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How Flexa payments work

Explaining the new technology behind in-store cryptocurrency payments on the Flexa network

The path to native acceptance

The retail payments problem

  1. Partner with a bank to issue a fiat-backed prepaid debit card, and process payments over the existing (and expensive) debit interchange payment rails. With a debit card, customers can “load” their prepaid debit card in advance and convert cryptocurrency to fiat on demand (like the BitPay Card), or make trades as they spend (like the Coinbase Card in the UK).
  2. Partner with merchants and their processors to make payments to a merchant’s bank directly. This entails building connections to merchants and soliciting these integrations on an individual basis—but with the right infrastructure in place, it avoids the costs and fraud involved with settling through any of the existing interchange networks.

The larger picture of privacy

A Clover point-of-sale terminal showing the Flexa payment option alongside more traditional methods.

How retail payments are conducted on Flexa

  • First, Flexa transactions are specific. Unlike a gift card or merchandise credit, a flexcode representing a Flexa-powered stored value account is used only once, which preserves the security of the system and prevents fraud. This “tokenization” approach is similar to the EMV chip and 3-D Secure cryptography embedded in modern-day credit and debit card transactions around the world.
  • Second, Flexa transactions are ephemeral. Flexcodes and the retail stored value accounts behind them only exist at the moment of transaction. This means that each transaction is locked to the real cryptocurrency exchange rate, and there is no pre-loading or pre-exchanging required by the person spending. Afterward, the flexcode and stored value account are expired.
  • Finally, Flexa transactions are secured — but not funded — until after a transaction takes place. This is perhaps the key difference between Flexa’s integrations with merchants and that of other closed-loop approaches, as well as the key similarity to credit and debit networks—and just what’s made them so scalable. When paying with a flexcode, the Flexa-enabled stored value account is secured by cryptocurrency value instead of being funded by fiat money, and therefore represents a pre-authorization or a letter of credit. As in credit and debit networks, merchants receive settlement after each transaction takes place (and after the corresponding amount of cryptocurrency has been converted to fiat) through any preferred settlement method.
A sampling of the various ways that point-of-sale receipts denote payments made via Flexa.

Where to go from here



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Flexa offers the fastest, most fraud-proof payments network in the world. Learn more at flexa.network