Cannabis retailers have been looking for solutions to the all-cash predicament ever since the first shops opened, but many cash alternatives run afoul of banking regulations and credit card companies.
However, Dustin Eide believes he’s developed a better alternative — and one that will continue to be competitive even after national banking reforms eventually allow the use of credit cards at dispensaries.
Eide’s company, CanPay, worked with banking partners to build a payment structure that operates on the Automated Clearing House network, the same system used by checking accounts.
After linking the CanPay app to their checking account, consumers can use the app to pay for cannabis purchases at more than 800 participating merchants in 31 state markets, without the need to preload an account with cash.
The company recently celebrated its six-year anniversary and more than $500 million worth of cannabis transactions processed.
“It’s all about full transparency and operating on networks where it’s allowed,” Eide says. “We’re not trying to hide from any of the card brands or any of the processors. We believe the major card brands when they all say they won’t allow cannabis transactions on their networks or with their cards until federal legalization occurs.”
And despite the challenges of the cannabis industry, Eide sees it as a proving ground for new retail products and technologies. Because traditional retail is dominated by well-established players throughout the industry, it can be nearly impossible for a new idea to gain traction.
“But in the cannabis space, we’re all building from the ground up,” he says. “That gives us an opportunity to create something that doesn’t exist anywhere else that could have value for cannabis and beyond.”