Founded in 2012, London-based Payza is a relatively new online payments platform that competes with services like PayPal. Payza’s personal accounts let users transfer money internationally and purchase various goods online. Business accounts are used by merchants to process payments, issue invoices, and manage other aspects of running a company. However, unlike some of its competitors like PayPal, Payza has been very positive about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. Back in May 2014, Ali Nizameddine, Executive VP of Product and Technology at Payza, stated that the company had “…a distinct vision of how we would like to incorporate Bitcoins into our platform”.
“The option that is most appealing is to allow our members to purchase Bitcoins with funds in their secure Payza accounts and to allow them to store their Bitcoins in their Payza ewallets or to transfer them to another wallet service. Also, merchants that process payments using Payza would be able to easily add the option to accept Bitcoin payments without the need to incorporate other payment gateways” Nizameddine added. “That is what we are currently trying to achieve, but the actual service offered will depend on the partnerships we forge and the regulations of the countries in which we operate.”
Ferhan Patel, Director of Global Risk and Compliance at Payza, noted that the company would have to navigate through unclear government regulations and guidance regarding cryptocurrencies. However, it looks like the company has gotten a step closer to its vision, as Payza announced a new way to buy Bitcoin today.
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With Payza’s newest feature just announced today, users can withdraw funds from Payza directly to their Bitcoin wallets. In effect, Payza is giving its members a simple way to buy bitcoins. As long as the account is verified (which requires proof of residency and proof of identity), a Payza member can withdraw in BTC in three simple steps (taken from the Payza Blog):
However, Payza notes that withdrawals take 1-3 business days (though the exchange rate is locked in immediately after the transaction is created), and users cannot buy bitcoins with funds that were added by credit card.
Part of Payza’s core mission is empowering under-serviced markets in developing nations. Regardless of the country, Payza aims to provide its members with “a low-cost, secure and convenient means to send and receive money, or accept payments for services rendered,” said CEO Alastair Graham.
“We have over 10 million accounts from Albania to Zambia and just about everywhere in between. We’re not quite as big as some of the other players in this space but we do have one of the largest global footprints and we’re growing every day.”
“We’re especially happy to offer an easy way for people in developing economies to purchase Bitcoin. Payza offers services in over 190 countries and they certainly aren’t all equal in terms of access to this type of service. Hopefully Payza can help bridge a rather large gap.”
-Payza on Reddit
This is also just the first part of Payza’s involvement in Bitcoin, and the company plans to incorporate the cryptocurrency in more and more of its services.
“Are u eventually aiming for a fiat and bitcoin wallet in one?
One wallet, fiat and crypto hand in hand!
Not for people here, but the average Joe would love that I guess!”
-GM4N1986 on Reddit
“We’re certainly planning to build on this first step. We expect Bitcoin to be an important part of the online payment ecosystem sooner rather than later and we want to be part of that growth.
That said, there are a lot of issue to navigate in terms of full-scale Bitcoin adoption on the Payza platform. The main issue is that we need to ensure both Buyers and Sellers will be protected before we can offer Bitcoin payments through Payza. That means there needs to be some form of payment reversibility or escrow, otherwise Buyers would need to sign off on a no refund policy.
We love the idea of letting people keep bitcoins in their Payza e-wallets, but since the ewallets are online, we need to be absolutely certain that the bitcoins will be protected.
I can say that Bitcoin integration is one of our main focuses right now at Payza, so expect more options soon!”
-Payza on Reddit
Payza is one of the few payments processors to fully and wholeheartedly support Bitcoin. And as Payza is making Bitcoin “one of our main focuses”, perhaps the competition will follow?
Featured image by Shutterstock.