On Dec. 12, Bellingham’s 2020 Solutions began accepting debit payments at both its stores. It is the first marijuana retailer north of Seattle to do so.
The transactions will go through a new company CanPay, which is based in Colorado. To pay by debit, consumers download the CanPay app (which costs 99 cents annually) and link it to their checking account. They then use their phone to pay at checkout.
CanPay uses the Automated Clearing House Network, a reliable and efficient batch-oriented electronic funds transfer system.
Most banks don’t charge consumers for those transactions.
“Retailers like 2020 Solutions want to provide customers with a legitimate, transparent, secure debit payment solution and have identified CanPay as the best option,” said CanPay CEO Dustin Eide.
Previously, marijuana shops haven’t been able to accept debit or credit because financial institutions don’t want to run afoul of the federal law, under which marijuana is still illegal. That means that most customers have to pay in cash, which means customers must make an extra trip to an ATM before going to the store, and carry potentially large amounts of cash around with them, or go to an in-store ATM, which charges fees.
“This is a big improvement for our guests and our employees,” said Aaron Nelson, senior vice president for 2020 Solutions. “Customers no longer have to carry large amounts of cash when they come to our store or use ATMs that charge them fees. It also is safer for our employees, because we won’t be handling as much cash and won’t be seen as ideal targets by criminals.”
The two stores are both in Bellingham, and are at 2018 Iron St. and 5655 Guide Meridian. 2020 Solutions in the largest marijuana retailer in Whatcom County with almost $11 million in sales in more than two years.