Solana Labs has launched a payments protocol called Solana Pay to let merchants accept crypto payments directly from consumers.
With Solana Pay, merchants can accept the USDC stablecoin, Solana's native token SOL, and other Solana-based tokens on the Solana blockchain. Transactions will be instant, said Solana Labs, adding that merchants will receive "real-time" payments.
They will also incur lower costs due to Solana's lower fees, according to Solana Labs. "Merchants and consumers want a frictionless experience without taking on unnecessary volatility risk, and consumers don’t necessarily want to transact with their investments," Sheraz Shere, head of payments at Solana Labs, told The Block.
"If people can seamlessly transact on-chain just like they do with cash, we believe that will spur interest and create new innovations which is why the protocol is designed to allow for developers to build new commerce experiences on top of it."
A joint effort
Solana Labs has developed Solana Pay in partnership with Circle, Checkout.com, and payments processing company Citcon, and with digital wallet integrations from Phantom, FTX, and Slope.
Circle, for instance, will let merchants accept USDC via a Circle Account, where they can also convert funds back to fiat. Phantom, on the other hand, will enable transactions via Solana Pay.
Solana Labs has also been working with Shopify to let their merchants accept crypto payments via Solana Pay, but that integration isn't live yet.
"Enterprises who run their own checkout flows can begin building integrations right now," said Solana Labs. "Solana Pay's point-of-sale client makes it easy for small restaurants, shops, food carts, and more to accept digital payments for fractions of a penny."
When asked if Solana Pay is looking to compete with companies like Visa and Mastercard, Shere said Solana Pay is rather "trying to change the whole paradigm of payments to one that puts merchants in control by creating rails that are decentralized, permissionless and P2P [peer-to-peer] and enable new commerce experiences in web3."
While the Solana blockchain is faster and cheaper, it has been experiencing outage issues lately. Shere said, "we’re very confident that the core protocol developers in the ecosystem will continue to enable the network to serve hundreds of millions of users and support scalable use cases like merchant payments."
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