How to Get Customers to Choose Cashless Payments at Cannabis Dispensaries and Retail Outlets

Treez Team
A person passes their debit card to a dispensary employee. A computer displays a POS system with analytics, roles, stores and users. Products including bath bombs and cannabis epsom salt are being purchased.

Despite the growth of digital payments across industries in retail and eCommerce, cannabis continues to see consumers choosing to make purchases using cash. 

Surveys have found that while other industry retailers see 80% of cashless payments, cannabis businesses receive only 20% of payments via cashless payment methods. This holds true for all types of businesses including cannabis dispensaries, retailers and eCommerce. 

As compared to other industries, this shift to cashless payments in cannabis has been slow because the products still fall under a restricted category. And banks have refused to take on the liability of facilitating finances in cannabis operations. 

While most cannabis businesses continue to take consumer-friendly cash payments, the payment method is a bigger risk in terms of security, accounting, and cash flow management for them. 

So how can you encourage customers to choose cashless payments at cannabis dispensaries and retailers? 

We have some time-tested ways in which you can educate and encourage customers to adopt cashless payments for cannabis products. 

7 ways to encourage cashless payments at cannabis dispensaries 

While there are many ways to get customers to pay via cashless payment methods, we encourage taking an approach that eases them into the change. 

1. Educate your customers at the right moment 

The very first approach you can take is to introduce the benefits of cashless payments to your customers at the right moment. 

  • After ATM withdrawals - Inform them about the inconvenience of having to find and take out cash from ATMs and the processing fees they get charged. Also ask for the reason why they chose to withdraw cash instead of using cashless payments at this moment to make the conversation more natural. 
  • At the point of sale - When a customer is making the payment for their purchase with cash, let them know you accept cashless payments. A good idea is to also highlight the several benefits of going cashless - this could include the discounts or no-fee incentive you may be offering. 
  • At the point of delivery - If your cannabis dispensary or retail business offers order delivery, let customers know you accept cashless payments at the point of delivery. Tell them how it can save them the hassle of having to have cash on hand.

2. Train your staff to advocate for cashless payments 

To be able to educate your customers at key moments of their purchase journey with your cannabis business, you will need to train your staff. This includes everyone who directly or indirectly becomes the face of your business - budtenders, delivery drivers, consultants, sales associates, and others. 

Apart from being able to operate the cannabis POS system to accept cashless payments, your staff should be trained to: 

  • Identify key moments at which they can educate customers 
  • Educate customers about the benefits of cashless payments 
  • Explain how cashless payments work 
  • Share how other customers are using cashless payments (social proof)
  • Offer deals and discounts on the cart total (if applicable) on cashless payments 

3. Use in-store signage to promote cashless payments 

Studies have found that consumers need to be exposed to an ad 7-8 times before they are able to process what a business has to offer. The same holds true for when you want to promote cashless payments. Paying by cash is a habit for your customer, and therefore is even harder to break. 

Make the message sticky by using in-store signage to promote cashless payments. A few ways to do this includes: 

  • Walk-in leaflets promoting discounts on cashless payments 
  • Door and wall signs promoting the cashless payment modes accepted
  • Signs at the ATM promoting the ease and savings available with cashless payments 
  • Point of sale signage promoting exclusive discounts 

4. Promote cashless payments on your website 

If you have an online retail website or an eCommerce site that customers can place orders through, ensure you promote cashless payments as prominently there as well. Here are some ways to bring it to your visitors’ attention: 

  • Use sticky announcement bars to promote cashless payment modes available 
  • Use sticky promotional banners to highlight discounts available on cashless payments 
  • Create a landing page to educate visitors on the benefits of cashless payments and how it works 
  • Create an FAQ section on your website to address common queries around cashless payments 
  • Train your live chat agents to promote cashless payments during a chat session for shopping assistance 
  • Display the types of cashless payments accepted with badges 

PS. Did you know that cash on delivery orders see the highest amount of RTO and cancellations?

5. Create a marketing plan to promote cashless payments 

Continuing on our point of getting the benefits of cashless payments noticed - you need to invest some resources in marketing it right across all common customer touch points or communication channels with both existing and prospective customers. 

Here are some ways in which you can promote cashless payments: 

  • Email marketing - Segment your email list based on customer demographics, previous purchases and interactions. Use this data to send an email marketing campaign that promotes your capability to accept cashless payments, highlights its benefits, and offers discounts that can further sweeten the deal for consumers. 
  • Social media marketing - Even though there are several restrictions around cannabis on most social channels, your business can still use the platforms to educate consumers. Share content that promotes cashless payments or the discounts available on them. 
  • Message marketing - Similar to emails, you can also use messaging platforms like SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram ,and others to create a promotional campaign. These can also be simple notifications that promote the different modes of cashless payments and the discounts available, if applicable. 
  • Direct mail marketing - Another marketing tactic that you can use to cut through the digital noise and get your dispensary noticed is direct mail. From handwritten notes to postcards and brochures, promote how easy you make shopping for cannabis products with cashless payments. 

6. Use quick response (QR) codes 

A study by The Drum/YouGov has found that 75% of US respondents say they plan on using QR codes regularly going forward - primarily for sharing contact information or making payments. 

Another study found that 1.5 billion people used QR codes to make payments during the pandemic. It also predicts that 30% of all mobile users will use QR codes by 2025. 

This increase in use stems from the fact the QR codes enable a contactless payment method. It only requires a consumer to scan the code displayed at a cannabis dispensary or retailer using their mobile device. After that, all they need to do is enter the amount they need to pay to the cannabis business and submit. 

But to tap into this commonly used mode of cashless payments, cannabis dispensaries and retailers will need to: 

  • Create custom QR codes (usually provided by cannabis POS system providers) 
  • Print and display the QR code prominently - front door, front desk, dispensary walls, and notice boards, and the point of sale register 

7. Offer multiple cashless payment methods 

To get consumers to choose cashless payments, you need to give them options to pick one that they are the most comfortable choosing. This includes accepting payments via debit cards at checkout and ACH, where customers can link their bank account to pay for purchases with a single click. 

A screenshot illustration of ACH payments, listing popular banks and a confirmation message for a cannabis order made at a dispensary through ACH payments

Still not accepting cashless payments at your dispensary? 

Being able to increase the number of cashless payments for orders is not just about training your staff, educating your customers or offering custom discounts - it is also about making it simpler for everyone involved in this transaction to complete the process. 

This is where choosing the best cannabis POS system comes into play. 

TreezPay is built to help cannabis businesses and consumers embrace cashless payments. It offers secure, convenient and integrated cashless payment options that optimize the point of sale process, ensuring a great customer experience. 

Want to learn more about cashless payments for cannabis businesses or how you can boost customer adoption? 

Book a demo with our experts today

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