OmiseGo opens up e-wallet payments
OmiseGo Pte, a blockchain-based subsidiary of Omise Pte Ltd, will decentralise its exchange and payment infrastructure to enable cross-platform payments with a new e-wallet.
The move is intended to capitalise on the growth of mobile wallets globally.
"We see the pain point of the existing mobile wallet platform, which has not taken off, and the use of e-wallet services has been limited due to its closed platform," said Ezra Don Harinsut, chief operating and co-founder of Omise, Southeast Asia leading payment gateway and parent firm of OmiseGo.
Interoperability among different mobile wallet platforms has yet to happen, with users of each payment provider limited to their own system, meaning they cannot transfer money to other mobile wallet platforms.
The number of physical merchants for those e-wallet services are also limited.
In late July, OmiseGo successfully raised US$25 million (833 million baht) through an initial coin offering (ICO), which is a type of kick-starter crowdfunding campaign increasingly being used by blockchain teams to fund the development and scaling of decentralised projects.
Through an ICO, contributors have the opportunity to purchase OmiseGO digital tokens, known as OMG, which function similarly to paid API keys.
Through OMG tokens, the holder is granted the right to participate in validating the transactions that go through the OmiseGo network, earning validation fees in the process.
OmiseGo is a public blockchain e-payment platform designed to enable decentralised real-time peer-to-peer value exchanges and payment services across currencies and asset types, as well as across national borders and corporate ledgers.
Users, for example, will be able to take airline mileage points and convert them into "cash" to pay for groceries anywhere around the world.
The first application to run on OmiseGo will be available for public use toward the end of 2017.
"We are gearing OmiseGO up to become the new global standard for decentralised exchanges and payment services. Over the past several years we have focused our R&D on addressing blockchain speed and scalability challenges. Having cleared a path to address this challenge has put us in a very exciting position," said Mr Harinsut.
He said that OmiseGO's ability to conduct on-chain clearing and settlement of products is also a huge competitive advantage.
"We has been interested in Blockchain technology since 2015 and we invested $1.5 million in research and technology, excluding the recent ICO for $25 million," said Mr Harinsut.
Vansa Chatikavanij, managing director of OmiseGO said that OmiseGO distributes open protocol to allow different e-wallets to seamlessly talk to each other.
She described it as the "unlocking of mobile commerce".
By the fourth quarter, the company will introduce OmiseGO wallet software development kits, which allows programmers to create their own wallets, customise their own brands for payments, transfers and loyalty and rewards points.
"We are in discussions with strategic partners to use their own mobile-wallets in OmiseGo's network, including those in Europe, Japan and Africa," said Mr Harinsut.
It is estimated that by 2020, at least 38% of global financial service transactions will be done via mobile wallets.
This is set to provide huge opportunities in the industry, prompting outreach among users who do not have bank accounts, he said.
Mr Harinsut said when OmiseGo becomes widely adopted, users who carry one mobile wallet can make payments while shopping abroad at any shop and through any mobile wallet platform.
"Any digital value, be it game items, coins or loyalty points can be interoperable, converted and exchanged for payment," he said.