Blockchain to allow peer-to-peer payments with instant settlement and near-zero fees.


Solana Pay is an open payments framework free-to-use built on the Solana blockchain. It is available to millions of merchants as an integration on Shopify. Solana Pay permits payments with instant settlement and near-zero gas fees, all in a stable way thanks to the use of USDC. With Solana Pay, merchants can accept payments without intermediaries

What is the problem with centralized payment options for merchants?

The primary issue with centralized payment options like Visa or Mastercard for merchants is the complex, intermediary-heavy framework they operate within. These systems, while widely accepted, pose several challenges. The first and main one is the high fees. These fees can impact merchants’ profit margins, especially for small businesses. The fees come from the fact that each transaction involves multiple intermediaries – from payment processors to banks – each taking a cut. For instance, credit card processing fees can range from 1.5% to 3.5% per transaction.
Secondly, the settlement process can be slow. Transactions may take days to clear and settle, impacting cash flow and operational efficiency for merchants. This delay is a consequence of the multi-layered verification and processing steps inherent in centralized systems. Even if for the customers the settlement might seem immediate, it is not the case for the merchant.

Moreover, centralized payment systems often impose tough regulations and compliance requirements, which can be a burden for merchants. There’s also the issue of accessibility and financial inclusion. Not all merchants, especially in less developed countries, have access to traditional payment methods, creating barriers to entry and limiting their customer base.

Furthermore, centralized systems are vulnerable to security breaches and fraud. In 2019 alone, the total losses due to credit card fraud worldwide amounted to $28.65 billion, according to a report by Nilson. This risk necessitates strict security measures, which can be cumbersome and expensive for merchants to implement and maintain.

What does Solana Pay do?

Solana Pay can be integrated by any merchant using Shopify to allow customers to pay by using their wallet. Unlike Visa or Mastercard, payments are cheap ($0.00025 per transaction, total, in fees) and fast for both parties. It is a perfect fit for merchants to accept stablecoin payments at scale. Indeed, Solana Pay works with USDC, the dollar stablecoin emitted by Circle. (check our USDC use case here). Using a stablecoin helps solve one the problems of crypto for payments, the price fluctuation. As its name says, USDC is stable, therefore, users do not have to worry about the value of their payment going up or down. That makes of Solana Pay the perfect platform for merchants. As of now, hundreds of merchants already accept Solana Pay. The best way to understand how it works as a customer is to watch the demo video below:

Source: Shopify’s website

And here’s a demo for when you want to pay at a store using Solana Pay:

Source: Solana’s youtube channel

Benefits & Outcomes
  • Easy set up: you can accept as of now USDC payments
  • Stable payments: Thanks to USDC’s peg to the dollar, its price is stable
  • Near-zero gas fees
  • Instant settlement
  • Scalability: Solana can process up to 60,000 transactions per second
  • No middlemen: it is an open, direct merchant-to-consumer payment rail.
  • Extremely easy to set up thanks to the Solana Pay SDK
  • Merchants can show their interest in Web3
Further Info

“Now your business can harness the power of the blockchain at the same speed as traditional payment networks. No more intermediaries. It’s just you and your customer.” (Solana Pay, 2023)

On top of fast and cheap payments, Solana Pay gives merchants countless opportunities to reward customers with embed loyalty, offers, and payment all in one transaction. Any merchant can create and operate a world class loyalty program. The main difference between Solana Pay and other digital payment options such as Venmo and Cashapp is that it is not centralized, it is a peer-to-peer payment system. As a user the experience is really simple, you only need to open your wallet and scan a QR code or use the NFC feature of your phone.

For further tutorials, I recommend you to check the Solana Pay YouTube channel


Solana Pay is live with hundreds of merchants using it. Researched by Alexandre January 2024.

© Antony Welfare 2024