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More Than 2,500 Merchants In Austria Just Got Closer to Bitcoin

More Than 2,500 Merchants In Austria Just Got Closer to Bitcoin 101
Source: Adobe/luzitanija

Crypto owners in Austria have been offered another opportunity to spend their cryptocurrencies throughout the country.

Austrian fintech firm Salamantex has announced that their Crypto Payment Service Software has been integrated into the A1 Payment, a service by one of Austria’s biggest mobile network operators, A1.

There are more than 2,500 potential points of acceptance for A1 Payment, for its users to make purchases with crypto, and the only condition is that the merchant has activated the feature.

Merchants are free to activate it and start accepting cryptos, including bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), dash (DASH), thus replacing cash or credit cards. The customer pays in crypto, but the merchant keeps getting euros, "and therefore does not incur any exchange rate or currency risk," said the announcement.

Already at this moment, merchants can order this payment feature from A1 Payment and test it without activation costs.

"The acceptance of cryptocurrencies opens up new affluent customer groups and enables merchants to position themselves as pioneers in their industry," Markus Pejacsevich, Chief Operating Officer of Salamantex, said.

The company added that the last several months marked by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought a mind shift in the usually cash-oriented Austria. "People were called upon by the government and retailers to primarily switch to cashless payment transactions as far as possible," while this cashless payment alternative is "oriented towards the needs of a digital generation."

The Crypto Payment Service Software is designed to be integrated into existing payment processes. Salamantex said that partnerships with A1, as well as those with payment solutions providers Ingenico and Concardis, enable a broad roll-out of the crypto payment service both in Austria and in neighboring countries. "Further collaborations with payment service providers are already being planned."

In August 2019, A1 joined hands with Salamantex, Ingenico, and Concardis for an initial "pilot" for in-store payments in six cryptoassets: bitcoin, dash, ethereum, litecoin (LTC), XRP, and stellar (XLM). "The system has proven itself in a test run lasting several months in selected A1 shops," said the firm in this latest announcement.

In October 2019, Salamantex partnered with TEN31, a fintech arm of German bank WEG Bank, in order to start accepting applications from retailers interested in testing the new cryptocurrency payment solution. This came after major crypto payment processor BitPay had left the German market earlier in the year. "Just a few months ago Ingenico presented the first POS [point of sale] terminal with integrated crypto payment software from Salamantex at the Euro Shop trade fair in Germany," the company said today.

In February this year, it also teamed up again with Ingenico to release a new POS terminal which would allow merchants to process "digital currencies payments by default."
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