A Newcastle start up believes it has found a solution to one of the most pressing problems in the finance sector.
Bottle Pay, which has been set up by Partnerize co-founder Pete Cheyne, says it has found a way for people to make small digital payments to businesses in an economic way.
The company believes its technology will help small companies currently hit by high bank charges for card transactions, and will also benefit consumers who want to pay for one-off items online.
The technology has been unveiled after Bottle Pay re-set its operations, having folded an earlier version of the company when it became clear its operations would not meet new European financial legislation.
Mr Cheyne said: “Micro payments, particularly across borders, are the biggest challenge fintechs have yet to overcome. It’s the last thing that needs sorting – and we’ve done it.
“Existing payment rails (payment systems) make micro payments or small credit card transactions uneconomic because of high merchant charges. Our new payment rail sorts this simply and instantly.
“It’s built on Bitcoin protocols, but works with pounds, euros, dollars, and eventually any currency.
“It gives content creators and businesses a totally new way to monetise their products, and gives them access to a new global customer base. But it also gives those customers a new, simple way of paying for goods too, so it works for both sides of a transaction.”
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Mr Cheyne is a well-known figure in the North East technology community, having co-founded Performance Horizon, the Newcastle fintech firm not called Partnerize that has won huge investment from around the world.
He has been investigating the use of blockchain technologies since 2011, but the first version of Bottle Pay shut down at the end of 2019 when new EU laws were announced to clamp down on how cryptocurrencies are used. The company had raised $2m in investment to set up.
Now the firm has recruited a new chief executive, Mark Webster, and a head of compliance and financial crime, Lianne Dodds, and says its plans have been approved by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The company has also set up offices in Newcastle’s Hoults Yard, where about half of the company’s team of 14 will be based. The rest of the Bottlepay workforce is based remotely around the globe, with nine different members of staff in seven different time zones.
Mr Cheyne said: “We’re a global team and have developed a product with global potential.
“What Bottlepay does is unlock access to the financial infrastructure of the future. It has huge potential – really huge.
“We have more than 2,000 people signed up to download the app on release with hundreds more on a waiting list. The sky’s the limit for the business, we’ve developed a solution for the greatest unsolved problem in finance.
“Businesses will now be able to leverage this new payment rail through Bottlepay and fully integrate any aspect, or all of our technology, within their own systems. We’re launching in the next couple of weeks and the app will be on the App Store by the end of October.”