The cannabis industry is maturing, and many cannabis businesses are starting to expect more from their banks, credit unions, and other financial services providers. “420 Friendly Banks” that merely accept cannabis deposits are no longer enough to serve the industry’s sophisticated and growing needs for financial tools and partners.

The majority of banks and credit unions that have decided to take on cannabis deposits are low on online banking technology and high on the compliance burden. If you’ve ever had to call or go into a branch to send a payment or send a stack of invoices to your bank’s compliance department, you are probably already familiar with the problem. 

Banking options for cannabis businesses are changing for the better. Market expectations are shifting along with new and improved options for small business, enterprise operators, and MSOs.

Here are some things to look for as you evaluate or re-evaluate your financial services provider:

1. Better online banking.
It shouldn’t be difficult to manage your finances online. Look for online access that enables you to easily schedule payments, reconcile banking activity, check financial transactions, and export account activity.

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2. An online payments suite is a must.
Cannabis businesses, just like every other business, need to send checks, electronic ACH payments, or wire transfers. They shouldn’t need to access a physical branch to do it. You should be able to schedule payments ahead of time or schedule monthly recurring payments.

3. Workflows built for teams.
Many businesses delegate payment authority to an accountant, general manager, or treasury team. Dual payment approval ensures that owners and senior controllers stay in control of payment activity.

4. Cash management options.
Cannabis business normally involves a lot of cash. Moving cash yourself can be risky. Certified cash logistics companies not only use best practices to move cash safely but they are insured against risk of loss.

5. A single place to manage multiple accounts.
If you are juggling more than one location and/or have several banking relationships across states, you probably feel the need to consolidate the management of your accounts. This is difficult in today’s banking landscape with limited access to financial services. But consolidating accounts means scalable financial operations, more control over financial transactions, and a single view that enables easy cash position calculations and financial forecasting.

6. Streamlined compliance that doesn’t impact your operations.
If banks lack technology, they are usually doing their compliance in the form of requesting invoices via email. The truth is, Treasury Department regulations put a high bar on compliance for cannabis businesses. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Seed-to-Sale data offers a way for cannabis businesses to easily comply with most cannabis banking compliance needs. There is always going to be financial compliance for commercial businesses, but there are ways to minimize cost and effort with technology.

7. Excellent service teams who answer the call (or email).
Let’s face it – sometimes you just need a person you can call on for help. Be sure you’re working with a team who is there when you need them so you can worry about the business and not the banking.

Gone are the days that cannabis businesses merely took whatever they could get from a “420 Friendly Bank.” Demand top notch, streamlined service from a financial services provider that truly is your cannabis banking partner.

Want to learn more about exploiting purpose-built cannabis financial solutions to automate and improve compliance? Contact Abaca here.

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