By Petr Kozyakov, Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer, Mercuryo
In terms of financial innovation, consumers have never had it better. Covid brought about a global desire, and need, to overhaul digital services from peer to peer payments, open banking and new payment technologies in-person and online. Consumers now benefit from a greater choice of products and services because they can be bought remotely, regardless of location, and in turn there’s a significant benefit for fintech companies, who are able to collect and store more information on customers ensuring they can serve up bespoke and personalised offerings, as well as using that data to better their existing products.
Whilst many services have seen vast improvement, there are still many archaic business issues yet to really be resolved. When it comes to sending money overseas for example, the banking sector is desperately behind the times. High processing costs, lack of transparency, and a long chain of intermediaries involved all provide huge headaches for business owners. Not to mention the viability for the 1.7bn (31%) of the population who remain unbanked.
Fintech businesses have disrupted the traditional legacy banking ecosystem and they’ve done this incredibly efficiently, tapping on unmet customer needs and providing better, faster and more targeted financial services.
Access to fast, cheap and efficient services is fintechs’s primary objective but the path isn’t simple. All the fintech startups, sooner or later, run into one major issue. Ultimately the path means at some point integration into the banking infrastructure remains unavoidable. Regulatory and structural considerations mean that fintech companies still depend on traditional banks for key functions. And it’s this infrastructure, a crucial part of any financial system, which is severely underdeveloped.
When sending a money transfer overseas, the necessity to integrate SEPA and Swift transfers into your final product remains essential. Due to the complex processing requirements and the long chain of intermediaries involved in the funds transferring process, delays are common with payments overseas taking an average of 5-10 days to arrive.
But new technology is there to offer another way. A decentralised crypto-powered environment can completely bypass this traditional banking chain, speeding up payments and reducing costs, whilst minimising third party risks and providing full transparency. Determined to make cross-border money transfers immediate and universally accessible, Mercuryo is just one provider using cryptocurrency to make cross-border money transfers immediate and universally accessible via their straightforward service that allows sending funds instantly.
And whilst DeFi could be seen as a rival to traditional banking, Mercuryo’s fintech crypto SAAS provides the solution for banks to integrate themselves and enable customers to buy cryptocurrency using their fiat bank accounts. At the same time, the bank doesn’t need to hold any crypto as customers receive their coins via a third-party wallet. Mercuryo ensures custody of cryptocurrency and confirms the balance info with the bank.
Implementing crypto for cross border could provide stability for SMEs; reducing cost, providing more flexibility and traceability and improving the speed of their international payments and as more blockchain, crypto, and fintech projects start collaborating, the transformation will accelerate. Safe data storage, fast and cheap cross-border transactions, advanced digital identity verification, and universally accessible banking services will soon become a new reality. Blockchain has the potential to improve a wide range of business processes and benefit any industry with alternative solutions that can blend into the current finance scene smoothly.
Despite these glaring benefits, there are still some practical barriers to mass adoption of DeFi. Major banks don’t have the agility to pivot and it can take time to decide whether to adopt new technologies and launch their digital asset solutions. Plus more regulation is needed to combat misgivings of risk and fraud. The space is crying out for more education on the benefits and pitfalls which will then instill a more collaborative approach and will ultimately mean a huge leap forward for financial services.
About the Author:
Petr Kozyakov-Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer, Mercuryo
Petr is Co-Founder and CBDO for Mercuryo, a cryptocurrency infrastructure start-up enabling businesses to accelerate their growth and boost revenue through an ecosystem of cryptocurrency payment solutions.
A seasoned professional, Petr is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the business, the signing of new partners and banks and launching new products. His passion and knowledge of the payments space stems from over 12 years working with brands in financial services such as PayOnline and PayU. In 2014 Petr became a Co-Founder and CBDO of Win Pay – one of the first companies to offer cross-border payments and card processing services to crypto-related projects which became one of the leaders in cross-border payments in the CIS market.
Petr is an experienced commentator across a range of topics in the payments and blockchain space. His areas of expertise include the changing payments landscape, electronic payments and card processing, cryptocurrency and payment regulation.