In a sign of how far marijuana sales have come out of the shadows, Chicago FinTech Spence Labs is offering new products targeting the sector.

One is a payments platform the company is offering called “seed to sale.” The other is a B2B payments platform called “Spence for Business.”

“Financial transactions in the cannabis industry can be complicated, both for consumers and the many businesses in the supply chain,” Chris Rentner, co-founder and chief executive of Spence Labs, said in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to make it simpler and safer for everyone involved, from grower to retailer to customer.”

Spence Labs says its core product is a payment platform that lets customers buy pot through a web-based payment system reachable from the URL as an alternative to making cash payments.

The company states in marketing materials: “When ready to purchase, customers simply display a unique QR code to be scanned by dispensary staff, then enter a PIN to confirm their purchase, either with available funds or through the new Enjoy Now, Pay Later financing option. Funds are transferred automatically with bank-level encryption and processed by an FDIC-insured banking partner.”

The offering is what’s a called a “white label” service, or one that is developed by one firm but sold — and often branded — by another. An advantage for the customer company in such an arrangement is the ability to build brand loyalty and easily offer coupons and other incentives.

“We understand the power of owning the whole transaction from a branding perspective,” Rentner said. “Our system delivers that, and puts your brand and messaging in the forefront.”

According to Spence Labs, the marijuana industry is cash-intensive. The company stated in a news release: “Nearly every transaction between businesses within the cannabis ecosystem is currently handled via cash or paper check, creating security risks and compliance issues for everyone involved. Spence Labs has designed Spence for Business, its new B2B payment platform, to alleviate these risks while also providing the tools and insights businesses need to manage their finances more effectively.”

Added Rentner: “Getting paid no longer has to involve armored car services or the uncertainty of a paper check and long wait times to access your funds.”

The Enjoy Now, Pay Later option is interest-free, according to Spence Labs, and “revolutionary in cannabis, where credit cards are not available for use.”



About The Study: A New Approach For Modernizing Payments In Banking, a PYMNTS collaboration with Red Hat and Temenos, is a research-based report examining the trends transforming retail commerce and how these shifts are creating new challenges and opportunities for banks. The report aims to offer banks a roadmap to help them gain the technical capacity to support digital payments in all their forms.