Michael Flores to Discuss Cannabis Banking

EPCOR Payments Conference – Fall 2022 is happening next month October 3-5 in Overland Park, KS and we are getting so excited! As we gear up for the event, we’re talking with conference speakers to learn more about them both personally and professionally. Today we’re introducing you to Michael Flores, founding partner of Infused Banking.

Infused Banking is a relatively new organization and Michael explains, “I founded it with four other professionals, to educate and advise cannabis-related businesses on how to find a financial institution and to educate financial institutions on issues revolving around the risks and opportunities of banking cannabis-related businesses. All the founders have other businesses they operate, and we thought creating a company specifically focused on the cannabis banking space made sense for us.”

In addition to his work with Infused Banking, Michael also has his own firm, Bretton Woods, Inc., which he started in 1988. There, Michael is a consultant and researcher who has provided strategic consulting services to financial services companies for close to 40 years, with a particular focus on higher-risk market segments including alternative credit and payments programs for the last 10 years. 

Michael has been in banking and bank consulting for over thirty years. His work has taken place across the United States as well as Mexico, Europe and Southeast Asia. He also shared, “I have written several white papers based on original research I conducted on alternative payments (prepaid cards), short-term consumer credit for the underbanked, overdrafts in banking, the impact of Dodd-Frank on community financial institutions and the unintended consequences of legislation and regulation on consumers and financial institutions. Based on this research, I appeared before three House and two Senate subcommittees to testify on these issues.”

Although he has not participated in an EPCOR conference before, Michael is really looking forward to presenting for attendees next month. He says, “Infused Banking was asked if we were interested in presenting and we certainly were.  Payments in cannabis businesses is wrought with risks given the federal illegality of the product even though 37 states have some level of legalization, be it medical, recreational or CBD.”

During his session, Strategic Assessment, Risk Analysis and Due Diligence for Cannabis Banking, speaking about the risks and opportunities in the payments arena for cannabis businesses and bankers that provide services to these businesses. He explained: “Aspects of my talk will touch upon payments that are currently legal, the recent VISA memorandum about Cashless ATMs and the impact of FinTech on creative payments opportunities.”

If Michael could give one tip to payments professionals, it would be to get ready for crypto! He advises, “Educate yourself and prepare a plan to address this opportunity before you get run over by those who have prepared.”

On a more personal note, we asked Michael a tougher question – what makes you, you? He shared, “I have a close colleague whom I have known for close to forty years and he keeps saying I have an uncanny ability to reinvent myself and see opportunities just over the horizon. That may be a bit of hyperbole on his part, but I tend to get bored with the status quo and I do look to the next exciting shift in business.”

We can’t wait to hear Michael’s session, as well as all the other fascinating presentations set to happen next month at EPCOR Payments Conference – Fall 2022 in Overland Park, Kansas! If you’d like to check out our full agenda or learn more about the conference website or register today!