will be provided an efficient checkout experience, making them more likely to shop at your dispensary in the future.

3. Reduced risk of human error (and fraud)

When transaction data is recorded automatically, the risk of losses caused by human error is greatly reduced. You’re running a business; you shouldn’t have to worry about issues caused by manually entering the wrong information.

Integrated payments allow for secure transactions, and because that data is recorded into your POS, it’s much easier to keep track of your sales history. Plus, using an integrated payment processor that’s cannabis compliant will keep both business and consumer information protected.

A few things to know about cannabis payment processing

If you’re looking to open a dispensary, don’t underestimate the importance of integrated cashless payments. A first-rate cannabis payments provider like Dutchie can help streamline your dispensary operations, help you maintain cash flow, and keep customers happy—which can lead to more sales. 

Here’s some useful information about cannabis payment processing to consider before you start your search.

You can accept a variety of payment methods

An integrated payment processor gives you the flexibility of accepting a wide variety of payment methods. That includes PIN debit and ACH transfers. Since people are carrying cash less and less these days, it’s important to evolve with your consumers and meet their expectations. An integrated payment processor is one way to do that.

Your payment processor should be secure and PCI compliant

Accepting payments comes with meeting a strict set of security measures that protect customer and business data. A payment provider that handles PCI compliance for you will save you time and energy; you won’t have to worry about being up-to-date with security requirements because your payments partner does so on your behalf. 

The bottom line

Consider the kind of checkout experience you want to offer your customers. Reflect on your own experiences when shopping at your favorite stores— what do you appreciate about their checkout process? Chances are, integrated payments are part of that winning equation.

In-sync communication between your payment solution and your cannabis POS is essential if you’re looking to boost the efficiency of your checkout process, increase customer satisfaction, and eliminate the risk of human error. 

Get started with integrated cannabis payments from Dutchie

Dutchie is here to support you 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. 

Ready to grow together? Contact us today to get started.

About the author
Lindsay Crafford
Sr. Content Marketing Manager