Ukraine’s Payment Service Founder Says Blockchain Is Exceptionally Interesting in Terms of Commerce
Each day, blockchain, the technology that underlies Bitcoin, penetrates the world of finances deeper and deeper with many signs pointing to it eventually winning a big part of the market. Ukraine is no exception in this regard. Moreover, the largest country in Europe Â has every reason to consider itself one of blockchain’s trend-makers.
ForkLog talked with Dmitri Zarahovych, CEO of Softinvest Holding and co-owner of payments processor UAPAY about what the nearest future holds for Ukraine’s financial market.
FL: What is your company currently engaged in?
D.Z.: We’ve designed a platform that brings together all financial tools in any customer communication points. It’s a kind of symbiosis of different technologies employed by different companies. For instance, it may be companies involved in online payments or receiving cash payments, or those providing solutions for banks and financial companies.
In fact, we’ve created an umbrella product that covers billing, processing and clearing processes. The technology allows one to work with cash, cashless and electronic money, any money surrogates, or specific monetary structures like cryptocurrency, which are not banned in a certain jurisdiction.
FL: As far as we can see, you do not work directly with blockchain technology.
D.Z.: The platform itself is not blockchain-based, but we actively work with blockchain companies like Distributed Lab and Attic Lab to implement some projects first tested in Ukraine and then exported aboard. We’re really interested in cross-border business as we see an enormous money flow there.
FL: What are the advantages your company comes with?
D.Z.: In fact, our platform takes the payments infrastructure issue off the table. One may build a payment system, create a payment provider or an aggregator, a processing center, or financial apps. We’re talking about everything that issuers, acquirers or merchants need.
Existing solutions are mostly about the card-based things or electronic money. We imply that it doesn’t matter which financial tool you actually use, because there’s always someone who had issued it, there is always someone who processes the transaction, and there is always a recipient.
We’ve made it all in Ukraine under the UAPAY brand. The system is registered under the Ukrainian laws and is licensed by the National Bank of Ukraine for money remittances with no account involved. We’ve also submitted registration papers for a payment system and an operator of payment infrastructure to the National Bank, so it covers all entities subject to licensing under the national laws. Therefore, there are technological companies that may give the technologies, and the second structure is about legal application of the technology. It can be moved to other countries where we may open financial companies or partner with banks and financial entities.
FL: In your opinion, what are the most promising areas if we talk about blockchain applicability?
D.Z.: I believe it’s all about what is the most promising from the business point of views in the first place. The most exciting areas here are the flows related to commerce, and this is where blockchain and cryptocurrencies can be added as well. Banks, financial companies and logistics providers are all involved in this system.
Another big money thing is value transfer. I mean such big flows like migrant workers sending money home, or parents helping their children at a college in another country.
FL: Is it likely that blockchain would cut transaction costs?
D.Z.: Very likely. As an example, one of Ukraine’s biggest logistics operators, Nova Poshta, took the right way by creating a financial company and registering an independent brand, Forpost. In fact, we are their payment infrastructure operator and all financial transactions are going through our platform. So, they accept money for the goods sent in parcels absolutely legally. Cash on delivery (COD) is the tool that all such operators must use.
There’s really plenty of space for cost cutting. Nova Poshta is just one example. There are 26 banks using our technology, which is about one third of Ukraine’s entire banking system. Our front-end is installed at cashier’s offices in stores and supermarkets, and we’re one of the biggest payment aggregators in Ukraine.
I’d also like to add that we’re making big efforts towards harmonization of Ukraine’s legislation in regulation of e-money and non-personified payments with directives and regulations of the European Union. There are several projects working exclusively on blockchain technology. They all are about the finance sector and they all are in full compliance with the Ukraine’s laws.
Talking about the near future, we can clearly see cryptocurrencies being integrated with classic financial tools within the legal framework.
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