Popping into a Metal World

Metal Pay has been available as a production application for about a month via Apple iTunes for recent iPhone and iPad devices. It is available to 34 states currently, due to US money transmission licensing limitations, with more states and other countries expected to come online in the coming months. Metal Pay is the advantaged version of Venmo, where instead of the penalty of paying fees to send money to someone, the user is instead rewarded with up to 5% of the transaction. The reward shows up as a PoP notification in the app to signify the delivery of MTL, Metal’s native cryptocurrency token. The Metal tokens can be saved inside the app or converted to cash at any time.

PoPP is defined by the Metal team as the process behind “Proof of Processed Payment”. Essentially, you are “mining” additional cryptocurrency by successfully completing a settled payment from endpoint to endpoint. These earned rewards (referred to as Pop) arrive almost instantly within the app, and will vary based on the user’s PoPP score, the current demand for PoPP rewards, and other factors. We will discuss the variables to consider in earning PoPP in a future article as more detailed information becomes available.

Early challenges have been noted in bank transfers and delays in settlement to the Metal Pay application. As with any other bank transfer that you make, delays are unfortunately normal and expected when moving funds from the traditional banking system to an outside application. Examples of these delays have included fiat transfers initiated or crossing the span of a weekend, as most banks delay settlement until normal banking hours; it is foreseeable that bank holidays would affect payment settlement in the same way. It should be noted, however, that once a fiat transfer settles within the app, those funds are made available instantly from that point forward. All funds settled within the app are available for use, transfer, or conversion to another currency immediately. To use the app frequently, ensure fiat funds are moved in advance or maintain a healthy usable balance within the app to eliminate hassles. Keep in mind that the fiat account within the app is FDIC insured, much like any other first-party bank or credit union account.

The Metal team has recently expressed an interest in making bank delays more identifiable within the app by posting transfer status information to eliminate any confusion.

PoP Rewards are made available to users of the system operating within normal guidelines; Pop rewards will be restricted or denied to any user attempting to abuse the reward system.

Rules of Pop (from the app):

· Earn rewards by making genuine payments. Rapidly sending payments back and forth can result in Pop being disabled.
· You will know if you’re eligible for Pop when making a payment or request. Your recipient’s profile picture will light up!
· Rewards are distributed after payments have completed processing. This can take up to 3 business days when sending directly from your bank.

The team has stated informally that basic guidelines of PoP rewards will be published via the app, but specific information about prohibited activities will not be spelled out. Basically, use the app normally and you don’t need to worry. Attempt to game the system to make false payments, cycle payments through a group of friends, etc. and you will stop earning rewards altogether. In case you are wondering, this type of monitoring is not new and can be found today in travel reward programs, credit card cash-back programs, gift card programs, and other loyalty systems where users are rewarded for transacting. I would have to assume that the Metal team monitors reporting from a third-party to do this, as third-parties often have decades of behavioral transacting by which to implement decision-tree structures. It is also common for algorithms to adjust over time to transaction traffic volumes and nefarious activities detected to ensure that a maximum volume of transactions is allowed and honest users are justly rewarded.

The Metal Pay app, as mentioned, has been available in the app store for about a month. Over the course of that month, the feedback has been generally good and having earned 4+ star reviews in the app store. The exceptions so far have primarily included people expecting more rewards than they had received or users having already triggering the build-in fraud detection, limiting the ability to receive Pop. The Metal team has done a decent job of explaining what to expect in the behavior of the application, and it sounds like improvements may be implemented in the future to help eliminate any edge cases that might cause undue frustration by the users.

Improvements coming soon in the Metal Pay app include:

· Instant BUYS! of MTL

· Wallet-to-wallet transfers for MTL (to/from external wallet addresses)

· Transfers to external bank accounts

· Streamlined KYC process

· In-app bank account setup using Account + Routing Number only

· More information on PoPP Score and how users benefit

To learn more about the Metal Pay application directly, including geographic availability, visit www.metalpay.com.

** All views represented here are independent observations from an early adopter. Nothing in these materials has been provided or sponsored by the Metal team. All opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change as available facts change. Please do your own research (DYOR), invest wisely, and BTFD. **