Digital Currency Payment Networks Boomingbr>
Selling marijuana? How about nutritional supplements? Both of those categories normally have a tough time finding merchant services partners, the people who process credit card payments and help with cashless transactions both in-person and online.
But new payment services using bitcoin and blockchain are emerging, circumventing the traditional merchants tied to brick and mortar banks. As a result, the cyber-sector merchant services business is booming, and the growth has just begun.
Marijuana suffers the biggest stigma. Even though several states have decriminalized possession of small amounts, medicinal outlets abound, and local law enforcement routinely ignores casual use, cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I substance by the Federal government, meaning the feds believe it has high abuse potential. That means that traditional financial institutions and credit card companies can’t offer their services. That means cannabis businesses must be cash-only, creating a security risk.
To solve that problem, several companies, such as SinglePoint, Inc. (OTC: SING), First Bitcoin Capital Corp. (OTC: BITCF), Epazz, Inc. (OTC: EPAZ) and Bitcoin Services, Inc. (OTC: BTSC), are focused on bitcoin-based payment solutions to benefit the legal marijuana industry and provide large market players with the necessary financial tools.
SinglePoint, Inc. (OTC: SING) is a mobile technology provider developing a proprietary bitcoin exchange system aimed at solving payment processing issues in high-risk markets, including the cannabis industry. This in-house solution will allow consumers to obtain bitcoin at any point of sale and will be available for use to any legal marijuana business in the 29 states and the District of Columbia where cannabis has been legalized.
In development since 2014, the new system is know-your customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) compliant.
“With the currencies new found consumer adoption we believe this is the time to execute and we are doing that in a big way.” said Wil Ralston, the President of SinglePoint. “We have employed an expert and he has architected exactly what we need. Sign up, Swipe and Pay. At the end of the transaction, if there is leftover bitcoin the consumer walks away with it. The bottom line is, it’s easy and almost gives the customer the same experience they are used to using every day.”
OTHER SERVICES IN THE GAME
Another bitcoin-based payment system for the cannabis industry comes from cloud-based software solutions provider Epazz, Inc. (OTC: EPAZ). Launched three months ago, Epazz’s Zenpay system is based on unique cannabis payment software that allows consumers to use the cryptocurrency for easy store purchases while offering complete anonymity – the consumer would not be required to share his or her name or personal details. Currently in beta testing, the Zenpay system can be seamlessly integrated with merchant stores’ flow and, thus, help fill the industry’s need for a reliable payment solution. Epazz expects the system to start generating revenue later this year, as it can be licensed to vendors in several states.
Bitcoin Services, Inc. (OTC: BTSC), the first blockchain-focused U.S. public company, has taken bitcoin-based payment solutions one step further by creating an online marketplace where the cryptocurrency can be exchanged for goods and services. The online shop covers multiple verticals, including health and fitness, real estate, automotive, electronics, apparel, catering, etc. and is available for users all over the world. Bitcoin payments can be made without requiring any personal information, thus offering enhanced protection against identity theft. In addition to this massive marketplace, Bitcoin Services is developing a new cryptocurrency wallet that will allow users to store multiple digital currencies and has also begun mining Monero.
Another processor making waves is NetCents, a blockchain-based merchant services processor which reports that new clientele have increased corresponding processing volumes by $1.9 Million to date.
Driving that growth are NewMind and LiftMode, e-commerce-based retailers supplying nootropics to the market. Nootropics, which are also called smart supplements, memory enhancers, neuro enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers, are supplements, nutraceuticals and functional foods that claim to improve mental functions, including cognition, memory, intelligence, motivation, attention and concentration.
Since on-boarding NewMind and LiftMode onto the NetCents Merchant Gateway, NetCents has seen significant growth in daily transactional volumes. The initial months of processing for these two merchant-partners is estimated to be $250,000 to $300,000.
NetCents Technology is integrated into the Automated Clearing House (ACH) and is registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) with FINTRAC, which ensures consumer security and privacy. NetCents is available for deposits in 194 Countries.