Into 2019 and Beyond: Renewed PumaPay Vision and Roadmap
PumaPay CEO Yoav Dror shares his take on the new vision for PumaPay as the next generation payment system that will satisfy the needs of businesses and individuals alike. While sharing the current state of development of the project, Yoav Dror shares the innovative steps in development that the PumaPay team has set out for this year, along with a detailed Roadmap. In 2019, we intend to complete the development of our innovative payment system, aiming to close the crypto loop and counter the crypto space volatility, thus making crypto billing a viable and secure option for businesses worldwide.
PumaPay has come a long way since last year, and our initial vision has grown and deepened. As CEO, I am excited to share our updated vision with you. This article is a result of an in-depth analysis, planning, development, experience and feedback we have accumulated over the past months. Today, I will outline our updated vision for a blockchain-based payment system. In the second part of the article, I will discuss the improvements and additions we have made to the PumaPay infrastructure to align it with this vision. Last but not least, I will share our current estimation for milestones and deliverables.
Ultimate Vision of a Modern Payment System
To plan and build the system we want, we had to become dreamers and envision a system from scratch, based on modern technology, instead of taking existing solutions and trying to bend them to current needs.
At PumaPay, we deeply believe in the promise of blockchain technology and that cryptocurrencies are the future. The perfect payment system should definitely be decentralized, secure, and give users the control and convenience they need. Ultimately, our vision for a payment system is a comprehensive end-to-end system that will be able to deliver the blockchain’s benefits to any individual or business with ultimate simplicity and ease of use.
What does this mean?
As product developers, we have to look at multiple aspects of building a perfect payment solution for individuals. From a user’s perspective, the solution should be super-simple and intuitive to use but also feature-rich, powerful and sophisticated under the hood. It should give users ultimate control over their assets and provide maximum security.
The user app should have three major functionalities: obtain cryptos, enable the exchange of cryptos, spend cryptos. It should support any existing or future cryptocurrency without limiting the customer to any particular asset.
To ensure widespread adoption by businesses, the payment solution should limit or totally eliminate the risks associated with cryptocurrency volatility and lack of liquidity. Essentially it should allow businesses to receive funds in fiat directly to their bank account, if they choose to do so, without having to deal with exchanges and brokers or worry about price fluctuation.
In addition, such a payment system should include a flexible API as well as plugins to enable integration with popular e-commerce systems. On top of that, it should also support POS software/add-ons to allow offline businesses to use it as well.
A robust solution that will satisfy the crypto billing needs of a modern business should allow the creation of various billing models (price plans) with unlimited flexibility to adapt to any existing or future business logic. It should also include tools to monitor and manage their performance. The integration should be simple and fast. Aside from easy integration and setup, it should not limit businesses to a single cryptocurrency. Instead, it should allow them to accept any crypto.
In light of the regulatory landscape governing payments, such a system should implement the latest compliance and risk checks on all participants. In this respect, we envision a system that is capable of having all its participants verified through the KYC process (subject to policy parameters). Furthermore, the system should be able to trace token flow and prevent tainting wallets with funds from blacklisted sources.
PumaPay: Current State of Development
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at what we have already achieved and where we’re heading next:
Advanced Billing Models
PumaPay already supports several advanced billing models that enable flexible payments previously possible only with credit cards:
- Single PullPayment – simple one-time cryptocurrency payments through the PullPayment protocol. Perfect for everyday transactions. Unlike regular ‘push’ transactions, using a PullPayment, transfers the costs of the transaction to the business, similar to credit cards.
- Simple Subscription – recurring payments, such as subscriptions to online media, software, or any other recurring payments with a fixed amount over a fixed period of time.
- Subscription with a free-trial period – free trial followed by recurring billing. Perfect for almost any SAAS and other online service providers.
- Subscription with a paid-trial period – single payment followed by recurring billing. A very common payment scheme for online services such as dating sites or adult-entertainment.
Here is a sneak-peak of two more advanced billing models we are currently considering:
- Top-up – Automated payments triggered when an account balance reaches a predefined threshold. Perfect for prepaid mobile accounts, gaming credits, trading accounts, etc.
- Utility payment – Convenient payments for recurring bills with variable amounts, such as water, electricity and other monthly utility bills.
These billing models are somewhat challenging to develop and our engineers are looking for ways to make them a reality.
PumaPay Cryptocurrency Wallet App
We have already released our mobile wallet app, both for Android and iOS. It currently supports BTC, ETH, PMA and all ERC20 tokens. In the coming months, we plan to add support for more popular cryptocurrencies (i.e. ADA, XRP, LTC, BCH etc). We intend to continue adding support for more coins and tokens in the future.
Needless to say, the PumaPay Cryptocurrency Wallet supports our Advanced Billing Models. Currently it supports crypto-based subscription plans, where users can manage all aspects of their subscriptions within the wallet. It includes viewing all associated transactions, as well as being able to cancel a subscription directly at any point, without the need to contact banks or merchants.
Thanks to our integration with Changelly, the PumaPay Wallet provides users seamless access to third-party crypto conversion.
During Q1 2019, we also hope to add a feature that will facilitate purchasing cryptos within the wallet with a credit card.
The team is also working on rewriting the wallet as a native app, which will bring significant improvement in performance and user experience. We expect this to be finalized during Q2 2019.
As we work on additional Advanced Billing Models, all of them will be supported by the Wallet as soon as they go live.
Our wallet app is developed to the highest security standards and has already passed a vulnerability assessment. We intend to continue testing it in order to make it as secure as possible.
All of these features bring us closer to our vision for the PumaPay Cryptocurrency Wallet App. Later this year, we intend to add the ability to pay via our Advanced Billing Models, using any crypto. This will release the user from having to purchase and keep a stock of PMA tokens in order to meet their future obligations. The users will be able to incorporate some logic as to how to utilize their crypto-assets. For example, they will be able to keep balances of BTC, ETH and LTC and decide that Subscriptions will first use the LTC balance and only in case this is depleted, use BTC.
That said, the PMA token will remain the ONLY means of value transfer over the PumaPay protocol. In case users choose to use other crypto currencies, our PumaPay Wallet will be authorized to automatically convert such cryptos to PMA tokens whenever a payment is due.
Lastly, we are also looking for ways to allow customers to manage their fiat assets from within the wallet. This upgrade, should we decide to do it, might have the potential to make the PumaPay Cruptocurrency Wallet the one and only payment tool users need in their day-to-day life. This development is subject to regulatory constraints and we are pursuing the best way to achieve this functionality.
We continue improving our wallet API, which was released in late 2018. This tool allows third party wallets to integrate the functionality of PumaPay’s PullPayments into their offering, thus enabling millions of users to enjoy PumaPay’s Advanced Billing Models in their familiar wallet environments.
In the White Paper, we described a ‘PullContract Wizard’ that will allow the creation and deployment of parameterized PullContracts. Along the way, we realized that such a Wizard is only one tool from a set of instruments required by businesses in order to make real use of our protocol. Therefore, we decided to expand and enhance it by creating the Business Console. Not only will the Business Console allow businesses to create PullContracts, but it will also manage their payments, gas fees and subscriptions.
Integrated with our promotional tool, PumaPay Pride, the Business Console will allow businesses to run campaigns and promotions directly into customers’ wallets, as well as expand their customer base by reaching more crypto holders worldwide.
This new approach of launching the centrally managed Business Console will also allow us to free businesses from the need to set up a server on their end, thus expanding our reach to businesses and merchants who do not have the technical capabilities to do so. This change will practically eliminate the integration process, and streamline the registration process, making it much easier for businesses to adopt our solution. In the beginning, the Business Console will be a managed service, where we will run the service and post transactions to the blockchain. In the future, we plan to decentralize the process using a Processing Layer.
In the next stage, we intend to move to a more decentralized solution where the transactions will be processed by a network of PumaPay Processor Nodes, that will compete to win the right to process these transactions. We intend to incorporate a proof-of-stake algorithm to assign transactions to processors, where the ‘stake’ is correlated with the amount of PMA tokens these nodes possess. Such nodes will be incentivized by fees paid by the businesses for certain types of transactions. This decentralization of the processing layer will also tackle the potential problem of a single-point-of-failure.
To ensure wide adoption of the cryptobilling system by businesses, the cardinal issues of volatility and liquidity must be tackled. Both of these are probably the biggest barriers preventing businesses from accepting cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.
The issues of volatility and liquidity are potentially best addressed by enabling fiat settlement directly into the business’ bank account. PumaPay is closely cooperating with a 3rd party company that is developing a Fiat Settlement Layer. Once developed, it will be integrated with the PumaPay Protocol as a 3rd Party Extension Service to allow businesses to accept cryptopayments from customers, while receiving settlement in fiat directly to their bank account. It is envisioned to work in such a way that the businesses will have zero exposure to crypto volatility while enjoying 100% liquidity.
Such settlement layer, together with the new capability of our wallet to use any cryptocurrency for our Billing Models will allow businesses to literally accept ANY crypto currency as a payment, while having it settled as fiat, thus eliminating some of the risks associated with crypto. This means that users and business can have different preferences with regards to their currency of choice, and PumaPay will allow them to make a transaction. Implementation of this solution will let us close the cryptocurrency loop, making it viable and sustainable for businesses to accept cryptopayments for their products and services.
Next Steps and Upcoming Deliverables
The Roadmap below represents the best approximation of our efforts and is subject to future changes and updates.
In Q1, we plan to release the Business Console MVP. Formerly referred to as Merchant Portal or Wizard, the Business Console MVP will enable businesses to register with PumaPay in order to set up their PullPayment billing models, thus generating QR codes which will be used by customers to scan and make payments.
The Business Console MVP release will give business owners and managers a working preview of how PumaPay billing works, and how easy setting up the billing models through the PumaPay Wizard is.
We are currently working on improving functionality and user experience of the Wallet app. In Q1, we aim to add in-wallet support for new crypto currencies: Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV and maybe a few more, as well as in-wallet funding with credit cards. We will also start rewriting our mobile app as native, to future-proof it and ensure a better user experience. In addition, in Q1 we will start developing the first version of our Chrome extension, which we hope to deliver by the end of March.
Also in Q1, we plan to launch the much anticipated PumaPay Pride MVP – a comprehensive directory of merchants who have adopted the PullPayment Protocol. Later on, PumaPay Pride will be integrated into the mobile wallet app so that businesses will be able to promote special offers directly to users inside the wallet. We expect to fully integrate PumaPay Pride with the wallet app within Q2 2019.
During Spring 2019, we plan to focus solely on the next generation of our payment system and the enhanced API. This includes an enhanced architecture for our framework, protocol and products. Then, we will spend Q3 and Q4 of 2019 focusing on the massive adoption of our protocol and integration with the existing Early Adopters. As we plan to start testing the solution with 3-5 new companies which will integrate the protocol in March, we aim to steadily continue with multiple integrations in the second half of 2019.
In Q4, we expect to introduce the Processing Nodes, and end 2019 with a more decentralized cryptopayment system that meets all the needs of businesses and customers alike.
On behalf of the team, I would like to express my gratitude for the support PumaPay has received from the crypto community worldwide. We truly appreciate your feedback, thoughts on new products and ideas about what needs to be improved. Our team is working hard to develop and deliver the ultimate payment system.
Keep an eye on our Telegram News Channel for updates and upcoming releases!