Disclaimer: I'm not a developer and just starting to learn Stellar and reading the documentation
The way (international) payments work (simplified):
- When making a purchase on an app, the payment gateway is not actually settling the payment... it is passing the order to your bank (or other merchant account).
- your bank and your vendor's bank communicate to each other either directly or through intermediary banks... if the payment is international, messages are sent via SWIFT
- SWIFT is just for messaging, 'cause the payment is settled through central RTGS system (controlled by the Central Bank of the currency in which the payment is settled)
(Please correct me if I said something wrong, but roughly this is how I've understood the whole thing works)
Now looking at Stellar.org documentation ( https://www.stellar.org/developers/guides/get-started/index.html ), my understanding is that Stellar is an additional layer between mobile wallets/online banking apps/payment services/etc and all the rest...
So, here a couple of question: is Stellar being a payment gateway that talks to the merchant banks? And how does it manage to reduce costs since it is adding an extra layer in the whole process?