Our mobile dApp ethPay is now running on the mainchain, which means you can use it so sell and purchase products and services with real Ether!
We went into Beta with our platform Ethereum Android last October, so we set ourselves October 2017 as deadline for the MVP of ethPay. MVP meaning that we deliver a slim but fully functioning version of ethPay that runs on the main-network of Ethereum. This goal was challenging and we only managed to reach it through very clear prioritization and focus on those priorities.
The last months were mainly filled with discussions and decisions on how the MVP should look like, which features it should have and have not, how we should manage the trade-off between usability and informational depth, a nice user flow and so on. Our goal was to create a really robust and easy to use product without compromising any of our principles: privacy, security, and decentralization.
The main priority for this release was to make the buying experience as seamless and easy as possible. A customer should be able to buy a product/service just by scanning an offer.
Changes in the UI
The main changes in the UI were made on the merchant’s side. We worked on the store concept to improve its user flow. A store overview was implemented, which is supposed to give the merchant quick access to the most important data like the last purchase and the overall revenue of the store. Also the merchant can now directly create a Quick Offer from the overview of his store.
Entering the store, he sees a chronological list of his sales and by tapping the flash button he creates a Quick Offer.
Use cases for the MVP
There were two major use cases that we’ve set as priorities for the MVP:
- street market situations where merchant and customer have direct contact
- purchase and automated delivery of digital goods.
Use case #1: Quick Offers for street market like situations
Many developing countries exhibit a very rich street market culture while at the same time having a very high share of people that don’t own a bank account.
We designed Quick Offers in a way so that merchants only need to specify a price (title is optional, ‘Quick Offer’ by default) to generate a QR-Code which their customer can scan with his phone to pay for the product. Once the customer has accepted the purchase, the merchant gets instant feedback of it.
You can see an example below of the merchant’s screen flow of using Quick Offers.
Use case #2: Instant access for automated delivery of digital goods
In our first articles about ethPay we wrote that we would focus on the purchase and delivery of digital goods. For instance, a musician wants to sell his album via his ethPay store.
We got a big step forward in terms of automatizing the delivery process of digital goods. Customers can now directly download their purchase, if the merchant supports it.
Basically, a merchant only needs to provide a HTTP endpoint where the customer will be directed to after a purchase.
Below, you can see a high-level example of how instant access works as screen flow of merchant and customer.
If you want to configure instant access for your store, we have provided a step-by-step tutorial in our help desk.
We have designed ethPay to be a modular and multi-purpose payment technology. At the moment, purchase and payment are both handled via the Blockchain. However, especially for smaller purchases it has been shown that public Blockchains are not the best choice for payments because of transaction fees and mining times.
Internally, we are already working on the next step to speed up the payment process. As usual, someone of the Ethereum community is on the case to provide a solution for it — Raiden :)