A new payment service called PayStand has launched in the US. We chatted to CEO Jeremy Almond about the company’s plans for the UK and the possibility of accepting our favourite cryptocurrency…
What is PayStand?
First of all we’re a payment system that enables organisations to do traditional credit card processing, as well as electronic checks and next-gen digital currency, such as Bitcoin.
In the real world someone might write you a check, you might pay with a credit card or in other cases people will pay with cash.
What our organisation does is give merchants an online solution with the same option – to receive multiple forms of payment.
How does PayStand differ from other payment systems?
Unlike the rest of the payments industry, our business model is called ‘payment as a service’, which means we don’t charge the organisation transaction fees.
Usually you’d pay around three per cent every time someone swipes their credit card. That means the more successful the business is, the more money they’re getting taxed. We think the right and fare model is a fix cost one.
…And what about Paypal?
There are a couple of main differences between PayStand and PayPal. One of them is that PayPal really isn’t a great experience for merchants or shoppers. If your customers are not paypal customers it can be frustrating.
PayPal looks like it is from 1997, whereas we give shoppers a really beautiful checkout experience that looks like it was built in 2014. It stays on a retailer’s website, it’s completely branded, you don’t have to sign into anything, and there’s multiple ways to pay.
How quickly can a retailer set up PayStand?
A retailer can sign up within five minutes. They don’t need to wait weeks and months to get merchant accounts – we take care of all of that for them.
They don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to integrate anything – they can just drag and drop. Anyone can get on board.
As well as enabling consumers to buy through a retailer’s website, PayStand can also be used via social media. They can ‘check out’ via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. We know that retailers’ audiences are global and on multiple platforms.
Is it available in the UK?
We intend to really succeed with US-based organisations this year. Even though we are just launching, we already have a huge requests list from organisations from the UK, Europe and throughout the world that want to use PayStand.
Full international merchant support is challenging but it’s a priority and we hope to make progress in the area of UK support sometime next year.
At the moment, any organisation that signs up will be able to receive money globally.
Why did you decided to accept Bitcoin?
What makes us unique is that we are not what you would call a ‘pure Bitcoin company’. We enable traditional forms of actual card acceptance with 90 per cent of transactions taking place online.
The credit card network is 50 years old and it’s here to stay. But so is digital currency. So really, what we’re doing is providing a bridgeway that allows merchants to experiment with the global acceptance of Bitcoin.
Will you be branching out to accept other digital currency?
From launch we accept Bitcoin. Any merchant can turn it on or off at any time. Bitcoin is the first breakout, but we believe it’s more of a technology breakthrough than purely a currency.
Would you consider Dogecoin?
Whether it’s Bitcoin today or Dogecoin in the future, the movement of money is changing and we want to see that succeed.
It’s very likely in the long term other currencies, like Dogecoin, will succeed and we just want to make it so that someone in the one part of the world can very easily buy from someone in another part of the world and without transaction fees.