Some pot businesses hide their cash while others truck it straight to a federal vault. But the forward-thinking ones are moving to a cashless model. Not every canna-biz is comfortable with crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, which is why a new marijuana payment service, called PayQwick is cashing in on the middle ground. The self-appointed “PayPal of marijuana” has just secured a $2.86 million raise.
Instances such as September’s Equifax breach, where the sensitive information of more than 145 million Americans (and about 100,000 Canadians) were compromised have made the public skeptical about online payment tools. And, to top it off, many banks are not hiding their wariness toward dealing with cannabis businesses.
PayQwick aims to alleviate these pains by reducing the cash that these businesses handle, boosting the security of payment processing, and increasing the business’ overall efficiency.
“Our primary goals when we launched PayQwick were to allow legal marijuana businesses to pay each other electronically and to promote public safety by reducing the amount of cash handled by cannabis businesses,” said PayQwick’s CEO and co-founder, Keith Marks. The app, he explains, allows growers and retailers to do exactly that with a swipe of a finger.
PayQwick helps cultivators, processors, and retailers to pay each other securely, and also allows them to pay for ancillary services such as lawyers, accounting, and insurance. They also facilitate consumer transactions, which because PayQwick is its own, self-contained payment platform, means nothing shows up on their bank statement when buying marijuana with a PayQwick Card or with the smartphone app.
It also allows:
Clients to get bank accounts at normal banking rates
The payment of state excise taxes, electronically
Consumers to pay for marijuana electronically using a smartphone
Clients to order armored car cash pickups
The Calabasas, California-based seed-to-sale electronic payment hub is already licensed to operate in Washington state, Oregon, with beta operations in Colorado. Plans for the new funding include increasing sales and product development as they expand into California, Nevada, Michigan, and Alaska. There are no concrete plans yet for PayQwick to infiltrate Canada’s cannabis market.
The PayQwick app for cannabis businesses is available right now through the Apple App and Google Play stores.
Alana seeks to see cannabis from the perspective of politicians, advocates, entrepreneurs, and consumers. She got her start with a byline in the arts and culture section and crossed over into cannabis after using it medicinally. Current projects include investigations into cannabis and wellness; entrepreneurs of the Green Rush; cannabis for athletes; and the evolution of cannabis laws and culture in Canada.