The PumaPay team today announced the release of its iOS wallet onto the App Store today. The app will allow token holders to hold their PMA tokens but users will need to wait until 2019 before the platform has developed into a fully integrated payment network.
“Blockchain technology alone is not enough to challenge established payment processors such as Visa and Paypal,” states Josh, a PumaPay representative. “You need to create networks, you need partnerships, you need merchant buy-in, and you need a radically improved proposition from the solutions that exist today to mount a serious challenge to the existing industry.”
The team behind the PumaPay project therefore set out to raise in excess of $100m – which it did without a public token sale, going exclusively down the road of securing a string of private investments – in a bid to give the internet what it has so far been desperately lacking: a cutting-edge P2P payment technology that is simple, fluid, flexible and which bypasses all intermediaries.
Bitcoin set the scene for these new possibilities but ” … it remains limited in its use cases,” states Josh. “I cannot, for example, set up something as simple and as common as a direct debit.”
Push vs. Pull Payments
Direct Debits are an example of something referred to in the industry as a pull payment. A pull payment is simply where someone comes knocking at your door making a request for an authorised withdrawal from your account – usually because you have signed a piece of paper allowing your bank to permit a third-party to lift a variable amount from your account. It is one of a number of simple payment scenarios that most blockchain-based payment processor start-ups are not seeking to address.
Unlike a typical push payment which is generally implemented for a regular payment order – an automated series of recurring payments of a fixed amount to be transferred from your own account to that of someone else – pull payments require an entirely different approach, because both the amount paid and the frequency of the payment itself can vary.
Setting out to implement the required infrastructure – as well as commercial partnerships – required for pull payments, PumaPay believes it is now setting itself apart in the wider race to become the de-facto standard for P2P blockchain-secured online payments.
The team is also looking to implement a series of SDK tools that will allow the world at large to engage in more flexible payment arrangements – restricted payments, for example, where a child can present his or her own smart phone to make payment for lunch at the school canteen.
In a restricted payment scenario, this request for payment is relayed to mum or dad whose own smart phone will then action or deny the payment upon a set of conditions which the parents themselves define – no lunch for Abigail if she’s only buying chips as opposed to today’s vegan special.
The so-called PMA economy is in its infancy, a full product roll-out is not expected at least until 2019 as per the white-paper roadmap. Even the platform’s base has not yet been definitively decided upon – Stellar may seem like the natural option for some, but Cardano is also thought to be on the list of candidates. “All of these options currently remain on the table,” PumaPay tell us. The PMA token will remain, for the time being, a ERC-20 token.
But the comprehensive approach being taken to putting forward the internet’s long-overdue, first fully-specked payments solution technology likely now means that traditional payment processors will finally see the blockchain no longer as a conceptual threat, but one which is taking real form.