“Crypto is like the elephant in the room. It’s the missing piece in online payments. Using crypto assets, not just bitcoin, but XRP, Ethereum, etc. we can modernise the online payment network in Cyprus. You know that the system is there, the infrastructure is already there, no one needs to do anything else it’s done,” explains Andrew Anastasiou, founder of Nobanx.

“So the idea behind Nobanx was to leverage that infrastructure, and just have a basic API with which we can go to any company in Cyprus that wants to pay online.”

Why did Andrew Anastasiou, a well-known Cyprus entrepreneur, create Nobanx.com?

“In Cyprus, we have cash payments, we’ve got card payments, but we’re totally lacking when it comes down to alternative payment methods. There are mobile payments, but that requires a lot of infrastructure. In Asia, payments via ATM are also popular, but that’s something Cyprus will not have for a long time.

And you’ve got countries like Estonia, UK, Singapore, which are completely leading the way in alternative payments.  And I think it’s time for Cyprus to have the ability to catch up. What’s more, with the virus, we’ve got more online business every day. Covid has essentially forced every company to go online. So we need payment methods that are faster than what the banks usually offer.

“Crypto is like the elephant in the room. It’s the missing piece in online payments. Using crypto assets, not just bitcoin, but XRP, Ethereum, etc. we can modernise the online payment network in Cyprus. You know that the system is there, the infrastructure is already there, no one needs to do anything else it’s done,” explains Andrew Anastasiou, CEO of Nobanx.

“So the idea behind Nobanx was to leverage that infrastructure, and just have a basic API with which we can go to any company in Cyprus that wants to pay online.”

Anastasiou plans to focus on the youth market.

There’s a main focus on the younger market, between 23 to 35. And in Cyprus, there should be a local presence to serve them. Suppose they have an online shop or even an online consultancy account, I’m 32 years old, I don’t want to go and open a bank account or maybe it’s hard to open a bank account. Nobanx can offer an account for high-risk merchants or for a startup merchant. It will have an API to receive payments instantly. In fact, all businesses that pre-register will get their accounts and APIs 100 per cent free.”

Trust is always an issue for cryptocurrencies, however, as Anastasiou notes.

“Yes, you can’t ignore the trust issues, but I think we can really get crypto a bit more trusted in Cyprus, this is definitely part of our aim,” Anastasiou insists. “Building trust is an essential part of building a business like this – when you are working with someone else’s money.

Stability and trust? Anything to do with online payments or a transactional business model, you have to just make sure that you know that you build the trust in the beginning with a good customer base, building a community around our product. And then it sells itself, and follows traditional financial marketing models.”

And then there is the shopping component to the business, Anastasiou says.

“Our niche, and the niche that I want to enter into, is online businesses in Cyprus. And this could be anything from car sales, an online grocery shop, an online retail store, anything that requires taking payments online. I’m in talks with a number of clothing sites, and I’m getting a lot of interest. So,, with your account on Nobanx, you will have access to an increasing number of retailers where you can pay with crypto. I think the advantage, of course for online shops is that payment with crypto is really fast and really cheap.”

The cost of sending funds using Ripple’s XRP is very inexpensive, costing only a few eurocents per transfer.

“And the money is instantly in your account. When the customer decides to buy a product, he/she sees a QR code, and then scans the code, picks the cryptocurrency to pay in, and then the merchant will receive that money into their bank account instantly. And that’s all there is to it,” he adds.

The platform is such that Anastasiou intends to white-label it for points of sale. There will be a card for transactions as well. Nobanx is exploring partnerships with other suppliers as well.

“But the main question will be to build trust with businesses in Cyprus, and get crypto accepted as an  alternative payment method. Then we expect to offer accounts to individuals.

 

 

 

 

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