Blockchain payments outfit BlockPay is rolling out a suite of tools and features aimed at enabling merchants to leverage digital payments. The company's smartphone wallet app allows customers to pay with any one of a large number of digital currencies and tokens.

A statement said merchants can enjoy boosting sales, saving time and money, since digital payments are almost instant and zero cost compared to existing systems, and participating in new Loyalty Points programs. Development will be completed following a crowdfund later this month.

BlockPay supports popular digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Steem, Dash and BitShares' Smartcoins, and also allows customers to pay with gift cards all documented with the BlockPay eReceipts feature. Available in 44 languages, it can run as a standalone app, or integrated with existing Point-of-Sale systems such as Odoo, SAP, vending machines, kiosks, etc.

The merchant provides the amount due to the customer, who pays using their preferred currency via a QR code or NFC. BlockPay then sends an eReceipt automatically to the customer's phone, along with any loyalty points earned in the transaction.

The same fintech/blockchain development company responsible for BlockPay, BitShares Munich, is also implementing features that will allow private communication and transactions on the Bitshares network.

The Echo wallet combines Stealth crypto transactions with secure voice, video and messaging. Chat and media messages are not only encrypted but can be self-destructing, similar to Snapchat.

Christoph Hering, BlockPay co-founder and CEO, said: "I am so excited about Echo because it solves two major problems of our time: privacy and financial freedom. First, Echo protects your personal chat, video and voice messages against hackers and censorship. Second, Echo gives you the choice to manage multiple currencies at your fingertips. Transfer takes three seconds or less and thanks to modern blockchain technologies Echo users can register their desired username on the blockchain with just a few simple taps."

"Stealth" transactions and secure messaging go hand-in-hand with the company's appeal to the enterprise community, since major businesses want to ensure that competitors cannot view their financial activities, said Hering. "I wanted to build Echo because I see our free communication and privacy at risk."

The pre-ICO to crowdfund the BlockPay project began at noon GMT on 23 August. A larger crowdfunding effort is expected to take place early in 2017. This ICO is organised in co-operation with the decentralised exchange platform OpenLedger, its economic enterprise engine ICOO and the Danish company CCEDK ApS, which specialises in bootstrapping startups.

CCEDK will provide escrow services for the ICO, as well as issuing the asset, distributing the related BLOCKPAY tokens with the immediate option to trade it, providing media coverage, allowing an exit option during the ICO, and an ordering module allowing all interested parties to buy tokens.

There are two options for token purchase: the ICO page on the website and the ICO LIVE button on the website.

It is possible to order and pay for BlockPay tokens directly on both these sites with BTS, BTC, ETH and SBD and as well multiple other currencies, using a ShapeShift-enabled conversion of all other currencies into BTC.

All funds can be monitored at all times on the OpenLedger dedicated escrow account ico.blockpay and all BTC in this address are held in a multi-sig escrow account only to be accessed at the end of the ICO. The ICO will end once the 4,750,000 BlockPay tokens set aside for crowdfund have been sold.