Only a day after announcing the expansion of their contactless payment footprint into the Australian market through their subsidiary FitPay™, NXT-ID Inc. (NXTD) has entered the booming cryptocurrency arena. With partner Cascade Financial Technology Corp., NXT-ID’s FitPay will create a seamless platform for customers to use cryptocurrency at enabled retail locations.
This deal could be another huge step for NXT-ID and broader mainstream cryptocurrency adoption. Connecting cryptocurrencies into the payment network – especially through one of the most reliable and award-winning platforms trusted by a rapidly growing community of credit card networks and financial institutions – is one of the missing puzzle pieces for Bitcoin and other notable coins. A contactless payment option for cryptocurrency would be a milestone development for the shift toward digital currencies.
Looking deeper at the news, the agreement itself, which is an extension of a current relationship between FitPay and Cascade, the two companies will collaborate to create a platform that seamlessly transfers cryptocurrency value into widely accepted forms of payment and stores that value on devices capable of making contactless payments. According to the companies, this will give cryptocurrency holders the ability to make transactions with value derived from cryptocurrency at any near field communication-enabled point of sale terminals.
The Last Piece to the Puzzle for Cryptocurrency
“As cryptocurrencies increase in value and distribution, the need to create new methods to monetize their value and enabling models for acceptance is the critical last mile,” said Michael Orlando, COO of NXT-ID and President of Fit Pay, Inc.”Our development effort with Cascade seeks to connect cryptocurrencies to the payment ecosystem as a natural extension of FitPay’s platform. It will give cryptocurrency holders the opportunity to effortlessly use their value to make purchases every day, just as they would use a credit or debit card, and transform the way people pay.”
“Cryptocurrencies are becoming a more common way of storing and transferring value, so there is a tremendous need to enable that value to be used to purchase goods and services,” said Cascade FinTech Founder and Chief Executive Officer Spencer Schmerling. “Our collaboration with FitPay will create a platform that does just that – connecting cryptocurrency to the mainstream economy in a whole new way.”
“As a security technology company, our mission to protect users, data and transmissions is very relevant to the emergence of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in general,” Gino Pereira CEO of NXT-ID said. “As such, we are working on ways that we can add value to this emerging space and this partnership is the first of anticipated future offerings from the company.”
Without question, cryptocurrency and the ascension of bitcoin have been one of the most important stories of 2017. Well into the next year, debate will rage about the future of bitcoin and how to evaluate it, but if cryptocurrency will ever actually be just that – a currency – it will have to be freed from its digital realm and seen as a stable and easy-to-use form of exchange. To that end, NXT-ID has the capacity to bridge that gap through FitPay and its unique tokenization platform that replaces cardholders’ account information with a unique digital identifier creating a highly secure contactless payment.
A Secure Infrastructure Waiting for Bitcoin
As mentioned above, NXT-ID and FitPay have already laid the infrastructure for this type of undertaking. The growing company has a rolodex of partners that includes Mastercard cardholders from numerous issuing banks and credit unions including Capital One, U.S. Bank, BECU and First Tech Federal Credit Union in the United States, and internationally through Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cornèrcard, Sberbank of Russia, and Swiss Bankers Prepaid Services and more and more issuers are following suit. Moreover, in the Fall, NXT-ID struck a deal with Bank of America extending contactless payment options to a range of devices for nation’s second largest bank and its 34 million active users.
In addition, NXT-ID and FitPay’s payment platform is device and operating system agnostic, meaning it is not tied to a particular product or platform, allowing for a multitude of devices to add payment capabilities. This could pave the way for cryptocurrencies to be accessed from a watch, a fob or a ring – all of which are currently under FitPay’s umbrella with Token, a sold-out biometric identity ring, Bee, a new biometric payment key fob by financial technology company, Radiius and the well-known and Garmin International (GRMN ) vívoactive® 3 smart watch.
A Company that can No Longer be Ignored
Besides the device versatility, NXT-ID really sets itself apart with its security, which aligns perfectly with the philosophy of cryptocurrency and its users. Fit Pay leverages embedded Secure Element (eSE) chip technology, essentially a vault for information only accessible to authorized applications. Moreover, Fit Pay’s eSE solution has a small physical footprint and consumes very little power and memory. Combined with the token digital identifier, this allows FitPay to perform secure transitions without being connected to the internet or a host server.
For NXT-ID, the expansion of the agreement is about plugging cryptocurrencies into this changing payment ecosystem. The joint development of the cryptocurrency platform by FitPay and Cascade FinTech is expected to be launched in early 2018. Once launched, the platform will create opportunities for recurring revenue from account and transaction fees.
Previously, NXT-ID has largely been overlooked by Wall Street investors. Even though, the company showed strong avenues of growth in its last quarterly report with revenues for the third quarter ended September 30th at $4.5 million, compared to $3.1 million in the prior year’s quarter, an increase of 46% year-over-year. Gross profit grew to $2.8 million in the third quarter, compared to $1.3 million in the prior year’s quarter, up 110% year over year. Revenues for the nine-month period grew to $18.9 million, compared to $3.2 million in the prior year’s period, an increase of 494% year over year. Gross profit increased to $10.1 million in the period, up from just $1.3 million in the prior year’s period, an increase of 687%.
However, NXT-ID is making moves that can no longer be ignored as can be seen by the rising stock price. The company has carved a clear path for itself next year and has clearly established itself as leader in digital payments and IoT solutions. 2018 is shaping up to be another milestone year for this upstart name.
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