On June 7th, 2017 my co-founder, Donnie, and I hosted a small gathering at our Bangkok office to celebrate Omise’s 4th year anniversary. Boy time flies! We grew from a 3 person company (myself, my wife and Donnie) into a 90+ person community. At the gathering, I outlined our achievements to date and also our vision for the future (including the launch of a new subsidiary OmiseGO Pte. Ltd.) both of which I would also like to also share with the wider community.
“Get Sh*t Done!”
Business, innovations and trends in Southeast Asia, like other high growth regions, never settle. When we launched Omise in 2013, we knew it would take hard work to bring impact-driven and implementable payment products to market, and to expand quickly across the Asia-Pacific Region. To date, I believe Omise has been able to stay ahead of the market because we engage with people and partners who share the same “Get Sh*t Done” ethics, dare to challenge the norm, and understand that rapidly deployment of new products is equally as important as ensuring smooth operation of the current business.
At Omise, we’re not looking to just be apart of the financial services and payment conversation. We’re planning to lead it. Within 2016 and 2017 alone, we developed and launched a number of new innovation including:
- Omise FacePay: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and facial recognition software for loyalty program.
- Omise Blockchain Lab: Founded in 2015, we were one of the very first corporate supporter of the Ethereum DevGrant. Today, Omise Blockchain Lab has reached the point of commercialization and has been pushed it out of “lab” status and into the business world under OmiseGO Pte. Ltd.
- Chat bot: We launched beta of Facebook chat bot which can be plugged into e-commerce platforms to streamline general online shopkeeping, Q&A as well as accepting payments.
OmiseGO: Unbank the Banked
Since we launched OmiseGO, our blockchain subsidiary, and announced the crowdfunding campaign (omg.omise.co), I have been receiving numerous questions about OmiseGO, and specifically on how does it fit into Omise’s main business?
To break this down at a high-level. Through our payment business, we recognized in the current financial services world, if you conduct transactions within specific system it works fine. Let’s say, you are looking to transfer money from one person’s PayPal account to another person’s PayPal account, it works fine. The problem becomes when one person uses PayPal and another person uses AliPay or other platform, and they don’t match. Furthermore, to conduct these currency or value exchanges we typically have to go through the traditional banking network (Swift) or credit card networks. Both of which are costly and takes time to conduct settlement.
When we, at Omise, talk about the future of payment services, we believe it should be very much like how the internet works today where I can be using any payment system I choose and still be able to send money to anyone.
OmiseGO Ethereum-based blockchain network was thus born to solve this coordination problem between financial systems and enable money, along with any value connected to the internet (e.g. loyalty, game points), to be transfer and traded regardless of geographic or institutions jurisdiction. We envision the OmiseGO network will become the standard for decentralized payment and exchange services.
Why we can succeed?
Most “new” startups working on blockchain (or maybe most of the existing) are facing “the Chicken and the egg” issue. One of the biggest hold backs for payments is “acceptance”. Consider ApplePay. What’s their biggest obstacle? NFC acceptance.
For OmiseGO, the issue of acceptance has already been worked out. Through the years, Omise signed up over tens of thousands of merchants to our payment gateway across Asia-Pacific. This in sign-ups applies to everyone in the OmiseGO network, who will be able to pay at all Omise touch points be it online and/or offline. Adding to that, Omise is already serving mobile companies, e-wallet service providers and insurance companies. With these current business relationships, we are confident that we can maximize our capabilities.
Together, Omise and OmiseGO are building the future of payments; enabling us to reach our vision of payments for all. I very much look forward to the rest of 2017 and being able to share new exciting products to the World.