December 8, 2022

PIN Debit FAQs: Why Dispensaries Use it for Payment Processing

Lindsay Crafford
December 8, 2022

Navigating cannabis payment processing is a challenging task for U.S. dispensaries. And while recent breaking news regarding Cashless ATM has left many retailers scrambling to find an alternative, Dutchie is prepared with two secure cannabis payment processors that enable them to accept cashless payments seamlessly and cost-effectively. One such solution is PIN debit.


With fully-integrated PIN debit, cannabis dispensaries can increase revenue and streamline the checkout experience with a secure, convenient, and cashless way for customers to purchase their favorite cannabis products. In this article, we’ll explain:


  • What is dispensary PIN debit and how does it work?
  • How is PIN debit different from cashless ATM?
  • What are the benefits of PIN debit for dispensaries?
  • Are PIN debit transactions safe?

What is cannabis PIN debit processing?

A dispensary Personal Identification Number (PIN) debit transaction is an electronic funds transfer from a customer’s bank account to a dispensary’s bank account. 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.

What is PCI compliance? And is PIN debit PCI compliant?

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance, commonly referred to simply as PCI compliance, refers to the adherence to the set of policies and procedures developed to protect credit, debit and cash card transactions and prevent the misuse of cardholders' personal information. PCI DSS compliance is required by all card brands. The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council develops and manages the PCI standards and associated education and awareness efforts.Β 


Dutchie's PIN debit solution is PCI compliant. As part of the onboarding process, our customers receive a PCI Self Assessment Questionnaire (PCI SAQ-A) form to complete. This questionnaire is a mechanism for dispensaries to self-validate their PCI DSS compliance.

How is cannabis PIN debit different from cashless ATM?

Unlike Cashless ATM, PIN debit transactions are for exact dollar amounts, which means no rounding up. Reduced reliance on cash means less likelihood of costly human errorβ€”and eliminates the potential for customer confusion during the checkout process.


PIN debit is also processed on the regional debit network, which is different from cashless ATM.Β 

What's the difference between integrated vs. non-integrated cannabis payments?

A fully-integrated cannabis payment system is one that communicates with your 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.

What are the benefits of PIN debit processing for dispensaries?

Customers’ 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.


Providing your customers with a modern retail experience is a crucial competitive advantage in the cannabis industry. Cashless payment solutions like PIN debit allow your customers to escape the cash trap while also boosting your sales volume and reducing the security risks associated with operating in all-cash.


Here are a few additional benefits of implementing PIN debit at your dispensary:


  • Stability. PIN debit is one of the most stable and cost-effective payment solutions for the cannabis industry because it eliminates cash, increases security, and drives customer loyalty.
  • Increased revenue. With PIN debit, you can sit back and watch your sales boom. Customers who use cashless payments typically spend up to 20% more per order than those who don’t.
  • 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 don’t.
  • Improved 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.

Are cannabis PIN debit transactions safe?

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


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

Dutchie’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 we’ll get you up and running in no time.

The bottom line

Cannabis payment processing can feel like a daunting task for U.S. dispensariesβ€”but with Dutchie, it doesn’t have to be. With momentum building around the normalization of cannabis banking and payments, dispensaries with fully-integrated PIN debit will be best-positioned to accept credit cards in the future.


Ready for faster checkouts, improved retention, and up to a 20% increase in average order size? Contact us today.

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