Nets Group brings cryptocurrencies to shop tills in Austria

March 31, 2021

  • Nets to enable acceptance of Bitcoin, Ether or Ripple at points-of-sale tills / cash registers.
  • Robert Hoffmann, CEO of Nets Merchant Services: “The introduction of digital currencies by central and national banks is only a matter of time.” Strategic pipeline could see Nets add e-Euro, e-Krona, e-Franc and other digital currencies in future.
  • Early-adopters in Austria already offer crypto payment. Expansion in other European countries is planned as soon as legal framework is established.

Nets Group, a leading European payment services provider, together with Salamantex, Austrian specialist for the development of software solutions for cryptocurrency payments, is bringing acceptance of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple to in-store points-of-sale in Austria. The partnership will also help prepare for the introduction of future digital currencies such as the e-Euro.

In Austria, cryptocurrency acceptance is already well regulated. Nets is considering further expansion of crypto acceptance in other European countries, dependent on respective national regulations.

Regardless of whether cryptocurrencies are regulated as investment objects or means of payment in the future, “the introduction of digital currencies by central and national banks is only a matter of time,” said Robert Hoffmann, CEO of Nets Merchant Services. “The underlying technology for the e-Euro, the e-Franc or the e-Krona is the same as for cryptocurrencies. Their time will come and they will fundamentally change the payment market across Europe.”

As a pioneer in digital currency acceptance, Nets is now gathering further insights in the field, which will be fundamental for payment services in Europe in the near future.

In the DACH region, Nets – through its subsidiary Concardis – is working with Salamantex to enable all merchants, service providers and restaurateurs in Austria to accept cryptocurrency transactions from consumers on common payment terminals, in addition to classic payment methods such as credit or debit cards.

“The rollout of crypto acceptance at the checkout in Austria is an important milestone for the future of digital payment,” said René Pomassl, CEO of Salamantex. “We want to make payments with digital assets – be it Bitcoin, Ether or, in the future, the e-Euro – available to the masses: securely, easily and in compliance with all regulatory requirements of the respective country.”

Accepting cryptocurrencies in Austria will be as easy as accepting other cashless payments. Many Austrian merchants are already offering their customers crypto payments at the checkout, simply by activating crypto-capable interfaces on their Concardis terminal.

Paying with cryptocurrencies is also easy for customers: the corresponding cryptocurrency is selected on the terminal, an exchange rate request is made for the purchase amount, and the customer makes 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 regarding possible exchange rate fluctuations. The merchant can choose whether they want 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.

Salamantex relied on strong compliance at an early stage to quickly launch internationally through partnerships with acquirers such as Concardis. The current regulations only allow this nationwide payment acceptance in Austria. Other European countries, including Germany, are currently working on regulating the market.

“As soon as the context and the rules have been established by the authorities in other European countries, we are ready to further expand crypto acceptance with Salamantex and offer it to merchants there as well,” concluded Hoffmann.


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