SALPay project team interview:
1. Since this market is not mature, major part of the auditory might not be familiar with some technical and financial terms, could you please tell us about your project in simple terms?
SALPay will help companies move payroll across borders using the blockchain and place it in its existing payout network SALPay to be used with its payroll service. Currently we do this in the Philippines (where it is a 28 billion dollar a year market) and we plan to expand this to the region (250 billion USD per year) and eventually the global market.
2. What makes your team competent in this area? Could you tell us more about your team?
This business is already exactly what we do.
- Wrap a complex financial product into an easy to use GUI for non-technical people.
- Work with regulators to ensure KYC/AMLA is being complied with PCI/DSS Compliance and have a compliance team in place.
- Work with card issuers, printers, distributors to run a card program.
- Market and sell to businesses with our business model of giving away a payroll software for free if companies will entrust us with the payroll amount. Currently we have convinced 500+ companies to give us 10 Million USD in payroll volume a month.
The Team is led by myself Judah Hirsch (Founder and CEO), I have 12 years senior management experience and have run call centers of 1200 employees. I have founded several companies including Triple i Consulting Inc a leading accounting and legal consultancy that was acquired this year by TMF. Our CTO is Russell Shepherd, he was CTO of Rappler for 3 years, which is the largest digital media news in the Philippines. Prior to that he worked with US Dept of Defense. Our Project director Fadzly Yusof was one of the first 10 employees at Razer and was their Sales and Marketing Director, he has worked 15+ years in the games, telecom, and fintech space.
We have a large company of 60+ full time employees, plus another 6 dev team in Serbia that is on long term contract.
3. In terms of business model and business concept, how well is integrated SALPay in the Salarium project?
It is important that SALPay and Salarium can work completely independently of one another for the larger consumer market, which they do. However in terms of real customer acquisition for our selected market which are businesses, the two are bundled together in a service offering that is an incredibly strong value proposition for businesses to use.
4. How is your project different from any crypto-payment systems with debit/pre-paid card like Monaco, TenX, Monetha etc? What’s your competitive advantage?
The main difference is the offering and the customer segment. These companies are primarily going after consumers who are familiar and holding onto crypto. Most are competing even with each other often using the same platform provider (mostly wirecard or wave). We go after businesses who are not familiar with crypto and just need to pay employees. Our offering of a full suite of HR, time and payroll software is no small feat and companies are happy to get this for free to switch to a better wallet product.
We have already demonstrated this here as well in the Philippines where we as well compete with other e-wallets, but acquire customers and large volumes because or model is different B2B2C instead of B2C
5. Do you have any current partnership with Visa or MasterCard? It seems like MasterCard logo is on your card. Can you tell us more about this partnership?
We have a partnership with MasterCard in that we have a co-issuing agreement with Mynt (formerly GCash) which is co-owned by Globe Telecom and Ant Financial. They have an issuing license and we have an agreement to co-issue, this agreement was of course viewed and approved by MasterCard itself. We are about to announce (hopefully today even) a partnership with a bank here in the Philippines to issue Visa cards as well. We, unlike many ICOs don’t try to over claim the “MasterCard Partnership”, it isn’t that hard or magical to be able to use a platform to issue cards. Nearly any company can go to WireCard and pay their licensing fee to issue cards, we as well already have an agreement from Wirecard to launch in Singapore and Hong Kong.
6. Have you started negotiations with any large exchange for being listed there?
We are in talks with several and hope to announce this week some developments with at least 1 exchange. Most are waiting until the end of the ICO since we are not a very hyped ICO, at the moment. We have also allocated tokens from the crowd sale to buy our way onto exchanges and we think this is a good strategy.
7. It seems like your project focuses mostly on Philippines. Does it mean that you card can be used only in that geographical area, or geography of countries is much wider? Your paper states that some other countries will be added to this list in 2018?
This is something that we have been trying to correct about the perception of the project. We are initially focused on the Philippines because this is where we have already the most traction and the market is gigantic for it. The cards we issue here can be used anywhere in the world. We plan to also be rolled out in 2 other markets (Singapore and Australia) next year, and in 2019 roll out in at least 3-5 others and start to expand a bit more aggressively in the region.
8. Let’s talk about legal part of your project. Since President Rodrigo Duterte started War On Drugs, aren’t you afraid to be accused in drug-money laundering, since some drug-dealers might use your services in the future. Under what jurisdiction have you registered your product?
Philippines is incredibly friendly toward crypto and even allows for exchanges to be licensed, the main reason we are doing this ICO for funding the licenses. We already comply with AMLA here and do KYC on all customers. We are already regulated in our current business model by the central bank. We are an existing fintech with compliance and KYC processes already in place. The main company is HQed in Singapore.
9. You are trying to resolve serious market problem – cryptocurrency liquidity and low-cost transcations. However, there are at least 12 other projects doing exactly the same. Majority of them have appreciation models of their tokens (like PoS payouts). Besides speculative nature of the market, why would your token grow in price with time?
First on the point of the PoS payouts, so far none have come through with them. We also wanted to have this but our lawyers would not stop begging us to remove it because no matter how you skin them, they really make the token a security and much more difficult to trade and deal with.
But we don’t require this type of payout, because we are not just solving the problem with a product but also our service. This is how we will actually get large adoption, by having the service. In our business model we are required to buy back tokens on behalf of our clients so that they can use the network to remit their payroll. This buy back will be in the millions of USD in the first months and will only grow as we spread our product. We are attacking a $250 billion industry just in our backyard and starting with a max market cap of $40 million. This will put a huge demand pressure on a very small number of tokens.
10. What’s your current customer base and revenue? And what’s your expected revenue for 2018 and 2019?
Currently we have about 500 or so companies and now about 15,000 employees on the platform. We did about 750K revenue this year. Next year we are looking to hit at least 100,000 wallets and have revenue of about 5M. 2019 we’ll aim for a million users and 40M.
Questions were asked by Vladyslav Antonov – Angel Investor, independent ICO analyst and blockchain economics enthusiast.