Crypto Payments Aim to Rival Apple Pay’s Efficiency

Key Insights:

  • Helio aims to match Apple Pay’s efficiency, leveraging next-gen blockchains like Solana to enhance crypto payment speed and reliability.
  • The “Crypto granny” concept targets broader user adoption by simplifying crypto payments for those unfamiliar with blockchain technology.
  • Helio’s growth includes major e-commerce integrations and potential future expansions into digital content platforms like Vimeo and OnlyFans.

Cryptocurrency-based payment systems are vying for broader acceptance in the competitive landscape of mobile transactions, with Apple Pay setting the standard for performance and user experience. 

Stijn Paumen, CEO of the cryptocurrency payments platform Helio, emphasized in a recent interview the challenges and aspirations that new crypto payment technologies face in matching the functionality of established mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

According to Paumen, while cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum laid the groundwork for decentralized payment protocols, their base layers do not offer the same speed and seamless user experience as traditional financial infrastructures. The Helio CEO pointed to Apple Pay’s rapid processing capabilities as a benchmark, highlighting the necessity for crypto payment platforms to achieve similar operational efficiency to become viable alternatives for everyday transactions.

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Bridging the Technology Gap

The journey to enhance the efficiency of cryptocurrency payment systems involves overcoming several technological hurdles. Paumen noted the evolution from the first to the second generation of blockchain technologies, such as Solana, which are being developed to address issues like network congestion and scalability – problems that earlier blockchain iterations struggled with.

Helio itself has been proactive in leveraging these newer blockchain solutions to improve transaction times and reliability. Founded in March 2022 by Paumen and Chief Technology Officer Jim Walker, Helio has rapidly grown, with significant integrations such as the Solana Pay plugin for Shopify and WooCommerce. These developments underscore a focused effort to refine the user experience to rival that of Apple Pay’s quick and user-friendly interface.

Enhancing User Accessibility

One of the critical challenges facing the adoption of cryptocurrency payments is the steep learning curve associated with blockchain technology and crypto wallets. Paumen pointed out that although a knowledgeable user can complete a transaction quickly using a Web3 wallet, this level of fluency is currently limited to a small percentage of users. This acknowledgment has led Helio to work on making its platform more accessible to a broader audience, including those less familiar with cryptocurrency.

The concept of “crypto granny,” as described by Paumen, represents this push toward inclusivity. The goal is for users unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies to be able to make purchases effortlessly without needing prior knowledge of blockchain technology or direct ownership of cryptocurrencies. This approach not only simplifies the user experience but also aligns with the broader trend of making digital payments as straightforward and quick as traditional methods like Apple Pay.

Future Prospects and Current Integrations

Looking ahead, Paumen remains optimistic about the potential integration of mainstream mobile payment systems with blockchain technology, suggesting that even platforms like Apple Pay could eventually adopt blockchain to settle payments. 

Meanwhile, Helio continues to expand its presence in the cryptocurrency payment sector, supporting a variety of digital currencies across major e-commerce platforms and facilitating significant transactions, such as ticket sales for the Ethereum Community Conference.

In addition to e-commerce, Paumen sees potential for cryptocurrency payments to make inroads into digital content platforms, citing Vimeo and OnlyFans as prime candidates for such expansions. These platforms could benefit from the decentralized and potentially lower-cost transaction framework that blockchain technologies offer, enhancing the utility of crypto payments in more everyday contexts.

Helio’s ongoing efforts to refine its technology and expand its user base are part of a broader industry movement toward making cryptocurrency payments as routine and seamless as those offered by industry leaders like Apple Pay. This alignment is crucial as crypto payment platforms strive not only for technical parity but also for widespread consumer acceptance and trust.

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Editorial credit: Lukasz Michalczyk /