Breaking Marijuana’s Stigma With Banks: ATMA Technology Announces “Cannabis-Focused” Professional Development Series for Bankers to Help Get More Cannabis Businesses Banked

by PaymentsJournal 0

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LOS ANGELES, Sept. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — With the launch of its interactive professional development series, ATMA Technology is giving banks, credit unions and financial institutions the tools and confidence to get on board with the multibillion-dollar legal cannabis industry. “The Complete Cannabis Banking Pro” is a comprehensive exploration of best practices for risk mitigation and compliance based on developing their platform, CannaFi. CannaFi (http://cannafi.net/) is a cannabis specific “Know Your Customer” (KYC) platform that handles due diligence and compliance work upfront, so banks can bank cannabis businesses faster, and stay compliant with BSA regulations and FinCen’s Cole Memo. In addition to KYC, it offers modules for Customer Due Diligence and Enhanced Due Diligence.

For banks, the problem with cannabusiness is its illegal federal status. Marijuana still being federally classified as a Schedule I narcotic, creates real fear for bankers because their banks are federally insured.  In the years since state driven legalization, “Bankers fear” has helped breed an inadvertent stigma and air of secrecy around banking cannabis companies.

Cannabis entrepreneurs need banking products and services to pay vendors and taxes, make payroll and manage their accounts efficiently. As it stands, too many cannabusinesses are either operating on a cash-only basis or disguising the source of their funds in major banking institutions. The cash-only option is dangerous, while the other amounts to money laundering. The aim of ATMA Technology’s professional development series is to share learned best practices and foster greater transparency so more banks can become leaders in this growing industry.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has reported that fewer than 400 of the country’s nearly 12,000 banks and credit unions are openly serving MRBs. Apart from their risk-averse posture, banks often lack the time, resources and staff to dedicate to an entirely new business category, despite its immense potential. Additionally, the novelty of the industry means financial institutions have yet to create models for providing services to marijuana-related businesses (MRBs). “Local banks and credit unions would be more receptive to doing business with MRBs if there were ways to dialogue about common best practices and if there were tools to handle the complex compliance,” explains ATMA’s Laneia Moore.

“The Complete Cannabis Banking Pro” https://atmatechnology.lpages.co/enrollbankpro/ will be a series of three virtual, interactive, hands-on sessions that will look at every angle of cannabis-specific banking. Attendees will have the chance to take quizzes live via smartphone. The course aims to get more bankers on board with cannabis, so cannapreneurs can have more banking choices.

“Our mission is to create a more equitable financial ecosystem for cannabusiness and the forward-thinking entrepreneurs driving this billion-dollar market,” adds Moore. “ATMA Technology’s training series, combined with CannaFi, can help any bank get its cannabis-specific services off to a great start.”

About ATMA Technology LLC

We are a hybrid futures consultancy and technology startup. As a technology start up, we create technology to solve problems facing markets, the planet, its people and resources.