By Sam Daley  |  December 20, 2018

Christopher Mager, head of global innovation at BNY Mellon, believes blockchain could lead to an “unprecedented period of change and transformation” in global payment systems — and he isn’t alone. 

Blockchain's primary feature is its efficiency. Because the core idea of a Decentralized Ledger Technology (DLT) is to forego centralized institutions (like banks), paying on a blockchain is as easy as clicking "send." No money transfer waiting periods or unnecessary third-party processing fees. Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies can be transferred (and recorded for auditing purposes) instantaneously across the world, increasing liquidity and efficiency in the markets.

Additionally, blockchain's smart contract system can halt payments when agreed terms are violated, while its use of cryptocurrencies can alleviate the regulatory red tape that often ensnares international payment processing. It can take days to clear traditional cross-border wire payments, which carry fees as high as 10%, noted one Credit Suisse study. American Express believes blockchain can solve this problem and "will support real-time domestic and cross-border payments at lower costs versus traditional services."

These nine companies are using blockchain to revolutionize the way we pay and transfer money all over the globe.  

 

blockchain applications payments airfox
Airfox

Airfox

Location: Boston

How it’s using blockchain in payments: Airfox is a decentralized platform that lets those in underbanked parts of the world make payments, receive small loans and send money all over the globe. The Ethereum-based platform uses the company’s AirToken to help facilitate peer-to-peer payments for utility bills, goods and services.

Industry Impact: Airfox struck a deal with Brazilian retail giant Via Varejo to deploy its digital banking and payment platform in its stores. Airfox plans to release an app in 2019 to bring its digital payment platform to Via Varejo’s 50 million customers.

 

blockchain applications payments circle
Circle

Circle

Location: Boston

How it’s using blockchain in payments: Circle Pay blockchain allows for the safe transfer of money between different individuals, currencies and countries. The Circle Pay function is available in 29 countries and in U.S. dollars, Euros and British Pounds. Each money transfer or payment is encrypted on a blockchain to ensure a safe transaction.

Industry Impact: The Circle Pay app acts as a group messaging app with a payment feature integrated within. In-between sending your friends selfies or memes, you can also transfer money cross-border and cross-currency without any fees.

 

blockchain applications payments zcash
Zcash

Zcash

Location: Denver

How it’s using blockchain in payments: Zcash is a cryptocurrency exchange platform using its own cryptocurrency (Zcash) to help people pay for goods and services. You can use the company’s crypto to buy a house, purchase electronics or even to donate to a nonprofit.  

Industry Impact: Zcash already boasts a wide list of companies that accept the crypto. Companies accepting the digital currency as payment are in industries like apparel, web services, medical, restaurants/coffee shops and nonprofit.  

 

blockchain applications payments ripple
Ripple

Ripple

Location: San Francisco

How it’s using blockchain in payments: Ripple’s blockchain lets users send money and make payments across the globe. The company’s RippleNet platform facilitates the quick transaction of payments and requires lower capital amounts for cross-border payments. The company boasts a network of more than 175 banks and commercial platforms that use RippleNet for cross-border payments.

Industry Impact: Payment provider TransferGo announced it was using Ripple’s RippleNet payment platform to launch a remittance corridor to India. With Ripple’s platform, TransferGo is hoping to speed up its Europe-to-India payment processing from 2 to 3 days to just a few seconds.

 

blockchain applications payments veem
Veem

Veem

Location: San Francisco

How it’s using blockchain in payments: Veem is a blockchain-backed payment platform for small businesses to send and receive money in local currency. The company’s ledger technology secures, tracks and reconciles payments, so small businesses have a transparent history of all incoming and outgoing payments.

Industry Impact: Veem has seen its blockchain-based payment transactions double from a year earlier. They now account for more than 62% of the company’s total transactions.

 

blockchain applications payments ivy
Ivy

Ivy

Location: Beverly Hills, Calif.

How it’s using blockchain in payments: Ivy is a blockchain-based technology for international crypto business payments that need verification. Businesses use the IVY token to facilitate the transfer of digital assets and access 74 identifiable know-your-customer (KYC) data points, which lets them receive transparent payments from carefully-vetted sources on the blockchain.

Industry Impact: Ivy recently announced a partnership with Goldfields Money, an Australian digital bank, to commercialize and spread the use of Ivy’s blockchain payment system to an international community.

 

blockchain applications payments gluwa
Gluwa

Gluwa

Location: San Francisco

How it’s using blockchain in payments: Gluwa uses blockchain for their borderless financial platform. The company combines a payment function with a digital wallet to help users manage and easily transfer money to people all over the world.

Industry Impact: Gluwa users can trade the company’s Gluwacoin for fiat currency at a 1:1 fixed rate. The stablecoin acts as a bridge between the crypto and fiat worlds due to its compatibility with real-world currencies.

 

blockchain applications payments stellar
Stellar

Stellar

Location: San Francisco

How it’s using blockchain in payments: Stellar’s blockchain payment platform fights poverty by connecting people and low-cost financial institutions. The Stellar network features lower remittance costs, mobile banking, real-time settlements (in 2-5 seconds) and an automatic currency exchange.  

Industry Impact: Consulting giant Deloitte uses Stellar to test out different payment methods for banking clients outside North America.

 

blockchain applications payments abra
Abra

Abra

Location: Mountain View, Calif.

How it’s using blockchain in payments: Abra’s peer-to-peer platform lets users transfer digital currencies to other users using blockchain. Abra users can fund their digital wallets with 50 different fiat currencies or more than 30 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Zcash, Augur and Stellar.   

Industry Impact: Residents in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), as well as European Union nations, can now transfer euros or other national currencies into their digital wallets on Abra.

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