Moving along the path of continuous progress, Internet technology changes its shape every year, taking on new forms and types. The evolution of the global web from Web1, which was the foundation for the Web2 version, today lies in blockchain technology, and with the help of the latest innovations, such as smart contracts, creates a new ecosystem of digital solutions that cover all areas of the financial system, one of the key areas of which are online payments. The actively developing next generation of Internet technology, Web3, is set to revolutionize the world of payments.
This article will tell you what Web3 is and what its features are. In addition, you will learn about the benefits of Web3 for payments and which companies currently offer Web3 online payment solutions. Ultimately, you’ll understand why Web3 is the future of payments.
- Web3 concept represents a new stage in the development of Internet technologies, with an emphasis on decentralization.
- The main advantages of Web3 payments are security, low fees and speed of transaction processing.
- Among the areas of the financial system where Web3 payments have found application are international transfers, decentralized marketplaces and micropayments.
What Is Web3 and What Are Its Features?
The concepts Web1, Web2, Web3, etc., that have emerged over the past decade provide a general representation of the ever-changing Internet environment: design, structure, site content, etc. Usually, such notation denotes different versions of the same software product or technology. But in this case, we are talking about the development of technologies working within the network because nothing changes in the protocols and general principles of the network. Web1, Web2, and Web3 can also be represented as hierarchical levels of web technologies, where each level uses innovative approaches.
While in the days of Web 1.0, the information that entered the Internet was generated by site owners, in the era of Web 2.0, content can be created by users. But this has led to the Internet filled with monotonous and often useless data sets. Web 3.0 is the stage at which Web content is managed. Its function is to bring order to the Internet: online experts who strictly moderate the content of sites should play a key role here. Thus, at the Web 3.0 stage, users generate content and certify it themselves, i.e., mark what deserves the attention of their like-minded people and the communities in which they are members and systematize it according to their requests.
Compared to Web1 and Web2, the critical feature of Web3 is decentralization, which means that people have the right to own and, in a sense, manage Internet segments. With user data increasingly no longer controlled by intermediaries, users have improved privacy and protection of personal data. This increases the transparency of the network, as anyone can access to view the data and information of organizations published on the blockchain. In addition, new blockchain technologies can ensure that the information companies publish is accurate. Therefore, Web3 is based on blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, metaverse and distributed decentralized data centers.
What is the Usefulness of Web 3.0 in Payments?
The technologies that are part of the Web3 concept today significantly contribute to the development and modernization of many areas of the Internet space, helping through decentralization to solve many problems related to security, anonymity, high costs, and the flexibility of available technological solutions. The sphere of payments is not left aside and also undergoes severe changes for the better, which help integrate blockchain payment systems into the business infrastructure due to the following advantages.
- Faster Payment Processing
The distributed ledger technology as a part of the Web3 concept provides a high level of transaction processing within any payment system and regardless of the type of payment instrument used for their implementation. The tools used in blockchain networks and DeFi platforms allow using modern crypto payment processors in order to increase many times the speed of payment process, which by any indicators exceed the classical methods of both local and international transfers, both in terms of speed and reliability.
- Lower Transaction Costs
Today, transactions based on digital assets are recognized as the most cost-effective payment type, either within a single country or globally. Web3 payments based on a DeFi or blockchain platform’s distributed ledger have lower transaction fees than traditional payment instruments, which not only significantly reduces the costs of any business using this technology, but also helps to use a wide variety of blockchains offering payments with minimal fees. One of the networks offering the best conditions for making payments today is Tron.
- Increased Security
Due to the centralized nature of blockchain technology, including DeFi projects, Web3 payments are made more secure by reducing the likelihood of potential threats in the form of hacking, cracking, and fraud achieved through the use of robust algorithms and encryption protocols. Moreover, modern crypto systems to store digital assets have a multi-level protection system that helps prevent transaction details theft, which also increases security.
- More Flexible Payment Options
Innovative payment solutions working within the Web3 ecosystem provide high flexibility, manifested in the expanded choice of crypto assets used as a payment method both within local and international business and personal transfers. For example, today, the practice of using crypto assets (for example Bitcoin) as a means of payment for employees of different companies is pervasive, and the employee can choose from many available cryptocurrencies the option that meets his interests and requirements in the framework of a salary project, making Bitcoin the future of digital payments.
- No Middlemen
The decentralized nature of decentralized payment solutions within Web3 payments excludes the involvement of third parties, such as banks, microfinance institutions, etc., in payment transactions. Unlike the traditional payment systems, where a bank or other financial organization, in any case, is one of the parties involved in financial transactions, payment blockchain payments based on decentralized finance exclude control of any authorities, companies, and structures.
Web3 Payment Use Cases
The Web3 revolution is on its way, and today a growing number of companies are showing interest in blockchain technology in order to practice the new innovations underlying the business revolution. Today, Web3 payments have applications in various areas of the crypto-financial system, the main ones being the following.
- Decentralized Marketplaces
As part of the development of crypto innovation, a large number of decentralized marketplaces have emerged where goods, services and digital assets are exchanged. Such marketplaces operate on the principle of full support of cryptocurrency payments, which provide flexibility of the relationship between buyers and sellers, regardless of the means of mutual settlement, i.e., crypto coins, tokens, stable coins and even fiat. Cooperation within the framework of decentralized marketplaces excludes the participation of intermediary organizations, which usually take a certain monetary remuneration for their services and limit certain aspects of cooperation of buyers and sellers by the terms of their work.
Today, decentralized marketplaces have found their application in many areas of commerce. One of the most popular areas is the cryptocurrency industry, where decentralized marketplaces offer goods and services to create cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, analytical systems, investment managers, and investment portfolio control. It is also possible to pay in the form of Web3 payments on marketplaces engaged in developing open-source programs and systems, web interface products, mobile development, and generally anything related to the IT space and programming.
- Cross-Border Transactions
The future of digital payments lies in fast, convenient, and cheap transactions. This means that the next step in the development of payment systems is the removal of barriers associated with the low speed of processing international payments, which, for the most part, is directly related to the banking sector, the impact of which in the current Web2 payments is very high, which as a consequence is reflected in the safety and security of customer funds, as with any other type of financial institutions that store them in their system.
Web3 payments will help eliminate the disadvantages of Web2 payment systems and open several new possibilities associated with the speed of transfers and the coverage of geography, where you can make payments anywhere in the world, regardless of the amount.
Micropayments are a business model for distributing downloadable content or accessing low-cost services. In the development of Web3 payment systems, it is expected that a significant share of microtransactions in the context of various decentralized applications, games, and other solutions will be carried out with digital assets rather than with fiat, which is now widely used in applications and software based on centralized system. This will facilitate the development of electronic commerce in games and other markets due to the inflow of capital in the form of crypto assets.
Why is Web3 the Future of Payments?
Disruption is a popular term when describing the future of payments. It means disruption of the existing order and established practices. At the heart of this disruption is digital technology in all of its many applications. Indeed, as Accenture notes, in recent years, the impetus for the increase in payments worldwide has been the development of crypto technologies. The future of payments in general is often moved into the realm of fintech development. Therefore, fintech and digital payments can be safely classified as innovative industries that fundamentally change the principles of financial interaction between businesses and individuals and facilitate any financial transactions.
However, there are several nuances here. Understanding Web3 payments strictly within a technological framework significantly limits the possibilities of adequately understanding their future. The way technology affects payments is mediated by people’s needs, habits, and expectations because payments are also a unique consumer experience. This experience is shaped by various factors: technologies beyond fintech, retail development, economic crises, the virtualization of money, and many others, which change the lifestyle of modern consumers in general. Having become accustomed to the accelerated rhythm of life, the smartphone as a universal tool for solving every day issues, the speed of Uber, and the ease of finding goods on Amazon, consumers transfer similar expectations to payments.
Since Web3 is, in simple terms, blockchain and cryptocurrencies in any of their manifestations, it is safe to say that digital payments of the future will receive all the benefits of a distributed ledger. Their distinctive features will be increased anonymity and security, which will be the foundation for user trust; speed, which will allow international transactions in a fraction of a second; and flexibility, which will be reflected in the large choice of digital assets that will be available for transfer. All this will make it possible to radically transform the market of classic payment systems working on the principle of Web2.
With Web3, there will be a reduction in the amount of bureaucracy associated with finance and money. Sending money will no longer require registration or permission for companies to access individuals’ financial and personal information. As Web3 data is encrypted, internet consumers can be assured that their personal information will be kept safe, and their transaction information will not be compromised. As a result of web3 payments, people can exchange and hold a broader range of currencies than just fiat currencies, providing them with wider financial opportunities. It will be easier for investors and all members of the financial system to access the financial system if they can pay in crypto and other currencies quickly.
Additionally, Web3 payments are much more efficient due to a lack of bureaucracy. The payment settlement time of traditional Web2 payments may take days, whereas the settlement time of blockchain payments can be as short as a few minutes. Under a Web3 payment system, international transfers are also much more accessible since complex currency conversions are no longer necessary, nor are expensive remittance fees.
Developments in information and crypto technologies, including cloud computing, will simplify the creation, processing, and use of big data and applied statistics to measure and manage financial performance within Web3 payment systems. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will improve cross-border payment screening and monitoring models over existing methods, such as traditional (mostly static) credit scoring models. Also, the above-mentioned technologies will contribute greatly to the development of Web3 payments within meta-universes and DeFi projects, as there is a certain connection between them when it is likely to unite them into one big ecosystem.
The future of B2B payments is based on distributed ledger technologies that will help achieve excellent results in integrating fintech solutions into the infrastructure of payment solutions and systems. Innovations in the field of information applied sciences will help ensure continuous progress in Web3 (crypto) payment instruments, which will become a universal way of interacting with individuals and legal entities, creating more innovative payment solutions.