Smart contract platform Elrond Network says it plans to radically re-imagine merchant payments following its acquisition of Portugual-based crypto payments firm Utrust.

The Romanian-founded smart contract platform said most digital payment processors involve slow settlement times and involve charges of between three to 11 per cent – but its offering will actually let merchants make money on payments.

The idea of payments turning from a cost into a revenue stream sounded as crazy to us as it does to anyone thinking about it for the first time,” said Utrust CEO Sanja Kon.

“After exploring this together with Elrond, we not only realized that this is possible, but also that it is the inevitable future of payments. So we decided to join forces and accelerate the implementation of DeFi payments.”

The two companies didn’t spell out exactly how its Merchant Yield product would work, but more than 10,000 merchants already use Utrust to accept crypto, with the transactions settled in fiat in their bank accounts.

“At their best, payments should happen near-instantly, globally, and at a trivial cost,” said Elrond Network chief executive Beniamin Mincu.

“The implications (of turning payments into revenue stream) are hard to overstate,” Mincu said.

A high-performance blockchain platform said to be able to process 15,000 transactions per second, Elrond is currently the No. 40 crypto. It shares its name with an elf from the Lord of the Rings saga.