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Thursday, December 21, 2017

How SALPay is disrupting the $250 Billion Multi-national outsourcing payment system...


Today we look at Salarium and SALPay a payroll and e-banking platform that already provides services to hundreds of companies, and over 10,000 employees. Most of these employees already use SALPay - their debit MasterCard paired with an e-wallet.

Their ICO is live now - so we spoke with their founder and CEO Judah Hirsch to learn more!

So let's start with some background, SALPay is new, but the company behind it, Salarium, is not.  Tell us about it.

SALPay is also not new and has been around for about 2 years. What is new is SALPay adding a blockchain storage and remittance service for our existing (and growing) customers.

Salarium started in 2013 as a payroll SaaS company. After commercially operating for about a year we added SALPay originally as an add-on product to the payroll but quickly saw that customers loved it and so in 2016 we pivoted the company and changed the model slightly.

Now we provide our payroll software for free to companies if they pay their employees on our e-wallet and debit mastercard. As far as we know we are the only company in the world that is acquiring customers this way. And it is a fantastic way to acquire them since the company is the one ensuring there is always money in the ecosystem. In the pat 18 months we have signed up 500+ companies and 15,000+ employees. From this wallet we now offer basic services like bills payment, sending money, buying prepaid load credits, but we also have a microloans platform and every month are offering thousands of loans.

You're going after crypto's big problem - using it in the real world on a day to day basis, how does SALPay enable someone to do that?

Yeah this is the big problem is still adoption. Our plan is not just to make a card and wallet (we already have this) but for a network of exchanges that will work in a kind of loop for our business clients to move money across borders and directly into our SALPay system where they are already placing funds now. The key is to wrap the whole experience for them. Our clients already give us millions of dollars in Fiat in the Philippines (Pesos) and wait a couple of hours to see the money credited in the company stored value wallet. Now this service will work almost identical to that, except instead of them worrying about moving their money cross border and then loading it into SALPay, we just move it directly into SALPay from foreign currency and remove the forex costs.

This will be a physical mastercard, paired with a mobile app - tell us about how those are used together to manage, and spend funds...

So the wallet app has the standard features you would expect and is paired with a physical mastercard (we will be adding Visa in January) and just by having their money organized people already save it. But we have micro-financing platforms on our wallet and next year we will be rolling out micro-insurance and micro-mutual funds. And we have big project we're working on which is a kind of AI that will help you not spend money by helping to plan and reminding you of your budget.

So you're a South East Asia based company, a place where a lot of US and EU companies outsource to - would this be used for a US/EU company to pay a South East Asia based worker?

Absolutely, this the businesses that we already cater to. About 50% of the companies that use us today are outsourcing companies. They approached us with the problem, which was moving money into the Philippines (and other countries) to pay employees. Since they end up putting the money into SALPay, they asked us a way to make SALPay take Euros or Dollars and do this service. So we are building this service based on existing client demand.

What are the current fees and payment transaction times for these payments? And then, what are they if people switch to SALPay?

Currently when a company brings in its payroll they expect to lose about 2-2.5% and plan about 3-5 days to transfer the funds. With SALPay token it will be near instant and we will charge a maximum 1% for this movement with no forex loss.

Tell us a bit about the team behind the project...

Salarium and SALPay are fairly well established companies , we have about 60 staff and are growing pretty quickly. Of course myself as the CEO I have several companies that I was the manager for and started my first company Triple i Consulting 10 years ago. Triple i is an accounting and legal firm here in the Philippines and was how I went into payroll. Our CTO Russell Shepherd was previously the CTO of Rappler which is the largest digital news platform in Philippines, prior to that he worked for US dept of defense. Our project Director Fadzly Yusof has been in the internet/gaming space for the past 20 years and was one of the first 10 employees at Razer. After that he worked with some telcos and was CEO of his own games company which was acquired.

Your ICO is live now, when does that end, and what's next after the ICO is complete?

Our ICO ends on Dec 31 so time is coming up soon. First thing will be to finish our applications with the governments in Philippines, Aus, Singapore (Start on US and EU) for licensing the exchanges. While working on that we will finish the development of our exchange. We have a working version of it but we'll make a nicer frontend and smoother experience. And start localizing the payroll software for the Australian and Singapore markets since eventually every country where we have an exchange node we will also operate the full model of Salarium (Payroll, E-wallet, Financing, Etc.)

SALPay's ICO and whitepaper can be found at https://ico.salpay.com

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk