Installment plans in the cannabis sector
To operate in the cannabis sector, compliance is critical. From customer advertising to payment processing, there are restrictions that must be adhered to for the safety and prosperity of all parties.
Solving payment processing in regulated industries is difficult. Which is why a select few tediously construct their technology stack to suit the regulations of the industry and jurisdiction.
There are three critical elements that separate Gratify from other BNPL providers, and allow Gratify to be the only BNPL able to operate in the highly regulated cannabis market.
Advertising to consumers
A core component of other BNPL platforms is their approach to consumers. They are consumer brands; focused on increasing consumer spend and disintermediating merchants from their customers.
These style of aggregator websites cannot operate in cannabis. In other industries, we see buy now pay later providers aggressively advertising to consumers; taking consumers away from retailers and pushing them to increase spend at the BNPL’s preferred merchants.
At Gratify, we don’t advertise to consumers in this way. We believe that buy now pay later is a payment method. And consumers don’t want to get bombarded with ads from their payment method of choice.
There are specific ways money needs to move to remain compliant in cannabis. This routing of transactions is incredibly simple in pay now, and more complex in pay later modalities. In cannabis, the merchant of record must be the dispensary. Sophisticated payment routing is needed to keep the dispensary as the merchant of record. This is non-negotiable and rules out most BNPL providers.
Further, payment processing in regulated industries is done by a select few. Gratify has partnered with Merrco to process cannabis payments in Ontario, leveraging Merrco’s expertise in this burgeoning industry.
Gratify is focused on helping businesses be more efficient, including turning more enquiries into sales, a single platform for online and offline sales, and improving data for bookkeeping and accounting. Today, dispensaries are seeing operational pressure across three inter-woven areas:
- Low and reducing margins on cannabis
- Competitive pressure on store viability
- Some areas reaching saturation of dispensaries
To relieve some pressure, dispensaries are turning to higher margin accessories. The cannabis accessories and paraphernalia market is booming, and buy now pay later is perfectly suited for dispensaries moving in to these higher priced, non-perishable goods.
Consumers expect payment choice at the checkout, and consistent experiences regardless of the environment. Bringing buy now pay later to the cannabis industry meets consumer demand and, as the cannabis market matures, levels the customer experience playing field across all retail environments.