Ecosystem Zoom Out Ep. 6 — Pillar & Wyre – Pillar

We recently partnered with Wyre to offer Pillaristas the easiest in-app purchasing of crypto you can get. We spoke to Gunjan Mehta, Partnerships Manager at Wyre, about how enabling seamless fiat on-ramping can help drive the future of decentralized finance.

Wyre launched way back in 2013. The team started experimenting with solutions for using BTC in the real world, from paying taxes to making purchases on eBay. Eventually they landed on enabling cross-border payments using BTC as a conduit.

Then in 2018, during the ICO boom, the team noticed a trend of blockchain platforms desperately needing fiat on-ramping that was simple enough even for curious newcomers to the space. They leveraged their existing relationships and compliance modules to build out this new infrastructure.

According to Gunjan, Wyre’s main goal is to enable the most seamless experience of purchasing cryptocurrency. Now one of their core offerings is native fiat off and on-ramping for blockchain platforms, including wallets like Pillar.

Thanks to Wyre, users can now purchase cryptocurrency easily through the Pillar app, in exactly the same way you would make any other device-based purchase.

Gunjan says that being able to purchase cryptocurrency with fiat using a bank card, or Apple Pay and Google Pay, will not only make it easier for newcomers to purchase crypto, but make it easier for users to experiment with the growing world of decentralized finance. Crypto users can trade, save, borrow and lend without any of the friction that may have deterred them in the past.

In the fintech and blockchain space, one of the biggest challenges when onboarding new users is balancing regulatory compliance processes with a seamless user experience.

According to Gunjan, one of the main benefits of partnering with Apple and Google Pay is that Wyre will now be able to confidently onboard and verify users with little disruption to the user experience.

She notes that the crypto space is known for its fair share of “fraudsters” and KYC processes are therefore necessary. Though traditionally they can be so disruptive and burdensome for users, that Gunjan joked the team has been required to “collect blood samples” to verify a user is who they say they are.

Trusted device-based payments like Apple Pay help Wyre ensure that a user is the legitimate owner of their funds when making payments. So it’s not only for the sake of convenience — it’s also an inbuilt fraud protection mechanism designed to protect users.

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