The company is developing a payment streaming platform called Paystreme that enables users to pay in real time for services. By using a Layer 2 payment channel on Stellar called Starlight, we will create the effect of streaming payments. Users will be able to send payments on a per-second basis as they consume any service.
Consumers will not be required to pay monthly subscriptions to access streaming platforms like Netflix and Spotify or sign up for any service eliminating the need for usernames and passwords. Consumers only need a pre-funded compatible wallet on their PC or mobile phone and choose what they want to read, see, listen or use.
By further applying this technology, we will develop the concept of payment bandwidth, which will translate to some amount of money per minute or second. Cell phone carriers, for example, could opt to charge different payment bandwidths for 3G, 4G, or 5G pay-as-you-go download speeds.
Today, 70% of Latin America's population remains unbanked or underbanked, and 58% of point-of-sales purchases are still made in cash. Consequently, over 400 million prepaid aggregate service subscribers in Latin America struggle with paying for utility services every month. Being excluded from the financial system and paying for recurring services is not only inconvenient, and tiring; it is expensive.
When handling prepaid customers, utility companies and merchants are subject to high fees, deductions, commissions from prepaid cards by vendors, and sometimes even interest. Paradoxically these inefficiencies make the poor pay higher rates for services, making it expensive to be poor.
By building on Stellar, Paystreme will provide the fastest, most convenient, and most efficient way of paying for services. By using Stellar's Layer 2 payment channel, Starlight, we can process over 1 million payments per second per channel, making our platform highly scalable and efficient. Also, by partnering with MoneyGram and Stellar, we will be able to use hundreds of thousands of locations to onboard cash clients onto crypto. Unbanked consumers can use cash to pay for services at more competitive rates than before. Lastly, by integrating into Stellar´s Anchor Platform we will access traditional FIAT rails and allow banked users to easily top off their wallets.
Since we last submitted to SCF, we have made the following progress:
Our revenue model and pricing strategy are simple: Guru and Paystreme will be free for consumers and cost 1% - 1.5% for service providers. We will grow our business quickly and obtain economies of scale by offering more functionality than traditional payment rails at more competitive rates for utility companies.
We plan to allow third-party wallets to integrate via an API at no cost onto Paystreme to achieve strong network effects quickly. The added functionality of Paystreme will incentivize third-party wallets to integrate. This feature opens up the possibility of allowing utility companies to launch their wallets and enter LatAm's exciting fintech market.
Wallet Guru's initial strategy will target medium to large-sized cell phone carriers, internet service providers, pay-TV, and SVOD providers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico to reach a critical mass quickly. We chose these five countries as they account for approximately 75% of the region's subscribers and sales. According to a 2020 study from Dataxis, these industries have a combined aggregate user base of 618 million and an approximate annual revenue of USD 131 billion in these five countries alone. They are all still in their growth stage, except for Paid-TV, which is declining by 1-3% annually.
Although our target market operates in different industries, they all have a fundamental similarity: they struggle with payments. The phone carrier market in these five countries alone has to collect $67.7 billion a year in prepaid users since their customers are either unbanked or underbanked and cannot afford a credit or debit card. Having such a sizeable prepaid customer costs billions of dollars yearly in subscriber churn and customer acquisition.
The mobile phone carrier, ISP, pay-TV, and VSOD markets are growing in LatAm and beyond. They have an aggregate user base of 815 million and an approximate annual revenue of USD 174 billion in the region. They are all still in their growth stage, except for Paid-TV, which is declining by 1-3% annually. The broadband, SVOD, and mobile industries are approximately growing at 5%, 11%, and 1%, respectively.
The industries are expected to keep benefiting from the rapid development of mobile devices. Households have chosen to disconnect landlines to cut costs, suggesting that consumers no longer view mobile device purchases as discretionary. According to the World Bank, smartphone penetration reached over 100% in some markets, such as Colombia and Peru, while only 46% and 43% of the population have bank accounts in these countries.
With the proliferation of smartphone use, the region has also been entering an exciting moment in the payment sector over the last two years: a considerable part of the population has adopted new payment methods. They are becoming increasingly digital (even in a region where cash is still king), bringing consumers to e-commerce, video, music streaming platforms, and other previously unavailable services.
The overall market conditions seem ideal for Wallet Guru's digital payment solutions. The significant target market size continues to grow, yet it struggles with high subscriber churn and customer acquisition costs caused by antiquated previous-century payments. At the same time, the population has shown a remarkable openness to adopting new forms of payments, making the market conditions ripe for disruption.
We will divide our marketing and sales campaign into two stages. We will focus our initial efforts on utility companies. Our marketing intentions to target utility companies at this stage will allow us to gain critical mass in a short time. They will eventually allow us to expand to other industries. After gaining traction, we will implement the second stage of our strategy, which will consist of strong marketing and sales campaigns to a broader industry range and even direct-to-consumer targeting.
Some key and effective marketing tactics will consist of but are not limited to:
Marketing will be a key component in driving sales and creating brand awareness. As an international business with a global customer base, we intend to use funds to support carrying out marketing strategies worldwide strategically.
As we mentioned previously, the payments market has been in a transformational moment. The population adopted alternative payment methods to purchase goods and services during lockdowns. These payment methods are led by fintech companies and, in one case, by the Brazilian government. However, none of these initiatives target large utility companies, and to our knowledge, none are working on a project with streaming payment capabilities.
We are working closely with Coinqvest (previous SCF winner) to operate our Guru Payment Gateway. The proven platform has been battle-tested in over 1000 clients worldwide and is actively marketed by Wallet Guru in numerous countries in LatAm.
Wallet Guru's management team has vast experience operating businesses of all sizes in the region for decades. Our long trajectory has allowed us to establish direct relationships with many of the targeted utility companies' decision-makers, enabling us to fast-track our marketing and sales processes.
* The amounts shown are budget requests and not (yet) granted to the projects. During the Community Vote phase, voters can indicate whether the project deserves the amount it's asking for (budget request). The total pool of XLM available for SCF#11 is 8M XLM. SDF will allocate the XLM equivalent of the specified USD budget of the submissions with the most votes in descending order of rank until the earlier of (i) the XLM Pool is fully distributed (ii) there is not sufficient XLM remaining in the XLM pool to fully fund the next ranked submission or (iii) there are no remaining eligible submissions. The USD valuation of the budget request in XLM will be calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on December 5, 2022 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR). Learn more in the SCF Handbook.
*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on July 5th as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
**The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on December 16, 2021 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on September 27, 2021 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
* The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on the date of transfer as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)