Cashless ATM Crackdown Leaves Cannabis Shops Scrambling
Updated: Apr 7
Originally published December 9, 2022 in HeadQuest.com
Cannabis dispensaries in several states are returning to cash after a variety of ATM processors turned off “cashless ATMs” following another defeat of the SAFE Banking bill.
Cashless ATMs, also known as “point of banking” systems, allow customers to use bank cards instead of cash at cannabis dispensaries, giving retailers and their customers more flexibility when processing transactions for cannabis related purchases.
According to the Bloomberg report, some of the biggest ATM transaction processors including NCR Corp.’s Columbus Data Services, have shut down the ability of cashless ATM transaction processors to use their service.
Visa, Mastercard and the payment processors that work with them are serious about cracking down on cashless ATMs. I don't know of one dispensary that could easily survive a $50,000 fine, let alone a $50,000 fine for each time a customer uses a cashless ATM in a single day.
Dispensaries in Arizona, California and Massachusetts have all experienced outages, according to Bloomberg News. Large dispensary chains of multi-state operators were also said to be affected. Curaleaf Holdings, which processes around a third of its transactions through cashless ATMs, has told customers at some locations that it is unable to accept bank cards.
Don't Take Chances with Your Dispensary
According to a notice from NCR owned payment processor Columbus Data Services, fines of up to $50,000 per event, per device, or greater will be assessed if dispensaries are found to be using cashless ATMs.
"Visa, Mastercard and the payment processors that work with them are serious about cracking down on cashless ATMs," said Jim Krawczyk, Director of Retail Sales for PowerQwest, a company that specializes in providing cash solutions for cannabis retailers.
"I don't know of one dispensary that could easily survive a $50,000 fine, let alone a $50,000 fine for each time a customer uses a cashless ATM in a single day," he continues.
"We can help. Not only do we offer turn-key ATMs, we also offer additional cash solutions like SmartSafes to secure your cash and armored pick up to ensure the cash you take in is safely transported to the bank without any risk to dispensary staff," Krawczyk says.
Provide Easy Cash Access to Customers
AND Earn Money on Every ATM Withdrawal
Director of Retail Sales