The Future of Virtual Terminals in the Cannabis Industry

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Look to stay ahead of the curve by understanding the next step in virtual terminals for the cannabis industry.

With the increasing acceptance around cannabis, more and more businesses are setting up shop in the sector. From high profile investors to fresh entrepreneurs, everyone seems to be making the most out of this natural compound. Cannabis payment processing is making waves in the online, healthcare, and retail payments industry. 

If your business operates within this growing industry, then there are a few things you need to know when using virtual terminals for your cannabis business. Although Fattmerchant does not currently offer services for the cannabis industry, below are some tips that can help you choose the best payment processing option for your business.

What is Cannabis Payment Processing?

Cannabis payment solutions refer to payment processing services that cater to the cannabis, hemp, and cannabidiol (CBD) industry. 

The target audience of these payment services includes traditional dispensaries, conventional pharmacies, and even online stores that sell cannabis and CBD related products. By using a cannabis merchant account, these ventures can easily accept credit card and debit card payments through various methods.

This is a far shift from just a few years ago when established industries found it risky to delve into the cannabis sector in any shape and form. But due to growing research and developments in the last decade, things have continued to change with the rise of cannabis as a new industry.

How Has the Cannabis Industry Evolved in the Past Decade?

Although regulations continue to change, it has not been very easy for cannabis-based businesses to find a specialized cannabis merchant account that allows them to accept modern payment methods.  

With the industry focusing strongly on awareness programs regarding cannabis and its various uses, we are now seeing significant advancements in the way different territories are approaching the production, distribution, and sale of cannabis-based products. From Colorado to Illinois, medical cannabis is now legal in no less than 33 states.

This change is also evident in fiscal numbers nationwide with the U.S. marijuana industry posting over $52 billion in sales as of 2019. This shows that under a legal framework, the cannabis sector has immense potential to grow in the future.

That is why more payment processors are now increasing focus on future trends as some look to expand their offerings to include merchant account services for cannabis or CBD businesses. 

How Do Payment Processing Services Help the Cannabis Industry?

Credit card processing equipment is a hit among dispensary-rich regions such as Colorado. Vendors who sell medicinal products such as CBD oil also turn to e-commerce solutions to cater to their customers. 

In a majority of states, dispensaries need to go through a series of verification processes to sell cannabis. In states such as Arizona, patients, caregivers, and dispensary agents must possess unique registration identification cards in order to handle, transport, cultivate, sell, or consume the products. Specialized POS systems have become useful in providing dispensaries in the medical sector with a way to connect with unique Medical Marijuana Verification Systems (MMV) in order to allow dispensaries to verify and validate these cards. 

Cannabis payment processing solutions such as virtual terminals are also gaining immense traction within the sector. Since a virtual terminal doesn’t use a physical credit card but processes payments through the card information, it can serve both as an in-store solution and a remote payment processing tool. This allows dispensaries to access and run verification while also processing payments regardless of location. 

This way, these virtual terminals eliminate the need for a physical credit card processor while selling cannabis products, while also allowing dispensaries to take orders over the phone for their hemp-based products. 

Overall, virtual terminals are becoming a sought after payment processing model among cannabis businesses. These benefits also include, but are not limited to:

  • Cost-efficient. You don’t have to pay for the physical payment card processing equipment.
  • Easy to set up. It is easy to install a virtual terminal to serve in-store or over-the-phone customers.
  • Multi-purpose. You can cater to multiple segments of customers through a single solution. 
  • More efficient. You can cut payment processing times and bring efficiency to your operations.

Due to these reasons, cannabis businesses can use a virtual terminal as a more cost-effective yet efficient solution. 

What Does the Future of Cannabis Payments Look Like?

With cannabis payment processing solutions such as virtual terminals coming to the forefront and staggering job growth of over 75 percent in last year alone, it is safe to say that the world is set to see further developments in the industry soon. It is more of a matter of when it will happen than if it will happen at this point.

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