The Executive Interview Series provides readers with exclusive insights from movers and shakers in the payments industry. The Payments Industry is under continuous transformation, as such this series provides diverse perspectives on everything from strategy to payments technology and to the future of the industry.
In this interview, TSG’s Market Intelligence team-member Alex Ferguson spoke with NetCents CEO, Clayton Moore, to learn more about his thoughts around the growth and spread of cryptocurrency and NetCents’ role in that ecosystem.
Background: Clayton is an entrepreneur with over 15 years of industry-leading experience in the payments space. In 2003, Clayton founded Cybux, a payment platform focusing on the service industry – a gift card platform that is still being used today in many top Canadian restaurants and chains. In 2006, Clayton sold Cybux and founded NetCents. NetCents was founded on Clayton’s belief that the payment industry was ripe for disruption. NetCents has pivoted multiple times over the years as new technologies and opportunities have come to market. Today, NetCents acts as a leading transactional hub for cryptocurrency payments.
Q: Alex FergusonHow did you get into payments?
A: Clayton MooreI was at the age where it was difficult to get a credit card from the bank. This difficulty gave me the idea for a prepaid cash card that you could get without needing to have a credit history for a bank to issue you a credit card. This idea evolved into a school card program that students could use to make purchases on campus. This program was very successful and integrated into many schools across North America that are still in use today. I exited this company and founded NetCents in 2006. NetCents was originally founded as a payment platform for online gaming. We successfully integrated into 60% of all of the online gaming websites. Unfortunately, there was US legislation passed that stopped this before we launched. We’ve pivoted a few times since, but we began seeing the potential future of cryptocurrency when Microsoft and Amazon began moving towards cryptocurrency. At this time, we decided to stop doing all traditional payments and focus solely on cryptocurrency and here we are today.
Q: Alex FergusonDescribe your biggest contribution to the payments industry.
A: Clayton MooreThe biggest contribution that I’ve made to the payments industry is NetCents and the work that we’ve done to bring cryptocurrency payments mainstream.
Q: Alex FergusonIn the next five years what do you think is the biggest opportunity in the payments industry?
A: Clayton MooreIn the next five years, I see cryptocurrency, by far, as the biggest opportunity in the payments industry. We are going to see a transition from fiat-based currencies to digital-based currencies and the mass adoption of cryptocurrency across borders and industries.We have already seen the seeds of this transition planted and are already beginning to see the acceptance of cryptocurrency within the traditional banking and payments industries. This early acceptance is continuing to drive the transition of cryptocurrency from an alternative payment solution to one that solves many of the issues inherent with global commerce.
Q: Alex FergusonWhat do you feel is the overall perception of cryptocurrency from merchants? Do you feel widespread cryptocurrency acceptance is just around the corner? Or is there still a lot of work that needs to be done?
A: Clayton MooreThere is definitely work that still needs to be done, but merchant adoption of cryptocurrency is growing at an exponential level. We’ve already seen a growing group of merchants who choose not to do fiat settlements but rather choose to hold the cryptocurrency. This happened much faster than I anticipated that it would.Cryptocurrency is coming a lot faster than I originally envisioned due to world events like COVID. Building the foundation required for mass cryptocurrency adoption has been the focus for many cryptocurrency companies like NetCents. We’ve been very successful and fortunate with our Partner Programs and merchant adoption. And now with COVID, the demand for cryptocurrency has increased significantly and in markets that previously had little to no traction like B2B. Companies like NetCents who began their development phase early on are poised to be able to capture and capitalize on this growth. I think we are going to really see things ramp up quickly.
Q: Alex FergusonFollowing up on the previous question, what do you feel is currently the biggest hurdle in facilitating cryptocurrency payment acceptance with merchants?
A: Clayton MooreThe biggest hurdle we face is education. The amount of people that are wanting to transact with cryptocurrency isn’t being met by merchant demand yet. Merchants that adopted cryptocurrency payments early are starting to see significant additional revenue from their cryptocurrency sales. We are starting to see an uptick in merchant adoption growth and I think a lot of that is driven by the success of the merchants who adopted it early and the efforts that have been put in to educating merchants on the benefits of accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method.One of the key education points is that cryptocurrency doesn’t cannibalize a merchants existing revenue channels, rather, it adds a new source of revenue for merchants. As this message gets out, the demand for cryptocurrency payments is increasing daily.
Q: Alex FergusonNetCents offers a Cryptocurrency Visa card and a consumer exchange platform in addition to a cryptocurrency merchant gateway. Do you feel facilitating increasing consumer use of cryptocurrency can lead to an increase in merchant adoption?
A: Clayton MooreWhen we built NetCents, we knew that all three components of our ecosystem were key to our long-term strategy and together, they help fuel the acceleration of adoption on both the user and merchant side. The NetCents Cryptocurrency Visa Card is our first direct to consumer product and opens NetCents users up to over 40 million merchants, worldwide, to spend their cryptocurrency.One of the key things that this program provides us is hard data. One of the most frequent questions we receive is what industries cryptocurrency does the best in and our answer is always limited to the industries that adopted cryptocurrency early on. With the card program we will now have the data on when there are not gating or limiting factors, where users actually want to spend their cryptocurrency. We can then take this data to the merchants to get them to accept cryptocurrency directly, opening them to the entire cryptocurrency market.
Q: Alex FergusonWhat do you think is the most commonly misunderstood aspect of Cryptocurrency? It’s most overlooked benefit?
A: Clayton MooreOne thing that is generally misunderstood about cryptocurrency is that it is something new. We are already using digital currency now. When was the last time you used cash? Cryptocurrency is ideal for speed, borderless transactions, transparency, and remittance.There are a lot of benefits to cryptocurrency but the one that I think is the most overlooked is its process. It eliminates so many challenges that traditional processing companies are faced with due to the legacy systems that are in place.
Q: Alex FergusonHow has cryptocurrency been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and how do you feel its future trajectory has been altered?
A: Clayton MooreToday, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in cryptocurrency, a shift from an asset to actual currency, the building blocks for the financial infrastructure of tomorrow. Unfortunately, it has taken another time of crisis. However, this time, the crisis affects a far broader group of people, and the current uncertainty of the traditional financial infrastructure is of growing concern.It is in these times of economic uncertainty that cryptocurrency and its inherent value truly shines. The understanding of, and value, of cryptocurrency, is finally being recognized for its intended purpose and not a tool for speculation, which is what it has been up until this moment.Earlier this year, the EU announced for the first time ever negative interest rate for small personal and business accounts. The U.S is printing money like it is water. During COVID, the number of people researching cryptocurrency increased – bitcoin grew by 80% and Ether by 20%. A significant increase in interest followed by an increase in consumer cryptocurrency purchases and new wallet activity.It’s going to be extremely interesting to see what happens as countries globally enter an inflationary period while bitcoin is entering a deflationary period. It also helps the media attention that cryptocurrency is getting, Google searches are at all-time highs compared before COVID, which is great for bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general.
The post Executive Interview Series: NetCents Technology CEO, Clayton Moore appeared first on The Strawhecker Group.