SINGAPORE, June 2021 – Over the last decade, payments have been transforming rapidly. From real-time cross-border payments to Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, the Libra and Diem of Facebook. And the recent emergence of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) and stable coins have made traditional banks rethink their business models making consumers wonder what all the fuss is about.
But will crypto take over cash, especially after the difficulties with sending, receiving and using cash during the pandemic? Will it drift into a more speculative asset class with investment through trading, or will we see the pendulum swinging back to mainstream payments? Can we finally say today’s Blockchain is competing with the traditional bank in terms of high speed and lightning-fast scalable transactions?
Anish Jain, Managing Director and CEO of WadzPay, shares his insight at Virtual Fintech Forum panel, with the theme of “Future of Banking Payments: Role of Blockchain and Crypto”; the panel was moderated by Helene Panzarino, Fintech and Community Outreach Lead, Vacuumlabs.
Blockchain Maturity and The Readiness for Mainstream Environment?
The session kicked off with whether Blockchain is mature enough and ready in the mainstream environment. Anish stated that most Blockchain engineers today are looking at a much more hybrid model.
He thinks Blockchain is trying to fill a particular part that the traditional system has failed to address because they are clunky or there are several mediators involved, and it makes the end payment very expensive.
Blockchain is also trying to bring that society (the unbanked/underbanked) that currently does not have access to banking themselves into the financial ecosystem using Blockchain and then uses those examples to change or affect the traditional payment ecosystem.
It does this by bringing the unbanked population into the mainstream, which is still running on the other legacy system with hybrid solutions, similar to what is happening with electric cars. Many blockchain initial use cases are from a consumer perspective.
Imagine if all the blockchain features can embed into smart money, building smart contracts into smart money, creating all kinds of potential social goods. Another use case is for disaster/relief funds: Blockchain allows for a tailor-made offering with speedy cash-less relief and the ability to ensure that the relief funding goes to the right people, for the right purposes.
The Rise of CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currencies) and Its Impact on Existing Payment System
According to Anish, CBDC will still benefit people for improvements in welfare distribution, loan disbursements, and security. Governments and central banks favour CBDCs due to their benefits, convenience, cost-savings and also surveillance. However, many sections of the general public will still prefer alternative solutions.
What will Blockchain, Crypto and Payments look like in the next three years?
Anish expects that payments, settlements and transfers will be significantly faster and near-instant in the near future, compared to the three days settlements can take in today’s world.
About Anish Jain
Anish Jain is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at WadzPay. He has over 15 years of extensive experience working at Senior Positions with two of the top payment companies in the world – Mastercard and American Express
With the vast experience and in-depth knowledge that Anish holds in the payments industry, WadzPay was conceptualised, an interoperability layer for all existing and future payment systems, including CBDC.
He has made full use of his expertise and combined it with the power of Blockchain to deliver a truly unique solution that is set to change the face of digital payments for generations to come.
The hub and spoke architecture would reduce multiple payment layers making it efficient, scalable and sustainable while providing optionality.
WadzPay is building an interoperable and agnostic blockchain-based payments ecosystem. The company was founded in 2018 in Singapore and is currently operating in South East Asia, South Asia, Middle East and Africa. WadzPay saw the potential for CBDC and Digital Assets leading the next revolution in the payments industry: by enabling faster payments, improvements in security, cost efficiency with optionality. WadzPay is working with large international payment companies, banks and other large global companies to enable digital asset-based transaction processing and settlement.