Ask Me Anything with AtPay at ICO Speaks: Summary
December 12-th held an Ask Me Anything session at ICO Speaks telegram chat. From AtPay there was:
Before we go to the first set of questions, could you please do a short self-intro?
👨💻 Omar Diab – Founder | @Omardiaboz
Hello everyone my name is Omar and I am founder of @Pay my background is in financial markets specifically derivatives trading and initially moved into the crypto world to trade the coins. That’s how I became involved in the space.=
👨💻 Adam Mazzaferro | Founder, CEO & General Counsel | @amazza78
I am Adam Mazzaferro – Founder, CEO and General Counsel of @Pay. I have over 20 years experience as a corporate lawyer specialising in the areas of M&A, private equity, financial services and corporate governance. Omar and I have known each other both professionally and socially for over 20 years.
Let’s get started!
Q: Each project has interesting stories before it is created. So can you tell people about the story that gave you the motivation to build and develop a great project like yours?
A: In Australia over the last five years BNPL has really taken off and has been driven by a couple of major local players, Afterpay which was recently acquired by Square and Zippay. Our investment backgrounds meant we had been following this space closely for a while and our involvement in the Blockchain and Crypto area is where the connection and inspiration to explore the opportunity was born. This was followed up with extensive research into the BNPL market, the main players, the underlying mechanisms driving its growth and potential future developments. All of these factors when considered in light of developments in the DEFI world supported a case for creating @Pay utilising a comprehensive smart contract framework and integrating on a minimum of two blockchains. There were definitely a great deal of drawings on the back of napkins in cafes around Sydney as we delved deeper the concept and the methodology evolved.
Q: Partnership is one of the most important aspects of a project’s success. So, do you plan to collaborate on large programs in the near future?
A: Since we have gone public with our whitepaper and featured in articles delving into our innovative protocol we have experienced significant interest from a variety of parties that span across, financial institutions, investment funds, NFT platforms, other crypto platforms as well as existing BNPL platforms. The interest has come from different regions globally and much of it is driven by the underlying growth and forecast growth of BNPL as a payment option. This is also driven by data which indicates that younger demographics in particular are aggressively using these payment options instead of credit cards. Our strategy understands the importance of making strategic partnerships that compliment the underlying growth and support of the @Pay protocol and are in keeping with our philosophy of innovation and decentralisation. We have already commenced discussions with different parties around the World and hope to formalise and announce some of these partnerships in the not too distant future.
Q: Can you list 1-3 killer features of this project that makes it ahead of its competitors? What is the competitive advantage your project has that you feel most confident about?
A: @Pay is essentially a Buy Now Pay Later DEFI protocol built on two blockchains. It will connect shoppers with the provision of short term credit where they can make repayments in structured instalments over three months and to get rewarded with the @Pay governance token when they complete repayments. @Pay takes the developing interest in BNPL and creates an ecosystem of lenders, merchants and shoppers who all participate in the benefits and value that is accrued as the protocol grows. Building on blockchains enables efficiencies provided through a comprehensive smart contract framework that otherwise would not be available to the existing players in this space.
@Pay is the first Buy Now Pay Later platform integrating cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. @Pay offers its clients a unique ecosystem, which makes it stand out among its competitors. Some of its features include:
Buy Now Pay Later
The platform allows shoppers to buy whatever products they like with the option of paying later without being charged any interest or late fees. The repayment is split into four parts payable over three months for purchases made both online and in-store.
However, @Pay charges users a $6 account keeping and administration fee every month until the full payment is made.
Crypto Payment Options
@Pay customers can shop and pay for products and services with any approved crypto asset via their @Pay wallet.
This feature allows crypto holders to utilize their digital assets in their everyday shopping activities, thus driving the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. Payments can also be made using Fiat currency.
@Pay Reward Program
@Pay provides a reward program that ensures all contributors to the platform derive maximum benefit. The platform gives users @Pay governance tokens when they promptly complete their repayments.
The @Pay governance tokens can be used in a variety of ways, such as buying into a higher credit limit, serving as a currency to purchase products and services from merchants on the platform, and being able to vote on certain outcomes that can shape the future of the @Pay ecosystem.
Users can also stake their crypto assets, such as Bitcoin, with @Pay, and earn rewards on the amount staked. This reward program ensures that users get to earn while having a thrilling shopping experience.
Access to Global eCommerce Markets
@Pay users also enjoy the benefit of shopping from thousands of online and offline stores via the platform. Customers can choose from the wide variety of stores provided by the platform to make their purchases. Customers
This group of users on the @Pay platform can participate in different activities, including:
Shop and Earn Rewards
Using @Pay, verified customers can purchase both online and in-store from any of the approved merchants on the platform.
At the checkout point, consumers have the option of paying with fiat, crypto in their @Pay wallets, or the BNPL feature.
They receive rewards in the form of @Pay tokens when they complete repayments, which can also be used for later purchases or gain access to higher purchasing limits.
Users can stake any approved cryptocurrency using the @Pay platform to earn a yield over a selected period. They can also receive @Pay tokens as bonuses and will be able to hold, stake, or transfer their crypto assets using the @Pay wallet.
Merchants can use the @Pay platform to grow and expand their businesses and for other activities, which include:
@Pay gives merchants an allocation of @Pay tokens, which they can use to incentivize their customers via promotions and other marketing campaigns.
Merchants can also use their allocated @Pay tokens to vote on initiatives that will shape the future of the platform.
@Pay allows merchants to access the $2.2 trillion and growing currency class, taking shopping solutions into the digital future.
Q: How is development going? Can you describe in detail the current development efforts, the market expansion plans, the expected applications and when they will be commercially available?
A: @Pay aims to commence Beta testing of its App in February 2022 with the view to a formal release in March 2022. The primary markets for initial release are Australia and New Zealand. However, we are currently in discussions to give us the ability to launch in the USA, Canada, the UK, many European Union countries and India from March/April 2022. In addition to these territories we also have Vietnam, Singapore and the GCC region on our target list. This is primarily on the back of considerable interest in @Pay coming from these territories.
Our plans for @Pay throughout 2022, more importantly the first quarter will see us focussing on these key areas: 1. complete the integration of Solana and Algorand into the @Pay platform; 2. Continue to develop and build strategic partnerships, particularly in the digital realm where we believe there is a natural fit between @Pay and platforms in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Our intention is to introduce @Pay as a payment gateway on platforms such as NFT marketplaces and online gaming in addition to the traditional retail and ecommerce spaces; and 3. As previously mentioned we have begun development of the API which is a strategic interface for other BNPL platforms and brands.
Q: What is your strongest advantage that you think will make your team leading the market?
A: As we have already highlighted there are many features of the @Pay platform which set us apart from any other BNPL platform in the market and this has been demonstrated by the significant amount of interest we have received in such a short period of time. However, if I had to identify our strongest advantage it would have to be being built on the blockchain.
It is important to note that none of the world’s big three standalone BNPL firms are currently making a profit. A comprehensive smart contract framework built on fast and cost-effective blockchains is the only way a provider can scale and turn a profit. @Pay is being built on the Algorand and Solana blockchains which are emerging as the main global standards for speed and security. It is clear BNPL as a standalone business is probably not viable based on current figures published by the main companies. While the lack of regulation has helped BNPL firms grow rapidly and keep costs down, it is inevitable this will change as has been seen as recently as this week with the Australian Government announcing it is considering measures to formally regulate the BNPL space. In developing @Pay we have always factored in some form of Government regulation coming into play. Combine greater regulation with a rise in the cost of funding and traditional BNPL firms are set for more pain, this is why we have been developing a new approach which we see as the only alternative. Using blockchain also means the provider of the service is able to run the business at a lower cost and potentially achieve profitability much faster. It opens the door to the platform becoming a so-called super app where users can transact a range of products and services within an ecosystem where they are rewarded. It also means users can use a blockchain-powered service without incurring interest or late fees. These powerful new protocols empower prudent financial practices by rewarding users who successfully repay purchases. Being DeFi-based means significant cost savings to traditional BNPL products, a robust ecosystem for shoppers and merchants, all within an ecosystem rewarding financial responsibility.
Q: Is Your platform suitable for crypto beginners? Or does it only limited to professional users?
A: No, @Pay is suitable for anyone to use and you don’t need to have a deep understanding of cryptocurrency. It is important to note that the @Pay platform also allows for Fiat currency to be used whether it be to pay merchants or to repay the credit that has been advanced to a user.
In designing the @Pay protocol we wanted to cater to all sorts of users and participants in the ecosystem and to introduce functionality which is derived from our vision of how the underlying general digital realm is evolving. This takes into account the ongoing adoption of digital currencies and the growth of this space globally. It has also taken into account the increased interest and involvement of corporate and institutional bodies and what that may mean for the future of e-commerce. As a result our development of the @Pay protocol itself caters to all of these in some way through it’s features. For example if one wanted to stake an approved stable coin in the protocol they can do it directly through the app or they can do it through an interface connecting their own wallet directly to the protocol, in the same way that they would with a DEX. Another feature is that the protocol will have the ability to make payments to merchants in either digital currency (stable coin) or in fiat, giving shoppers the flexibility to use merchants who do not accept payment in digital currency. Approved BNPL shoppers will also be able to make scheduled repayments in approved digital currencies and this will go beyond the stable coins. This is achieved through a debit authority that will allow the protocol to debit the integrated @Pay digital wallet on the scheduled dates for the required amounts, all driven by our smart contract framework.
Further, are purposely marketing @Pay to not just be a crypto/blockchain platform, but one that is suitable for the wider community to use and enjoy.
Q: Trust is very important in business, what makes investors, customers and users feel safe when working with your project?
Trust in a project is very important and it is evident we have something very special with @Pay. However, what is even more important is trust in the people behind the project. People want to know that those behind the project have the experience and capabilities to deliver a quality project. I have around 20 years corporate law experience practising in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private equity and financial services. Omar has a background in financial markets, specifically trading derivatives and sales with around 25 years experience in that area. We have both also been involved in various businesses over the years, so these experiences hold us in good stead to develop a project such as @Pay. Additionally, @Pay has approximately 20 people working on the project. This comprises a corporate team focussed on governance, legal, strategy and partnerships. Then we have our internal marketing team who look after and drive our design, marketing, PR and influencer strategies. Finally and importantly we have our tech development team building both the front end and back end aspects of the APP and they are working closely with the tech and engineering teams of Solana and Algorand. As @Pay has global appeal and not just in the crypto/blockchain space, we are taking a 360 degree approach with our marketing and PR activities. It is for this reason, we have engaged the services of Influx which is a North American Influencer and PR agency, then we have Luna PR who are regarded as one of the premier marketing and PR agencies in the crypto and FinTech space. We have also engaged a Sydney based PR agency to work alongside Luna PR in attacking the mainstream media on a global scale. We believe our corporate background and experiences together with the team we have assembled will provide investors, customers and users with the necessary confidence to work with our team and trust in the project generally.
Q: Do token holders have the right to participate in the governance of the project? What kind of decisions can they vote on about the project? How do you keep yourself motivated for more developments and non-stop work in this Covid-19 pandemic?
A: The @Pay governance token plays a few roles within our ecosystem. Predominantly it plays a governance function over the protocol. This will allow holders to propose initiatives and to vote on these initiatives which may shape the future direction of @Pay. Beyond the governance function the @Pay protocol also allows for the rewarding of the different participants in the ecosystem, for example the stable coin stakers who provide the lending function will be able to farm the governance token as an extra reward for staking their stable coins. Shoppers who use @Pay to make purchases are rewarded with these tokens when they complete their repayments on time and merchants are also rewarded when transactions are made in their store. Shoppers will be able to either stake their @pay governance tokens or burn them to access higher lending limits. All holders will be able to stake their @Pay governance tokens and participate in APY’s generated from the underlying revenue pools the protocol generates.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has been a dark period in our history over the last 2 years, it has actually resulted in an increase in e-commerce activity, and more people becoming interested in blockchain and cryptocurrency. We are motivated to see @Pay succeed as we believe in the platform and what it has to offer. We have taken great confidence from the significant interest shown for AtPay over the last couple of months and this has only increased our appetite in wanting to see AtPay succeed.
Q: Does your project support staking programs? if yes. How does your stake system work? What is the requirement for users if they want to stake in your platform? Do you have a Token Burning plan to increase Token value and attract Investors to invest?
Yes, @Pay will have its own staking program. @Pay seeks to create an environment where all participants in the ecosystem benefit from the creation of a protocol that aims to efficiently allocate staked funds through an e-commerce solution. The democratization of the @Pay platform is born out of the distribution of the AtPay Governance token across all participants in the @Pay ecosystem.
It all starts with the staking of stable coins. These are what will fund the BNPL extension of funds to users. Stakers will earn a variable yield and will be issued with the @Pay yield token which accrues the yield annually and will be listed. Holders of the @Pay yield token capture the yield via the token appreciation over the staking period.
The stable coins will form a lending pool which will then be used to facilitate e-commerce or in-store transactions to approved users through a BNPL process.
The payment gateway will be able to process payments directly from the pool of stable coins or through a fiat conversion interface depending on the preference of the merchant.
Q: According to the roadmap, what is your most important next priority? Do you have enough funds and a strong community to achieve the goal?
Given the corporate backgrounds of both Adam and Omar they have been able to do much of the work themselves to bring the project where it is today. In saying that we are fortunate to be fully funded through development and post launch of the App. However, as many would know you never stop fundraising in the tech start-up world. We will be holding a small and limited pre-sale before we list. We have not finalised the details of the pre-sale but all announcements around our pre-sale will be shared across our social media accounts. Our plans for AtPay throughout 2022, more importantly the first quarter will see us focussing on these key areas: 1. complete the integration of Solana and Algorand into the AtPay platform; 2. Continue to develop and build strategic partnerships, particularly in the digital realm where we believe there is a natural fit between AtPay and platforms in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Our intention is to introduce AtPay as a payment gateway on platforms such as NFT marketplaces and online gaming in addition to the traditional retail and ecommerce spaces; and 3. As previously mentioned we have begun development of the API which is a strategic interface for other BNPL platforms and brands to engage what will be available from late March 2022. This feature of AtPay has received considerable interest. Further, we have commenced the listing process with the view to list on 3 to 4 major exchanges towards the end of March.
Q:What are your plans for spreading your project around the world? What steps have you taken for this ?? I think that’s why you can use social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. What do you think ??
A: Thanks for the question. As we have already mentioned this is a global project and therefore we have marketing and AtPay PR teams based out of North America, Dubai and here in Sydney. This is in addition to our internal marketing team. We are also looking at various strategic partnerships in which we can integrate AtPay and have already commenced these discussions. We are also currently looking at sponsorship opportunities in World sport, in particular in Rugby and European Football. Since we have commenced marketing the project the last couple of months we have received significant interest in the project from all around the World.
Q: How does project increase the token’s value, liquidity and utility ? So that it can lead to an increase in token prices? What is your plan to make your project stable and provide the highest return for investors in the long term?
A: We have anticipated delivering intrinsic value to our token holders through the revenue channels that are open to the project. AtPay commissions from merchants and account fees as well as advertisers are the main sources of revenue. Every BNPL transaction will contribute to the revenue pool and when the current supply of tokens reserved for rewards is fully allocated the protocol will mint more as is required by underlying transactions being executed. So there is no dilutive aspect to the token creation. Any tokens that are swapped as opposed to staked for higher credit limits are burned. And through the API any transactions that flow to the AtPay protocol are value accretive as there is no requirement to mint tokens to platforms that partner up in that way.
Q: Currently a lot of people are looking at NFTs, metaverse, and games. Can you tell me what advantages will you have in this field future?
A: AtPay users won’t be able to create NFTs for AtPay, but they will be able to use AtPay to purchase NFTs. We see significant opportunity for AtPay to be a payment gateway for NFT marketplaces and online gaming platforms. We have already commenced discussions in this space to create collaborative partnerships and for AtPay to be available on these platforms.
Q: Is your project only for English speaking countries or is there a community for other language users?
A: Our aim for @Pay is to deliver it globally. atpay initially we may launch in our local market where we have significant BNPL users our aim is to accelerate our global exposure quickly. The beauty of our API is that it will enable us to enter other markets earlier than might otherwise have been possible. This is because we will give other platforms and brands the opportunity to access the transactional execution benefits of @Pay. Beyond that any one who holds an approved stable coin can participate in our staking and farming features.
Q:Do you guys feel satisfied by seeing your progresses and achievements till now, when you look back to the day when you have started this project?
A: Yes we do, however you can always strive to do better. We first thought of @Pay in August 2020 and only commenced marketing the project 2 or so months ago and to see the amount of interest it has generated around the World and the calibre of parties that have approached us wanting to either collaborate or partner with us is very satisfying. However, it is still early days and there is still a long way to go and plenty of work to do
ICOSpeaks hosted an AMA Session with the AtPay Team. That’s all for today.
Thanks to all users who participated.
Thanks, AtPay for being with us
Thanks, all and see you soon😉
Wanna know more?
Take a look at our other ama sessions here