Smart payment gateways are blockchain-based financial tools and services that enable mainstream users to utilize the offerings of the DeFi world more seamlessly. They act as bridges between traditional finance and decentralized protocols, allowing easy onboarding, secure storage solutions, and practical payment methods for accessing DeFi services like borrowing, lending, staking, and more. Some popular smart payment gateways in the crypto verse include Retik, Wyre, Ramp Network, and Banxa. These platforms provide fiat on-ramps, debit cards, mobile wallets, and other intuitive interfaces to interact with various DeFi protocols. The end goal is to abstract away the complex blockchain technology and provide users with simple fintech applications.

Driving mainstream adoption

To start accessing earning opportunities or loans, users need to configure browser extensions, acquire crypto tokens, connect wallets to apps, and more. These technical requirements alienate novices. Smart payment gateways eliminate these barriers to entry through easy fiat integration. For example, services like Retik allow users to directly purchase crypto assets using a debit/credit card. The assets are then automatically deposited into secure DeFi yield-generating protocols to earn attractive returns. Other gateways like Ramp Network offer a widget that is embedded within any application to enable rapid fiat-to-crypto conversion without leaving the site.

Accessible defi applications

Retik token offers an intuitive mobile app for passive wealth management. Users tap into high-yield opportunities like staking and liquidity mining across different blockchains with just a few clicks. Crypto assets are stored in DeFi-native multi-chain wallets secured by cybersecurity firm Halborn. Similarly, the crypto banking app Zerion provides DeFi investment dashboards for tracking portfolios and finding lending/borrowing opportunities. Banxa powers the fiat gateway for this app to enable direct bank account funding. Such apps targeted towards mainstream users have simplified interacting with what is otherwise still fairly technical DeFi infrastructure.

DeFi debit cards

Perhaps the most mainstream consumer-facing offerings from smart payment gateways today are crypto debit cards. Platforms like Coinbase Card, Visa Card, and the upcoming Retik Card allow users to spend their DeFi portfolio holdings directly using a Visa or Mastercard debit card. Cryptocurrencies are sold at the moment of purchase and converted into fiat money by the gateway provider to cover the cost of transactions. Not only do such cards make it easier to liquidate crypto investments as needed, but they also enable everyday utility for DeFi tokens in regular life. Now users pay rent, buy groceries, or even get cashback and rewards using decentralized finance assets seamlessly via these cards. The cards help with mainstreaming real-world cryptocurrency usage beyond speculative investing and trading.

Access to defi lending and borrowing

Smart gateways also drive the adoption of other major DeFi use cases like lending and borrowing. Retik users access P2P lending protocols to earn attractive interest rates on their crypto asset holdings. Unique automated portfolio balancing helps maximize APY across platforms while managing risks.

Borrowing against crypto collateral is also facilitated to meet short-term liquidity needs, without having to sell holdings. Services like Aave and Compound are easily tapped via Retik to unlock the value stacked in DeFi protocols temporarily. Such intuitive ways to lend and borrow crypto help onboard mainstream users to participate in what is today an over $60 billion DeFi loan market. Retik and similar emerging smart payment platforms are ramping up simplicity and accessibility to this market.