In Canada, it’s been about 50 years since paper money – cash and cheques – ceased being the dominant form for payment for services. Since then plastic, in the form of credit cards and then Interac, have become indispensable. Stuart Lutterman has “been in the payment processing business forever”, though considering his youth, that means more like 15 years than 50.
In the last couple of years, since he began focussing primarily on the needs of clients in the cannabis industry, being an advisor in the necessary business of transaction tracking and payment procurement has become much more gratifying for Stuart. Cannabis cultivators, processors and dispensary owners, it turns out, are easier to communicate with than the restaurateurs and retailers he used to serve. They’re more laid back, willing to learn, and appreciative of the solutions Stuart can provide. As the relationship between Brother Processing Services and the client grows, the likelihood is that Stuart can reduce the transaction fees, and this, in turn, is gratifying for his clients. It’s a two-way street.
Despite two years-plus since the legalization of cannabis, it’s hard to find a major bank willing to offer loans and financial services to licensed cannabis entrepreneurs, let alone those who operate in the grey market. Financial institutions are very jittery about providing Visa or Mastercard capability, plus they have been known to yank credit card services with little or no warning.
Half of the cannabis industry clients served by BPS, a company Stuart co-founded, come from BC. Setting them up with Interac payment processing is one of the solutions Stuart offers. For the seller, Interac is cheaper per transaction, and for the buyer, there is the advantage of no itemized bills. A little discretion is reassuring! For online sellers, Stuart can propose solutions that are less clumsy than e-transfer and cheaper than Shopify.
Stuart’s mother was a bookkeeper, his father a comptroller and their influence show in the wholistic way that Stuart sees business operations and relationships. Programs that Brother Processing is now developing will facilitate the integration of payment processing with bookkeeping and inventory.
Stuart was introduced to the BC Craft Farmers Co-op through member Dayna Lange. When asked what advice he’d give to those looking to succeed in the cannabis industry, his reply was “Choose Canada-based services and those providers who specialize in the industry.”
Stuart lives on the Island of Montreal with his wife and a 15-month-old daughter.