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E-Com Report 2020 DACH

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Concardis and Salamantex enable payment with cryptocurrencies

  • Acceptance of Bitcoin, Ether and the like on standard payment terminals
  • No risk due to exchange rate fluctuations – choice for merchants between purchase price in euros or cryptocurrency
  • Merchants can choose between payment in euros or cryptocurrency, with the first merchants already offering crypto payment
  • Preparations are under way for the e-euro and other digital currencies
  • Concardis CEO Hoffmann: "Expansion to other European countries is planned as soon as the legal framework is established."

Eschborn and Vienna, 25 March 2021. Concardis, as part of the Nets Group one of Europe's leading payment service providers, and Salamantex, Austrian specialist in the development of software solutions for crypto-payment, are rolling out the acceptance of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple nationwide in Austria. Accordingly they are enabling merchants, service providers and restaurateurs to accept cryptocurrencies from customers on standard payment terminals in addition to traditional payment methods. Expansion to other European countries is planned, but currently still depends on the relevant national regulations. In Austria, on the other hand, crypto acceptance is already clearly regulated.

Regardless of whether cryptocurrencies will be regulated as investment objects or means of payment in the future, what is much more decisive, is: “The introduction of digital currencies by central and national banks is only a question of time. The e-euro, the e-franc or the e-krona will arrive, in that the underlying technology is the same as for cryptocurrencies. And they will fundamentally change the payment market,” says Robert Hoffmann, CEO of Concardis and Nets Merchant Services. “As a pioneer in the acceptance of digital currencies we have already gained experience with cryptocurrencies at the stationary point of sale together with Salamantex in the past few months and are now taking this to merchants throughout Austria. In the process, we will gain further insights that will be elementary for payment services in Europe in the near future.”

“Together with Concardis, we have reached another milestone for the acceptance of digital currencies,” says René Pomassl, CEO of Salamantex. “Our claim to develop trustworthy and secure software solutions, while expertly implementing the regulatory requirements in each country, contributes significantly to the fact that crypto payment will soon be as natural at the checkout and online as we have been used to with credit cards for decades. We want to make payment with digital assets – be it bitcoins, ether or, in the future, the e-euro –available to the masses.”

Some terminals already crypto-capable
Those wishing to accept Bitcoin and the like in Austria in the future will be able to do so just as easily as offering other forms of cashless payment. The crypto payment option includes a contract with Concardis and Salamantex as well as a corresponding crypto-capable terminal. Some of the current Concardis terminals are already equipped with the interface, which only needs to be activated.

The uncomplicated set-up of this innovative service has also convinced the jeweller’s Altmann to offer cryptocurrencies as a payment option in its shop near Vienna: "As specialist dealers in watches and jewellery we are familiar with values and tradition," says owner Zsanett Rado. "However, as long-lasting as our products are, we always keep our customer service as individual and close to current trends as possible. We've already had customers asking if they can pay with cryptocurrencies." Others are surprised when they hear about the possibility of paying in the shop with Bitcoin and the like. "It's great that we can offer our customers diversity - not only in watches and jewellery, but also in the way they pay. Both have a positive impact on our business," says Zsanett Rado.

For customers, too, paying with cryptocurrencies is easy: the corresponding cryptocurrency is selected on the terminal, an exchange rate query is made for the purchase amount and customers can then make a QR-code based payment with their crypto wallet. The merchant receives the value of the goods at the time of the transaction and has no risk with regard to possible exchange rate fluctuations. He can choose whether he wants to receive the purchase price in euros or the corresponding amount in the cryptocurrency. The merchant incurs standard transaction fees that are comparable to credit card fees.

Country-specific regulations the requirement
The applicable regulations currently only allow this nationwide payment acceptance in Austria. Other European countries, Germany included, are currently working on regulating the market. "As soon as the framework and rules have been established by the authorities in other European countries, we will be ready to expand crypto acceptance further and offer it to merchants there as well," says Hoffmann.

Concardis GmbH