Decentralized payments made simple.
Geeq Pay is a blockchain-based payments technology that will enable you to send and receive digital payments at ultra-low cost.
With transaction fees about 10x lower than major credit cards, a new realm of e-commerce is possible – for content, streaming content, micro-services, and more.
3 reasons to choose Geeq Pay
Peer-to-peer paymentsTransactions occur throughout Geeq‘s highly secure, public blockchain ecosystem, using Geeq‘s native coin. Compared to traditional payment platforms and even other blockchains, Geeq Pay settles transactions quickly and automatically, freeing you to concentrate on what you do best.
Microtransactions across the webGeeq Pay‘s revolutionary technology provides the convenience of using digital micro-coins without exposing the secure keys to your main account. Every micro-coin is associated with a separate one-time use account. What does that mean? Blockchain-based payments become invisible and worry-free as you browse, click, and pay as you go.
Maximum flexibilityUsing Geeq Pay is like going to a Geeq ATM on the web. With a one-time withdrawal, choose your own denominations of micro-coins. 200 Geeq pennies or 40 Geeq nickels per week? 50 Geeq dimes per child per month? Fund and forget – it‘s great for budgeting. Exchange rates to fiat will apply, of course.
Geeq Pay vs. Centralized Payments
|Payment||Fixed Fee||Variable Fee|
|Visa||$0.20||1.4% – 2.5%|
|Mastercard||$0.20||1.4% – 2.5%|
YOU HAVE QUESTIONS
We have answers…
Subscription models, re-evaluated
The article, Subscription models re-evaluated, was published in TechBullion on January 17, 2022 and is reproduced here with a bonus Geeq Pay video. What is your reaction? Tell us on Twitter @GeeqOfficial.
Locked-in monthly payments were a good trick for a while, but the tide is turning. Companies need to find a better way before they lose their customers for good.
Has the subscription era peaked? For a while there it seemed that the trend was unstoppable. Everything from software to appliances is being sold as a service, and it makes so much business sense: companies can enjoy consistent revenues while gathering valuable customer data. But the good times don’t last forever.
It’s not just a slowdown in subscriber growth. Consumer resentment of being forced into regular payments has crystallized into major pushback, with a new US Bill and FTC enforcement policy both calling for cancellation to be made as easy as signing up, and even new services arising to help consumers get out of those sticky deals.
It was good while it lasted…
Subscription services snowballed over the past decade, in fields from fitness to mobility. Some of those monthly bills, such as for dominant software packages such as Office 365, have become pretty much unavoidable; others, such as newspaper subscriptions, may be agreed to after repeated paywall blocks wear down customer resistance. Maybe they just seem like a good deal, with a free trial and a commitment billed as “the price of one cappuccino a month”.
But all those imaginary cappuccinos add up, and when consumers realize that their total subscription payments are closer to the monthly grocery budget – or that they are paying for services they don’t even use – they look for a way out. It’s not just a question of buyer’s remorse. The subscription model is fundamentally misaligned with an increasingly insecure job market; how can a gig worker commit to regular payments?
Streaming services may be among the first to see a change in outlook. Although new subscriptions soared in the first year of the pandemic, those numbers have leveled off and consumer sentiment has soured.
Research shows that 98% of subscribers in the UK cancel within a year, and over a third believe subscriptions are bad value.Ecommerce News, August 6, 2021
Even more startlingly, in a US survey, around 80% of respondents said they wanted free, ad-supported options from streaming services – even though the same majority said the quality of ad-supported content was lower.
People are simply fed up.
…but not for everyone
It hasn’t worked out for every provider, either. With limited budgets, subscribers forced to choose between competing offers tend to choose the biggest: Netflix rather than AppleTV, the New York Times rather than their local newspaper.
In journalism’s winner-takes-most market, for example, the two main categories of readers are those who subscribe to one or two papers (dominated by a handful of titles worldwide) – and the “never-subscribers”, who carefully manage their click budgets but won’t bow to the paywall pressure. In this segment, publishers are losing out twice: once on subscription fees, and once on advertising numbers.
Regional or niche players are in a no-win situation. They have less chance of attracting subscribers in the first place, given their smaller footprint. And they’re up against market leaders who are investing heavily in building and retaining their subscriber base. Who can compete with the LA Times’ 20 new marketing hires (and more on the way)?
The risks of sticking with a subscription model just keep piling up. You’re fighting an ever tougher battle against the heavyweights, competing for a shrinking and jaded market. Businesses that overextend themselves in subscription campaigns may regret that spend if cancellations continue to rise, but locking customers in with obscure and manipulative exit routes isn’t the answer.
As customers are turning against the subscription model, businesses that continue to push them to sign up could lose goodwill; ones that make it hard to cancel definitely will. And regulatory pressure regarding data collection and cancellation traps is building.
All-you-can-eat is over
In this new context, it’s time to revisit options for pay-per-click content. Despite frequent calls from the consumer side for bite-sized servings, suppliers haven’t had any incentive to offer them when subscription income was so much juicier. But at this point, the cost of investing in attracting subscribers may be uneconomic, especially if there’s a better option on the table.
Crypto technology has revived the old question of online micropayments – something that was envisioned at the very beginning of the web, but never achieved. Until very recently, online payment mechanisms were not only too expensive, but also too much hassle. New frictionless offerings such as Geeq Pay can solve both those problems, however, making transactions of just a few pennies economically viable for the seller as well as appealing to the customer.
Besides the technical barrier, content providers have long resisted pay-as-you-go offerings because the return seemed so unfavourable. Why make it easy for customers to reject your subscription plan? But it’s become clear that, given a “subscription or nothing” deal, many will choose nothing. Businesses need a third option. It’s not about cannibalizing the subscriber base, but attracting new customers. And it’s rapidly becoming a matter of survival.
Subscription fatigue is real. Geeq Pay is the solution.
Rethinking journalism: why small payments have big potential
Three decades of the world wide web have not been enough for news publishers to figure out how to survive in the digital age. Maybe the problem was that catchy but ambiguous slogan, “Information wants to be free.” Maybe it was the expectation that the long established business models for print journalism would work just as well online. But it’s become clear that neither advertising nor subscription paywalls are delivering the revenues needed for a healthy industry.
The expectation of free content was set early on, but online advertising prices are extremely low and under constant downward pressure, with many internet users installing ad blockers (Hootsuite research puts the global proportion at around 42%) and big brands slashing their spending on digital ads. Meanwhile readers are hitting subscription fatigue. With monthly payments becoming common for everything from music to software, customers are overwhelmed and unable to commit to yet another subscription just because they have hit their limit of free articles. Sure, a handful of papers with global reach – such as the New York Times – are successfully shifting their earnings base from advertising to digital subscriber revenue. But their success often comes at the cost of local or regional papers, since customers are likely to cancel an older subscription in order to afford a new one.
Can articles be sold as singles?
The obvious solution would be to charge readers per article. But this idea raises equally obvious problems.
For starters, no customer will spend a minute or two entering their login and payment details just to satisfy a casual curiosity. For micropayments to work, they need to be frictionless; but a pooled solution such as Axate faces the great difficulty of getting many publishers to commit to one platform. How can users be empowered to access single-portion content quickly and easily without either publishers or readers being locked into a single ecosystem?
Fortunately, the advance of technology has a way of resolving problems on that level, and attempts are being made. A number of apps have popped up to offer readers access to a wide range of participating publications. Dutch startup Blendle, which sold individual articles with a satisfaction-guaranteed refund promise, was particularly hyped. Unfortunately, despite a promising start, the app failed to make money and Blendle ultimately pivoted to – what else – subscriptions for a daily selection of articles.
Journalists, though, have deeper concerns: chief among them the fact that – as baldly set out in the Columbia Journalism Review– “no organization… can produce only hits.” That is, readers may only want to pay for the “best” articles, but that is not how newspapers are made. Each issue comprises a wide range of subjects and different kinds of articles, from news and sport to opinion, features, reviews and more. Some of those are cheaper to produce than others. Some have more social media appeal. The actual value of any individual piece is not easy to determine, nor to convey, since they all depend to some extent on the context of the whole.
It’s also important to consider that from a publisher’s perspective, direct subscription revenue isn’t the whole story. The price of a publication’s advertising space depends on subscriber numbers (especially those who also receive the print issue). So when customers choose to buy a single article rather than subscribe, it can have unpredictable knock-on effects on ad revenue. Given these considerations, can pay-per-click really pay-off?
Psychology holds the key
The traditional subscription model has already failed. It is perhaps pointless to dwell on the drawbacks of micropayments in comparison when readers have long since moved on. Articles are already consumed individually, even by subscribers. Consumers have given up on subscribing to most of the publications they would like to read. It’s time to rethink the lessons learned.
Blendle may have struggled to make pay-per-click work, but it did prove two crucial points. First, it attracted new, younger readers (who do not typically buy subscriptions), rather than cannibalizing existing subscribers. And second, it showed the market what kind of content was considered worth paying for. Refunds were commonly requested on clickbait articles, where the headline wasn’t backed up with substance. Users, it turns out, are happy to pay for quality journalism.
This lesson is further demonstrated by The Guardian’s groundbreaking model. It eschewed a paywall, and enlisted reader support to turn around a 20-year loss-making streak. The ongoing appeal to readers has two distinct strengths, both of which contain relevant lessons. First, readers are free to choose how they contribute (annually, monthly or just once), as well as how much. (Like many charity websites, the contribution page offers various suggested amounts as well as the editable option “other”.) Second, it relies on a psychological, not economic argument.
The choice of which newspaper to subscribe to isn’t just a rational one; it is layered with highly emotional questions of identity. A customer may see themselves as a Guardian person – not just a Guardian reader – and feel a personal stake in that paper’s survival. This emotional motivation can also be seen in the rise of platforms like Patreon, which invite users to contribute a small monthly fee to support their favourite writers, artists, musicians and so on. As with Guardian membership, these commitments are driven by loyalty, identity and perhaps a little altruism – not pure utility. Crucially, the platform also makes it easy to pay small amounts, which lowers the mental barrier as well as making it more affordable. Any pay-per-click model for journalism must exploit these factors to work with, not against, consumer psychology.
The only question is how
It’s clear that journalism as an industry needs subscribers. Pay-per-click can’t be designed as a replacement for that – the price would be too high to be acceptable to readers, and no doubt certain kinds of content would become unviable. But surely there is a way for individual article sales to support subscription revenue, rather than undermine it.
Perhaps it’s time to rethink free-to-view article quotas? Most sites allow visitors three or four articles each month before the paywall comes down. Writing in Forbes, crypto commentator Alastair Johnson argues that these publications are leaving money on the table by not monetizing their occasional visitors. In other words: use seamless micropayment technology to pay for every view – and he proposes a price cap, beyond which readers would enjoy an automatic subscription upgrade. That does leave all the benefit on the side of the reader, though, and none for the publisher. An alternative might be to invite the reader to subscribe, once they have hit that level. That would foreground the value they are already getting from the publication (so many articles read this month!) and encourage them to support it in future, but it leaves the choice open. Maybe they’ll read less next month, after all. The reader is still in control, but the newspaper has opened the door to a stronger relationship.
Reviewing all the evidence, it’s possible to glean a few rules of engagement for pay-per-click publishing.
- Execution is critical. Publications must be free to implement their payment layer independently, and collecting payment must be smooth, fast and commitment-free. A cryptocurrency solution such as Geeq bearer tokens lends itself particularly well to this problem, since the tiny transaction cost makes super-low prices viable, and the payment layer can be applied to any interested publication without the need to collaborate with rivals. Since customers are equally free to spend their tokens anywhere (including on other digital goods, such as videos or music), to send them to other wallet bearers or exchange them for fiat currency, there is no commitment.
- Paid content must be worth paying for. It is likely that some kinds of article, such as straight news, should remain free; it will always be easy to find out what has happened without paying. Intelligent analysis, however, will be valued.
- Subscribers may be best recruited once they have been convinced of the quality on offer, by offering options. That could mean a price is suggested, but they can change it, as is familiar from digital content platforms such as Bandcamp. A subscription could be proposed once they view a certain number of articles, but not forced. There could even be a refund for disappointing content, as Blendle implemented (with perhaps a monthly cap on the number of refunds allowed).
- Remember the role of loyalty. Publications that are well differentiated, with a high level of reader identification, will be best placed to convert casual readers into subscribers.
The only sure thing at this point is that publishing is in dire need of a new model. Emerging micropayment technology has the potential to finally enable pay-per-click readership, offering an alternative to the diminishing returns of traditional subscription and advertising models. But publishers will need bold, creative thinking to leverage that tech for a viable business model. Let’s see who is up for the challenge.
Video: Micropayments and Geeq Pay
We have put together a visual guide on how easy it will be for end users to use micropayments for content, and for payments to go directly into creators’ accounts.
No muss, no fuss.
The Geeq Team
Note: The activity on the Home Tab shows what is happening in the background. The Home Tab is running Geeq’s code and shows what it means for onchain activity to be transparent. Essentially, the Current Ledger State (CLS) allows people to check the accounts were updated automatically and correctly.
“Jane” is a name included here for relatability. Generally, users do not have to identify a name with an account. For example, even though the top row of users have names, you won’t see names anywhere in the ledger or the blocks. All that matters to the code are the account numbers, which are long strings of characters.
Geeq talks Reinventing Donations
The ways to use Geeq for payments will be limitless, which keeps us incredibly motivated because we have no idea how you will express yourself. We only know we want you to have the freedom to reach your potential.
For us, that means making sure Geeq’s decentralized payments platform is optimized for efficiency and easy enough for real people to use.
That means providing a settlement layer so a sender can make a small payment on chain, like a Geeq penny, at such low transaction costs they can be sure nearly 100% of that payment will reach its destination.
Even if online payment providers onboard crypto, they still will have to conquer the scalability-cost problem for micropayments. (Hint: They should partner with Geeq.)
How can You reinvent Donations?
Geeq Pay is Geeq’s automated solution to receive (micro)payments onchain, through the open garden of websites that will be Web3. What if you used Geeq Pay to collect micro-donations for your favorite cause? We could have talked about the possibilities for hours.
Every one of us encounters causes we want to support every day. Many more of us would send micro-donations if we had access to small payments and that would add up quickly. Lowering the costs and increasing the ability for people to do good should … incentivize more people to do good and it will give them the ability to do more with what they have.
Using a transparent funding mechanism like Geeq Pay has the added benefit of being able to build a track record and a reputation that donors can check for themselves, without having to depend on a third party’s report. Geeq’s unique technology provides an avenue to credibility and trust that has never existed before.
Let’s think about why this hasn’t happened yet. What has gotten in the way of matching resources to good work? We’re sure you know why.
From our point of view, efficiency of payments, ease for small donors and, ultimately – providing a tangible path toward accountability – will knock over those impediments one by one.
Long-time supporters should be noticing a theme. Geeq provides the technology to bring together both sides of new markets.
Build the future with us. Watch this space. Be a Geeq.
How will content creators benefit from Geeq Pay?
Geeq Pay provides an easy way for your readers, admirers, fans, viewers, purchasers and supporters to pay you directly in a few clicks.
Here are some of the benefits we can think of, and we’re sure you can think of more:
Imagine if you:
- got a penny for every like you’ve ever received.
- could create without having to please sponsors and advertisers.
- were able to build a fanbase, without ever having to ask them to ring the bell or subscribe.
- had the freedom to do more of what you liked, instead of having to make clickbait.
- could self-publish without having to set up mailing lists or subscriptions.
- did not have to pay 30% of the revenue you generated to someone else.
Now that we’ve developed the technology to get around the middleman, there is plenty of room left in this economy for individuals to thrive and prosper.
Let’s pay and get paid.
Geeq talks Freedom Through Geeq Pay
Previously, we talked about micropayments in the context of sending a transaction.
This time, the conversation turned to the other side of the transaction. The how, why, and who will be able to receive payments through Geeq Pay.
MicroCommerce and mass adoption depends on being able to bring both sides of the markets together.
For that, people need more freedom i.e. permissionless payment systems to send and receive. Let’s make it so.
In case you missed our other videos, they are all in a handy archive. And if you are inspired, please drop by to leave a comment in our community chatroom. We always welcome feedback and get excited to hear how you might use Geeq Pay in the wild.
Geeq Talks Micropayments at Scale
What do you get when you combine known technology (pre-images and hash digests) with:
Micropayments on decentralized blockchains.
All of them.
Tell your friends: this is the most fun they will ever have with algebra.
Please stay tuned! We’ll be back to share more soon.
Geeq Payments – Markets on Wheels
The pendulum has swung indisputably toward electric vehicles and environmental regulation is accelerating momentum. For example, the European Union declared that at least 30 million electric vehicles (EVs) should be rolling onto the roads of the continent by 2030 (which would be roughly equivalent to 10% of all vehicles, based on current figures). China’s systematic 5 Year Plans continue to target greater production and sales of EVs, with a government target of 40% of EVs in the population of vehicles by 2030. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the EV-share of the entire global car market is likely to reach 60% by 2040 and these vehicles are markets on wheels.
In the services sector, the increasing popularity of ride sharing has signalled a willingness by consumers to change their habits in response to new market offerings. According to BusinessWire, ride-sharing is poised to grow at a rate of almost 20% until 2026. Analysts predict ride-sharing has opened the door to the idea of car-sharing, especially in urban areas, where consumers will save – or, at least, share – the high costs of shelter, maintenance, and insurance on a car.
Automobile manufacturers, already bleeding from a global shortage in semiconductor chips, have been working through the pandemic to find ways to retain brand loyalty. Already well down the path toward electric vehicles and connected cars, manufacturers have broadened their ideas of what consumers will want from whether a vehicle gets you from Point A to Point B. What will consumers want and how will it be possible to generate new revenue streams? Some consumers may want to be able to use the car’s interior space as a mobile office. Others may want a place to relax, or multi-task by taking care of their personal errands.
Taken together, there are clear signs that the inside of a car is being refashioned into a mobile marketplace, offering on-demand transportation services as well as introducing ancillary services. In the US, drivers spend about 160 million hours in traffic every day. Industry forecasters point out that autonomous vehicles will free up a lot of attention. For all these reasons and for the ability to offer new features before vehicles become fully autonomous, many top tier car manufacturers have had the development of infotainment and in-transit shopping services as part of their plan.
Car-Sharing Introduces New Payment Requirements
In a shared mobility future, each car may serve many customers. A future fleet of shared electric vehicles will require extensive charging infrastructure and convenient payment options. Groups of friends had trouble splitting the bill for dinner before modern cash apps like Venmo came along. How will strangers be able to coordinate payments?
The MOBI consortium has developed the idea of vehicle identities, enabling cars to pay road tolls or congestion charges on the fly, without human intervention. Payments at a charging station, however, are more difficult to solve. The point-of-sale (POS) use of credit cards is an insecure method of transacting: according to cybersecurity experts, millions of POS devices of the top two manufacturers have been affected by vulnerabilities that potentially exposed credit card information. And even when payment terminals are not compromised, using a payment intermediary such as a credit card clearinghouse incurs hefty charges. For instance, American Express charges processing fees up to 3.5% on each transaction.
Car- and ride-sharing lower the share of costs to the individual consumer. Rather than shoulder all the responsibility for the housing, fueling, maintenance and insurance for your car, these emerging markets must develop new payment methods. When individual payments decrease, percentage fees charged by intermediaries such as credit cards become more burdensome.
These new payment structures offer an excellent opportunity for a disintermediated payment technology. By eliminating intermediaries and their fees, prices for services will drop, encouraging demand for a market that must find ways to grow.
Car-Sharing Also Introduces Privacy Concerns
The image for this article sums up one vision of consumer-oriented connectivity. In the future, personal entertainment may be guaranteed even in a shared ride, as you can privately listen to your music stream or podcasts in a personal audio zone. On the way home you might choose from restaurants on an augmented reality (AR) screen, order your meal with the voice-activated control system, and have your dinner delivered on the curbside as you arrive. According to Deloitte, passenger time in vehicles converted to consuming media content will reach 52 billion hours annually by 2030, doubling today’s figure.
The payment hurdles from the previous section apply in these domains of infotainment and online shopping. With shared mobility-as-a-service, a problem looms: the moment you share a car, what you do will no longer stay between only you and your car. How will you feel if the next passenger is able to see your browsing or consumption history? In fact, passengers of car sharing services are likely to demand a securely private way of using and paying for infotainment experience.
Cryptocurrency as a Settlement Layer?
Distributed ledger technology promises to disintermediate payments, eliminating middlemen that pose security risks and skim off transactions. However, the volatility of transaction fees remains an obstacle on some of the largest existing blockchain networks. For example, the cost of payments on Ethereum has been well above $10 for most of this year — which would be clearly too high a fee to process a car-charging transaction or a podcast download. In addition, swings in the value of popular cryptocurrencies are too wide for most everyday transactions to be feasible. To fulfill its promise as a reliable method for regular payments, blockchain technology must keep transaction costs reliably low.
Another issue is the limited scalability of existing solutions. Ethereum, for instance, handles an average of roughly 19 transactions per second currently. While deploying side chains may improve scalability, such methods usually involve compromises in terms of the security of the ledger as well as latency, both necessary ingredients for reliable mobility systems. In addition, even though the immutable ledger offers superior data security compared to third-party cloud storage, with the passage of time popular blockchains will be increasingly exposed to well-funded cyberattacks.
The Potential for GeeqPay in the Future of Transportation
As customers and transportation providers become accustomed to markets on wheels, autonomously perform multiple transactions during their journeys, Geeq’s payment solutions offers the potential for low fees through disintermediation and decentralization, more privacy, and the assurance that customers and service providers will be able to make transactions securely. Geeq’s efficient validating networks makes full use of the available connectivity, while its unique tokens enable payment methods to meet the infrastructure where it is.
At Geeq, we have been working hard to prepare for the future, to develop a decentralized payments structure, capable of handling a massive volume of payments and micropayments, with high granularity at a low cost. Importantly, Geeq is not a unitary blockchain network. There is no mainchain. It is an ecosystem of bespoke decentralized networks which share a common validation layer based on its Proof of Honesty protocol.
Geeq’s architecture gives enterprise clients and developers a high degree of flexibility to design a genesis block and blockchain network tailored to their specific needs. Geeq provides a new set of tools for developers to work in a highly flexible, application-agnostic ecosystem which enables evolutionary principles to determine which implementations of blockchain are most useful.
As Geeq makes it easier for consumers to keep control of their payments in every situation, we align incentives across the emerging transportation smart-ecosystem: consumers may share their rides, while manufacturers can develop more options and do good at the same time by making vehicles and cities sustainable.
Geeq Payments – Remittances
After two decades of growth that saw remittance flows to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) reach a record high of $548 billion in 2019, the World Bank now forecasts significant declines.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, remittances to LMICs are projected to fall to $470 billion by 2021, a 14% drop over two years. For comparison, remittances fell 5% due to the global financial crisis in 2009.
Migrant workers make an essential contribution to their countries of origin. In 2019, remittance flows to LMICs equated to three times all official development assistance combined and exceeded foreign direct investment (FDI).
Unfortunately, remittances incur high transaction fees, with some of the poorest regions hardest hit. A migrant worker sending money to sub-Saharan Africa, for example, pays an average transaction fee of 8.5% to send $200. In terms of poverty alleviation, such fees are concerning. Also, when transaction costs are higher, frequency of remittances decline.
The United Nations takes the problem very seriously: by 2030, the international community aims to reduce average global remittance costs to 3%. However, data shows reaching this global target on time might be a difficult task. Despite modest improvements mainly due to technological advancements, global remittance fees remain high.
Disruption through Digitization
There is a common perception that mobile phones, combined with the demographics of a far younger and larger percentage of young people in Sub-Saharan African countries compared to the rest of the world, may give those countries a boost to adopt digital currencies.
Let’s dig deeper into the details. A Pew Research Study in 2018 confirms tremendously high ownership of mobile phones in these countries, between 75-91%. However, of those who own phones, the majority have basic phones, such as a flip phone compared to smart phones. The result? The largest innovator in the fintech space has been M-Pesa, a mobile banking service. M-Pesa, working with telecommunications company Safaricom, has made it easy to transfer cash via text message. As of 2019, M-Pesa had more than 30 million users in Kenya and more than 31.4 million users outside Kenya.
What are some of the ingredients for M-Pesa’s success?
- Easy to understand instructions.
- A reduced need to carry cash, while still being able to transact in cash.
- The ability to make payments at retail outlets.
- The ability to transfer cash to others, whether they are in the same telecom network or not.
Are consumers in other Sub-Saharan African countries ready to follow suit? It depends. According to The African Leapfrog Index, South Africa is the second highest user of mobile money payments, with 60% of the population having made digital payments in 2017 compared to Kenya’s 70%.
There are many prerequisites for technology adoption, however, and other countries are not at the same stage. For example, the same studies showed only 5.8% of those in Egypt made a digital payment in 2017 and 80% of those in Nigeria (known for its embrace of innovation otherwise) had never heard of mobile money.
What about the predicted use for digital currencies? Even if digital payment applications were the norm, the price volatility of most cryptocurrencies suggest they would not be suitable for remittances.
Digitization without Disintermediation
The M-Pesa model teaches us some of the conditions to replicate to encourage adoption of new payment technologies. It also serves to remind us that digitization is not the same as disintermediation. M-Pesa is successful because it disrupted banking with digitization. It still enjoys all the powers of being an intermediary.
Fees: M-Pesa charges a fee to withdraw cash and another fee to transfer cash. Fees depend on whether the recipient is in network or not, and vary depending on the amount sent. Fees are high and regressive: the lower the cash transfer, the higher the percentage charged as a fee. (On May 12, 2021, only the first $0.46 may be withdrawn from a M-Pesa agent for free, and charges for sending payments begin at $0.93.)
Limits: M-Pesa has the power to cap daily transactions. For example, small or medium sized businesses were limited to $700 per day before Covid19. (During 2020, M-Pesa waived some fees and raised the daily limit.)
Identification: In order to register for a M-Pesa account in Kenya, customers must show a valid government ID such as the Kenyan national identification card or a passport.
Lessons for Remittances: Decentralized Blockchain Payments
As we’ve argued elsewhere, intermediaries in financial markets incur fees which they pass onto their customers. While these costs may be easily absorbed by the rich, they are prohibitively high for the economically vulnerable. While mobile banking applications have led to dramatic increases in economic activity for many, what happens if your most valuable transactions are small? What happens when wages fall due to economic shocks like Covid, and the money you have available for remittances shrinks?
We have observed part of the recipe for success. Provide what consumers want: ease of use, reduced needs to carry and track cash, and the ability to interact with anyone. Be realistic about existing infrastructure and regulatory constraints. Eliminate limits on transactions by removing the power of an intermediary to impose requirements. Finally, provide a payments platform that lowers costs so much it is able to compete with, or be adopted by, existing financial services providers. It has never been possible to bring all these ingredients together – until now.
Why Hasn’t Blockchain Solved These Problems Already?
Blockchain platforms were never designed to cope with the volume of small payments that ordinary people make while going about our daily lives. Private blockchains fail to provide a sensible alternative to cash: they are expensive to implement, limited in scope, clunky by design, and as potentially corruptible as whoever puts them in place. Public blockchains have failed as well, by focusing on disruption in finance rather than payments.
In fact, many blockchain platforms have structured their technologies in ways that make small transactions more difficult than the status quo. When security models depend on participants who are willing to burn resources, they give up the opportunity to lower costs through decentralization. When people must lock up capital or try to understand complex rules in order to participate, incentives are created for agglomeration, delegation, and concentration – leading right back to the organizational forms that have solved these problems for all time, albeit with different financiers. Blockchains such as these do not serve people who simply want timely, uncomplicated, and inexpensive payment solutions.
Geeq Payments : A Thoroughly Practical Approach
Geeq is a public blockchain platform, with architecture that scales to handle any volume of transactions. Described at the most basic level, distributed ledger technologies provide a way to keep track of digital transactions. By focusing on the cost-savings from putting decentralized technology to work, Geeq’s payment platform lowers the cost of a basic transaction to less than one 1/100th of a cent using a typical US household’s broadband. Geeq is reinventing blockchain to make it technologically and economically feasible to send any number of transactions, of any size, including remittances.
As mentioned earlier, countries differ in the state of their infrastructure. The African Leapfrog Index indicates plenty of room to grow in mobile payments, as well as crucial awareness and support from governments that aim to cross the digital divide. Nonetheless, the reality on the ground includes frequent power outages as well as less take-up in older age brackets and more rural communities. To provide utility in these cases, true adoption of Geeq payments requires more targeted approaches.
Geeq’s patent-pending token categories may be used when access to connectivity is difficult and intermittent. Geeq’s certified bearer tokens do not even require the recipient to be the one to redeem them. Geeq has the potential to be the key enabling technology for regular, stable remittances, as well as support all the small payments that make up daily life.
In Kenya, at current prices, M-Pesa charges 5% or $0.23 in Kenya to send $4.67. Geeq’s patent-pending token technologies do not require an intermediary to coordinate liquidity or set fee schedules, because Geeq transactions, applications, and blockchain validation are all decentralized. Such innovation is essential to meet the UN’s ambitious 3% target. Most importantly, these payment technologies will be able to provide more financial security and a better quality of life for all who rely on them.
Geeq is a multi-blockchain platform secured by our Proof of Honesty protocol (PoH), safe enough for your most valuable data, cheap enough for IoT, and flexible enough for any use.
Geeq Corporation Announces New Patent-Pending Payment Technologies
Geeq Corporation proudly announces its new patent-pending payment technologies: bearer tokens and certified tokens. These innovations significantly advance the capabilities of blockchain technology to transfer and convey value in a decentralized manner.
A hallmark of Geeq’s blockchain technology is that it is useful for mass adoption. A persistent barrier to adoption has been the level of difficulty in transferring cryptographic assets from one account to another. Bearer token and certified token technology simplify ways for a blockchain account holder to transfer value to a non-specific recipient or a pre-specified recipient, respectively. These categories of tokens have characteristics that are analogous to cash (bearer tokens) and certified checks (certified tokens) in traditionally intermediated financial markets.
Geeq’s bearer token technology primarily applies to cryptographic assets that exist on a blockchain, such as cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, rewards points, etc. Geeq’s certified token technology may be further generalized to transfers of physical assets or shares that exist off-chain but are recorded on blockchain as tokenized assets, such as car titles, stocks, or other official documents.
These technologies also include the ability to customize tokens with locks, expiration dates, and reversions to the original account if unused.
Geeq’s patent-pending technology also includes a wallet to facilitate the use of these tokens, several applications enabled by these tokens such as micropayments, machine-to-machine payments, and streaming payments, as well as UI/UX that support these functions and uses.
Introducing Geeq’s Bearer Token Technology
Bearer tokens are a category of tokens that allow a blockchain account holder to create a token with pre-determined value. The bearer token is a simple data file, such as a small text file, that could be stored on mobile devices, gift cards, as QR Codes™, in directories accessible to browsers with plugins or on paper, for example. A bearer token enables the account holder to carry the representation of that token’s value freely, that is, detached from their blockchain account and the limitations and frustrations associated with cryptographic wallets. In this sense, bearer tokens are analogous to denominations of cash.
Once a bearer token is created, it may be transferred to any recipient. The recipient may be a person or a machine. The recipient is not required to have a pre-existing account on a blockchain. The account holder may spontaneously convey the bearer token, peer to peer, via text, email, as a .pdf, as an exchange of paper or through any other simple arrangement for data transfer.
Once created, the convenience of using a bearer token is that neither the creator nor the recipient has to protect, retrieve, or employ electronic keys while conveying the value of the bearer token. In fact, in some cases, a bearer token may be conveyed without any need for connectivity to the internet.
Bearer tokens may be redeemed in any number of convenient ways, for example, through plugins or on mobile devices through apps.
Bearer tokens, like cash, are not securely tied to an identity. Therefore, they are most likely to be created in small increments and/or small denominations. Geeq’s bearer token technology will facilitate blockchain use cases such as micropayments, machine-to-machine payments, streaming payments for content and other services, and automated payments.
Introducing Geeq’s Certified Token Technology
Certified tokens are a category of tokens that permit transfers of an asset of pre-determined value (e.g. units of coins) or type (the title to a specific car). Geeq’s technology for a certified token is similar to its technology for a bearer token in the ways that it simplifies the transfer and conveyance of value.
The important difference is that, at creation, a certified token designates the conveyance of the asset to an account associated with a specific public key. In this respect, Geeq’s certified token technology creates a cryptographic equivalent to a certified check or money order. While any person or machine who receives a certified token may redeem it, the value of the certified token will always go to the designated account.
Certified tokens may be securely transferred peer-to-peer or through several intermediaries. For example, the creator may be a donor who is able to transfer a certified token to any intermediary, who then redeems it for the intended charity.
Geeq’s patent-pending technology for bearer tokens and certified tokens simplify interactions that rely on accounts on blockchains. These technologies de-couple the requirements of timing and availability to the underlying blockchains with the means and methods of conveying cryptographic assets or tokenized assets.
By increasing convenience, reducing technological burden, and widening the use cases for blockchain to include micropayments, Geeq reaffirms its commitment to continually elevate quality of life through services powered by blockchain.