AltXE is a startup aimed at creating Bitcoin service products. The company is currently launching its first product, ChainPay, which provides payment processing services to online merchants. ChainPay is backed by a major European bank, which will charge 1% fee to merchants. We contacted James Carter, Founder of AltXE, to speak about this new service.
What made you create ChainPay?
I’d encountered Bitcoin a few years before I considered launching a Bitcoin based startup. About 3 years ago I wanted to start accepting Bitcoin on a website of mine, but found there were no payment providers that would do this for me in a suitable way. Fast forward to 2013, we have two very major platforms both backed by large VC capital making Bitcoin payments a reality, in the US.
Europe I felt was an underserved market in the Bitcoin eCommerce space.With over 260 million shoppers, and a collective (online) transaction volume of €360 Billion per year, the EU is no small fish when it comes to online payments. Hence after a lot of work, we have now launched a progressive payment provider, focused on bringing the benefits of Bitcoin payments the 650,000 businesses providing goods and services here.
Will the 1% fee charged be a one time fee or for each transaction performed?
Our fee schedule should be pretty unambiguous, in that we price per volume of transactions, hence the 1% fee is on the total turnover of your ChainPay account. This compares very favorably compared to existing payment systems such as PayPal and SagePay here in Europe with much higher transaction fees with additional rate charges.
Which European bank has shown support towards ChainPay?
The bank providing support has been through all our proposals, plans, vision and goals and decided that Bitcoin is definitely an indicator of things to come. They have been extremely supportive of our initial setup phase, taking into consideration the startup nature of AltXE and the ChainPay product. Although the bank would rather not be mentioned, I would like to voice my gratitude for those involved behind the scenes in bringing about this great partnership.
Why should merchants use ChainPay, rather than other payment processing services?
Merchants should use which ever Bitcoin payment processor makes sense for them, rather than one particular vendor. What is right for one merchant may not be right for another. All businesses are unique, and others value certain points some care less about. What I would say is that ChainPay is dedicated to increasing Bitcoin adoption throughout Europe, due to the obvious benefits paying via Bitcoin provides to the merchant, and their customers.
Lower fees, increased international purchases, lower shopping cart abandonment, reduced fraud, the list goes on and on, I would encourage any merchant interested in Bitcoin, even if you don’t know what a Bitcoin is, to contact us where we can see if Bitcoin really is right for you, and who the best payment processor would be for your individual circumstance.
The right customer is a lifetime customer, and the wrong customer hurts both parties. There is space for more than one Bitcoin payment processor at the moment, it is this diversity which will drive innovation in the Bitcoin payment space.
Did you feel that basing yourselves in another part of Europe would make you suspect to investigations regarding money laundering or other illegal activities?
We want to provide solid services, education and support to the merchants of Europe, as well as those further afield if they see value in our proposition. The Isle of Man has long been a trusted financial centre, with many high street banks holding offices there. With the longest continuing parliament in the world, Tynwald.
Basing AltXE in the Isle of Man was due to the support the Manx government is providing to cryptocurrency related businesses. Their stance of Bitcoin is not lax like some people think, they expect and demand all cryptocurrency businesses follow the same legislation as those followed by other financial services businesses. Know your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering (AML & KYC) is a clear and well understood internationally piece of legislation that works well for reducing financial fraud, the Manx government currently see this as sufficient, whether you are processing Pounds Sterling or Bitcoin.
What is your opinion on the ongoing suspicions of bitcoin companies being started solely to facilitate illegal activities?
Any enterprise and sector can have its own share of illegal operations. I would feel that being based in the Isle of Man and operating under existing financial regulations provides security not only for our customers but also for ourselves. There will always be people trying to take advantage of others, its up to the more mature and forward thinking businesses in this space to reduce the scope of damage these outfits can inflict by offering reliable, trusted solutions. Something I’m sure our contemporaries would agree on.
Do you have any plans regarding to seeding rounds for AltXE?
We would encourage any party which deems their goals are aligned with ours to contact ourselves for a discussion.
What are the goals set in place for ChainPay? What does the future hold for it?
We see the goals as less for ChainPay and more for the business community here in Europe. They should be able to offer customers a method of payment thats suits them, being able to make payment securely, without delivering personal data such as credit card numbers online. Merchants should be relieved from needing to securely transmit and store personal details because of this. Merchants are able to transact for lower fees, reduced by the lowering risk of chargebacks and fraud.
For ChainPay to be successful, we need our customers, anyone accepting cryptocurrency, to grow through Bitcoin; if merchants don’t benefit, we’ve failed.
We have a long way to go, but we are on the right track, with a solid product and a clear vision on how to help anyone, in Europe or further afield, accept Bitcoin.
Is there anything we should know about ChainPay that has not been mentioned before?
We would not have gotten to this stage without a solid foundation of support, advice and above all patience from our partners, Integrated Capabilities . They really know and love the Isle of Man, and have provided services there for over 14 years. Their board truly appreciate the impact cryptocurrency will have on the world, in all areas not just finance. With over 150 years of combined experience on their board they are someone you want on your side when launching a product such as ChainPay, and continue to be invaluable for the future success of AltXE.
James Carter seems to have a good grasp on what he wants to achieve with Chainpay and that is something hard to find in bitcoin startups as of late. It will be an interesting few months for AltXE as they must prepare to launch their new payment processing service that should bring new users to their platform.
What do you think about Chainpay? Let us know in the comments below!
Image Source: AltXE, Chainpay