This interview is part of our new Blockchain For Payments series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and payments.
In this interview we speak with Yoav Dror, CEO of PumaPay, to understand how his company is using blockchain to transform the payments business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind PumaPay? Why and how did you begin?
YD: PumaPay encapsulates a series of ideas I have toyed with over the years and which we have finally given body and form through our innovative crypto payment system. First and foremost, PumaPay was born out of a need to find viable solutions to common credit card processing problems. Having worked in executive positions in various online businesses that dealt with high volume transactions, I had become accustomed to the usual challenges associated with payment cards, such as high processing fees and chargebacks. Since its infancy, blockchain technology had the potential to overcome these challenges and add value as an infrastructure for payments. Nonetheless, there was still not a good product that utilized this technology to streamline payments. PumaPay is the result of these efforts, and we are working towards implementing a comprehensive payment system that will allow businesses to easily accept crypto payments using the same payment method they are accustomed to. They don’t have to adjust their business logic to the technology, PumaPay adjusts the technology so it will fit their business logic. But PumaPay is not only a payment system. We have built a complete ecosystem around it with tools for businesses as well as individuals so crypto payments will indeed become a reality.
2. Please describe your use case and how PumaPay uses blockchain:
YD: PumaPay is based on the PullPayment protocol which utilizes an architecture of smart contracts. At its essence, the PullPayment protocol allows the merchant to connect to the customer’s wallet and ‘pull’ the funds based on a set of predefined terms that were pre-approved by the customer. PumaPay’s PullPayment protocol enables various payment scenarios, including, for example, subscriptions, top-up and pay-per-time billing models which have been impossible on the blockchain before. So, what we have done is create a comprehensive system where our cryptobilling can be used by both businesses and individuals. Our PumaPay cryptocurrency mobile wallet app, which has already been released for both Android and iOS devices, supports BTC, ETH, PMA and all ERC20 tokens, with more cryptocurrencies to be added in the coming months. Users can manage all aspects of their subscriptions within the wallet, without the need to contact banks or merchants. For businesses, we have designed a Business Console where they can create PullContracts, manage their payments, gas fees and subscriptions. Moreover, with our marketing hub, PumaPay Pride, businesses will be able to expand their customer base by reaching more crypto holders worldwide, running campaigns and promotions directly into customers’ wallets.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
YD: Having years of experience in online businesses and dealing with the complexities of payments and online transactions, we wanted to develop a usable solution that would be adopted by both businesses and individuals. As we all know, cryptocurrency payments are hard to incorporate into the everyday needs of individuals and businesses. With our advanced billing models, users can pay for their subscriptions through their PumaPay cryptocurrency wallet. We want to create continuity so that both individuals and businesses can continue using all the familiar billing models they did with credit cards, without introducing any unnecessary complexity. In the future, users of our mobile wallet app, are expected to be able to use a variety of payment options and pay with multiple cryptocurrencies. As we continue to improve our wallet API, released since late 2018, we aim to enable third party wallets to integrate the functionality of PumaPay’s PullPayments into their offering, making it easier for individuals to utilize PumaPay’s flexible payment scenarios in their familiar wallet environments.
As our solution is designed to enable both businesses and individuals to use cryptos, we have developed PumaPay Pride which will include our early adopters and the growing number of companies which have committed to adopt out payment system. PumaPay Pride will act as a hub, bringing businesses and crypto holders together, introducing them to new products and finding new outlets to use their cryptocurrencies. We are working into integrating PumaPay Pride with the mobile wallet app, so that customers can find businesses accepting PumaPay directly from the wallet. Our aim is to facilitate businesses tap into the ~$250b worth of cryptocurrency worldwide.
4. What other blockchain use cases are you excited about?
YD: As I am very much interested in the fintech sector, I am looking forward to seeing how blockchain and cryptos are utilized by the various mainstream banking institutions. We are now seeing how blockchain technology slowly gains the trust of banking and other institutions and begins to be adopted widely. This will facilitate efficient transactions and cross-border payments, while reducing costs and adding value to all participants. We’ve already seen how forward-thinking finance institutions such as Goldman Sachs have slowly introduced cryptocurrency trading or are allowing their customers to integrate their bank accounts with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, such as Ally Bank. The broad implications of cryptopayments and the integration of cryptocurrencies into the structure of the banking sector are still perhaps unimaginable.
5. Where will PumaPay be in five years?
YD: In one word: everywhere! PumaPay has the potential and the ambition to lead this revolution in the payment space. We already have over 100 brands that have signed agreements to integrate with our solution. We have already commenced onboarding of businesses and are in the first stages of integrations. We will be expanding our eco-system to include more and more businesses, thus giving crypto-holders real utility for their cryptos. Our PumaPay cryptocurrency wallet app will allow users to purchase cryptos from within the wallet, pay in various cryptos and use different payment options. We aim to offer more advanced billing models, also supported by the Wallet, as we continue improving our wallet API which will allow third party wallets to integrate the functionality of PumaPay’s PullPayments into their offering. Our business console will be used by a variety of businesses from different sectors, which will be able to use cryptobilling efficiently. PumaPay Pride–our comprehensive directory of all the businesses which have committed to adopt the PullPayment Protocol – is expected to be integrated into the mobile wallet app so that businesses can promote special offers directly to users inside the wallet. As we focus on the next generation of our payment system and the enhanced API, we will improve the architecture for our framework, protocol and products. We will also, by then, have introduced the Processing Nodes or processors who will process transactions for businesses, thus simplifying the process even further and adding value to the entire ecosystem.
PumaPay is committed to deliver a usable crypto payment system that respects the needs of a dynamic and evolving customer base which searches for innovation and convenience. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate crypto-acceleration and adoption of cryptopayments by businesses and customers alike, but until then we will continue working hard to deliver the best possible result for the benefit of our crypto community.