An Isle of Man startup called Pundi X Labs is on a mission: to create a world where buying cryptocurrency “as easy as buying bottled water.” At least that’s what the firm says on its website. The company is launching a new point-of-sale (POS) device. The technology would enable regular shops to accept cryptocurrencies as a method of payment.
The device, called the Pundi X POS, would also enable business owners to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies in their stores. Their customers would then have a fast and simple way to buy or sell virtual coin on the spot.
Making a Splash in Southeast Asia
The startup has pretty lofty ambitions for its new technology. Pundi X Labs is hoping to get the device in use at 100,000 store locations. It hopes to achieve this over a period of three years.
Pundi X Lab will start deploying its new system in Indonesia using the existing network of its sister company, Pundi-Pundi. It’s a mobile payments service that uses QR codes to allow cashless payments. Pundi-Pundi boasts 100,000 registered users, and it just launched earlier this year. The service also has 500 merchants operating in Jakarta.
“We’ve demonstrated the demand for cashless transactions with our Pundi-Pundi QR app which is now established as one of the biggest in Indonesia, following the Alipay model,” said Pundi X Labs’ Chief Executive Officer, Zac Cheah. “Now we are well placed to build on our extensive user base and relationships with leading partners to take cashless transactions to the next level by bringing cryptocurrencies to the average consumer.”
Less than one percent of the world’s population even ons any sort of cryptocurrency. Pundi X Labs sees this as a problem. According to Mr. Cheah, the market’s complexity is the reason for such weak participation. He says that the process for buying cryptocurrencies is way too convoluted for everyday people.
In order too jumpstart its growth, the company says it is honing in on restaurant chains and big-name retailers. The idea is to create relationships with businesses that have already accumulated a large user base.
It’s off to a good start, thanks to a recently-inked deal with payment services provider E2Pay. The agreement gives the company access to the biggest religious group in the region, NU. About 100 million people are members of of the organization. Pundi X will integrate with the organization’s existing payment app, called NU Cash.
The agreement will also give Pundi X access to 25,000 Bulog store locations. At the moment, Bulog is one of the top convenience store operators in Indonesia. Both the NU Cash and “Bulog Pay” services with Pundi X have expected launch dates in the first quarter of 2018.
Press Release, Pundi X