Pot Payments


In doing some research on the why legal cannabis businesses cannot get bank accounts, I came across a letter on cannabis business regulation sent last week by the governors of four states to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin. Give pot a chance, the letter essentially asks.

“As governors of states that have legalized marijuana in some form, we ask the Trump Administration to engage with us before embarking on any changes to regulatory and enforcement systems,” the governors wrote. The administration has signaled that it has less tolerance for the legal marijuana trade and may start enforcing laws that the previous Justice department has not.

“The Cole Memo and the related Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidance provide the foundation for state regulatory systems and are vital to maintaining control over marijuana in our states. Overhauling the Cole Memo is sure to produce unintended and harmful consequences,” the letter states.

I have this (perhaps crack-pot) theory that one way for a state government to generate additional revenue is to set up a cryptocurrency-based clearinghouse for legal cannibis payments. A state may have more legal leeway to run a bank-like clearinghouse that receives crypto payments from customers and makes USD payments to a business’s vendors, employees, and owners.

After you read this week’s links, let me know what you think.

Financial services, FinTech, augmented intelligence, and the fourth industrial age

Though the role mobility has played in people’s daily lives is significant, the next iteration of technology’s impact will be more transformational, writes Brad Leimer for Mobile Business Insights. To stand out in the years ahead, financial services companies need to be consumer advocates. They need to save customers money through savings and smart spending tools.

Long day for CFPB’s Corday as accusations and innuendo fly at hearing

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Corday faced criticisms from House Republicans for its handling of the Wells Fargo phony-accounts fiasco, a move which comes at a time when Congress seeks to give President Donald Trump legal reasoning to get rid of Corday. “Under Mr. Cordray’s leadership, the CFPB has acted unlawfully, routinely denied market participants, due process, and abused its powers,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling said. “For all the harm inflicted upon consumers, Richard Cordray should be dismissed by the president.”

Get the latest news on ISO 20022 adoption in the United States

Industry stakeholders worldwide have released plans to adopt the ISO 20022 messaging format in response to regulatory mandates, the development of new systems and tech upgrades. The Federal Reserve along with other organizations formed the ISO 20022 Stakeholder Group, which has worked on developing domestic and international wire transfers and integrating with other automated clearinghouses.

Business e-payments need better data and internal buy-in

As business seek to streamline their financial operations, they’re finding that switching payment methods for their businesses is not as simple as it is for consumers. Matt Clark’s PayThink piece for Paymentssource walks readers through the steps for updating their company’s payment process, the critical step being to communicate the value of e-payments to execs and internal stakeholders.

What Dimon had to say about FinTech in his annual letter

The JPMorgan Chase CEO mentioned in his annual letter that the bank will soon allow retail customers to open accounts and complete most transactions on their mobile device and offer self-directed investment tools. He also pointed out that about $600 million of the bank’s tech budget went towards “emerging FinTech solutions,” meaning improvements on mobile technologies as well as partnerships with FinTech firms, Paymentssource reports.

Machine learning, analytics play growing role in U.S. Exascale efforts

Exascale computing offers big changes to high-performance computing spaces for data center infrastructures, writes Jeffrey Burt for The Next Platform. The use of these emerging technologies will be necessary in a wide range of technology areas, particularly in data analytics and machine learning.

Why Americans don’t understand the European startup scene

Europe’s FInTech scene has a bit of a perception problem. Some places have more venture capital floating around than others, while other countries are busy creating FinTech innovations. Europe cannot be compared to Silicon Valley, because it’s a tech scene that grows and evolves at different pace, argues Dan Rowinski for Arc.