Today, Crypto Lists Limited will interview Ivan Ilin, the COO of NearPay, on bridging the fiat and crypto worlds.
Ivan was attending NearCon 2022 in Lisbon, a great crypto event with over 3000 visitors. The Near ecosystem is growing quickly and there is no doubt that many like to find appropriate payment solutions to buy Near and other tokens from the network.
One new cryptocurrency from Near has been especially popular the past month – Sweat Token. In order to buy cryptocurrencies like SWEAT, Aurora token and the native NEAR coin, you need a good exchange and often a payment solution to exchange fiat into crypto. That is where NearPay comes in, a payment provider for merchants, banks and payment service providers. Crypto Lists will ask Ivan Ilin, the Chief Operating Officer at NearPay, a few questions in order for visitors to understand their services.
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- 1 Can NearPay be used even if you don’t have a NEAR wallet?
- 2 How long has NearPay been around?
- 3 What was most complicated with the creation of NearPay?
- 4 Any deposit methods that you are keen to implement on NearPay?
- 5 Do you think UnionPay or Maestro will be accepted with NearPay soon?
- 6 How does NearPay differentiate from SenderWallet?
- 7 Which are the 3 most bought cryptocurrencies with NearPay?
- 8 Why should I get a NearPay Visa card?
- 9 Are there different reward levels? Lounge access or anything like that?
- 10 How fast can I buy or sell the NEAR coin with NearPay?
- 11 How many users do NearPay have today and what is the estimate for 2024?
- 12 From the merchant’s point of view. Why should they consider NearPay?
- 13 Do you accept all industries as a NearPay merchant?
- 14 Are there any well known NearPay whitelabel brands yet?
Can NearPay be used even if you don’t have a NEAR wallet?
There is no need for a third-party Near wallet to start using NearPay.co. The NearPay Wallet and cards are custodial services – we will create the wallet for you. Users can store, send, exchange, and buy crypto using NearPay’s web platform as well as a mobile app for iOS and Android. NearPay Cards enable users to pay with crypto anywhere Visa is accepted. In other words, you get a comprehensive on-ramp and off-ramp solution all in one place. There is also the NearPay widget that allows you to buy NEAR tokens or other coins.
Crypto Lists asks: With lots of payment and coin scams around, have you got any advice how people can be confident that the widget they are seeing/using is from NearPay?
Ivan replies: In fact, a great deal of scammers and fraudsters inhabit the crypto world, and that contributes to the barriers to mass adoption of crypto. However, the number of victims has decreased recently because users are becoming more aware of basic security lessons, like only using trusted service providers, etc. For our part, we only support proven tokens in our products, with each new one being rigorously risk-assessed. Users can therefore rest assured that they won’t find scam coins or tokens among our supported digital assets.
Crypto Lists says: That was not really an answer about the worries that people might feel when they find a random widget – where some might be fake, some might be real. I was mainly referring to scammers setting up “fake widgets”, trying to scam people. But I guess that NearPay did not have any problem with that yet..
How long has NearPay been around?
The NearPay project was launched in late 2021 by Kikimora Labs, a venture studio based in Lisbon. To bring the modern digital banking experience to crypto, NearPay rolled out virtual crypto cards and a wallet app in late July 2022. We’re also at the final stages of introducing physical debit cards.
What was most complicated with the creation of NearPay?
As a project in the NEAR community, we aimed to grow adoption of NEAR and contribute to a promising future for this protocol, which boasts incredible scalability, developer-friendliness, and security. In the end, we wanted to widen the audience for crypto adoption, so that newcomers would be attracted to it. This could be solved by offering fiat to crypto on-ramps with familiar digital banking experiences, which are easy to integrate and use. The most challenging part was to make this process as smooth as possible.
There are also limitations resulting from differing economic and legal regulations that affect both on-ramp and off-ramp services. NearPay cards are only available in the UK and EEA. Residents of other countries can only use the NearPay Wallet and widget to manage cryptocurrencies. Our current focus is on expanding the coverage to more countries, beginning with the United States and Asia.
Any deposit methods that you are keen to implement on NearPay?
Deposit methods include 18 of the most popular cryptocurrencies, and we plan to add NEAR-native stablecoin USN soon.
Also, you can deposit with fiat using Visa, Mastercard, Euro Bank transfers (SEPA), and GBP Bank transfers (Faster Payments) for deposits. Moreover, we’re in negotiations with other payment service providers to offer a larger geo coverage and better fees to our users.
Crypto Lists says: Great to hear. Customers always enjoy low fees for deposits.
Do you think UnionPay or Maestro will be accepted with NearPay soon?
How does NearPay differentiate from SenderWallet?
NearPay is a custodial wallet, as opposed to Sender Wallet. With NearPay, you can attach the card to your wallet, deposit and withdraw funds via a bank card and wire transfer – something you can’t do using Sender Wallet. Apart from not providing fiat options, Sender Wallet supports only NEAR-based tokens, contrary to NearPay, which offers dozens of most popular cryptocurrencies.
Moreover, it would be financially devastating if you lost the password to a non-custodial wallet, whereas access to custodial wallets can be restored easily. It is estimated that billions of dollars in cryptocurrency are currently inaccessible or lost, which might not have happened if those who owned these funds had trusted professionals with their crypto assets’ security. Aside from that, I find NearPay’s UX/UI interface to be more user-friendly than Sender Wallet’s. Taking it from start to finish is a breeze for a user; no complicated steps involved. Although I have nothing against Sender, I would still use NearPay even if I weren’t its COO.
Which are the 3 most bought cryptocurrencies with NearPay?
Users mostly use NEAR. However, the biggest cryptocurrencies, including BTC, Ether and stablecoins USDT, USDC, are also popular choices.
Why should I get a NearPay Visa card?
NEAR’s possibilities are endless, and crypto users are embracing it at an accelerated rate. With NearPay, NEAR ecosystem capabilities can be integrated into everyday use cases, expanding horizons beyond crypto. Up until recently, crypto-based payments for coffee, dinner, groceries, or utility bills were only seen as sci-fi fiction. NearPay Cards have made this reality.
Are there different reward levels? Lounge access or anything like that?
Currently, we don’t offer an incentive program, but we are considering implementing one soon that will include a staking feature, most likely by the end of the year.
How fast can I buy or sell the NEAR coin with NearPay?
In a matter of seconds. NEAR Protocol’s sharding mechanism enables NEAR to scale linearly with the number of shards, enabling millions of transactions per second and meeting the demands of the increasing number of users.
How many users do NearPay have today and what is the estimate for 2024?
In the past two months, our user base has grown by 35% to approximately 20,000. Our mobile app and other features enable us to reach even more users. We will update the widget soon, release physical cards, and add USN to the supported assets list. We will see an increase in our products’ popularity as more people learn about their usefulness and realize the benefits they provide. In light of NEAR’s rapid adoption and its goal of onboarding one billion users in the next five years as well as our plans for global expansion, we expect NearPay to reach 1 million users in 2024.
From the merchant’s point of view. Why should they consider NearPay?
NearPay provides merchants with its on-ramp service in the form of an embedded widget. Businesses can market to a wider audience with the fiat-to-crypto payment gateway. With an off-ramp solution for B2B customers to follow in the near future, the widget will bridge fiat and crypto worlds in both directions. The dashboard allows businesses to easily track payments, invoices, and more on an intuitive interface, while accepting cryptocurrency for all goods and services without transaction or setup fees.
Do you accept all industries as a NearPay merchant?
Any merchant willing to integrate NearPay is welcome, with the exception of those in the gambling, betting, or cannabis industries.
Crypto Lists says: How come you don’t accept crypto casinos? That is a huge market and there is regulation in place for many jurisdictions. But perhaps it’s too much compliance and risk involved?
Mr Ilin says: Yes, high-risk projects like casinos are not in line with our risk management policy, and may also conflict with our agreements with external contractors who provide us with business services like bank accounts, etc.
At NearPay, we focus on the mission of connecting crypto and fiat worlds without going too far in one or the other direction. Legally, regulatorily, and bank-wise, we remove barriers to mass crypto adoption to the extent possible. With our assistance, traditional businesses can enter the world of crypto, and we are going to help crypto projects manage their fiat finances in the near future. If we take on risky and shady projects, we won’t be able to achieve our goals.
Are there any well known NearPay whitelabel brands yet?
Not yet, but interest in NearPay is on the rise, so maybe we’ll see one soon.
Crypto Lists would like to thank Ivan Ilin from NearPay for taking the time and answering the questions. Good luck in 2022 and hope to see Near both here and there in the near future.