When it comes to FinTech innovation, the market tends to think of the shiny new toys for consumers coming out of hubs like Silicon Valley. But why should B2C payments get all the fun?
One startup is pushing past the crowd and going big into the B2B payments world. CoinPip, based in Singapore, provides businesses with a way to transfer money to suppliers and business partners using blockchain technology. With an upgrade last year, the company extended that service across borders, fulfilling B2B payments throughout the region to nations including Indonesia, the Philippines, China and India, among others.
Without a minimum transaction value, CoinPip promises to get money landed across borders in another company’s or employee’s bank account within two days for a flat fee — without added costs, like forex. That’s an attractive proposition in any market, but in a recent interview with PYMNTS, CoinPip Cofounder and CEO Anson Zeall says Asia is in a position to lead the world in faster B2B payments technology.
“In today’s globalized world, the vendors are usually based in emerging markets, such as Southeast Asia, which is our starting point,” he said, adding that in much of these parts of the world, other services like Stripe and PayPal, don’t exist, and other alternatives, like prepaid cards for underbanked users, include unattractive fees.
[bctt tweet=”‘In today’s globalized world, vendors are usually based in emerging markets.'”]
Asia not only has the demand, but it also has the population eager to embrace such solutions, Zeall added. “The growth rates in Asia are astounding; the majority of the Southeast Asian workforce is very young, aged in the mid-to-late 20s,” he said. “If not Asia, then where?”
This millennial population, analysts have pointed out, is a driving force beyond the successes of some newer technologies. One of the biggest is blockchain, the technology on which CoinPip is built and transmits funds.
“The core advantage of using blockchain technology is the speed at which it transfers the digital asset from one entity to another,” Zeall explained. “How to price it, and normalize the price, is something that CoinPip has already solved, thus saving time and money for our clients.”
The CEO went on to explain that while funds are transferred using bitcoin, the CoinPip platform isn’t dependent on the cryptocurrency; the firm is experimenting with other types of digital currencies, which Zeall says are just as competitively priced as bitcoin is.
Still, corporations may not be totally convinced of the blockchain’s ability to safely and affordably disrupt the world’s entire payments ecosystem, as some have predicted. Regardless, said Zeall, CoinPip has harnessed the technology in a way that achieves these benefits in the B2B payments space.
“Different people see blockchain in different ways,” he explained. “At the end of the day, bitcoin is only seven years old. Someone once compared the transaction sizes of bitcoin and JPMorgan. Well, my response to that is: Bitcoin is seven years old, and JPMorgan is over 100.”
The underlying technology with which CoinPip operates remains relatively young, but Zeall said that a faster B2B payments solution is necessary to keep up with modern challenges that businesses face to pay their suppliers and employees.
“Our plan is to become the main payment service for enterprises, helping enterprises make cheap and fast payments to the Southeast Asia region,” he stated, citing future plans to expand across the continent. That section of the planet may be CoinPip’s stomping grounds, but that doesn’t mean Silicon Valley and other major tech hubs are left out of the picture.
In fact, in a statement last year, Zeall pointed to many of the company’s clients, tech startups that are based in — you guessed it — Silicon Valley and other innovation hubs, like Hong Kong. As entities with limited resources, many need to outsource to places like Asia, which is where the demand for fast, easy and affordable cross-border payments lives.
“The whole world is working as a global workforce,” Zeall told PYMNTS. “No longer do you have companies that just make use of local employees, vendors, contractors and so on.”
[bctt tweet=”‘Going global — no matter how big or small your company — is the megatrend.'”]
“To me,” he continued, “going global — no matter how big or small your company — is the megatrend.”