Firm develops 1st digital payment solution for Puerto Rico’s cannabis industry
Vank, a financial technology (FinTech) company based in Puerto Rico, announced the launch of the first digital payment solution for Puerto Rico’s cannabis industry in compliance with the current regulatory framework.
Its mobile payment application facilitates contactless digital payments to medical cannabis related merchants with instant bank debits.
“During the past three years the company has focused on developing a cashless payment system that will allow medical cannabis related businesses to operate in a safer environment reducing the handling and storage of cash,” said Elvis López, chief technology officer at Vank.
“Cannabis patients, in turn, will be able to use traditional financial services to conduct electronic payment transactions at cannabis dispensaries,” he added.
Vank is the first digital payment option that, in addition to complying with current regulations, offers other benefits to the cannabis industry, such as: greater security to patients and dispensaries, by reducing the use of cash at the point of sale, transparency to the industry, by facilitating a record of transactions, and convenience for merchants and customers.
“We estimate that dispensaries could experience savings in their operational costs, fluctuating from 5% to 15%, due to the decrease in the cost of cash management, lower bank fees and service costs, reduction in security needs and elimination of government penalties for paying taxes in cash,” López added.
Vank is a payment enabler that facilitates transfers through ACH (Automated Clearing House), a process of transferring money between banks without checks, wire transfers, or cards, in which funds go directly from the customer’s bank account to the cannabis dispensary bank account in a simple, secure, legal, and reliable manner.
Vank’s payment platform will not collect transaction information from its users. It will only act as the front-end consumer interface to facilitate and enable the payment made by the patient at the medical cannabis dispensary. The funds will move directly between the patient, the dispensary, the dispensary’s credit union, and the patient’s bank, through a closed-loop payment system.
Vank has established a strategic alliance with Partner Colorado Credit Union, a member-owned, nonprofit credit union founded in Colorado in 1931 with more than $500 million in assets and more than 35,000 members, to offer the Puerto Rico medical cannabis industry access to electronic payment services.
Partner Colorado Credit Union will process the transactions between the patients and the dispensaries using Vank’s payment platform. Patients, in turn, will need to sign up with Vank’s payment application platform and establish a profile with its financial institution’s account information.
This alliance with Partner Colorado Credit Union will not be limited to this financial institution. Vank is currently evaluating alliances with other well-known credit unions that currently service the cannabis industry, to offer more financial services options to the local industry, officials said.
Vank’s payment application platform can be fully integrated with the merchant’s point of sale and seed-to-sale systems, which medical cannabis related merchants are required to have, making it quick and easy to pay.