Continuing interview with Sylvain Falardeau a Canadian Independent exchange provider for e-gold and Pecunix. Prt. 1
(Q) What other services do you think digital gold users would use if you could offer them? Reoccurring billing such as subscriptions? Gold transfers to a Visa or MasterCard debit card? Sending a Western Union using gold currency? etc.
We may offer other way of transferring from fiat money to gold in the future but the thing that is important for us is automation (at the programming level). We are not staffed and do not plan to offer a service like other exchangers (multiple payment options) because most of them are difficult to automate (like bank drafts). It only takes 5 to 10 minutes in the morning to process all the transactions and have to stay in this range to think one day to be profitable.
(Q) I’m not that familiar with banking in Canada. When you accept digital gold and make a payment to a client’s Canadian bank account…is this faster than other methods such as wire transfer? How long does it take, if a client sells today, when would that balance appear in an RBC account? Is the fee for this operation more or less than a domestic wire transfer?
Direct deposit and withdrawal in Canadian bank accounts is slower than a wire transfer but much cheaper. Depending on banks, a wire in Canada can cost from 10$ to 20$ to send and 5$ to 15$ to receive. We cannot allow 10$ transactions at 0.35$ with these bank fees. Direct deposit is the same as your electronic paycheck, there is no fee to receive it (not counting the number of transactions per month you can do in your account).
(Q) Do you have any new products on the horizon from xgold.ca?
We may accept e-bullion in the future and allow “redeem” (digital gold to bullion). No date is planned for these two features.
(Q) Do you have a stated Anti Money Laundering Policy? Are you required to have one in Canada?
We have a service agreement which prohibit using xgold.ca for criminal activities. We do not deal with really big transactions and all deposits and withdrawals appear as XGOLD.CA in your bank account. So if you want to launder 1M$, you will have to deposit it in your bank account first and do Bank to Gold transactions (with limits from 300$ to 5000$ per month). Not very interesting for criminals.
(Q) What sort of requirements do you have before a client can transfer funds from his Canadian bank account? Would they fill out a form or provide ID? What is needed for a new client to get started today?
To activate the Bank to Gold option, we ask for a signed form with a void check for every source bank accounts. The form identify the e-gold and Pecunix destination accounts. You are only allowed to transfer FROM these bank accounts TO these gold accounts. You are then limited to 300$/month for the first three transfers. After this, you can ask for an increase in your limit but we may ask for other IDs (passeport, utility bill, driver license). Our system is designed for regular buyers who like the simplicity to buy gold at a specific rate that will not change the time the money get to us.
(Q) Do you have a personal preference, e-gold or Pecunix? What percentage of your business is Pecunix and what percentage is e-gold?
I personally prefer Pecunix because of their security perspective. We have more than 90% of our business with e-gold. That may change with the current events with the US government.
(Q) If the e-gold operation, by some fluke, is soon closed, will your business continue to operate?
We will continue to operate with Pecunix and may add another gold currency to replace e-gold.
(Q) The digital gold currency industry, do you feel as an ‘industry’ it could use improvement in any area? If so…where?
I think more merchants accepting gold and silver currencies is the key to success. The problem is always how to get merchants to accept many currencies. If a merchant accepts a gold currency, it is generally e-gold. If you have Pecunix, you should exchange it to e-gold first to be able to use it with the merchant which is irritating to new users. And even if you can convince a merchant to accept one gold currency, trying to setup five can be a great challenge.
This is the reason we launch moneyproxy.com, the complement to xgold.ca. It allows merchants to accept three different currencies on their website: e-gold, Pecunix and Phoenix Dollar (and 1mdc, but will not be accepted in the future). We plan to add more payment systems but not necessarily metal backed. Our goal is to implement Money Proxy on high profile sites with different business lines. It will leverage the use of gold and silver currencies and allows users to use it more like money instead of long term investment.
The Money Proxy merchant account is gold denominated. It is transferred to e-gold or Pecunix merchant’s account every day. It can also be exchanged by xgold.ca and deposited in a Canadian bank account every week automatically. So even if a merchant do not want to maintain a gold balance, it can use our service to get more customers.
We are currently in beta test with soscontribuables.ca (a Quebec version of the Canadian Taxpayer Federation, taxpayer.com) and telecopie.com, a fax to e-mail service. We plan to implement other new merchants this summer before officially promoting the service.
(Q) Is xgold.ca a member of the GDCA (Global Digital Currency Association)? Has membership to that industry association helped your business? If so…how?
Yes, we are a proud member of the GDCA and a Pecunix PREO. The GDCA offers us visibility and credibility. Some new users contacted us to have some reference and we sent them to the site.
(Q) How much gold do you have in your pocket right now?
I carry one once of gold when I know I will meet new people during the day. It is always interesting to see their reaction when they see it for the first time.
– I’d like to than Sylvain for taking time to answer my questions.