Ryde, the ride-sharing app, is ramping up its crypto payments capability with Request Finance, allowing it to expand the options for its users to top up their in-app Ryde wallets. Besides, it is also launching an NFT project.
Launched in 2014, this Singapore-based ride-hailing company today boasts over 200,000 active monthly users. It caters to the full suite of on-demand mobility services and plans to go to IPO at a $200 million valuation this year.
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A Trend Setter
The company, which became the first ride-hailing company in Singapore to accept crypto payments (Bitcoin) during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, is now further expanding its crypto payment abilities.
Starting Q3 2022, Ryde users will have the flexibility to choose from a vast and growing list of supported currencies to top up their in-app wallets.
With crypto gaining global recognition and mainstream adoption, it makes sense that Ryde would want to offer its users more crypto options. And for this, Ryde has chosen Request Finance, which it believes is a better alternative to Coinbase Commerce.
After all, unlike Coinbase Commerce which only supports about seven cryptocurrencies, including USDC and DAI stablecoins, Request Finance has a much more extensive network covering more than 70 cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, besides 10+ blockchain networks and 10+ fiat currencies.
In addition, compared to Coinbase’s 1% transaction fee, Request Finance’s 0.1% fee capped at $2 per transaction from the payer with no monthly or annual subscription is highly beneficial both for the merchants and the buyers.
Such benefits have made Request Finance the first choice for tons of projects like The Sandbox, AAVE, MakerDAO, Gnosis, The Graph, and hundreds of others for payment needs and payroll, invoicing, accounting, expenses, and peer-to-peer transfers.
Crypto Adoption in Ride-hailing
Over the past couple of years, crypto adoption has increased drastically, with companies like Tesla joining in. But ride-hailing companies like Uber have yet to expand their payment mechanism to include digital assets. Critics have cited their price volatility and high transaction cost as reasons against doing so.
According to Ryde, cryptocurrencies’ pseudonymous nature and code-heavy formats are problematic for various bookkeeping, audit, and other compliance reasons. These limitations compelled Ryde to turn towards Request Finance as it made it easy for them to accept crypto payments and serve its growing community better. Thus, it was a strategic decision.
“Since 2020, we have accepted crypto payments, but only in Bitcoin. Today, we are expanding the range of crypto payment options available to our users, thanks to an integration with web3 startup, Request Finance,” said Ryde founder and CEO Terence Zou.
Request Finance provided them with a single dashboard to manage all crypto invoices, see real-time payment confirmations, schedule recurring invoices, accurate mark-to-market prices at the time of invoice payment, and integrations with accounting software like Quickbooks/Xero. These may seem like pretty basic features, but these features are currently lacking in the crypto payments space.
Also, these are the features that have driven many large remote-first companies to use Request Finance to pay salaries, service providers, and contract staff. In fact, earlier this year, the crypto finance management platform reported an annualized growth rate of 700% in monthly transaction volume and 17,500% in value of cumulative payments made.
Request Finance is actually building an integrated suite of financial tools to help traditional businesses, individuals, freelancers, metaverse projects, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and other upcoming crypto-native organizations to work with digital assets seamlessly to pay suppliers, manage salaries, and more.
It is basically helping forward-thinking web2 companies like Ryde adopt new payment technologies in a secure and compliant manner. The finance solution currently manages over $190 million in enterprise cryptocurrency payments.
NFTs to Strengthen the Community
Crypto, however, is not the extent of Ryde’s blockchain and Web 3 plans, as they have also entered the non-fungible tokens (NFT) arena.
With NFTs recording mainstream adoption, Ryde has also launched its own NFT project, the first by a ride-hailing company in Asia, to grow and strengthen its vibrant community.
Already, the company has a strong community built around its platform, which is evident from the fact that about 70% of its users come from referrals.
Much like crypto, community building is the heart of Ryde’s mission, and with NFTs, they are trying to extend its community-oriented approach to reward and support its drivers as well. Currently, Ryde takes a 10% commission on each ride’s fare from drivers, compared to Uber’s 25% to nearly 43% cut.
Now, Ryde is launching an NFT campaign for its Ryde+ subscription plan members. The RydePal NFTs will be hosted on the most popular blockchain Ethereum while the metadata will be stored on the decentralized file storage platform Filecoin to ensure complete ownership.
To get your hands at RydePal NFT, you must have an active Ryde+ subscription by 31 May 2022, 2359 hours, Singapore Time. But, the offer is limited to the first 3,350 people only. Each RydePal NFT will be built using generative art to represent the diversity of its users in the community. These NFTs have real-world utility as they will give their holders access to exclusive and enhanced rewards in the Ryde app.
“Despite the promise the technology holds, few NFT projects today have real-world utility. We want to deploy NFTs in a way that generates more real-world value, especially for the rapidly growing market segment of Singaporeans who hold crypto,” said Zou.
Besides buying the RydePal NFTs, which are tradable on secondary NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, you can also earn them through in-app activities like accumulating rides or staking RydeCoins in the Ryde wallet.
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