March 9, 2023

Cannabis PIN Debit Processing: 6 Benefits for Dispensaries

Lindsay Crafford
March 9, 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.


If thereโ€™s one thing thatโ€™s constantly changing in the cannabis industry, itโ€™s the state of banking and payments. Between the now de-funct cashless ATMs, ACH payments, and PIN debit processing, keeping up with whatโ€™s considered compliant (and whatโ€™s not) can be difficult for retailers.


In this article, weโ€™ll be focusing on cannabis PIN debit processingโ€”demonstrating how cannabis dispensaries can increase revenue and streamline the checkout experience with this safe, easy, and cashless way for customers to purchase cannabis and cannabis products. Youโ€™ll learn:


  • What is cannabis PIN debit processing?
  • Is cannabis PIN debit safe?
  • What are the benefits of PIN debit processing for dispensaries?

Letโ€™s dig in.

What is cannabis PIN debit processing?

Personal Identification Number (PIN) debit processing refers to an electronic funds transfer from a a customerโ€™s bank account to a businessโ€™s bank accountโ€”in our case, a dispensaryโ€™s. PIN debit transactions are initiated when a customer inserts their debit card into a card reader and then enters a four digit PIN to verify authorization of the sale.

Is cannabis PIN debit processing safe?

Yes! PIN debit transactions are already popular in traditional retail environments (think gas stations, clothing stores, and grocery stores) and considered one of the most secure forms of card payment. This is because:


  • The customerโ€™s card is presented at the terminal
  • A PIN is required to validate the purchase
  • The funds are immediately removed from the customerโ€™s bank account

6 benefits of cannabis PIN debit for dispensaries

Here are six benefits of cannabis PIN debit for dispensaries.

1. Budtender tips

Itโ€™s no secret that high rates of budtender turnover continue to plague US dispensaries. According to Headset, in both the US and Canada, 55% of budtenders who worked at any point over the previous 12 months โ€œhad departed by the end of that time period.โ€


Feeling happy and supported in a budtender role is important, but so is paying the rent. Cole Terry, Co-founder of Astro Buds, discussed the importance of enabling the tipping feature on their Ingenico PIN debit terminals:


"I don't think customers mind tipping for a good cannabis experience,โ€ says Terry. โ€œOur budtenders are an essential part of our business, so it was important that we enabled tipping. It means our budtenders can take home a little extra at the end of the day. Plus, it's motivating for them to watch our customers enjoy the checkout experience." ย 


Did you know? Astro Buds was able to boost budtender morale with Dutchie's PIN debit solution, with nearly half (43%) of all PIN debit purchases including an average $7 tip. Read the case study here.

2. Reduced risk of fraud

Cannabis PIN debit transactions are also extremely secure. โ€œNormalโ€ PIN debit transactions are already hugely popular in traditional retail environments (think gas stations, clothing stores, and grocery stores) and considered one of the most secure forms of card payment.


Did you know? Dutchieโ€™s fully-integrated PIN debit solution allows dispensaries to accept in-store debit card purchases from customers. Ready to learn more? Contact us today and weโ€™ll get you up and running in no time.

3. Better in-store security

Because it allows for true cashless payments (unlike the now de-funct cashless ATMs, which required budtenders to round up and provide change), PIN debit processing systems reduce your reliance on cash, making your dispensary a less appealing target for theft.


This is critical in legacy markets like California, where robberies, burglaries, assault with a deadly weapon, and other crimes targeted at dispensaries have spiked.

4. Increased revenue

Customersโ€™ attitudes can directly affect the size of their purchases. If you make shopping (and paying) for your products more convenient for them, you could potentially encourage them to spend more.


Customers who use cashless payments typically spend up to 20% more per order than those who donโ€™t. So with PIN debit, you can sit back and watch your sales boom.

5. Faster checkouts

PIN debit transactions increase the speed of service by minimizing reliance on cash. Our dispensary partners that leverage cashless payments process up to 15% more transactions compared to those that donโ€™t.

6. Improved customer loyalty and retention

Offering your customers a familiar checkout experience with a simple debit insert and PIN entry will keep them coming back for more.

The bottom line

Cannabis payment processing can feel daunting for US dispensariesโ€”but with Dutchie, it doesnโ€™t have to be. With momentum building around the normalization of cannabis banking and payments, dispensaries with fully-integrated PIN debit in particular will be best-positioned to accept credit cards in the future.

About Dutchie

Dutchie is an all-in-one technology platform powering the cannabis industry with Point of Sale, Ecommerce, Payments, and Insurance. Through our technology, weโ€™re helping cannabis businesses start, operate, and grow with confidence. With software that simplifies their operations, our customers can focus on what matters mostโ€”bringing the benefits of cannabis safely to consumers.


Request a demo today.

About the author
Lindsay Crafford
Sr. Content Marketing Manager, Dutchie