The leading telecommunications company from Austria, "A1 Telekom Austria", will in future accept payments in crypto-currencies.
The telecommunications giant, which has more than 5.4 million mobile customers and around 2.3 million fixed line customers in Austria, announced in a press release earlier this week that in future payments will also be possible in crypto-currencies, such as Bitcoin. The possibility of paying bills in digital currencies results from a cooperation with the Austrian crypto payment company "Salamantex".
More than 2,500 shops support the concept
In the future, the payment method is to be integrated directly into the A1-Telekom Austria payment platform and offer the opportunity to pay with Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) or other crypto-currencies in more than 2,500 shops in Austria, in addition to the usual payment methods (credit card etc.). The offer, which will be launched under the name "A1 Payment", is "groundbreaking" according to the company. According to the company, the limits that apply when paying with Bitcoin & Co. are around 99,000 euros - and are therefore significantly higher than the limits of a conventional credit or Maestro card.
Through the cooperation with Salamantex, merchants who accept crypto-currencies receive the amount paid by crypto directly and in real time converted into euros. Another advantage is that the merchants do not need any experience or in-depth knowledge of cryptography. There is also no exchange rate or currency risk with regard to the conversion from crypto to fiat.
Various companies add crypto-currencies to the payment methods
The introduction of crypto-payments has increased again strongly in the past months, which may have something to do with the coronavirus, among others. With the advent of the virus, consumer behaviour had changed towards cashless payment methods. Accordingly, there have been repeated reports in the recent past from providers who now also accept crypto-currencies. The international travel company Expedia, for example, has announced that it will also accept crypto-currencies for hotel bookings through a cooperation with Travala. Another example is the streaming platform Twitch, which even offers a ten percent discount for subscriptions paid with crypto-currencies.