How often do you find yourself using cash for your daily transactions? Do you keep a few small bills in your wallet “just in case,” only to find them sitting there month after month as you use your cards and digital payment methods to make even the simplest purposes? Cash is no longer king, and as the market continues to shift from paper to digital there are big questions being asked: How fast can I get my money? Will the merchant fees be too high? What about international transfers? The way that we earn money has shifted, and most of us no longer receive paper checks from our employers anymore. It only makes sense that the way we spend money will continue to shift too, and digital wallets will eventually replace cash for most transactions.
We would like to thank the team at FiiiPay for their contributions to the design and implementation of the research and to the analysis of the result.
Spending Money to Spend Money
In terms of cash, the best part is that you don’t pay any fees unless you factor in the occasional ATM surcharges, but there is always the fear of physically misplacing your money. Cash is great for small amounts, but what if you don’t have the right amount on you at all times or you are traveling abroad and don’t have the local currency? Digital wallets (DW) alleviate the fear of losing your money to a pickpocket, and they make transferring particular amounts to friends and merchants easy. However, most digital wallets are not international and they are often accompanied with fees for the convenience they provide. Paypal, for instance, has fees for receiving money for goods/services and they tack on surcharges when sending or spending internationally.
[bctt tweet=”Decentralized wallets make it much easier to track the money you’re spending, look back on your past purchases, and keep your money safe”]
Decentralized digital wallets (DDW) offer an alternative to fiat digital wallets, and follow the same fee schedule no matter where in the world you may be sending or receiving money from. They have the possibility to open up currency options through cryptocurrencies, and depending on what is being transferred there will not be any of the typical currency exchange fees. Digital and decentralized wallets make it much easier to track the money you are spending, look back on the purchases you’ve made in the past, and keep your money safe from pickpockets/physical loss.
Time is Money
Some would say that the best part about cash is that it is instantaneous, but what happens when your friend from across the country needs to borrow $50? Do you package it up in an envelope and wish it luck as it makes its long journey? The simple truth is that cash is only practical in local, simple transactions, and with digital wallets offering near instantaneous transfers as well, there are even fewer reasons to stick with cash. Venmo, a money spending app, allows instant transfers between users for free, but it typically takes 1-2 days to transfer to your bank account from your Venmo balance.
With a decentralized wallet, however, the funds you receive are typically available within an hour (six block conformations) and can be transferred to an external wallet at your convenience, no matter where the payment came from. This is particularly handy for international transfers, since your only option usually is a slow bank transfer (3+ days), an expensive Paypal (2.9%+), or a Western Union (10%+) transfer. Fast transactions are required to succeed in the modern business world, and both merchants and customers don’t have the time to wait for money to clear processing, they need it now.
[bctt tweet=”With digital wallets offering near instantaneous transfers, there are even fewer reasons to stick with cash”]
We’ve created an infographic to better explain this idea to you:
From Cash to Digital Wallets, and Digital Wallets to…
Based on the current trends, it is quite possible that decentralized wallets will be crucial in the near future, but it heavily depends on government regulations and the overall continued popularity of cryptocurrency in general. In the United States, nearly 66% of young adults and teens currently use Venmo for transactions. The popularity and desire to move away from cash is there, and Venmo was just first to capitalize on the market. Younger generations feel that cash burns a hole in their pocket and much prefer the digital ledger that is automatically kept when all of their transactions are made electronically.
One of the market-leading decentralized wallets, BitPay, is growing in popularity. This can clearly be seen through potential growth patterns, but due to recent fee increases and customer dissatisfaction they may soon lose their control on the BTC payment market.
[bctt tweet=”Younger generations feel that cash burns a hole in their pocket”]
There are a variety of alternatives, many of which are basically BitPay clones, but a new contender to the market could make all the difference. Let’s take an objective look at FiiiPay and see how it could possible sweep in and gather up the potential market with its innovative ideas.
FiiiPay – A new alternative
Where BitPay is falling short, FiiiPay intends to step in and pick up the slack. FiiiPay intends to run on its own blockchain, called FiiiChain, to reduce the issues of network clogging that other decentralized digital wallets are experiencing, particularly those based on BTC. This network will be supported primarily by merchants whose POS systems will mine FiiiCoin and provide the basis for verifying transactions across the network.
Aside from operating on its own chain, FiiiPay will be based on multiple currencies, allowing a huge variety of cryptocurrencies to be used for payment P2P and peer-to-merchant transactions. These cryptocurrencies will need to be confirmed on their respective chains eventually, but in the meantime they are processed using lightning network principles – using the users’ last transaction record to determine if the next transfer amount will not exceed the wallet balance. Actual confirmation on the respective blockchains will typically take between 6 to 8 confirmations (around 1 hour).
Even if your phone has no connection to the Internet, that won’t be a problem because an integrated offline payment system will kick in whenever you have no WiFi or mobile data connection, instead connecting via Bluetooth to the merchant and verifying the transaction that way. You don’t even need to bring your phone along if you plan to purchase from merchants, because your Fiiipay token keychain will have you covered.
FiiiPay will operate on a collection of different fee schedules, depending on which merchant you are purchasing from. There will typically be a 2-5% fee, but the merchant will be given the option to include their own surcharge on top of that to cover the volatility of the cryptocurrency being spent.
While companies like BitPay are introducing new fees and network charges to cover their costs of operating on Bitcoin Core, FiiiPay won’t have that problem thanks to its standalone blockchain, and their fees should remain predictably consistent over time.
BitPay is a global Bitcoin payment system, founded in 2011, that provides Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash payment processing services for merchants.
Fees: There are two types of fees on BitPay, P2P, and Merchant. For P2P, there is a 1% + a Network and Miner fee. For merchants the same fees apply, but are often magnified because they experience so much more transactions than the customer does.
Users: BitPay processed $1 billion in transactions during 2017.
Processing Time: It’s typically six block confirmations, which is about an hour if mining fees have been adequately paid.
CoinPayments is a gateway that provides “buy now” buttons, shopping carts, and more to accept Bitcoin, Litecoin, and several other cryptocurrencies.
Fees: There is a general 0.5% fee applied to all transactions, with options for increased priority for higher fees.
Users: 718,000 merchants in over 182 countries.
Processing Time: Depends on the currency that is being traded since they accept over 130 currencies. However, with BitGo technology, they are able to speed up BTC payments. Money is held in escrow from the paying account, allowing the transaction to happen in real time and then process after the fact.
Cash might still be king when it comes to small transactions in your native country, but that is quickly changing. International travelers dependent only on cash could be in danger, and you’ll often pay huge surcharges for converting your currency to the local variety.
[bctt tweet=”Individual fiat currencies will pull less weight as cryptocurrencies begin to be more heavily traded”]
As the way we interact financially on a global scale starts to shift more into a decentralized system, individual fiat currencies will pull less weight as cryptocurrencies begin to be more heavily traded. The only real question that remains is who will be the first to completely capitalize on this growing trend?