The Austrian mobile phone company A1 has launched a pilot project involving the acceptance of cryptocurrency payments.
According to the local information website Guten Tag, the telecommunications giant has started to accept crypto payments in some of its dedicated stores.
When purchasing a good or service, any cryptocurrency payment will be instantly converted into fiat currency (euro), meaning that the trader does not actually have to worry about any conversion, just like in the case of traditional euro payments.
The A1 stores where the pilot project was launched are those in Vienna Kärntner Straße, Wien Mitte The Mall, Krems Bühl Center, Graz Herrengasse, Innsbruck Kaufhaus Tyrol, Salzburg Europark and Linz Landstraße.
The supported cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, XRP (Ripple) and XLM (Stellar).
Markus Schreiber, Head of A1 Corporate Marketing, said:
“Paying with digital currencies is becoming more and more prevalent internationally, and every industry is affected. Whether it’s the coffee-to-go or the movie ticket, cash is an obsolete model. With our pilot operation in the A1 shops we are testing the demand and acceptance of digital currencies in Austria, “says Markus Schreiber, Head of A1 Business Marketing, describing the objectives of the offer.
As a pioneer, A1 assumes a great responsibility with regard to the digitization of our society,” explains Schreiber. “The safety of consumers and trade, as well as compliance with all legal requirements and provisions have top priority. Before the A1 Payment portfolio will be expanded by digital currencies and officially available to business customers, a multi-stage trial will now be carried out, starting with selected A1 shops”.
The solution chosen by the company to allow cryptocurrency payments is that of Salamantex, Ingenico and Concardis, a solution that can be easily integrated into the traditional cash system and reduces the risks associated with the conversion of cryptocurrency into fiat currency for the cashier.
A1 was founded in 1881 and today has more than 5.1 million mobile customers and 2.1 million landlines throughout Austria out of a total of just under 9 million inhabitants.
It is important to remember that, although Austria is not currently one of the countries with the highest level of acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment, Vienna is the headquarters of one of the most important European crypto exchanges.