Modulr’s Gavin Waddell discusses the relevance of crypto payments, what great apps are and how could they be monetized, and what needs to be done to gain trust in crypto.
It’s a fascinating time for the crypto space, with many headline-grabbing changes to the status quo. But in the disruption there are opportunities, and forward-thinking companies have been preparing for this fluctuating period for some time, developing other features that go beyond crypto trading. These are the organizations that develop great apps, with crypto at their core, that aim to make cryptocurrencies a more regular and functional part of the financial mainstream.
While recent speculation around crypto investments may have died down, what does the future hold and how will the industry weather periods of financial instability or even a potential recession?
At Modulr, consumer payments is an area we care about and we are aware of a wide range of examples of how people are changing their use of cryptocurrencies. And we don’t think the game is over for crypto. We believe that the current climate could be the catalyst for a long overdue consolidation and expansion of the industry.
After all, many still turn to crypto to solve a particular set of problems or to offer a better solution than traditional banks. For example, there are situations where someone may want to send money to a relatively inaccessible location with poor banking infrastructure. In this kind of situation, using cryptocurrency or stablecoins might be preferable to traditional banking rails.
Michael Stroev, COO of Modulr partner Nebeus, thinks we’re likely to see a shift in the way people approach cryptocurrencies. “I expect to see a slight change, especially if we go into a recession. There will be less fear of missing out, less hype. You’re going to have people who are slower in coming, but they’re going to be more educated at the same time. They are going to make more strategic investments, they are going to look at specific use cases and learn about blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies.”
What do we mean by super app?
Fintech super apps allow users to access a range of different financial products through a single app. While many claim to offer this, the reality of the checkout experience is often lacking and much less comprehensive than one might expect.
At Modulr, we believe that if you have a successful checkout experience and your offer is adopted as an day-to-day account, the customer is more likely to use a wider range of features and engage much more. in the app. It is therefore essential to manage the payments part well to promote access and adoption of all the other functionalities.
And what does the great Nebeus app offer? “For Nebeus, our mission has always been to connect the financial world and the cryptocurrency world. We have always tried to achieve this through crypto loans. But at the moment, we achieve this by linking fiat accounts to crypto accounts, with instant transfers between those accounts and instant access to cryptocurrency services, and vice versa,” says Michael.
What Great Apps Should Accomplish
One thing that will need to be embraced, if crypto super apps are going to be successful, is a seamless customer experience.
Those who got into crypto early or are part of the fintech world have an edge in understanding crypto and how it works. But that can be quite daunting if you’re outside the world of financial services and picking up a crypto app or signing up for an exchange for the first time. And that’s not the experience you want a customer to have when they use your app to move and manage money. If your app is clunky and difficult to integrate, chances are your customers will switch to another vendor.
“In general, I wouldn’t say the space has been easy to navigate for a newcomer to crypto. Recently I needed to send some stablecoins to a friend and asked for his wallet address. He didn’t know what it was. And this is a person who has been investing in cryptocurrencies and buying stablecoins for about eight months. This proves that an app that will fix this problem, or at least educate people enough to quickly understand what needs to be done, is going to outperform other apps. adds Michael. “That’s one of the reasons we take different approaches on our social media and our blog – to educate different users, depending on whether they’re more casual or looking for more in-depth information.”
Modulr works with crypto clients like Nebeus to enable a bridge between traditional payment rails (where most funds are still held) and crypto platforms. Our APIs ensure this journey is seamless, providing a superior customer experience and better integration, as well as ensuring immediate notifications when funds arrive in an account.
Building trust in crypto
When it comes to payment providers, trust is key. Historically, banks and payment providers have viewed the crypto world with suspicion, and in turn, crypto companies have wondered if they even understand the space.
A good example is the sporadic and even volatile levels of payment activity, with investment trends resulting in massive spikes in volumes. While this might be considered normal for the crypto market, it is enough to send a traditional bank manager into payout-induced panic. So there needs to be mutual understanding and any crypto-enabled solution needs to be able to scale with market movements.
Even some of the largest crypto exchanges in the world had their banking access disabled, almost in the blink of an eye. And it’s not always because the payment provider changes its mind – it could be the underlying payment or the banking provider that powers its service. And it can have a massive impact on the crypto platform and its brand reputation.
And, as Michael attests, reputation and trust are paramount: “It helps build trust with our customers by showing that we are a genuine platform, that we are regulated by the Bank of Spain and that currently we plan to apply for future licenses and registrations. We also plan to work with audit firms, showing that we are in good financial health and that our technology stack is stable, etc.
Monetize great apps
If super apps work, they must also make financial sense for the provider. There won’t be a one-size-fits-all business model, but we believe there will be two main approaches.
The first is to add additional features – debit cards, for example. These may not be revenue generators on their own, but they are a retention feature that encourages customers to use more revenue generating products within the app, such as investment, FX or other features. After all, the more people use the app, the more opportunities there are for regular individual purchases and transaction fees that make the app sustainable.
The other main approach is subscription and, if possible, tiered subscription, as Michael explains. “Having different levels is important. Now we have three levels. Number one is free. Number two is our mid-tier, and number three is the ultimate “whale” account, with everything unlimited. We are still developing additional products and benefits that we will add to these levels to make them more attractive. So, contrary to popular belief, we believe this is an extremely exciting time for the crypto world. Yes, crypto investments are always in the headlines, but as features of DeFi, CeFi and Web3 emerge, they reveal massive opportunities – and therein lies the real growth potential of crypto and of its great applications.
Finally, has Modulr made Nebeus’ payment dreams come true? We asked Michael, if Modulr was a genius, what wish we could grant. ‘To be honest, I will say that you have already granted all our wishes. And it’s really because, looking back to a year ago, where we are right now is exactly where we wanted to be!
About Gavin Waddell
Gavin Waddell is Director of Strategic Account Sales and Crypto Specialist at Modulr, working with forward-thinking clients to bridge the gaps between crypto and finance. He specialized in this area for a while, working for ClearBank before joining Modulr. You can read more about his thought leadership in the upcoming Modulr ebook, “Future Strategies”.
Modulr is the payment-as-a-service API platform for digital businesses that need a faster, easier, and more reliable way to transfer money. Businesses can automate payment flows, integrate payments into their platforms, and create entirely new payment products and services themselves. All managed in real time, 24/7 from a single API. Modulr powers the payments plumbing for Revolut, Sage and Hodge Bank.