Partnership to address the needs of small businesses for comprehensive solutions around compliance-focused payment processing and commercial banking services
West Town Payments, LLC, a recently established merchant service provider, and West Town Bank & Trust, a subsidiary of Integrated Financial Holdings, Inc. (OTCPK: IFHI), announced a strategic partnership today which will allow small business customers across the U.S. to gain access to best-in-class financial service products and solutions. The alliance will leverage the front-end capabilities offered by West Town Payments to facilitate physical point-of-sale, online, contactless and mobile payments, with West Town Bank & Trust providing merchant deposit accounts and treasury management services on the back end. In addition to its strategic banking partnership, West Town Payments is a direct acquirer through Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express, and is well-equipped with the experience, resources and compliance-driven framework to service both targeted and generalist verticals in need of payment processing services.
Read More: New Research from WEX and (E) BrandConnect Identifies the Pandemic as a Tipping Point for Digital Payments
“Servicing traditional verticals, such as parking and healthcare, will allow our team to pull from decades of experience in these areas, while focusing on compliance-driven segments will help differentiate the Company as a risk management leader in the payment processing space,” said Tom Lineen, President & CEO of West Town Payments. “As for the latter, our partnership with the Bank will help bridge the gap between the capabilities of traditional banking systems and the regulatory payment demands required by certain industries that may have difficulty accessing a legitimate and trustworthy merchant service provider. One industry in particular we will empower through our turnkey ecosystem is hemp.”
Increased revenue potential for hemp businesses offering cashless payment options remains compelling, as does the fact many of these businesses are still struggling to find safe and secure financial institutions to grow alongside. As the industrial hemp industry and number of digital payment transactions both continue to grow (1estimated compound annual growth rate of 34% by 2025 and an 2estimated 33% increase YoY in 2020, respectively), so does the inherent need for due diligence, as roughly 75% of hemp-related companies reported they still do not have access to financial services according to 2019 Marijuana Business Factbook.
Read More: GlobalFintechSeries Interview with RJ Horsley, President of SpotOn Transact, Inc
Last year, West Town Bank & Trust executed a strategic advance into the hemp banking industry with a focus on building trustworthy and long-term banking relationships. In doing so, the Bank invested in and partnered with RiskScout, Inc., an advanced on-boarding and due diligence provider to financial institutions banking underserved industries. Compliance will continue to be the focal point when partnering with these businesses, many of which have experienced frustrations in dealing with barriers to establish banking and merchant processor relationships. Once interested prospects engage West Town Payments, RiskScout will verify the due diligence needed to accept the prospect as “bankable” and directly assist West Town Bank & Trust with monitoring and validating on-going banking transactions.
Melissa Marsal, Chief Operating Officer of West Town Bank & Trust, went on to say, “Partnering with West Town Payments is a strategic alignment aimed to provide better, faster and more reliable service to our customers, starting with hemp businesses. Through combined expertise in commercial banking, on-boarding due diligence, compliance monitoring and payment processing, our companies are uniquely positioned in this market to make an immediate impact, helping businesses increase sales, improve cash flow, and ultimately decrease the costs of doing business for hemp-related businesses.”
Read More: Covid-19’s Impact on the Future of Payments and Retail Will Be Far Reaching