From world travelers to local market shoppers, from friends trying to send money to one another to paying people overseas; our lives revolve around spending and receiving money. Many of us carry a bit of cash around in case of an emergency, so it only makes sense that in this modern era of technology we carry the digital equivalent. In this article we will explore on the easiest methods to prepare for any financial situation, no matter where you are and what currency you’ll have to use. Shifting your thinking into the digital age is crucial because you never know when you are going to need more than just some pocket change in your wallet.
Being able to send and receive cryptocurrencies can open up the world to you, reducing your need for exchanging fiat currencies and worrying about exchange rates. Cryptocurrencies will also have heavy implications in your local life, providing you with a way to maintain your funds that are independent of your national economy; a perk that a large portion of the world can benefit from.
Whether you want to pay through the blockchain, pay with a preloaded card, or pay using scannable barcodes, there are a variety of options available that you can use to ensure that you’re prepared for the future. The way we spend money is changing, and with this change comes greater convenience and accessibility, leading to lower fees and fewer situations where you end up out of luck. We will investigate three distinct ways where you can spend cryptocurrency with ease.
Physical Card Payments
Having a physical card is convenient, secure, and provides you with access to your funds through either an ATM or by using it directly for purchases. Most of us probably already have debit cards that are linked to our bank accounts, or even credit cards that we can use for everyday purchases. When people think about cryptocurrencies they tend to think of an abstract token that exists on a blockchain or an online exchange and not as accessible money that can be spent without changing your regular habits. The technology for accessing your Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum for daily transactions exists, and all it takes is adding a new card to your wallet.
Imagine that you’re traveling abroad, and although you have money in your domestic bank account, you also have a healthy share of LTC in your digital wallet. If you want to withdraw some local currency from an ATM, you could use your TenX card to access your LTC funds, withdraw the local currency, and then lock your TenX card through the app so that it would be secure even if you lost it. Not only will you be keeping your domestic bank account safe and isolated, but you will also be skipping lofty exchange rate fees that are typically applied at ATMs. Or if you prefer to skip the ATM and cash process altogether, you can go straight to the merchant using your Revolut card to access your cryptocurrency wherever Visa is accepted.
While these are great options, TenX and Revolut are based on established fiat or volatile cryptocurrencies, not their own coins; making you a slave to the changing market prices. This can be annoying if you bought BTC at one price, but then when you want to spend it you realize the market has dipped a bit and you are spending 10% more than what you “should be” spending because the market changed.
The easiest way to overcome this is to use a coin that is designed to be a consistent price, almost as an intermediary between more volatile currencies. So let’s say you buy into ETH during a dip in prices and ride the wave up for 5–10%, great job! Now because that increase may be temporary, you would want to switch your ETH to something like FiiiCoin, since it has its own blockchain and a far more predictable market. The real beauty of something like Fiiicoin isn’t that it’s based on its own blockchain, it’s rather the convenience of paying through the FiiiPOS — which can handle over 1,500 different cryptocurrencies both on and offline.
Payments with a Mobile Device
We have our phones on us 24/7 these days, and if you could stop carrying a wallet and just carry your phone instead, wouldn’t that be appealing? Imagine how convenient it would be to spend a night out on the town, ordering a ride to and from with your phone, paying for dinner using NFC, accepting payments in an app instantly from your friends to cover their meals, and all while never having to worry about your wallet getting lost or stolen. Sounds great, right?
NFC isn’t a new technology, and options such as Apple Pay are already utilizing it to enable their customers to pay using credit and bank cards by simply having their phones near the pay terminal. One major issue with the current tech Apple Pay uses is a lack of security protocols, and thieves can sometimes easily use stolen credit card data, upload it to Apple Pay, and drain accounts. Even though the iPhone has a fingerprint scanner incorporated, the fingerprint itself isn’t directly linked to your card, but rather to the Apple Pay account the card is attached to. This lack of security comes in exchange for convenience (and somewhat the laziness of banks and credit card companies), but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Having your bank accounts and major credit cards linked to NFC doesn’t have to be dangerous, and the utilization of an intermediary account, such as a cryptocurrency, can add another level of security to prevent the draining of your funds. The Fiii app will have the ability to turn your phone into a catch-all wallet that doesn’t suffer from the same security loopholes that Apple Pay experiences because you use a primary Fiii card instead of uploading credit card information. It will allow you to pay using NFC and code-scanning, regardless of whether you are paying a friend or a business. Or maybe if you aren’t the person paying the business you still need to send money to the friend who did, in which case Revolut would have you both covered; allowing you to send a huge variety of currencies with ease. Converting between currencies will incur a small fee, typically 1.5%, but these fees won’t be based on geographical location so sending money abroad is as easy as sending it next door.
This ability to transfer various currencies, both domestically and internationally for minimal fees makes these apps ideal for paying employees as well. If you hire a freelancer who lives abroad to complete a graphic design project and don’t want to rely on bank transfers or wiring money (which often has high fees!), you can send them their preferred currency using the current exchange rate. No matter where we want to send our money it seems like the modern methods all have high fees and long wait times. I don’t know about you, but the idea that we can’t do what we want, when we want, with our own money is a bit preposterous. Luckily these restrictions seem to be loosening as a more decentralized mindset spreads in the financial world.
Paying friends through apps like Venmo and Paypal are great, but we are completely dependent on a third party to not only verify the transaction, but to transfer our money in a timely manner as well. On top of that these companies tell us how much money we are allowed to send per day, week, and month, imposing their arbitrary limits that force us to use multiple payment methods when we want to send larger amounts of money. If something goes wrong it often takes a tedious amount of emails and phone calls to customer service to get everything sorted out, wasting time that could be better spent. Replacing that third party with the blockchain is an easy fix, allowing both parties to come to a financial consensus without having to trust one another. TenX wants to take it a step further with the COMIT network, aiming to become a one-stop hub for interactions between blockchain ecosystems and the real world. Blockchains are beneficial for the average user for a few reasons:
- Once a transaction is complete it cannot be undone (no more charges pending for weeks on end only to be mysteriously dropped or increased).
- The fee schedule is agreed upon by community consensus (instead of being based on the overhead of an intermediary company).
- Governments cannot meddle in the transactions of their citizens without consent.
Fiii, specifically with the help of FiiiPOS, can turn your phone into a bluetooth payment device to use at businesses even if you don’t have Wi-Fi or mobile data. This means that while you are traveling abroad you don’t even have to worry about an international SIM card or bringing your wallet along; Fiii will have you covered. On top of bluetooth payments, FiiiPOS can also perform transactions with Near-Field Communication (NFC), code-scanning, GPS, and facial recognition. You can choose how secure you’d like to make your transactions, opting for greater security (such as facial recognition) if you worry about your funds being stolen. Or, if you prefer greater convenience over security, you can lower your settings and use QR code scanning to complete transactions with ease. It is obviously much easier to fake a QR code than it is to duplicate a face. No matter how you choose to complete your transactions, though, you’ll always be able to track your purchases and payments on the blockchain, ensuring that you are the only one spending your money.
What This All Means for YOU
Managing your money, the way you earn, save, and spend has been changing drastically over the last decade. Mainstream technology is quickly becoming more intertwined with our daily lives and we are picking up habits now that we may never have dreamed of 10 years ago. These changes are only going to continue to increase, and jumping ahead of the curve can help save you a lot of money in fees as new companies enter the field looking to carve out their share of the market. No matter what your needs are in relation to your finances, managing them should be as easy as sending a text or swiping a card. Do not shy away from new technology just because it’s foreign to you, instead seek out new opportunities and grow with them as they flourish in a fertile market.
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About the author:
Kirill Shilov — Founder of Geekforge.io and Howtotoken.com. Interviewing the top 10,000 worldwide experts who reveal the biggest issues on the way to technological singularity. Join my #10kqachallenge: GeekForge Formula.