Cannabis Dispensary Payment Solutions

Cannabis Dispensary Payment Solutions

Cannabis dispensary payment solutions are not as simple and straightforward as buying a cup of coffee. The way in which a dispensary business accepts money must take place through a compliant payment processing solution that adheres to federal regulations and card brand agreements. The cannabis industry has its own set of rules to play by and limited options when it comes to banking and accepting card payments. This is due to the federally illegal status that cannabis falls under.

With over 40 years of combined experience in high-risk payment processing, the executive team at Allegiance Service is well-versed in compliant vs. non-compliant payment options. We are on the front lines of payment processing, and we know how the money moves in this industry, and we see all the games that get played firsthand.

The Current Climate of Cannabis Payment Processing

With many changes occurring and new credentials and checkpoints being implemented by card brands and banks in the cannabis industry, we get a lot of questions about what dispensary payment processing options are actually safe, stable, and compliant.

If you own a cannabis business or are appointed to make the decisions at a cannabis dispensary, you are probably aware that there are several options available. Some of the companies behind these options are compliant, while others are not. Here is the current list of available payment processing options:

  • Cash
  • Cashless atm
  • PIN debit cards
  • ACH payments
  • Online payments
  • Electronic payments
  • Gift cards
  • Credit card payments

Do You Know About Compliant Credit Card processing?

As you read through the list of options above, credit card processing may have come as a surprise to you. That’s because there are only a few cannabis payment processors that can accept credit cards.

There is so much misinformation and outdated information on the topic of credit and debit cards, but this is most likely due to a basic misunderstanding of what makes a solution compliant, and general statements get thrown around, like “It’s illegal for dispensaries to take credit cards.” This is not true, and we can explain why. Here is a quick example of non-compliant vs compliant cannabis merchant accounts.

Dispensary Accepting Credit Cards

Compliant Credit Card Processing

A cannabis industry payment processor who holds the title of merchant account on file for the dispensary and accepts liability, not the dispensary.

The merchant account on record held by the processor complies with federal law and utilizes an e-wallet or protected closed-loop solution to securely accept payments without putting the cannabis dispensary at risk.

Non-Complaint Cannabis credit card processing

If a dispensary sets up credit card processing as the merchant account on record – this is federally illegal and will get you “blacklisted”.

A cannabis business sets up payment processing under the guise of a different business – this is very illegal! (You wouldn’t believe how many dispensaries have tried this and learned the hard way, losing hundreds of thousands in processing when the processor discovered they were processing cannabis sales! THIS IS A BIG NO!)

Beyond some of the examples provided above, there is more to the legal landscape of cannabis merchant services and compliance.

Do Your Due Dillegence

Always do your due diligence, as there are some bad actors out there that can get your business in serious trouble. You must ensure that the credit card processors’ payment services are cannabis friendly and compliant.

We are here to help you find the solution that meets the needs of your business and puts your best interest first. We are happy to answer any questions you have about cannabis payment processing. Send us a message or give us a ring.

The Wild Wild West of Cannabis Payment Processing

It’s a dynamic world that cannabis payment processing companies have to navigate through.

In July 2023, we saw a wave of disruption impacting cannabis retailers. A few big PIN debit processors, like Dutchie, lost their ability to process payments by card due to their sponsor bank changing their policy.

These things can happen. Nothing can be 100% guaranteed as there are a lot of levers that can get pulled, changing the landscape of payment processing for cannabis businesses. This is where Allegiance Service shines. With our network of relationships, our continued diligence keeps dispensaries processing payments. We stay ahead of industry changes with a compliance team specializing in high-risk merchant services that work directly with major card brands and banks.

Cannabis Credit and Debit Solutions

Cannabis Payment Services That are Stable, Compliant, Easy to Use, and Affordable

Our merchant account providers are audited quarterly to ensure our cannabis payment processing solutions are always up to date on compliance and our payment processing solutions are not disrupted.

Cannabis Credit Card Processing

Allegiance Service credit card cannabis payment processing solutions have been functioning without disruption for over 4 years in over 2,600 dispensaries. Get in touch with a representative on our team to see if your business qualifies for credit card payments. We can help you get approved banking to begin accepting credit cards at your dispensary.

Offering credit cards, especially with our normalized checkout experience, has a very positive impact on your revenue and customers alike. Customers spend more money and dispensaries sell more product while eliminating cash transactions, promoting both business and consumer safety.

PIN Debit Card Processing 

Allegiance Service offers stable PIN Debit solutions that have met the card brands compliance standards for cannabis. This is an area that has seen much shake up in the cannabis payment processing space. Many bad actors out there that have been shut down over the years. Again, our Stable, Compliant, Easy to Use and Affordable payment solutions for cannabis prevail. Service without disruption. 

We always tell business owners the best way to navigate and protect their income is by having redundancy, primary payment systems, and backups, just to ensure your dispensary can keep payment processing running and ensure your sales are not disrupted. In case one goes down, another is there to step up and process with.

Cannabis Banking Solutions

Allegiance Service prides itself on transparency and kid-glove service. The products and services that we provide are compliant, stable, easy to use, and affordable. We are here to help dispensaries increase their business, not put them in a place of jeopardy.

High-risk Merchant Accounts for Cannabis Businesses

Allegiance Service has developed relationships with several cannabis friendly banks. Some of our relationships offer Allegiance Service partners FREE banking for deposit accounts maintaining a $10,000 daily balance. Underwriting and approval times may vary but can be as long as 8 weeks for approval. Other banking partners charge an application service fee of $1,000 with approval timeframes of 4-5 business days. Costs associated with cash pickup, transport, and deposits are secondary to normal bank fees and are between $150-$300 for cash pickup/deposits depending on geographical location of your dispensary.  Connect with us and determine the best banking solution for you. Once we arrive at that decision, we will make a red carpet introduction to the best person at that financial institution while acting as your VIP concierge throughout the process until an approval is reached.

Pin Debit and Credit Card processing

We pride ourselves on offering the most compliant, stable, easy to use, and affordable solutions available in the cannabis industry. Our solutions span credit, debit and PIN debit and have been active in the industry for years, without disruption.  

Point of Banking for Cannabis Payments

Point of banking is a popular method that many of our clients use as a back up provider, however we have clients that use point of banking as their main method of payment. Super seamless and like our credit and debit card solutions, is stable, compliant, easy to use and quite affordable. 


Cannabis Dispensary Processing Payments

Beware of Bad Actors!

In our company’s journey of providing merchant services and payment processing, we have come across all kinds of different circumstances that dispensaries find themselves in, including a quite difficult one to overcome: the “TMF List.” If you are using a credit card solution that is not compliant and is caught by the card brands, your business and your personal identity are put on a list that prevents you and your business from ever doing credit card processing again. TMF is an acronym for Terminated Merchant Files. This can happen over both credit and debit card payment systems.

We do our due diligence to ensure that the products and services we place into cannabis dispensaries provide paths to greater revenue, stability, and value.

Another example is a service that did a fantastic job at selling their processing to dispensaries. The rates were great, however they were too good. In fact, they lost their single sponsor bank over their rates, leaving over 1,000 dispensaries without processing overnight. These games getting played end up hurting everyone in the industry.

This grey area has left many cannabis dispensaries jaded and hesitant when they hear of new cannabis payment solutions. Our team at Allegiance Service is here to provide clear and accurate information about compliant solutions to help guide your dispensary to make the best decisions. We want to match you with payment solutions that will serve your best interest. 

Want to learn more, please schedule a call with Allegiance Service. You will find it educational, and may find bonafide services that will help you take more payment options (credit cards, debit cards, point of banking, and more) and increase your revenue.


(800) 301-5538



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