The senior leadership of OCTO3, a Hong Kong based payment solution provider, announced the coming development of HAZZA, the world’s first global unified payment network.
“Our vision for HAZZA is to allow merchants to connect to one common network and access any payment system also plugged in to HAZZA. Similarly, credit cards, mobile wallet providers, banks and more will be able to connect to HAZZA,” says OCTO3 CEO Tyrone Lynch. “With HAZZA we want all payment providers to be able to collaborate with more merchants using simple APIs.”
While the payment industry has recently seen a wave of innovation, a wide range of inefficiencies still plague the global patchwork of connecting companies. Any given payment method only works in a limited range of venues, forcing consumers to carry with them a variety of means of payment at all times. The same is true of online shopping. It means that merchants often lose business from the inability to complete a sale due to a payment issue. This is true even as merchants are paying more than ever to connect to more payment platforms.
This fragmentation of the market creates unnecessary friction at every level. Given that the non-cash global payment transaction volume is expected to exceed USD$70 trillion by 2025, the incentives to improve the system are high.
The creators of the HAZZA network have an advantage over others trying to address this market. First, their platform already exists and has been running for years. Second, the leadership of OCTO3 and HAZZA all have extensive experience in the every part of the payment sector, from technology to business. They know the pain points and understand the technology.
Their next move is to incorporate blockchain technology and smart contracts to facilitate development of the network. Smart contracts can, according to Mr Lynch, “fast track business engagement among merchants, payment service providers and the entire payments ecosystems.”
They are supporting the blockchain migration and enhanced development of the system through a token sale. The HAZZA token will have a number of functions. For starters, it will allow token holders to access the HAZZA global network.
“We expect the utility of the token in accessing this proven, operational network, will be extremely strong,” explains Mr Lynch. “The cryptocurrency structure will create a self-fulfilling value creation engine. We anticipate innovators and owners of tokens will have powerful incentive to constantly create new solutions to build on the network.”
The resources secured through the token sale, which closes October 31, will be used to increase adoption of the system, provide training and certification for HAZZA developers and implement blockchain functionality.
The HAZZA project is aimed driving efficiencies throughout the entire global payments system, in every economy where non-cash payments are used. However, its backers are even trying to bring those outside the current payments ecosystem into the modern world economy. HAZZA will reduce costs associated with gaining access to more payments systems, especially important in emerging economies. Small business people without access to traditional systems now, may be able to connect to new customers through the HAZZA network. Major financial players will have new markets open up to them as they seek to reach the ‘next billion’ – the term coined for the global cohort of emerging consumers, according to a Bain & Co. report in 2011. HAZZA could be an important way for them to achieve their goal of spreading financial inclusion.
“Financial inclusion means bringing everyone into the network – from entrepreneurs in developing nations to consumers around the world. Everyone has to be able to access the benefits of the global economy. A transparent, accessible and affordable system can create opportunities for credit card providers, banks, Alternative Payment Methods (APM) and other payment solution providers,” says Ajmal Samuel, Chairman of OCTO3.
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