By Kally Compton
“We set out five years ago to make cannabis safe and accessible for consumers,” says Dutchie co-founder and Chief Product Officer Zach Lipson. "We’ve been doing that by providing several tools for dispensaries.”
What Is Dutchie?
Dutchie, one of the industry’s leading e-commerce platforms, works with over 5,000 dispensary partners and processes over $14B in cannabis sales annually.
“Our core product was providing an online store-front for dispensaries,” Lipson mentions.
In 2020, Dutchie underwent a rebrand to better serve its mission and the evolution of the cannabis industry through open-minded compliance and new methods of e-commerce and point of sales (POS) systems.
“Over the years, we saw how tightly integrated those systems needed to be,” Lipson notes, “and we found an opportunity to move into that space ourselves.”
With the understanding of compliance within the e-commerce space of cannabis, in 2021, Lipson and the Dutchie team got to work on this new payment system. The most recent development is the company’s new service, Dutchie Pay, launched this week as a digital payment solution for cannabis consumers that prioritizes ease and efficiency.
“We’ve been moving to a single provider model,” Lipson mentions. “Instead of relying on multiple companies to offer e-commerce, POS, and payments, you can rely on one company that brings those systems under one roof.”
Dutchie focuses on tackling issues such as convenience, safety, and efficiency within the cannabis commerce space leading to new and exciting technologies.
Complications with Cash and Convenience In The Cannabis Industry
The cannabis industry has faced many challenges over the years that impact both dispensaries and cannabis consumers.
“The challenge in cannabis is that payments are really difficult,” Lipson claims. “Credit cards are not allowed in this space, and cash is still king.”
According to Lipson, about 90 percent of cannabis transactions are handled in cash. In the modern world we live in today, that might seem odd. Whether it’s credit cards, Apple wallet, Venmo, or any other payment system, many people and companies are not using cash anymore.
The primary payment option of cash generates issues for cannabis business owners and their customers. On the business side, cash management is expensive and inefficient. Dispensaries have to pay for transportation and security of cash, and there is room for human error in managing cash registers. In more severe cases, this reliance on cash can lead to dispensaries dealing with theft and robbery.
On the consumer side, customers would have to make an order online and then pay in cash in person. Customers who don’t have cash on hand would have to run to an ATM which adds more expenses and obstacles. A cash-only payment method makes the shopping process more tedious and expensive for the customer and risky for the dispensaries who might miss out on sales.
“Our mission is to provide safe and easy access to cannabis,” Lipson says. “Dutchie Pay is an example of how we can do that for dispensaries.”
Dutchie Pay: Dutchie’s Cannabis Consumer-Facing Payment Solution
As the first product to launch in the United States out of Dutchie’s $100M + R&D investment, Dutchie Pay is a digital payment solution for cannabis customers to shop easily and efficiently online. Lipson describes the familiar checkout experience as that of PayPal or Shop Pay which have easy-to-navigate buttons for customers to use.
“We wanted to create an experience where no additional apps were needed,” he describes. “Everything’s right there, you just show up, and you’ll see that option.”
The Dutchie Pay option will appear on the checkout screen as a green button. Compared to other payment options, with Dutchie Pay, the customer can avoid being taken out to a third-party provider or being bombarded by a popup. After the customer signs up for the first time with their bank information, their information saves securely, and future purchases will only take a few clicks.
“It’s directly embedded in the experience—it’s seamless,” he mentions.
Not only is it seamless for the customer, but dispensaries too. This POS system, working with other Dutchie e-commerce services. creates an effective ecosystem for payments as each program is connected.
“Once it’s paid for, that payment flows perfectly and seamlessly right into the cash register; it says it’s already paid for and there’s no cash exchanged,” Lipson mentions.
This new service seems like a win-win for everyone. With Dutchie Pay, cannabis customers who came from cash experiences can now have a familiar, simple, and efficient way to shop for cannabis products. And dispensaries can now receive and track payments and sales easier than before.
Dutchie has not only created solutions to problems with efficiency in the cannabis industry through technology, but is also further destigmatizing cannabis as a whole.
“As providers and tech companies in this space, we have to push it forward,” he claims. “We have to move past these ancient ways of doing business. We have to push the boundaries and normalize the space.”
Dutchie formed a great team to make this cashless dream a reality. From professionals who worked at companies like Stripe, Venmo, Toast, and PayPal, this team came together to create a service to be proud of.
“We came together to create a product we’re excited about that can be really transformative,” he says.
Dutchie Pay’s Success So Far
Since its initial launch in Beta testing, Dutchie Pay has shown the benefits this service provides to dispensaries.
“What we have seen so far from that test group has been really tremendous,” Lipson notes. “There have been some great indicators [KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators].”
The average order volume increased on average by 30 percent. The Abandoned Cart rate was reduced by 32 percent. Dependency on cash was reduced by 15 percent.
These metrics are exciting to Lipson as it means with Dutchie Pay cannabis customers are buying more, and not having to use cash.
The Future of Dutchie Pay
On July 20th Dutchie Pay officially launched as a service to be used by U.S.-based dispensaries partnered with Dutchie. This new service is expected to grow the Dutchie brand and allow dispensaries to have a more streamlined method for their e-commerce.
While Dutchie has online solutions, Lipson and the team are currently working on in-store POS systems that can be used by their partnered dispensaries.
“We want to create an environment where you don’t have to rely on cash there either,” he says. “Bringing [Dutchie Pay] in-store is the next big piece for us.”
“This is not just an exciting product for us,” he says. “But it can be a transformational product for the industry.”
It is exciting to see how Dutchie Pay will transform the cannabis industry. The Dutchie team has shown that they care about cannabis consumers and dispensary operators and the evolution of the cannabis industry. We can’t wait to see what tech solutions Dutchie will provide to the cannabis industry next!
To learn more about Dutchie, visit dutchie.com.
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Kally Compton is a content writer, creator and model. Based in New York and Los Angeles, she currently writes for LIM News and Events and contributes to various culture, cannabis, and fashion publications. She is the former Editorial and Production Director for The Lexington Line, LIM College's culture and fashion magazine. For modeling inquiries, contact State Management. For more information, follow her at @kallycompton.
Featured image: Dutchie co-founders Ross and Zach Lipson (C) Dutchie