Executive Q&A with Adrian Jones, Co-Founder of Evvio

Adrian Jones, Co-Founder of Evvio joined FinTech Magazine to discuss payments in the metaverse and trends within the finance industry

Headquartered in New York but with a global team, Evvio is an ecommerce technology company. 

More than a decade ago, the company envisioned how rapidly increasing connectedness and use of mobile devices would precipitate a vast expansion of local and global ecommerce opportunities, especially for person-to-person commerce. 

It saw an opportunity to integrate earning and payment innovations into ecommerce to allow “fluid” commerce, eliminating the steps, delays, fees and exclusions that characterised using existing external payment systems, like credit cards, developed for an earlier era of merchant-to-consumer commerce. Co-Founder of Evvio, Adrian Jones, joined us to speak about the company and the changing finance industry.

What is your role and responsibilities at the company?

As one of the co-founders of Evvio, I have a broad role and my responsibilities span all areas of our business. However, as the author of Evvio’s patents, it is inevitable that I also have some additional responsibilities on the technical and intellectual property side. These include anything from detailed technical discussions with potential business partners to managing the interactions with our patent attorneys.

We are a distributed next-generation company, so we decided not to operate with traditional titles and roles. All of our core team has extensive experience building global businesses, including overseeing companies from start-ups to IPOs and managing trade sales. We work on a highly-collaborative basis, with daily communication and division of responsibilities to best suit our evolving business needs.                                           

Can you tell me about Fluid Commerce?

Fluid Commerce significantly expands opportunities for anyone anywhere to participate in ecommerce, allowing anyone to earn and spend using any currency or form of stored value. What underpins Fluid Commerce are granted patents that allow earned value within an ecommerce network to be spent seamlessly within the same or interconnected ecommerce networks, eliminating the need for a bank account or credit card to participate. Ecommerce networks where participants have fast-growing opportunities to earn and spend income include social commerce networks, metaverses, super apps, NFT marketplaces, sharing economy marketplaces and online games networks.

Connectedness, together with the ubiquity of smart mobile devices, is creating vastly more opportunities for ecommerce, especially person-to-person commerce. We have seen during the pandemic how person-to-person commerce services, such as Zoom fitness classes, NFT sales, legal consultations or task-based design or business projects can be delivered efficiently and remotely. According to Statista, social commerce alone is expected to grow from US$560bn in 2020 to US$2.9tn in 2026. Yet most ecommerce payment systems, such as credit cards, were created for an earlier era of merchant-to-consumer commerce. Being external to the ecommerce network, they introduce inefficiencies such as transaction fees, processing burdens and delays, as well as exclusions at every step.

Fluid Commerce significantly expands ecommerce opportunities by integrating earning, payments and fraud prevention into ecommerce networks. It creates the possibility to earn and spend any form of value, across any ecommerce network, without requiring a bank account or credit card.                                           

As virtual worlds keep growing, do you think there will be a growing need for payments in the metaverse?

Absolutely! For a metaverse to even begin to unleash its real potential, it is essential that the ability to earn and spend becomes a core part of its infrastructure. In a metaverse, there will be jobs and services to be provided and virtual goods and assets to be created, sold and traded, just like in the real world. We need payments in the same way that we use cash, credit cards or bank transfers to earn and spend is in the real world, which is something we take for granted. But in a metaverse, we can make earning and spending 10X better with new models as opposed to using legacy payment systems. Unlike in the real world, participants in most metaverses will be associated with an identity or account already, so payments can be implemented far more leanly and fluidly than via the traditional financial system, which was created for a previous era of commerce. There is no need for all the fees, delays, charge backs, source of funds checks and other inefficiencies that occur whenever value crosses back and forth into a banking system. All the information to implement instant no-fee transactions with full regulatory compliance is basically already available when earning and spending within a metaverse. Implementing that requires Evvio’s patents, which we provide through our Fluid Commerce technology. Excitingly, we believe that we will see many individual metaverses become interconnected in future to create what we think of today as “the metaverse," allowing seamless earning and spending of different forms of value across each metaverse, without ever touching the banking system.                                         

In relation to payments in the metaverse, do you think there will need to be improved security in place to help prevent fraud?

We can greatly improve payment security and reduce fraud in a metaverse, without the burdens, costs, delays, interruptions and paperwork requests that occur when using the legacy banking system. Unlike in the real world, a metaverse participant is already associated with an identity or account and their source of funds for earnings within the metaverse is known. That removes a major source of fraud, compared to unknown funds entering the metaverse from a bank or third-party credit card processor. We expect regulations will mean there will become a higher level of Know Your Customer (KYC) verification required in a metaverse to participate in meaningful commerce, but transactions can then become far quicker, smoother and less prone to fraud.

For Fluid Commerce, we patented how to verify metered services. A common and costly problem faced by service providers who accept credit cards for payment is charge backs. If a consumer of a service claims that they never received the service from a provider, that credit card payment can be challenged. Since a third-party payment system is external to the commerce transaction, the payment processor has no means of verifying if a transaction was valid without engaging in a burdensome and often highly inefficient manual process. Using Fluid Commerce in the metaverse, relevant services can be cryptographically verified, improving security and removing fraud.                                         

What do you see as the biggest fintech trend this year?

The steady of shift of payments and “banking” (meaning in the broadest sense, to include other forms of value) to all-digital and mobile. It is not only the mobile-first, younger generation that has little patience for the inefficiencies of traditional paper and branch-based banking. Like most long-established industries with entrenched incumbents, many traditional banks and payment providers are late to embrace fully transformative innovation for fear of killing the “golden goose.” When we consider landline phone companies as well as the car industry, broadcast television, music industry, film photography, etc., we see market-dominating incumbents that did not adapt and embrace innovation lost their standing and, in some cases, were completely left behind.

The traditional banking and payments industry was designed for a world before ecommerce, one that today results in inefficiency, exclusion of would-be participants and high cost of ecommerce transactions. With our emergence from “stealth” phase, Evvio will be part of driving that shift this year to all-digital and mobile earning and spending in ecommerce networks.

What can we expect from Evvio in 2022?

Fluid Commerce is something you can expect to hear a lot more about in 2022, especially in terms of new business partnerships that will soon make ecommerce a far better experience for users and marketplace operators alike.

We are focused on those areas of ecommerce that have the potential to grow fastest, including social commerce, the metaverse, the sharing and gig economy, super apps, video commerce marketplaces, online games and NFT marketplaces.

 

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