The Evolving Crypto Payments Space
Competition within cryptocurrency is good, it spurs innovation and makes the financial space more inclusive for everyone.
Over the last few years there have been numerous companies creating financial technology companies with a focus on cryptocurrency.
It is important to distinguish between two major categories of the fintech space when looking at Beluga Pay:
- Card issuers/Wallets
- Mobile point of sales systems
Although both categories provide an ease of cryptocurrency spending the mechanics and use cases are quite different.
* We are planning to release a cryptocurrency card with a card issuing partner in 2018. We intend to first launch our crypto cards with merchants and then consumers.
Crypto Card Issuers
There is a lot of hype around having a cryptocurrency card that has the VISA or Mastercard logo on it and rightfully so. People want to spend their crypto as easily as they do cash.
Technically, the companies generally work with a card issuing company such as WaveCrest that issues prepaid debit card and the company (such as TenX) is responsible to ensure the transfers between crypto to cash deposits on the card.
The rumors are that the credit card brands are limiting some of the prepaid cryptocurrency debit cards to Europe and Japan (via SBI Holdings). If you know of any other crypto credit cards please comment below.
The companies providing these prepaid bitcoin debit cards, generally, offer a companion app to view a digital wallet or swap currency.
Mobile Point of Sale Systems (mPOS)
mPOS have a different purpose than prepaid debit cards but with the same goal (to make cryptocurrency more spendable).
mPOS systems generally try to:
- Help businesses manage their sales
- Provide business analytics
- Manage product inventory
- Improve Customer Relationship Management
Beluga Pay’s mPOS gives merchants the ability to charge in VISA, Mastercard, cash and crypto-currency. We believe merchants still want to accept VISA, Mastercard and now they can plus cryptocurrency all-in-one system.
Living in the developed world, one gets used to filing taxes online, having mailchimp, retargeting users with pixels. But the reality is, over 2B people remain unbanked and many of the world’s business owners do not know what a spreadsheet is or who their top customer is.
We build our products at Beluga Pay and serve over 300 merchants today with the sole purpose of making easy-to-use products to help merchants grow their business. The focus is on building a platform for merchants not on white-labeling a prepaid debit card. Don’t get us wrong, we like the prepaid crypto debit card, however, that is not our core business.
Banking in the Developing World: Part 1
When we started Beluga Pay in 2014 (as Espiral in Mexico) we did so out of sheer necessity. There were no ATMs for 15 kilometer radius, 7 out of 10 businesses did not accept debit or credit cards, although the statistics suggested that every person in Mexico on average had 1.3 credit or debit cards. When you did find an ATM, a Cashola machine, it has a $10 USD fee plus a 10%+ commission, these prices were unfair and unfathomable.
We did what any sane person would do, go to the bank and try to get a mobile point of sales system.
When we tried “leasing” a terminal to accept credit and debit cards in Mexico we were given a stack of 90 pages, told we would have to wait 3 months for a review and also have an absurdly high minimum otherwise we would have to pay $200+ dollars in penalties per month.
Stay Tuned to Part 2 … Clap below if you would like us to continue this series