In this captivating episode of the Hemler podcast, we are thrilled to welcome Aubrey, the founder of Pay Rio, a prominent payment provider specializing in the cannabis and CBD industry. Aubrey’s passion for health and wellness led her to establish Pay Rio, where she offers fair pricing and secure payment solutions to businesses operating in these sectors.
During the podcast, Aubrey provides us with valuable insights into her personal journey and what sparked her interest in the cannabis industry. She reveals that Pay Rio initially focused on CBD, a natural medicine she personally uses for sleep and anxiety relief. As Aubrey delved deeper into the CBD world, she recognized the significant need for cannabis payment services as well, prompting her to expand Pay Rio’s offerings to encompass both CBD and cannabis transactions.
One of the advantages Aubrey highlights is her ability to combine her love for gardening with her involvement in the cannabis industry. Living in California, she enjoys the privilege of cultivating hemp and cannabis in her backyard, providing her with a fully immersive experience within the industry.
Moving on to the topic of payment services, Aubrey discusses the challenges faced by businesses in the cannabis and CBD space. She emphasizes the issue of excessive pricing imposed by payment providers due to the perceived high risk associated with these industries. Aubrey’s mission with Pay Rio is to work with CBD companies and bring their pricing down to a fair level while maintaining compliance with industry regulations. She believes that as the payment industry normalizes and the Safe Banking Act comes into play, more aggressive pricing can be expected, benefiting businesses in the long run.
Aubrey sheds light on an essential aspect of payment processing—bank sponsorship. She explains that Pay Rio has invested significant time and effort in finding the right technology partners and bank sponsors to support their payment transactions. Presently, Pay Rio proudly works with the largest CBD bank sponsor in the US, who possesses comprehensive knowledge of CBD, various cannabis derivatives, and THC content. This partnership ensures a seamless underwriting process and provides businesses with the peace of mind that their processing will remain secure and uninterrupted.
Transitioning to the practical side of Pay Rio’s services, Aubrey clarifies the processing timelines and requirements for businesses seeking their payment solutions. For CBD businesses, the approval process typically takes around seven business days, with the advantage of quick and easy integration for both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce setups. Pay Rio’s expertise in e-commerce comes into play, as they guide businesses through the nuances of state regulations and compliance measures to ensure processing is conducted appropriately.
Addressing website functionality, Aubrey emphasizes the importance of having solid terms of service, privacy policies, and return and shipping policies in place for businesses seeking payment processing approval. Pay Rio’s team collaborates closely with customers, reviewing their websites to ensure they meet the payment brand rules set by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and Amex. By providing guidance and assistance, Pay Rio ensures that websites comply with the necessary requirements, instilling confidence in the processing capabilities and legitimacy of businesses.
The conversation then shifts towards cannabis-based products and dispensaries. Aubrey highlights the unique challenges associated with accepting credit cards in this sector. Traditionally, dispensaries have been cash-based, relying on cashless ATMs or debit transactions. However, Pay Rio’s terminals enable dispensaries to accept both debit and credit cards, significantly expanding their payment options. By accepting credit cards, dispensaries can increase their average order value, as customers are not limited to their available cash or debit card limits. Additionally, the acceptance of credit cards generates positive word-of-mouth, leading to an expansion of the customer base and consistent growth in monthly volume for dispensaries.
Concluding the episode, Aubrey encourages listeners to seek a trusted payment advisor and emphasizes her passion for bringing her extensive payment knowledge to the CBD and cannabis industry. Pay Rio aims to support and educate businesses in CBD sector.