Move over Venmo and PayPal. Blockchain-based solution PumaPay is throwing its hat in the ring.
Blockchain tech is seemingly looking for use cases everywhere these days (sardine-backed currencies, anyone?) while some are taking on existing markets with their own innovative solutions. BlockTelegraph spoke with PumaPay founder and CEO, Yoav Dror to learn more.
1. Your team has its own interesting financial background. Share that.
In a little over a year, we have assembled a capable team of professionals with diverse backgrounds in various aspects of the fintech industry. For instance, our CTO, Aristos Christofides, has extensive experience working with banks and financial institutions on developing and implementing next-generation financial solutions. Our Chief Blockchain Architect, Giorgos Kourtellos, was a part of the IBM team as a blockchain developer, with a focus in finance. Multiple core members of the PumaPay team, myself included, have years of experience in high-volume processing. Others bring their experience in financial instruments, such as forex. Basically, we have come together with the necessary skills required to create the next-generation financial system.
2. What is the current “billing ecosystem” missing?
There is little secret that current billing system cannot accommodate the needs of the digital age. Most existing implementations are still based on credit cards, which were not developed with Internet in mind. Credit cards were introduced in 1950’s, in the pre-Internet, pre-mobile and pre-PC era. The system managed to adjust to the requirements of times relatively well, however, it does not serve merchants as well as it should. It does not protect them from CNP (card-not-present) fraud, chargebacks, and associated penalties, which can kill a business. Furthermore, transaction processing fees take a huge chunk of businesses’ profits. Blockchain provides a better alternative for merchants and consumers alike, where transaction costs are lower, settlement is immediate, and transactions are irreversible. At PumaPay, we aim to combine these advantages of blockchain technology with the flexibility and ease-of-use of credit cards
3. Where have you gotten the most traction so far? Why?
PumaPay has been welcomed by representatives of different industries. Currently, we have over 100 brands who have committed to implement our payment solution. Among them are global names like Rent24, IronFX, CCBill, Vivid Entertainment, and many more. So, we are looking at all kinds of online companies, from payment service providers, to online entertainment and SAAS. We attribute this to the fact that a next-generation blockchain based payment solution is long overdue. Cryptocurrencies have been around for years, yet, they bear no usability, PumaPay is an attempt to change the status quo, and businesses welcome it.
4. Which competitors are your target? Paypal? Venmo? Who are you usually taking customers from?
We would certainly like to have the reach and popularity of Paypal and the convenience and hype of Venmo. That said, we do not view any particular brand as our direct competitor. Our goal is to help businesses bill their customers in cryptocurrencies, with the ease and flexibility they’re used to, boosted by the potential of the blockchain technology.
5. What questions are your customer service reps answering most?
As we are still in the process of development for our solution, and just recently have kicked off integrations with some of our Early Adopters, a lot of questions revolve around the integration process, and what the customer journey would look like. Another question that comes up frequently is the volatility of cryptocurrencies. This is the main factor that holds businesses back from adopting them as a billing method. At PumaPay, we are looking into developing a solution that would eliminate the risks of volatility for businesses. We expect to unveil this concept soon.
6. Are “every day” consumers ready to truly use a cryptocurrency? Why or why not?
Cryptocurrency is merely digital money and it potentially bears convenience. Once there are solutions built around it that will make it as simple to use as credit card based solutions, people will use it. Additionally, we also need to see businesses begin accepting it. And, again, the key is ease-of-use. This is exactly what we are focusing on: convenient crypto billing solution that puts businesses front and centre, without sacrificing the customer experience. We work hard to make sure that crypto holders worldwide can benefit from a flexible and convenient way of spending their crypto assets.