Digital payments platform AeroPay announced Tuesday it has entered into a strategic partnership with Blackbird, a cannabis software and delivery company, with the objective of creating a platform to enable cannabis businesses to accept cashless operations.
The partnership integrates AeroPay’s payments platform into Blackbird’s cannabis marketplace.
Although cannabis has been considered an essential business, businesses are still unable to accept traditional card payments due to the plant’s lingering federally illegal status. This forces the entire industry to highly rely on cash transactions, with the risk it entails.
“Cash payments have dominated the cannabis retail consumer experience until now,” said Tim Conder, CEO and co-founder of Blackbird. “As licensed cannabis operators, we know the benefits of moving toward cashless payments but also understand the challenges with banking as a cannabis business. Our partnership with AeroPay and the integration of our platforms allows our retail partners and their customers to easily accept digital payments and remove the hurdles associated with being a cash only business."
Using the new functionality, Blackbird customers will be able to pay online, through a bank-to-bank transfer that goes directly to the business.
The companies also expressed their intent to expand this payment platform to other sectors of the cannabis supply chain.
“We’re excited about the future of our partnership with AeroPay as both companies have the ability to service the entire value chain,” said Conder. “This is only the beginning of a long-term relationship that has the opportunity to change the way cannabis businesses operate.”
Adding to these comments, Daniel Muller, CEO and founder of AeroPay told Benzinga, "The AeroPay platform is built to handle in-person and online payments for both C2B and B2B. This gives us the ability to serve environments through the entire cannabis supply chain - from grow ops and cultivators to retail dispensaries, e-commerce sites, and delivery. Our plan is to work with our partners at Blackbird to build on the foundation we've set with our initial integration and continue to identify new segments that can benefit from our integrated solutions."
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