Austria’s telecommunications giant and the country’s largest mobile service provider A1 has officially announced accepting cryptocurrency payments at some of its store locations across Austria.
In the official announcement, A1 states that in its pilot project, they will accept cryptocurrency payments at some A1 shops while demonstrating global businesses that integrating digital currency payments into their operations, is a really easy job. A1 believes that while mobile payments are exploding globally, digital currency payments have yet to penetrate the global market.
During its pilot test, A1 will accept only a few cryptocurrencies for payment which include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, XRP, and Stellar. The official blog post also mentions seven different A1 store locations in Austria accepting crypto payments. Besides digital currencies, A1 also plans to integrate AliPay and WeChat to its platform by the end of August.
Markus Schreiber, Head of A1 Business Marketing, said:
“Paying with digital currencies is becoming more and more prevalent internationally, and every industry is affected. Whether it’s the coffee-to-go or the movie ticket, cash is an obsolete model. With our pilot operation in the A1 shops we are testing the demand and acceptance of digital currencies in Austria”.
Going ahead will the project, A1 claims to have done all the risk-assessment associated while dealing with cryptocurrencies. The telecom giant plans to use the “A1 Payment” gateway in partnership with local banking solutions Ingenico, Salamantex, and Concardis. These banks will provide a robust infrastructure which can be easily integrated into their POS system. Besides, the banks provide a framework which can absorb the crypto price fluctuations and relieve the dealer of exchange rate risks.
“As a pioneer, A1 assumes a great responsibility with regard to the digitization of our society,” explains Schreiber. “The safety of consumers and trade, as well as compliance with all legal requirements and provisions have top priority. Before the A1 Payment portfolio will be expanded by digital currencies and officially available to business customers, a multi-stage trial will now be carried out, starting with selected A1 shops “.
A number of global organizations have recently increased their exposure to accepting crypto payments. For e.g. Amazon-acquired Whole Foods has recently announced accepting crypto payments at its stores.
Coffee retail giant Starbucks has also partnered with ICE‘s upcoming platform Bakkt which will facilitate crypto payments at their retail locations. Companies like Bakkt are working towards making crypto spendings easy and seamless for users in day-to-day life.