Austria’s A1 Telekom enables crypto payments

Austria’s A1 Telekom enables crypto payments

By Benson Toti - min read

Customers of A1 Telekom, a telecom giant in Austria, can now process crypto payments as a result of a collaboration with Salamantex, an Austrian crypto payments processor

An Austrian telecommunications company, A1 Telekom subsidiary, now allows its customers to make payments with cryptocurrency in collaboration with Salamantex.

The company announced this new development in a press release on Monday. Enabling crypto payments on the A1 Payment platform gives companies more alternatives to process their transactions.

The A1 Payment platform’s existing payment solutions allowed users to conduct payment transactions with traditional credit cards and online operators, such as Alipay from China. Now that the platform has cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), and Dash (DASH), their customers can now pay with crypto in over 2,500 stores across the country.

The announcement clarifies that niche knowledge on cryptocurrencies is not necessary for customers that want to interact with the platform, since payments with digital currencies are converted into euros in real-time at the cash desk. This also eliminates currency risk.

Many companies and institutions are looking at integrating cryptocurrencies as a payment option, especially due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Cryptocurrencies provide a safe and contactless way to conduct transactions, which helps limit the spread of the virus.

Other companies that have recently integrated crypto payments in one way or another include the major streaming platform Twitch. The company announced that users who pay for their subscription with cryptocurrencies are entitled to a ten percent discount.

Earlier in July, the high profile traveling company Expedia announced their collaboration with Travala in allowing their users to process hotel bookings with cryptocurrency.

In New Zealand and Australia, Coca-Cola Amatil partnered with Centrapay to allow residents to pay with bitcoin in Coca-Cola vending machines.

Shopify, the e-commerce giant, also partnered with Coinpayments to enable a crypto payment option for Shopify users.

Financial regulators and policymakers in Austria have generally been receptive to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. However, the Austrian Financial Markets Authority (FMA) does regularly warn local investors of the risks associated with dabbling in crypto, since such platforms are neither regulated nor supervised by the FMA.

The country has not yet enacted any crypto or fintech-specific laws, and while it does not yet have a statutory definition of what cryptocurrencies are, the FMA has released a definition. It does not treat cryptocurrencies as money, nor does it give crypto equal status to domestic or foreign fiat currency. In addition, the government, as well as the central bank, does not back any cryptocurrencies as of writing.