Digital payment solution provider Spence Labs and cannabis banking platform provider Shield Compliance announced a partnership to deliver a bank-backed compliant digital payment solution to financial institutions serving cannabis-related businesses (CRBs). Streamlined compliance integration across these systems offers the industry the following benefits:
● A network of financial institutions delivering best-in-class cannabis embedded financial services.
● Improved visibility into transaction data for financial institutions, including the ability to aggregate payments data to gain better insights into a CRB’s regulated sales.
● Enhanced onboarding and underwriting capabilities to provide a better customer experience for CRB clients seeking financial services.
● A new fee based revenue stream for financial institutions.
● Simplified reporting, including detailed daily and monthly transaction statements.
“We are pleased to partner with Shield Compliance to create a compliant payment network for the legal cannabis industry, bringing increased transparency and enhanced monitoring of legal cannabis transactions, from the consumer to the CRB, to financial institutions across the country,” said Chris Rentner, co-founder and chief executive officer of Spence Labs. “We believe compliance-first processes are the only way to bring transparency, trust, and reliability to cannabis banking and payments.”
According to New Frontier Data, annual legal (medical and adult-use) sales are projected to grow to more than $41 billion by 2025. In 2019, the $7.4 billion spent on recreational marijuana was generated from cash-only transactions. Not surprisingly, the reliance on cash in this industry creates security risks and compliance issues across the entire ecosystem. Spence’s consumer and B2B payments systems are designed to alleviate security and compliance risks while also providing the tools and insights businesses need to manage their finances more effectively.
“Our relationship with Spence offers financial institutions the opportunity to deliver a safe and secure digital payments option to their CRB clients while benefiting from a new source of non-interest income,” said Tony Repanich, president and chief operating officer of Shield Compliance. “We are excited to have this opportunity to expand our capabilities and create more value for financial institutions serving this rapidly growing industry.”
The Spence payment platform allows dispensary customers to pay for cannabis purchases with their mobile phones or online, eliminating the need to carry cash or visit an ATM inside the dispensary. Funds are transferred automatically with bank-level encryption and processed by an FDIC-insured banking partner. Spence for Business allows companies to digitally manage large-scale payments to and from vendors or clients from an intuitive web interface, with no maximum transaction size and no transaction frequency restrictions. The platform provides financial tools such as payables/receivables tracking, pending invoices, vendor risk, and compliance assessments, as well as report generation for financial and legal compliance with their financial institution of choice.
Shield’s compliance management software solution addresses the unique BSA/AML risks associated with providing banking services to the legal cannabis industry. Augmenting the functionality of traditional compliance systems, Shield Assure aggregates financial institutions’ transaction data and demographic records with restricted and publicly available information from state and local governments, seed to sale tracking, and client financial statements. Its onboarding product, Shield Engage, facilitates the application and underwriting process between CRBs and financial institutions in a simple, streamlined, and secure customer experience tailored to meet banking partners’ operational requirements.