Bridging Crypto and Fiat Payments for Enterprises: Interview With Greg Waisman, COO of Mercuryo

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The existing global payments infrastructure does not meet the demands of modern enterprises. In essence, the growth potential of businesses around the world is often limited by archaic and excessively complex payments systems.

For this reason, many traditional businesses have started to turn to crypto payments in search of an alternative. Use cases of crypto as a payments option are growing in popularity. Today, we caught up with Mercuryo COO and Co-Founder Greg Waisman about the ongoing changes in the payments industry and the place that cryptocurrencies are taking in it.

Mercuryo is a worldwide payments network that provides businesses, from crypto firms to mainstream banks, with a crypto-powered toolbox of payment solutions available through a single integration. It employs cryptocurrencies as a mechanism for enabling next-generation cross-border transactions at low cost and with ease.

Q: As the Co-Founder and COO, what inspired you to start Mercuryo?

We came into the online payment industry in 2017, which coincided with the crypto boom. At that time, we discovered that no solid crypto/fiat gateway solutions were available on the market. They used Telegram chats as a quick fix to buy digital assets at that point. We had many business partners who were interested in figuring out how to let their customers buy crypto.

So, we seized the opportunity to develop a solution that would give businesses and their customers easy access to crypto. We envisioned the potential to bridge fiat and crypto worlds and bring them together as the strategy to transform Mercuryo as it is known today.

The previous professional experience in payments helped us quickly launch a product for cryptocurrencies. We began with the wallet solution, just to notice that there were infinite possibilities for crypto to grow in the B2B sector. Shortly after that, crypto-powered B2B solutions became our core business. We were quickly recognized by industry players and largest exchanges started to reach out to us to integrate our solutions.

Q: How does your company use crypto payments to provide a competitive advantage for enterprises?

Mercuryo has an overview of the market to offer personalised solutions according to the client’s needs. Since businesses worldwide need to conduct international payments in a timely manner and at low costs, we came up with cryptocurrencies as a way to implement next generation cross-border transfers. We built a solid blockchain-powered infrastructure for payments, to overcome the conventional methods known for having many limitations, such as high fees and slow transaction speed, among others.

At Mercuryo, we started to develop solutions where crypto and fiat both work together: fiat on-ramps (buy crypto with bank cards), fiat off-ramps (sell crypto and get paid with any cards), fiat in-and-out products to enable traditional payments for crypto companies, embedded solutions for crypto-related services for traditional fiat companies, support for fintech to provide a wide range of crypto/fiat services within the framework of a company’s interface, and more. Eventually, we designed a fully white-labeled Crypto as a Service (CaaS) as an easy plug-and-play solution for businesses looking to offer cryptocurrency services to their users. And Mercuryo is always working to offer more services, such as IBANs, bank cards, and much more to come.

Q: Can you give us some examples of businesses that have benefited from using Mercuryo’s services?

Crypto assets empower global money transfers, mass payouts, ease acquiring services, and so on. Mercuryo has already partnered with banks to release crypto related services for their customers.

We work closely with clients such as 1inch, Trezor, Binance, Trust Wallet, just to name a few, to carefully identify their needs and solve them. For example, thanks to Mercuryo, 1inch – the biggest DEX aggregator – became the first-ever DeFi project to offer an easy fiat gateway to their end users.

Q: What are the benefits of using crypto payments compared to traditional methods like credit cards or PayPal?

In the digital era, payments must be fast and efficient. Cryptocurrencies undoubtedly have what it takes to challenge the current state of global business payments. For instance, a crypto-powered cross-border payment takes minutes to clear, sometimes even seconds, while existing traditional payments can take several days of clearance, not to mention the high fees. Using crypto assets as a tool for global finance could simplify local and international payments and make them more secure.

We could even implement pre-fixed conditions to automated payments and use smart contracts as an alternative to build functionalities for crypto transactions. Let me give you an example: some companies are now looking to pay wages to their employees in cryptocurrency. They can set up smart contracts that will automatically wire wages to employees at the set time of the month or, in the case of task-based payment, upon the completion of a number of pre-approved tasks.

At Mercuryo, we believe the true purpose of crypto is to revolutionize finance and payments. That is the future we are working towards.

Q: How does Mercuryo differ from other crypto payment processors as a global crypto payment network?

We have a long history in the payment industry that gave us the competencies to create a unique service for Mercuryo. There are less than ten companies in the world offering similar solutions. It [crypto-based payment] is a segment that requires a sufficient payment experience, legal bindings, and a huge partnership network that we have been assembling over the past 15 years. Achieving decent global conversion is hard and time-consuming work, and we’ve been doing it for quite some time now.

Also, we were aware of the fraud risks that could come with the acquisition of crypto with bank cards and have developed our own anti-fraud system. Today, it is a state-of-the-art security system and the foundation upon which we’re building other services. It analyzes more than 200 parameters online, including blockchain data for every transaction.

Q: How easy is it for businesses to start using Mercuryo’s services?

We ease the entrance of conventional business into the crypto universe. Mercuryo offers several conveniences of blockchain and crypto to banks, neobanks, online platforms, streaming services, among others.

Mercuryo is a problem solver for clients and supports them in all aspects such as obtaining licences, onboarding clients, conducting KYC processes, transactions’ monitoring, crypto custody, and so on. We’re working on a modular solution for fiat and crypto businesses alike, where it is possible to integrate only the products and services required via API.

Q: What are your thoughts on the future of crypto payments?

In the next few years, some countries are likely to start issuing their own CDBCs. When digital currencies achieve a certain level of adoption, a single banking app will be able to grant access to CBDCs, crypto and fiat currencies. And when this happens, the crypto revolution will reach its peak.

2022 will be the year when major corporations embrace stablecoins. Visa already announced the support of transactions in USDC on its payments network and soon will broaden operations further.

Digital currencies are here to stay, so we are expecting the introduction of the first embedded crypto solutions for fiat companies. A few projects that connect crypto and fiat are already happening, but the winds are shifting toward key crypto-centric innovations.

Q: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced with Mercuryo?

At the beginning of Mercuryo, crypto was more controversial than it is today. There is one episode when we presented the company’s solutions for crypto payments to a card acquiring company. They have only agreed to adopt the solution if the percentage would be around 4%. However, we knew the average charge for any other project was 2.5%, so when questioned about this huge gap, they sustained it on the risks of crypto.

We still face similar challenges and it is somewhat tough to find partners for crypto projects. Even the banks that are interested in the idea don’t know yet how to integrate crypto into their strategies.

With regulators worldwide turning their eyes on crypto, it is essential to comply with them to advance in this industry. For us, it’s good news, since we were always focused on compliance. We are meticulous about getting necessary local licences, running KYC processes for all transactions integrated through our platforms, monitoring legal agenda daily, and communicating with local authorities to always stay up-to-date.

Given that you have operations in Brazil and the United States, are you considering expanding into additional areas such as Europe and Latin America?

We have been in the USA for 2 years now and we aim to expand our presence there. Europe was our first operational region, and last year, we opened physical offices in London and Riga. We also entered the Brazilian market as a strategy to expand further in Latin America. The largest country of the region is leading the trend of fintech usage in Latam, which is expected to surpass 380 million users by 2025.

Our prospect is to open ten more regional offices this year, including Africa, South America and Asia. We aim to connect these strategic areas for a unified global payments system.

Q: What do you anticipate the future holds for Mercuryo and its services? Additionally, what steps will the company take to confront any difficulties that may come your way?

Following our strategies, we expect to grow Mercuryo’s team to over 300 people and to reach a valuation of more than $1 billion. Our everlasting focus is to upgrade existing solutions, add more local payment methods, and launch new products – IBAN, bank cards, crypto SAAS for banks – according to the market’s needs.

The growth potential for crypto products is enormous. In 2021, we conducted a survey of half-a-thousand senior financial decision-makers in the UK, and 68% of them admit the need for greater payment innovation. Moreover, more than half of the respondents realize that using crypto will give them a competitive edge, especially when regulations become clearer. We’ve got no doubts Mercuryo is moving in the right direction.

Bottom Line

The current worldwide payments system does not satisfy the demands of today’s businesses. As a result, Mercuryo seized the chance to create a solution that would give consumers and companies access to cryptocurrency. Mercuryo has collaborated with banks to provide their clients with crypto-related services on a global scale.

The goal of the Mercuryo initiative, according to its website, is to “revolutionize finance and payments.” With crypto use on the rise and CBDCs becoming more prevalent, Greg Waisman has indicated that the company aims to develop further, opening ten new regional offices this year, including Africa, South America, and Asia. The aim is to link these key regions for a global payment system.

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