The Difficulties of Credit Card Processing for Marijuana Products
Many cannabis business owners are looking for secure, effective, and legal payment solutions. However, marijuana credit card processing can be very difficult for cannabis business owners. Let’s take a look at the difficulties of marijuana payment processing, as well as solutions to the problem.
Why is marijuana credit card processing so difficult?
Any cannabis plant or product exceeding an amount of 0.3% of THC is considered to be “marijuana”. Marijuana credit card processing is so difficult because marijuana is still considered federally illegal in the United States. Unfortunately, credit card processing in this industry will probably remain difficult until it is no longer considered federally illegal.
State-compliant cannabis businesses should be able to operate without interference, but it isn’t always that simple. First and foremost, when operating a cannabis business, you will more than likely be rejected by traditional financial institutions when trying to open a merchant account.
In the event that you are able to open a merchant account with a traditional financial institution, you will be given very clear guidelines and restrictions. These guidelines will usually have a strong emphasis on anti-money laundering and reporting.
Foreseen and Unforeseen Restrictions
On top of not being able to open a traditional merchant account for marijuana credit card processing, credit card processing is generally prohibited in this industry. This aspect is incredibly frustrating because as each year goes by, consumers use cash less and less.
So, what do cannabis business owners do? Unfortunately, many business owners lie about their business operations. This may work in the short term but in the long term, it serves absolutely no benefit.
More often than not, the bank discovers that your business transactions are actually marijuana payment processing transactions. This discovery will usually lead to your merchant account being permanently terminated. Or even worse, you may be put on a blacklist called the Terminated Merchant File, which will then result in you being banned from merchant account services for up to 5 years.
Although the journey is frustrating and it may be tempting to take shortcuts, try to avoid being dishonest about your marijuana credit card processing. In the end, it usually won’t work out in your favor.
What Can You Do?
Being a cannabis business owner does not have to be doomsday. All hope is not lost! Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to safely process marijuana payments:
- Cashless ATM – Within good reason, a lot of cannabis business owners have taken the cashless ATM route. A cashless ATM will function as a debit card transaction within a dispensary. To put things simply, a customer will “withdraw” an even number of bills with a transaction fee to purchase their goods. After this, the cashier will give the customer change in cash.For example, if a customer is purchasing $43 worth of product, the cashier will charge the customer’s card $45 plus the transaction fee. The cashier will then give the customer $2 change. So basically, a dispensary is issuing a marijuana credit card processing transaction, as an ATM “withdrawal”Using the cashless ATM method is okay for a short-term solution. However, it’s honestly still not the best idea for long-term business operations. If the bank catches wind of what’s going on, these transactions may be seen as deceptive and dishonest. It’s rare but using this method can lead to lawsuits for unfair trade practices, as well as prosecution for fraud.
- eChecks and ACH Transfer Payment – Partnering with a marijuana payment processing service that offers merchant accounts to high-risk businesses that the bank will usually reject is typically the best way to go. This online payment system will pull money directly from your customer’s bank account and credit yours. This is especially a great way to bill your wholesale of B2B orders. With a SeamlessChex merchant account, you can enjoy verified checks, branded invoices, gain access to real-time tracking of your transactions, and much more. We believe that every business should have a chance to thrive – and effortlessly accepting payments is the backbone of a thriving business.
Marijuana payment processing is not impossible and it definitely shouldn’t be difficult. Choose a marijuana payment processing service that will offer you everything you’re looking for. When it comes to receiving and sending payments for your business, everything should be simple and hassle-free.
Take our quiz or speak to one of our payment experts to learn which one of our products will be the best fit for you. We offer all of our customers fair rates and competitive benefits, regardless of the industry they