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At the end of last year, Wordline announced that it would work with financial services provider Bitcoin Suisse to increase the acceptance of crypto currencies in retail and e-commerce. The pilot project is running successfully so far, the final rollout is now scheduled to follow in the next half year.
Exactly one year ago, the French payment service provider Worldline and the Swiss crypto-broker Bitcoin Suisse signed a letter of intent to jointly bring crypto currencies to the cash register. Both companies are initially pursuing the goal of offering Swiss merchants and consumers services for payment with crypto currencies in stores and online stores. Wordline is the largest payment service provider in Europe and the fourth largest provider worldwide.
Merchants bear no currency risk
Already this July, the French company launched a pilot with selected dealers in Switzerland. Most of them are hotels and restaurants, but there are also jewelry retailers and electronics stores in various parts of Switzerland. Since then, they have been accepting Bitcoin and ether via the company’s solution, but their payments are still made in Swiss francs. According to Dr. Andreas Rehrauer, responsible for the payment product portfolio and innovations at Worldline, the merchants should not bear any currency risk. Moreover, there is no additional complexity in the settlement process, since the transactions are integrated into the merchant’s settlement system like other card payments.
Dr. Rehrauer commented on the previous use of BTC-ECHO as follows:
Since the start of the crypto initiative about a year ago, we have now taken a big step forward and have a successful pilot on the market. Since the end of July, transactions in the three-digit range have been settled by means of crypto currencies – the trend is rising despite Corona. Of it approximately three quarters were in Bitcoin and a quarter in Ether. The solution is however in such a way conceived that Kryptowährungen can be flexibly extended or taken out, depending upon payment preferences of the consumers.
According to Dr. Rehrauer the feedback of the dealers is positive. Thus these made „even partially even active advertisement with it on their channels“.
How the crypto payment works
From the customer’s point of view, the transaction works similar to the online payment app TWINT, in which Worldline is involved: a QR code is displayed at the point of sale and scanned with a crypto-wallet app. Afterwards it is shown how much the purchased goods cost in the desired crypto currency. As soon as the user has released the payment in the app, it is triggered, processed and confirmed. According to Dr. Rehrauer, the Crypto-Alliance benefits from the fact that more and more people pay with their cell phones:
More and more people are used to paying based on QR code. The best example is TWINT in Switzerland, but also for example in the international context Alipay or WeChat Pay. And buyers who are already used to paying with their cell phone and with a QR code are no longer so far off the beaten track when it comes to Bitcoin.
Worldline: Expand acceptance portfolio
In the partnership with Bitcoin Suisse, which was sealed this summer with a five-year contract, the aim is to add another innovative payment method to Worldline’s acceptance portfolio, explains Dr. Rehrauer.
We believe that the whole topic around crypto-currencies is moving more and more into the center of society. Not least because of Libra, CBDCs, or recently Paypal. There is much movement in the whole market. Just now, when such an established and renowned payment provider like Worldline delivers a trustworthy offer, the whole thing gets a different solidity and seriousness.
Consequently, the French payment service provider offers the infrastructure and payment processing in fiat currency within an established merchant network, Bitcoin Suisse contributes its expertise in handling crypto currencies.
Worldline solution ready to launch in 2021
According to Dr. Rehrauer, the payment provider has already planned to implement the solution within Switzerland in the next six months, as was reported by Wordline. The cooperation will then be expanded from the presence business (dealer in store) to the e-commerce business. To this end, the crypto offer will also be offered via Wordline’s e-payment service provider, Saferpay.
Against the background of the Corona Pandemic, the already fast-growing e-commerce channel has a much greater potential, says Dr. Rehrauer.
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