Second WadzPay AMA with Steve Tunstall, Director & Group Head – Compliance & Risk with the WadzPay WTK Unofficial Community
Thanks, everyone, for tuning in to our second AMA with WadzPay in as many weeks.
Before we get started, I just want to remind everyone that on October 15th, Crypto Eri will be interviewing Stas as well as WadzPay’s CEO Anish Jain on her stream. So mark your calendars.
But now, please welcome Steve Tunstall, WadzPay’s Director and Head of Compliance. Steve, like Stas before him, was kind enough to come in here and answer our questions.
Going forward, everyone but Steve and the admins will be muted, and I’ll ask Steve a dozen or so of the questions forwarded to me by the community over the past few days.
Time permitting, Steve will stick around and answer questions directly from the community for a bit afterward.
Hello all, Steve here. Director and Group Head, Compliance and Risk at WadzPay.
It’s wonderful to have this chance to interact and the first thing I want to do is congratulate you Dust, the other admins and the early adopters, on the creation of an amazing Telegram Group. I’ve seen quite a few, and without doubt this is one of the best managed with awesome relevant content, nice job
I need to make a few points before we begin please.
As we work with governments and large corporations, and due to NDAs I may not be able to answer all questions, if they’re not referencing officially announced communications.
Please also bear in mind that I am in compliance and risk, so might not be able to answer the. engineering questions. Do also note that everything I say is my personal opinion and not financial advice. We are not promoting WTK in any way, and those who wish to trade are doing so at their own discretion and risk.
Some questions which required inputs from our team I’ve already pre-answered, and for other questions, I can answer them live. So you may need to wait a bit while I type the responses. I’ll stick around at the end for a little while as Dust mentioned (time permitting, and answer up to 5 questions, if I can).
OK, first question:
Can you talk generally about WadzPay and what you, in particular, do there? When, and why, was WadzPay founded? How did you get involved? Can you tell us a bit about the road traveled – the obstacles you’ve faced and the obstacles you’ve overcome – thus far?
I got involved in WadzPay about a year ago. I was connected to Anish via a trusted industry friend. I have built some tech startups myself and participated in others where blockchain technology had increasingly been the core of the solution. I have also been a personal investor in the crypto sector since 2017. I intuitively felt that what was missing were technology solutions that bridge the old world of fiat with the new world of DLT and crypto. When I understood that WadzPay is building solutions that achieved this, particularly bringing CBDCs into the picture, I decided I must be part of the journey.
My role leading Compliance and Risk is essentially about building an awareness of the regulatory and other risks in the overall landscape in multiple jurisdictions as we evolve and scale. As members of this group will be aware, this is a very rapidly changing area with news every day on the perspective of regulators around the world. We want to keep one step ahead of current regulation but also try and second guess where regulatory frameworks might be in five years time. That means we need to stay observant, nimble and flexible.
WadzPay is constantly pushing boundaries in the digital asset-based payments space hence we work with regulators and lawmakers extensively and the role of compliance becomes integral.
Question 2: What are the next steps for WadzPay? Where do you see WadzPay in the longterm?
At the moment we are working round the clock to build out the existing and new partnerships and deliver the functionality that has everyone so fired up. WadzPay long term will be the default payment processor for all transaction types.
We will bridge the gap between traditional and evolutionary payment technologies. And we are utilising blockchain as the main enabler for this to happen.
WTK has been around since last year, but doesn’t seem to have been a priority for WadzPay.
Anish said as much in a Spotify podcast. Can you talk about the history of WTK and tell us how exactly WTK fits in to WadzPay’s larger plans?
WTK has always been a fundamental part of the WadzPay vision and always will. It is vital to develop a platform which enables flexibility and choice in how people want to make payments. This technology is our focus, and WTK is one of its many cogs. We allow users to make payments in multiple choices of currency and similarly the merchant is able accept these currencies.
In phase 1 and 2 we are allowing settlements in WTK from the merchant. The merchant is also incentivized for such settlements in WTK. Also it will provide liquidity for remittances. A portion of these tokens will be burnt which will eventually lead to reduction is supply.
In later phases we will be introducing other add-ons such as staking and enabling interoperability between different coins and CBDCs.
So, how does WadzPay differ from XRP, XLM, and other payments-centric networks?
We are protocol and digital currency agnostic. Our vision is to unite all payments protocols and systems, from fiat to banking to crypto to CBDCs. For some of the other payments-centric networks, it’s “my way or the highway”. Blockchain-based payments protocols are only in their infancy, and undoubtedly there will be hurdles and roadblocks for the current leaders. By choosing an approach which favours choice and propels innovation, we will not face these issues.
We allow singular API based integration for Financial Institutions and Non Financial Institutions into the WadzPay ecosystem. With this the Client has access to multiple protocols both existing and evolving. We do end to end program management on behalf of the client. So XRP, XLM could be potential vendors to WadzPay.
What are the services rendered by WadzPay in the partnership with the gaming company mentioned by Stas? When will the partnership be announced?
There are some exciting partnerships already implemented and a new one will be announced next week.
In the gaming sector we are enabling
Low Value transactions – As low as 0.01 cents at no fee.
Displacing E Voucher, Paper Voucher systems with Smart Contracts
Personalising the entire experience with on the go create your token, NFTs, for gaming solutions
There is a lot more going one but due to confidentiality issues we can’t elaborate on those at the moment.
Could you elaborate on your partnership with XinFin? What does that entail exactly?
As per the official announcement, our partnership with XinFin entails develop blockchain-based consumer payment products such as merchant payments, transaction settlements, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and remittance products. Products will be available via banks and other financial institutions across the world. The XDC token will be available on the WadzPay platform
Like Stas said in his last AMA we are waiting for ETH2.0 but at the same time we are evaluating other potential protocols and certainly XRC20 in amongst the shortlisted ones. It could also mean that WTK is available on more than 1 protocol since our objective is to deliver the best consumer experience with optionality.
The WadzPay MasterCard was teased many months ago. When will that be available? Why the delay? Finally, will it be available in the EU and USA?
WadzPay is working on the MasterCard relationship at multiple levels. This is additional to issuance of cards. Our focus right away is to build and deliver acceptance solutions at merchants for stable coins. Since this is B2B is involves coordination with several stakeholders from POS provider, merchant aggregators, PSPs etc. We will start delivering with first such programs later this year and many more to follow early next year.
Is NymCard a WadzPay partner? If so, what is the purpose of this partnership?
NymCard is currently not a WadzPay partner. Not sure where that one came from 😊
Can you let us know the number of stores and ecommerce merchants already using the WadzPay App? Can you let us know who they are?
We have LOIs in place with thousands of merchants worldwide. However rather than servicing the merchants directly we have been engaging aggregators to manage them on our behalf. As we continued on our journey, we decided it makes less sense to create our own merchant network, and more sense to leverage existing merchant networks of major players. Therefore, we lasered our focus onto technology and payments, instead of merchant acquisition. It’s a very similar rationale to shifting from trying to gain users for our own branded App from scratch, compared to going live with tens of thousands of wallets at the click of a finger, by offering our solution to partners with existing consumer bases.
OK, just a few more
This one’s a bit long…
According to Stas, „our initial idea was that this App is the most important piece in our ecosystem. Since then, we have instead started white-labeling the App for large partners (such as banks, conglomerates). So when you ask about the rollout of the WadzPay ‘payment system’, that for me is the more important question.“ Can you tell us more about this payment system? What use is it to these large partners? Is the system the same as or different from the App? What is the nature of the tech that Stas mentioned is running in the “background” of other Apps?
The App is the front end, our technology and architecture is the back end. When we talk about rolling out our payments system, we are talking about the technology which will enable the transactions to happen. How this system appears will vary: B2C focused partners may want the interface of an App, while others may need a web portal, or in some cases want to integrate our technology into their current interfaces.
In most cases the end consumer will continue interacting with their Banking, Financial services provider applications and interfaces. You may actually never see the WadzPay brand while it will be us enabling those services in the background.
OK, great. Last one, before we open the floor to the community, if that’s all right with you
Why did WadzPay partner with iDRP when USDT and USDC are available?
We see immense potential in Indonesia. Indonesia has a population of over 260 million people, over 50% of which are unbanked/underbanked and a booming digital payments economy. Currently, payments are only allowed to be settled in IDR, but with a local stable coin, there is potential to create a digital currency – fiat settlement economy. We have also been in discussions with a major bank in Indonesia, for whom we even built a white-label demo, to demonstrate how IDRP could be used for loan disbursements, welfare payouts and more.
OK, everyone … with that, we’ll open the floor to questions from the community for a bit. Please be respectful, and don’t clog up the chat
Steve what are you most looking forward to about #WadzPay in Q4?
I really can’t believe how fast the company is growing at the moment, there are new developments on every front. I can’t shre more details on this yet but we have some really exciting things coming up before the end of the year.
Thank you so much for coming in here and talking with us Steve. I do have 1 question.
Anish has stated that 2023 was the targeted year for global adoption of Wadzpay as the go to solution for the unbanked, and the standard for digital currency payments. How is that time line tracking?
I think if anything the timeline has compressed. The combination of more interest in central banks around the world in CBDCs, acceleration in adoption of online financial services, particualrly during COVID all mean things are supercharged in a way we could not have predicted just a short while ago
Mikhail: Is WadzPay planning on gaining certification with the ISO 8353 or ISO 20022 if they haven’t already?
Certifications are not as straight forward a subject. In most cases it is the client we work with needs to be certified and we need to provide inputs for that certification which we do. So far, we have not come across a situation where we are required to be certified. When it arises we will go through the process. This will depend on many factors including the business model and regulatory obligations in each jurisdiction where we operate.
I live in Indonesia, cryptocurrency is not a legal form of payment here. Could you please explain how WTK will be implemented under current Indo regulations? Thank you
In markets where regulatory clearances may not be in place. WadzPay will provide settlements in FIAT
Would it be advantageous to migrate to another mainnet/chain that would allow feeless and instantaneous transactions, such as Constellation (DAG)?
It is advantageous to keep an open mind. There are a rapidly expanding subset of high-potential protocols that are moving closer towards the TPS and fee structure favourable for the world of payments. It is for this reason we are protocol agnostic, and will ultimately support interoperability between them: this leads to ‘choice’ and the natural market mechanisms of demand will push our operations towards the best protocols for the specific transaction types.
Hey everybody, thanks for all the questions, there are several here I would love to answer but legal would kill me later. I really appreciate the time and the interest the community has shown. I would like to thank all of you and especially the admins for helping this to happen 😊