Wauna Credit Union to serve cannabis-related businesses

Local papers The Chief and The Chronicle report on the partnership between Oregon-based Wauna Credit Union and Hypur. In working with Wauna, Hypur is described as a sole-source solution that will enhance compliance efficiency and effectiveness in cannabis banking without having to rely on outsources or third-party options.

Wauna Credit Union (Wauna CU) is signaling a greenlight on banking services for the marijuana industry.

On Dec. 15, Wauna CU announced a partnership agreement with Hypur, a financial technology company based in Scottsdale, Ariz., that will enable it to offer banking services to cannabis-related businesses (CRBs) within Wauna CU’s field of membership by using Hypur’s state of the art compliance and payments software.

In a statement, Wauna CU said it is a financial cooperative serving more than 25,000 members in Oregon and Washington and takes its role in the community seriously. The statement said Wauna CU believes that providing banking access to CRBs benefits not only the businesses themselves, but the entire community by bringing transparency and accountability to the cannabis industry.

“As a new industry that poses unique banking challenges, Wauna CU has taken careful steps in ensuring their full compliance with state and federal law and policy,” the statement said. “After meeting with the Hypur team and seeing their compliance and payment capabilities, Wauna CU determined that partnering with Hypur was the key to responsibly servicing Oregon CRBs.”

Hypur’s technology will supplement Wauna CU’s current anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act processes with real-time red flag alerts, automated onboarding and document management, electronic business-to-business and consumer-to-business payments, and Level 3 data for complete transaction transparency. Hypur offers the promise of a sole-source solution that will enhance Wauna CU’s compliance efficiency and effectiveness without having to rely upon outsourcing or third-party options.

Robert Blumberg, CEO and President of Wauna CU, said by serving cannabis-related business, Wauna becomes part of the solution and not part of the problem. Blumberg said cannabis-related businesses have difficulty forming banking relationships due to a limited number of credit unions and banks that serve the industry.

“Providing banking services to this industry legitimizes these businesses,” Blumberg said. “Our partner, Hypur, with their state of the art compliance program, provides transparency to these operations. It also adds an element of safety and security to all of us that live and/or work in the community, which is in all of our best interests.”

In addition to its revolutionary technology, the Hypur team includes some of the country’s leading experts on the legal and functional aspects of cannabis banking, according to the statement from Wauna CU. “Hypur and Wauna CU share the belief that the only way to responsibly service CRBs is with full transparency and maximum compliance,” the statement said.

Christopher E. Galvin, Founder and CEO of Hypur, said the partnership with Wauna CU would make it easier for dispensaries and cannabis-related businesses in Oregon to receive full banking services while enhancing how Wauna CU conducts business with those merchants.

“It’s an opportunity for Wauna CU to expand its reach into new and current markets, as well as for Hypur to branch out to the Pacific Northwest,” Galvin said. “We’re excited to be working with Wauna CU and look forward to what the future has to offer for us both.”

Wauna CU’s Chief Marketing Officer Debi Smiley said businesses that are interested in the service will go through an evaluation process prior to approval. Smiley said there are several prospective accounts currently in that process of determination.

Inquiries regarding Wauna Credit Union’s Cannabis Business Solutions account applications and opening procedures can be made at 800-773-3236.

This article originally appeared on The Chief and The Chronicle.