Received today, March 16, 2021  Important Legal News for Script, Cashless or POB type transactions using a credit card machine

Crackdown Underway on “Cashless ATMs"

This is to inform you of a serious issue that requires your immediate attention.

The issue involves deployment of “Cashless ATMs” – which are essentially Point of Sale (POS) terminals – programmed to accept payment for the purchase of goods and services – yet presenting the transactions to the financial networks as ATM Withdrawals. Reports indicate that these devices are being seen in great numbers in state legalized cannabis dispensaries. Of great concern, NAC has been advised that these “Cashless ATM” terminals pose a significant financial and, if in a cannabis dispensary setting, legal risk to the ATM operators/processors/sponsoring banks/merchants involved with their deployment.

Vendors of these variously termed “Cashless ATM/Scrip/Quasi-Cash” payment terminals/programs contend they are legitimate and lawful. However, NAC and many ISOs/IADs in the industry have already been informed by ATM acquirer processors and sponsoring banks that applicable Network Rules prohibit presentment of a purchase transaction as an ATM Withdrawal – and likewise prohibit use of debit/credit cards for any cannabis-related transactions.

Moreover, NAC has been advised emphatically by industry experts that there are no “work-arounds” or exceptions to these rules. In this same regard, to NAC’s best knowledge and belief, there is a “zero tolerance” policy currently in place on the part of the global financial networks (VISA/Mastercard), ATM Sponsoring Banks, and ATM Processors, who have taken the position that these “Cashless ATM” terminal deployments and transactions are disallowed and, if in a cannabis dispensary, unlawful.

The networks/sponsor banks/processors are basing this “zero tolerance” policy upon the following considerations: (1) cannabis remains a Section 1 illegal substance under U.S. federal law, applicable in all 50 states and DC; (2) global network rules prohibit their branded debit/credit cards from being used for any cannabis-related transactions; (3) global network rules also prohibit processing a POS purchase transaction as an ATM cash withdrawal transaction – with fines ranging from $5,000 - $50,000 per transaction for violations; and (4) FinCEN and other law enforcement authorities have characterized this type of “cannabis POS-ATM transaction conversion” practice as a way of circumventing federal cannabis law that amounts to money laundering – and thus entails serious potential civil and criminal penalties.

NAC has been further informed that significant field audit/enforcement activity is now underway within the ATM-ecosystem, to identify and immediately terminate violators. We have been specifically advised that a significant number of these ”Cashless ATM” terminals have already been shut down in the field, with the deploying IADs cut off entirely by their ATM ISOs/Sponsoring Banks/Processors.

If you have inadvertently been involved in deploying “Cashless ATM” terminals without an understanding of the applicable rules and potential exposures, it is essential that you immediately perform your own due diligence to confirm the legal status of your specific program/circumstances. (One easy way to determine this yourself is: If you are receiving Interchange revenues on transactions that involve the sale of goods or services, we are advised this is a violation of Network Rules.)

 

The good news is, recently there have been several programs developed that provide a basis for lawful, authorized, and network compliant deployment of ATM services in cannabis dispensary settings. Please check on the status/details of such programs with your ISO/Processor/Sponsoring Bank.

Thank you for your attention to this important information! We sincerely commend and appreciate our Members’ ongoing commitment to maintaining the highest standards of excellence, quality, and compliance in offering Independent/Retail ATM services to consumers across America!

On advice of others we are suspending further deployment of this type of "ATM" hardware and processing effective 3/16/2021

 

Today's retail merchant faces continuous price increases for bankcard processing. This results in increased expenses that reduces profitability or you have to raise prices and possibly lose business. Point Of Banking commonly known as cashless or script ATM's can eliminate your credit card fees and increase your profits. This is accomplished by a small surcharge or convenience fee to the card holder. Many merchants are not aware of this and are giving away hundreds if not thousands of dollars away every month to the credit card companies and they seem to raise their rates every year but until now the only one other option to purchase or have an ATM placed in your business and managed by another company.

Once you have made a good decision to get your POB ATM the next thing is to determine what your convenience fee will be. We recommend that the fee should not exceed $2.50 but have seen merchants get the best results using $1.99. After all, you are selling goods and/or services and not paying discount fees so your profits go up. The whole idea behind this is to get your customers to spend more in your store and not look at this as an additional revenue stream. You could even offer a discount equal to the convenience fee for purchases over a certain amount, your customers spend more and your profits go up.

BENEFITS

  • Increased traffic
  • Increased sales
  • Larger purchases
  • No need to change banks
  • Lower operating costs
  • No maintenance
  • Free equipment*
  • Free installation-Plug and Play
  • Free training-Rarely Needed
  • Free advertising material-Upon Request
  • 100% approval

HOW IT WORKS

  • Your Cashless ATM sits on your counter
  • Your customer swipes their card, enters their PIN and chooses the amount
  • They accept the convenience fee and a receipt is printed if approved or delcined
  • If approved the receipt is brought to your counter
  • You ring up the sale and give the customer their change

Please feel free to use our contact page and choose POB ATM for type or ATM program. You can also call if you have any questions