October 29, 2018 / 1:08 PM / 3 months ago

Cryptocurrencies could be the next revolution in online payments - now that a company knows how to turn holders to spenders

The ramifications of blockchain might yet be unknown but the implications of the technology are immense for the financial services industry, with many blockchain applications challenging the status quo of global payments.

Professors Gareth W. Peters and Efstathios Panayi (2014) have argued that blockchain technology offers the possibility of disrupting “the world of banking through facilitating global money remittance, smart contracts, automated banking ledgers and digital assets”. It is not then surprising that in 2015, nine major banking institutions — Barclays, BBVA, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, State Street, and UBS — would join an initiative with financial tech firm R3 to work on the uses of blockchain technology in their markets. Beyond the hype and pyrotechnics proclaiming blockchain as a magical technology that can solve all the problems in the world, the technology itself remains powerful, with many mainstream organizations taking it very seriously. Particularly, the potential of smart contracts — computer protocols which facilitate the execution of a contract between a buyer and a seller, without the mediation of a third party — is already being explored by businesses that want to automate payment processes.

All this sounds rather wonderful, but for all the talk of a crypto-boom (and many stories in the media about fluctuating value), cryptocurrencies have yet to truly take hold and become something consumers use in their everyday transactions. There are hundreds of billions of dollars invested in cryptocurrencies across the world right now and most of it is just held there, with many seeing it as a simple investment in the hope that the various currencies’ value will see meteoric rises. For these currencies to be fully disruptive, however, and achieve their seemingly limitless potential, they need to become easier to use; to become as ubiquitous and as simple as a credit or debit card. Buying and using cryptocurrencies has been equally challenging for both the average user, and businesses which want to implement and take advantage of them. This needs to change. Enters Pumapay, advanced cryptobilling solution. The Cypriot-based cryptopayment company has created a fully usable comprehensive ecosystem to accelerate the use of cryptocurrencies in everyday life.

PumaPay brings cryptopayments into everyday life

Consumers are accustomed to using credit cards and other simplified online payment methods. The challenge is to make accepting cryptocurrency just as easy by providing a simple and streamlined solution for both individuals and businesses.

PumaPay is doing just that. By using their unique PullPayment Protocol, the payment process is simplified for the end user. Rather than a customer having to manually push currency from their wallet, PumaPay’s solution allows a merchant to issue what is called a ‘pull request.’ Based on a set of predefined terms pre-approved by the customer, the transaction can go through in a matter of seconds once authorized. This greatly simplifies the payment process for both sides, enabling the business to implement cryptocurrency as a payment method at checkout in a way that’s almost identical to accepting a credit or debit card.

This type of pull request also opens up new ways of using cryptocurrency. PumaPay tokens can be used for recurring direct-debit style transactions, or payments based on the amount of time a product has been used (streaming video being one example). This kind of use case simply wasn’t possible on the blockchain before, but this unique way of ‘pulling’ a crypto payment opens up all kinds of options for both spending and receiving funds. Particularly, since 2018, when PumaPay released recurring payments on the Ethereum blockchain, individuals have been able to pay for their subscriptions using PumaPay’s cryptocurrency wallet without the need to contact banks or businesses.

Benefits of Cryptopayments 

The benefits of this kind of approach are clear. Customers are seeing a simplified payment process that allows them to take advantage of the security improvements that the blockchain offers, while also getting to use the cryptocurrency they may have previously purchased but never found a use for.

For businesses, there’s more to the security aspect as well: alongside the inherent security from using blockchain technology, there’s the safety of not having to worry about the potential risk of chargebacks and fines, which can be a big problem with credit card transactions. Fees are also massively reduced. Traditionally, most credit card transactions can see higher fees for higher-risk transactions, whereas using PumaPay’s solution, there’s only gas fees involved and those are only a very small amount. That’s a huge reduction in costs, especially when considering the removal of both the possibility of chargebacks and the risks associated with accepting payments online.

PumaPay’s cryptopayment solution also significantly expands businesses’ reach, by allowing them to tap into a $269b  worth of cryptocurrency industry worldwide. And it does so by providing them with the right platform to advertize their products and reach cryptoholders. PumaPay Pride, which will be fully launched later this year, will be integrated with the mobile wallet app, so that customers can find businesses that accept PMA. 

Hundreds of businesses have committed to use the PullPayment solution, with many more showing their interest every day. PumaPay is currently onboarding and testing its solution with a few early adopters and will soon begin onboarding more businesses, introducing them to the Business Console and testing its billing models. 

As more companies come on board, cryptocurrencies will slowly become the expected, standard payment method. With more and more PumaPay early adopters using their cryptocurrency for real-world transactions, and more mainstream institutions introducing cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications to their offering, cryptopayments will gain more currency and legitimacy. Only by working towards the real adoption of flexible cryptopayment scenarios that correspond to familiar payment methods, as well as pushing for the development of a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies at a global level, will cryptocurrencies become the next revolution in online payments.

The Reuters editorial and news staff had no role in the production of this content. It was created by Reuters Plus, part of the commercial advertising group. To work with Reuters Plus, contact us here.

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