Recap: AMA with Our CEO John Tan, 27th September 2022

Alchemy Pay
13 min readSep 30, 2022

On September 27th, our CEO John Tan joined us via Telegram to answer all users who want to know more about Alchemy Pay and share new updates on our upcoming plans. Below are the key takeaways from the session:

Questions from Twitter:

Q1 from Itsaa (@kumar_itsdeepak):

What was the biggest reason for the emergence of the Alchemy Pay project, that is, what encouraged you to such a project? What distinguishes Alchemy Pay from other payment platforms and what is your favourite feature?

John Tan:

Alchemy Pay was first conceptualised in 2018 — when the founding team members were trying to figure out how we could make crypto payments more easily adopted by the mainstream.

At the point in time, crypto payment service providers such as BitPay and PundiX were solely focused on delivering pure crypto payment solutions — which Alchemy Pay team members felt were not ready for adoption. Merchants and businesses simply don’t understand (or have sufficient confidence in)crypto well enough. Expectedly, they are unlikely to take on a whole new payment system just to accept crypto.

As a result, Alchemy Pay launched the world’s first hybrid crypto and fiat payment solution — which can help merchants accept both fiat and crypto in one single solution.

As for my personal favourite feature of this hybrid payment solution, would be its capability to accept Binance Pay. We have been close partners with Binance since 2019 — when we were selected by Binance to bring BNB and BUSD acceptance across our merchant network. It’s been a real honour to be the first few merchant acquiring partners for Binance Pay (which is available to all 70+M users of Binance!) — it brings a payment experience that is fast and seamless. More importantly, it brings significant savings of at least 70% to businesses when compared to credit card payments.

Q2 from Fifi (@JaLakB4Li)

Alchemy Pay is a payment solutions provider that seamlessly connects fiat and crypto economies for,

  1. Global consumers
  2. Merchants
  3. Developers
  4. Institutions

Please separately explain the benefits that each party get by using Alchemy Pay?

John Tan:

I’d categorise 2/3/4 as the same group as they are the payee i.e. the businesses receiving payments.

These clients of ours are able to reap several benefits; 2 of the main benefits are cost savings and improved cash flows.

Most businesses are trying to target a global audience and they can mainly do so by accepting credit card payments over the Visa/Mastercard/Amex card networks. However, credit card transactions require many middlemen for them to work — from the likes of card issuers, card acquirers, payment gateways, ISO/agents etc, all of which take a cut out of every transaction. This is the reason why most card transactions cost merchants 3.5–4% on average to accept card payments.

These transaction fees are considered business expenses which are passed onto consumers. However, there’s an increasing trend where businesses are showing their displeasure towards rising card payment, such as letting customers pay additional ‘payment fee’ for paying with cards, another prominent case was Amazon threatening to stop accepting Visa cards due to rising fees.

As crypto payment becomes more adopted, these cost savings are expected to benefit consumers too!

Besides cost savings, card transactions are typically settled to merchants in >1 week. Causing cash flow issues to merchants, especially startups. Crypto transactions require no settlement over the network. As such, merchants using Alchemy Pay crypto acceptance solutions can receive settlement in their local fiat currencies in just 1 day!

Last but not least, Crypto payments benefit businesses by helping them target developing countries — such as Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia etc. — where credit card penetration is low but crypto adoption growth rate is the highest in the world.

Q3 from 0xGreen (@agreen7788)

What is needed to set up the Alchemy Pay POS in a business, does it require prior verification of the business or KYC, do I need any special equipment?

John Tan:

Our crypto acceptance is available for both online and offline settings.

In both cases, businesses need to complete KYB with us (filtering illicit businesses and AML purposes) — which is a simple process that involves providing director/ubo documentation, proof of business substance etc. to open a merchant account with us.

For online businesses, we offer integration options via APIs or a simpler option which is a widget they can conveniently place on their website.

For offline businesses, we can provide a POS (an android based payment terminal to be specific) in countries that we support. Even in countries where we do not have local presence, merchants can still download our merchant app to begin accepting crypto payment on their existing android based terminals, or any iOS/Android mobile devices.

Q4 from Md Mehide Hasan SEJAN (@MehideSejan)

What is the business model of #AlchemyPay? How does it works? And who are your potential customers and with markets are you targeting?

John Tan:

Alchemy Pay revenue streams are derived mainly from transactions we process across all our business units such as fiat/crypto payments and buy/sell crypto transactions which we offer via our on/off ramp solution.

We generally make a 1–1.5% margin off all transactions.

Our crypto payment is generally used by Web2 merchants but is seeing increasing use cases as part of our NFT checkout solution (for NFTs priced in fiat currencies). This solution is offered to merchants across the world via local merchant network partners — which are mainly e-commerce platforms and payment companies.

Our Fiat gateways and Ramps are generally offered to players in the crypto space such as crypto exchanges and wallets.

While our clientele is not targeted based on geography, our fundamental capabilities such as payment channels are. For instance, our ramp solution is able to help users buy and sell crypto via local channels. For instance, Brazil’s PIX, Mexico’s SPEI, Indonesia’s Ovo/Dana, Thailand’s THAI QR via PromptPay etc. These payment channels are secured by our payments team based on the crypto users (and crypto holders’ growth rate) in those markets.

Q5 from Blockchain Learning (@blocklearning)

Can you share an update on (a) which metrics the team tracks to measure success, and (b) a report on any of those metrics? Like, what is average daily/weekly/monthly transaction volume for the payments service? What about rails? How many white label credit cards are in use?

John Tan:

Considering our business model, we mainly look into the transaction volume as a metric. Additionally, key partners (e.g. payment co for crypto/fiat payment business unit, crypto VCs and crypto exchanges for our crypto ramps unit) secured are also an important metric as they bring consistent and organic transaction traffic onto our platform.

For our crypto payment business, we are also affected by the bear market as investors are tighter with their spending of their crypto assets.

For instance, in Q4 of 2020, we were processing about 420k USD (in crypto) per day, which grew to 740k USD per day in Q4 of 2021.

In Q2 of 2022, the daily crypto payment volume has declined to ~350k USD per day although our merchant network size has grown considerably. With that said, crypto is a long-term game and Alchemy Pay will come out ahead as we continue to gain market share globally.

Our fiat payment volume currently averages about $2–2.4 Mn USD per day in the past few months. This has more than doubled compared to the same time frame of last year — mainly due to the local payment methods that we support which helps crypto service providers target the frontier/developing markets that credit cards cannot.

The business unit that we are most excited about would be our crypto on-ramp and off-ramp (check out https://ramp.alchemypay.org/ ). Although this solution was launched only a few months ago, we have already surpassed $300k per day and secured partners such as LBank, Token Pocket and are in conversation with top-tier exchanges and wallets. We expect this to thrive in the coming 2 years as more and more crypto newbies (96% of the global population!) begin their foray into the world of crypto.

WRT to white label card solutions, we don’t measure our metric with cards issued but rather the number of partners we support. Frankly, this offering has not been performing as well as we had hoped due to the fact it was launched as the bear market began. However, we’ll continue to monitor market demand for this solution.

Q6 from Brown guy (@paulblicity1)

Well its now a known fact that $ACH will eventually become the most trusted, one and only bridge between crypto & fiat currency. What are the steps been taken to make this utility available in other regions of the world, like africa?

John Tan:

We have been having numerous conversations with government officials, key potential partners to expand into Africa. Generally speaking, we feel that developing markets have a lot of potential as crypto services tend to benefit consumers in these markets who are largely underbanked.

Moving into these market can often be tricky, especially for those that are still highly dependent on cash. Not only does it make it hard to scale up (as cash payment pay-in and pay-out is a highly manual process), it also exposes us to a lot of money laundering risks.

As such, having a strong partner is critically important. For instance, we are currently speaking to Nigeria’s leading ramp provider ScaleX to figure out how they can provide us a way to collect payments locally. This means that we can integrate this into our offering and begin helping exchanges around the world serve Nigerians. At the same time, we are also exploring the potential of offering our global remittance channels to ScaleX so their users can remit fiat currencies across the globe for overseas investment, expenses among other ventures.

Q7 from Alchemy Pay $ACH soldier (@SlaveNr39150)

Is Alchemy Pay intending to implement all 180 existing currencies into their crypto ramp?

John Tan:

Our ramp team is working hard on securing as many payment channels as possible — many payment companies are still on the fence on getting involved in the crypto space but this sentiment has certainly improved in the past 1–2 years. It also makes it easier to convince them as our transaction volume has been seeing 4–6x growth on a monthly basis (which translates to transaction revenue for them as they collect base rates from us).

We are already processing Visa, Mastercard, JCB and Union Pay cards so that pretty much covers the global market.

However, we integrating plenty of local payment channels onto our ramp. Let me pull up our current supported and future plans.

Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, Europe (via SEPA), Vietnam, Brazil, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, Costa Rica, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador

These are to be ready within the next 1.5 months for on-ramp

For off-ramp, we are already supporting over 50+ countries in their local currencies. I urge our friends here to check out ramp.alchemypay.org; our off-ramp fees are even lower than many OTC providers who only offer wholesale rates for transactions over 30–50k!

for instance, selling USDT to SGD/HKD/AUD only cost 0.75%, inclusive of remittance and USD/Local Fiat Forex.

If anyone has any token projects that need ramp services, do refer them to us ramp.alchemypay.org we offer a handsome referral reward for all closed cases.

Q8 from Armando Bautista (@Armandokuro)

Users experience is a very important issue in most projects. Does your project focus on this? What have you done to bring the best user experience, especially to new users?

John Tan:

This is absolutely true. For example, crypto payments can be slow especially for blockchains with long block time (such as Bitcoin network’s 10min average block time!). This is why we are working with Binance Pay to make crypto payment instant. We have also recently completed our integration with Solana Pay. Going forward, we will continue to work with other CEX wallets such as Crypto.com Pay and FTX Pay.

WRT Ramps, the best experience we can bring to users is not just the UI and UX — but more importantly, the channels we support — whether it is buying crypto and selling crypto.

To enhance user experience, we strive to make all transactions automated and in real-time. For example, we are in the midst of integrating Open Banking solutions for UAE (bank transfer payment), UK (Faster Payment) and Europe region (SEPA Instant) to support instant payment to purchase crypto.

Q9 from B.Ray (@Braymasters)

By maintaining the ACH token, it will also allow customers to get a discount on their transaction fees. On what basis will these discounts be calculated? Is the discount made through the amount of ACH the customer has? How many levels will the balance be updated?

John Tan:

For crypto payment services, the fee discount applies for the businesses using our crypto ramp solution. Due to the nature of crypto transactions are sent, cashback is unfeasible (even if we intend to send $ACH as a form of cashback, the gas fee alone will erode all earnings).

However, we want to provide more benefits to retail $ACH holders. We are in the midst of planning a new direct 2C application that can perform a myriad of functions from holding multi fiat currencies, global remittance, buy/sell crypto, Earn function (staking etc.), Web3 offerings (NFT marketplace, Web3 Quests) and more.

This 2C solution will then have $ACH as a platform token where it can unlock benefits such as exclusive features and discounts.

With that said, 70–80% of our development resources is focused on ramp at the moment and may take some time before this is launched

Here’s some snapshots of how the 2C app may look like. It won’t be just for UAE users so don’t mind the AED currency.

Q10 from Shinichi Kudo (@Shinichic0nan)

What is your point of view about the future of Web3.0 Gaming and the Play-to-Earn trend in the half end of 2022? Generating a project during bull market will bring huge amount of benefits, but how can investors assured of profits in the downtrend market?

John Tan:

Alchemy Pay’s role is to make web3 easily accessible by the mainstream — be it NFTs, DeFi, Gaming/Play-to-Earn etc. as such, we will continue to thrive as long as the crypto industry thrive as a whole. By that, i mean the ac

tual adoption and usage — not so much the price movement of crypto assets.

As mentioned by Shinichi, Web3.0 Gaming and Play-to-Earn sounds fascinating, its imperative for all participants to stay prudent. Many of these games rely on economics that can only hold up if more users participate — where rewards are paid out by influx of investment by new participants (hint: musical chair).

As with all investment, do ample research before investing.

But with that said, there are plenty of applications that are highly beneficial to global consumers. For instance, Alchemy Pay relies on blockchain to reduce settlement time and bring savings to businesses! We are certainly confident of the huge potential that lies ahead and the amount of value Alchemy Pay can extract as a key player between the crypto and fiat worlds.

Q11 from Nicole Boughanmi (@nicole_binuya)

On moving forward through your roadmap, what are your most important priorities? Does your team have enough fundamental (Funds, Community, etc) to achieve those milestones?

John Tan:

Believe this question was mostly answered along the way — but Crypto ramps will certainly be the priority going forward considering the amount of demand by Web3 players looking to target the mainstream!

As part of our strategy to maintain our ramp solution’s edge, we will be focusing on:

1. License acquisition (UK EMI, Hong Kong MSO, Singapore’s MPI under PSA, Indonesia’s Payment license, U.S. MTL)

2. Payment Channels — particularly APMs including local bank transfers, domestic transfer networks, fiat mobile wallets, CEX wallets

3. Growing our ramp BD team from 4 to 10 (anyone with payment + crypto experience, feel free to apply by checking our our careers page)

Wrt funding, we have begun equity fundraising few months ago and should be able to close it soon.

To clarify, we are raising funds as our ramp transaction volume is growing rapidly. A huge portion still comes from credit card transactions which causes cash flow issues (we need to buy crypto in advance before credit card transactions are settled back to us). By processing 1M USD daily in credit card transactions, we need around 8–10M in cash to maintain our operating reserves!

Questions from Telegram:

Q1 from @Lina_bentley_62

Are you focusing on the Korean market as well as the global market or not?

John Tan:

We target markets by looking at the crypto holders and how affluent the users are (by GDP per capita). As such, key markets like Korea (ranked 8th globally by our own research) is definitely within our pipeline.

Many of such mature markets have very strict regulations, meaning that it will be harder to secure their payment channels. In the case of Korea, we are awaiting our Hong Kong’s entity to secure a Money Service Operator license which is ETA end Q4 or early Q1 2023. Thereafter, we will be able to accept and remit KRW via bank transfers!

Q2 from @DahliaCalantha51688

Can you tell some about your CHARITY project? Unfortunately, we don’t hear too much about charities in this sector.

John Tan:

I’m sure some of you here have heard of our CSR project in Africa where we are providing education materials, sponsoring research into mental health as well as sponsoring wearables that can monitor students to mitigate mental illnesses such as depression.

Other endeavours include providing consultations to Cambodia, by working with local authorities and UN, to raise funds via NFT issuance (minesweeper hero NFTs!). Stay tuned for updates!

Q3 from @Evendal9

Do you have any guide for beginners about your project how to use and what are your plan to attract non-crypto investors?

We have a new member in our PR team that is focused on creating content focused on guiding users new to crypto on how to use our solutions. I believe these articles are available on our Twitter!

You can also check out our blog for more useful content. Example here:

https://alchemypay.org/blog/5-best-ways-to-buy-crypto/

Twitter Winners:

1. kumar_itsdeepak

2. JaLakB4Li

3. agreen7788

4. MehideSejan

5. Blocklearning

6. paulblicity1

7. SlaveNr39150

8. Armandokuro

9. Braymasters

10. Shinichic0nan

11. nicole_binuya

Telegram Winners:

1. Lina_bentley_62

2. DahliaCalantha51688

3. Evendal9

Congratulations to all winners! Make sure to follow our Twitter and Telegram for the latest news and events!

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Alchemy Pay

Alchemy Pay (ACH) bridges fiat and crypto global economies through a real-world payment system and mainstream-friendly access to web3 services.