New Payment Opportunities for Cannabis Merchants

Since October 17, 2018, the legal sale of cannabis has been allowed in Canada. 

According to Statistics Canada, prior to the legalization of cannabis, a study in 2017 found that the total amount spent on marijuana totaled $5.7 billion. This monetary amount pertained to both the medical and non-medical use of cannabis, and is “equivalent to around $1,200 per cannabis consumer.”

It should also be noted that prior to the lifted prohibition of cannabis, 90% of its sales did not pertain to medical purposes. In addition, the number of users in 2017 amounted to 4.9 million Canadians from ages 15 to 64.

According to the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), when the ban on sales was lifted, there were about 100,000 online orders for cannabis in the first 24 hours. OCS also noted that within the very first hour of legalization, 12,000 orders were made online. As for website traffic, OCS had 1.3 million unique visitors within the first day of its launch. 

The sale of cannabis in Canada is therefore significant and garners high interest. Merchants who wish to keep up with sales and maximize both profits and transaction efficiency should be aware of the new payment solutions that come with cannabis’ popularity and industry growth.

When it comes to the U.S., one company that provides payment opportunities is Naturepay Cannabis Banking Solutions. Working with banks, Naturepay Cannabis Banking Solutions helps businesses open up merchant accounts for the sale of cannabis and related products.

In addition to an ATM service, the company can also provide its clients with software dedicated for the sale of cannabis, be the software have a focus on debit card or credit card transactions. 

Another benefit that the company boasts is the presence of reloadable customer cards. These cards let consumers of a business reload their cards with cash in order to make purchases and smooth out the transaction process. The cards are also independent of the Mastercard and Visa systems, which can help with the processing fees associated with credit card purchases. 

In terms of Canada, most of the biggest financial institutions are quiet about whether or not they support the sale of cannabis. “If you look at Canada’s financial services, the majority of these institutions aren’t getting behind the industry,” Rob Paterson, the CEO and president of Alterna Bank and Alterna Savings, said in an interview

Paterson added that a few years prior, the major banks began to close accounts upon the realization that said accounts were connected to the cannabis industry. He said the reluctance to accepting cannabis businesses can be attributed to public sentiment and the opinions of U.S. partners. Since Alterna is not a publicly traded entity, it does have the same concerns, according to Paterson.

As for viable cannabis payment processing solutions in Canada, a couple of them include BloomKit and Cannabis Payments. BloomKit, for instance, has its own point of sale (POS) system that targets customers who prefer to make their purchases in-person. The company’s POS can track a transaction, as well as allow businesses to view a consumer’s purchase history and preferences. With the arrival of cryptocurrencies, BloomKit also offers a payment solution that accepts, for example, Monero and Bitcoin. 

When it comes to Cannabis Payments, its website states that the team has worked with heavily regulated industries in the past, which leads to the ability to help businesses comply with cannabis policies. With Cannabis Payments, businesses are also able to have payment processing through providers such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Interact, and Visa.  

As the Canadian cannabis industry continues to grow, Merchant Broker is also at the forefront of working with businesses to provide the best payment processing solutions. The Merchant Broker team works with a variety of industry leaders in order to bring business owners the best rates and flexible plans. 

To get in contact with one of our experts, call 1-888-668-0733 or email info@merchantbroker.com.

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