As COVID-19 sweeps the country, Canadian cannabis retailers, like many other businesses, are feeling the pinch. In some markets, cannabis retailers are permitted to implement click and collect and delivery models, whereas in others, cannabis retail operations have been halted completely for the time being. For example, in Alberta, cannabis retailers are deemed essential businesses and allowed to stay open. Even so, merchants are faced with customers nervous about being in public places.
To combat this, cannabis retailers need to implement and enforce social distancing procedures: asking people to stay at least two meters apart in stores, implementing well-spaced outdoor lineups so only a few people can enter the store at once, and providing hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the store.
Implement Safe Payment Practices
To keep employees and customers safe, cannabis retailers should implement special payment procedures. To start, many stores no longer accept cash payments, since no one knows who has handled the money and what germs it carries.
Beyond this, cannabis payment best safety practices include:
- Accepting contactless payments — With contactless payments allowed at your POS, you can avoid handling and passing back and forth credit/debit cards. Many credit cards and smartphone mobile wallets are contactless-enabled. This allows customers to “tap” their card or their cell device to a point-of-sale (POS) terminal at a check-out counter to pay.
- Disabling the signature screen — If your payment system requires a signature, it’s a good idea to disable this, to cut back on unnecessary direct contact. In Canada, the improved security and authorization provided by chip-enabled cards and EMV card readers means that merchants don’t need signatures for tap or swipe payments.
- Skipping receipts — If you disable the receipt screen of your POS terminal, you won’t have to print out a physical receipt or ask the customer to input their email address to receive a digital receipt copy.
- Using a virtual terminal — Another way to avoid using your payment hardware is to set up a virtual terminal, turning your computer into a credit card terminal that can accept remote payments by manually entering and processing them through a web browser.
- Cleaning your POS and payment terminal - Train your staff to wipe down the POS and payment terminals before and after use.
Clean and disinfect your point of sale terminals by:
- Turning off your terminal and disconnect from power
- Clean with water and microfiber cloth. Please do not put water directly on the terminal. Simply dampen the microfibre and wipe down your terminal
- Do not use any solvents or detergents or any abrasive cleaners
- After you clean the terminal use an alcohol-based wipe or disinfectant on the microfibre cloth. Avoid applying anything directly on the terminal
Click and Collect and Delivery
Many cannabis retailers across Canada have implemented Click and Collect model, where customers can reserve products on your website and securely pay and pick up instore, or buy a product online and pick up instore (subject to Provincial regulations). This helps your staff manage the customer experience more efficiently, and ensure social distancing safety measures are followed, while providing customers with a convenient buying option that helps them minimize time spent in public.
Merrco is proud to support Canadian cannabis businesses, especially in this difficult time.
If you are interested in setting up click and collect, an ecommerce account, or a virtual terminal (where Provincial laws allow) please reach out to our support team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-800-957-0534.