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Thought Leaders in Financial Technology: Jeremy Almond, CEO of PayStand (Part 2)

Posted on Friday, Aug 3rd 2018

Sramana Mitra: My question also is, what is the value proposition versus direct deposit?

Jeremy Almond: In the US, you have effectively three ways to get paid if you’re a business. All three of these are systems that were built before the internet. The first way is paper check. As consumers, we don’t use them anymore.

The second is through direct deposit. That system is also built before the internet. It has many days of delay. It doesn’t connect into the financial system. It’s not automatically connected to ERP or other financial systems. It’s prone to fraud and compliance issues.

The third way is credit cards. Credit cards are probably the most problematic. What we do is we take all of the advantages of a modern payment network which means it’s fast, instant, and automated. We eliminate the fees. Our core value is no paper, no fees. The third thing is no monopoly. We use Blockchain.

Sramana Mitra: Double-click down on the Blockchain aspect and explain the architecture. How does your Blockchain-based architecture work?

Jeremy Almond: One of the things that’s interesting about the state of Blockchain is a lot of folks focus on, what we might call, the infrastructure. Our focus is on how we use Blockchain internally to be able to create a faster, cheaper, and more efficient payment network. That’s what we do.

What companies really care about is actual real use cases where the Blockchain is shown to drive fees down, speed up time to cash, and automate business processes. That’s our point of view of the world. We use Blockchain internally to build faster, cheaper, automated payment network. We care much more about delivering value than some of the more technical work.

Sramana Mitra: Our audience is a very technical audience. If you could double-click down on exactly how and what is the Blockchain configuration in your internal implementation, that would be of interest.

Jeremy Almond: We think of the Blockchain very omnivorously. We use different Blockchains and different components for different products that we offer. I’ll give you a couple of examples that we’ve had. We use Blockchain for certification. When a payment goes out on a traditional payment network, you can easily create fraud.

Some of the trade finance fraud is in the billions every year. That’s because people can change trade finance records. Along the supply chain, if you have proof of payment, it’s not uncommon that there will be fraud. What the Blockchain does is, we have an auditable, electronic, notarized receipt that goes on for every single payment. That means that anybody who uses the Blockchain and our payment process will ultimately have a record of all of their payment history.

That uses a functionality of Blockchain called immutability. Immutability is effectively a cryptographic way to ensure that when a record is created, it cannot be changed. One of the ways we use Blockchain is to keep track of payments and history of record. This is very important for some of our clients in insurance and logistics where if you have a payment, you really need to legally ensure that it has not been tampered with.

Sramana Mitra: Kind of a single source of truth.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in Financial Technology: Jeremy Almond, CEO of PayStand
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