CBDWire Editorial Coverage: Financial services are undergoing a period of change as high-risk businesses, often excluded from conventional banking systems, search for alternative ways to process payments. Companies such as Global Payout, Inc. (OTC: GOHE) (GOHE Profile) are providing payment systems for high-risk ventures such as the cannabis industry, saving vendors from the need to operate exclusively on cash. SinglePoint, Inc. (OTCQB: SING) is also working in this sector, while bringing bitcoin payments into the mainstream. MassRoots, Inc. (OTCQB: MSRT) is moving from the cannabis sector into payment processing, adapting its expertise in cannabis tech solutions to provide financial services. Cannabis grower iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: ITHUF) is looking at the wider set of managerial and service solutions that high-risk companies need, and smartphone payment provider Glance Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: GLNNF) is also moving into the sector through an investment in cannabis sector intelligence and analysis.
The Payment Problem
Recent years have seen high-risk industries facing increasingly tough times in accessing banking and payment services. In the United States, the government-backed Operation Chokepoint discouraged banks from providing services to industries with a high risk of fraud, such as gun sellers and payday lenders. Meanwhile, federal legislation from the war on drugs hampers finance for cannabis businesses in states where the drug has been legalized. Despite the repeal of Operation Chokepoint (http://cnw.fm/Nof7L), the threat of government scrutiny still limits the willingness of banks to provide financial services to these businesses. Even in Canada, which is due to legalize recreational cannabis this summer, banks are only now making tentative steps toward supporting the industry (http://cnw.fm/mE49s)
The cannabis industry is leading the way in finding solutions to this problem. As marijuana legalization spreads across the United States and beyond, a growing industry needs basic financial services; the alternative is to continue in a cash-based economy with the associated risks of fraud, error and theft. Businesses are stepping in to fill the need.
Financial Solutions for a Changing World
Global Payout, Inc. (OTC: GOHE) is among the companies providing solutions for high-risk businesses. Global Payout started out as an innovative supplier of financial services to mainstream businesses. In an increasingly complex world of international transactions, managing finances can be a complicated and messy job. Web-based applications offer a potential solution, but the wide variety of financial transactions has created challenging complications.
The solution provided by Global Payout is the Global Reserve Platform (GRP). A banking-in-a-box system, GRP provides a fully customizable financial system that allows businesses to handle the full range of financial transactions in one place. From managing government benefits to making biometric payments, the system offers everything a business needs. Additionally, because the setup can be adapted to the needs of different companies, it doesn’t force companies to accept a one-size-fits-all solution.
GRP is geared toward bridging divides between conventional banking and the businesses it serves. Global Payout has dealt with the practicalities of providing payment solutions in the mainstream, and, now, the company is applying its knowledge and expertise to the more challenging world of high-risk business.
Catering to the Cannabis Market
The company’s foray into this area is being led by its partner, MoneyTrac Technology, Inc. MoneyTrac is specifically geared toward serving the cannabis industry in the United States and beyond.
Because of its particular legal challenges, both internationally and within the United States, the cannabis industry may be the most in need of unconventional banking solutions. In many cases, cannabis businesses can’t access normal banking solutions as part of their daily work, making it difficult to manage payments from customers. This industry, therefore, may be the perfect sector in which to test alternative payment solutions.
Much like Global Payout, MoneyTrac provides a customizable web-based payment system. Powered by blockchain technology, the system provides fast, secure payment options that plug into conventional banking systems at either end, making it easy for customers to pay into the system and for businesses to extract their funds. This high-tech banking solution — MTRAC — was launched on April 4 (http://cnw.fm/st6rB), providing a solution for a sector in need.
“The goal of MTRAC from the beginning has been to leverage the different technologies available to us to remove the use of cash as the primary form of payment throughout the cannabis industry,” MoneyTrac CEO Vanessa Luna stated in a news release. “While other companies have struggled to find supportive financial solutions, MTRAC opted to take a different approach, and one that has relied heavily on the use of blockchain technology to address this problem for a massive and growing industry.”
By providing a payment system for the cannabis industry, MoneyTrac is fulfilling its “Key to Cashless™” objective. This has been achieved through partnerships with a range of companies in the cannabis and technology sectors, including Integrated Compliance Solutions, Crypto Value Management Systems (http://cnw.fm/K8xYY) and Greenbox (http://cnw.fm/DOv0r). By bringing together the needs of a specific sector and the potential of blockchain technology, MoneyTrac is carving out a niche in the field of high-risk payments.
Beyond the Basics
There may even be great potential for MoneyTrac’s payment solution to reach beyond the limits of the cannabis sector. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has encouraged banks to provide services to businesses based on risk-based analysis (http://cnw.fm/d2UsM) rather than cutting off entire sectors from key financial services. Despite this, banks remain wary of high-risk customers, due to both the financial and the legal risks. Given the inherent conservatism of established banks, the situation is not unexpected, creating a space for disruptive payment providers such as MoneyTrac to fill the gap.
The company has begun diversifying its services in other ways as well. Through an investment in cannabis community periodical PotSaver, it has been able to expand its reach within its core customer base. PotSaver will be providing readers with money-saving deals on a range of products not limited to cannabis and its paraphernalia. Simply by being part of the broadening of that community, MoneyTrac is investing in reaching beyond cannabis.
A New Financial Sector
As the new financial sector is evolving, a variety of companies have advanced alternative payment solutions and financial systems. Like Global Payout, SinglePoint, Inc. (OTCQB: SING) is working to provide financial services to the cannabis sector. The two companies have worked together on providing streamlined payment services based on blockchain technology. SinglePoint is also heavily invested in bringing the cryptocurrency sector into the mainstream. The company is currently building out its bitcoin payments solution that will enable customers to pay for cannabis with cyrpto currency instantly at the point of sale.
Cannabis company MassRoots, Inc. (OTC: MSRT) is approaching the finance sector from another angle. The company is already providing a service to help customers judge the efficacy of cannabis strains and products, thereby demonstrating its ability to provide technological solutions to the needs of the sector. Now, it is establishing a subsidiary focused on blockchain, the technology at the core of cutting-edge payment solutions for high-risk industries. This will allow the company to provide financial services for cannabis suppliers and their consumers.
Finance isn’t the only support service that cannabis companies are looking to reshape to suit their needs. iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: ITHUF), an operator of cannabis facilities across the United States, is expanding into a range of support services. Its acquisition of Pilgrim Rock Management, LLC (http://cnw.fm/X7PbJ) provides it with intellectual property licensing, professional and management services, and real estate and equipment leasing — all geared toward its core business.
Glance Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: GLNNF) offers another alternative approach to payment through its smartphone-based payment system. This streamlined payment process allows users to easily make and track payments. Glance’s blockchain-based rewards system is being integrated into the app. The company recently invested in Loop Cannabis Insights Inc., providing it with more insight into the high-risk businesses that could benefit from its product.
Alternative payment systems offer a much-needed solution for high-risk businesses that struggle to access traditional finance. While the cannabis industry is providing a testing ground for these services, they are already spreading to the wider economy, allowing more people access to efficient payment systems.
For more information on Global Payout, visit Global Payout (OTC: GOHE).
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