The payment system with interoperable QR codes in Argentina will, from September 27, add the possibility of paying with cryptocurrencies in any physical or virtual store that accepts QR as a payment method.
This is the first experience of its kind in Latin America and will allow payments not only with Argentine pesos, but also with the so-called “digital dollars” or stablecoins –USDC, USDP, BUSD and DAI– and with the two main cryptos in the market: bitcoin and ether.
The development is led by the Bitso platform, whose mobile application has more than 1 million users in the country, and It will be interoperable, so the customer will be able to pay their balance in the app by scanning a QR on any Central Bank enabled virtual wallet or bank.
“We are used to thinking of crypto as a medium or long-term savings option. But now, by adding a QR payment solution to our platform, we are allowing Argentines to protect themselves from inflation and devaluation, and everyday spending in crypto. -day, with the best exchange rate available in the country. In this way, we extend the benefits of crypto to everyday pocket money,” said Julián Colombo, Bitso’s Head of Public Policy.
In that sense, although there are already companies that offer physical cards to pay with cryptocurrencies, Bitso’s proposal – affirmed by the company in a presentation to the press- he seeks that the client “can only go out on the street with his mobile phone and not carry his wallet”.
When making the payment, the application gives the user an opportunity choose which cryptocurrency to make the payment or if you prefer to do it with the pesos you have in your account balance.
In the case of choosing a cryptocurrency, the application will indicate the amount to be paid according to the current exchange rate and will automatically convert to Argentine pesos, and then settle the payment to the merchant in pesos.
Payments will be made with cryptocurrencies a surcharge of 0.6% of the operation, and if you choose to pay directly in pesos, there will be no charge.
The company plans to gradually enable the new function for users from September 27, 2022 and “for the next two to three weeks” it will already be available to anyone who downloads the application.
Argentina, regional leader in the use of QR
The decision to offer payments with QR codes corresponds to the fact that Argentina is the country in the region where this type of payment is most widely used.
Indeed, the 59% of Argentines have used QR payments in the past year, compared to the regional average of 34%and 83% expect to pay with QR in the next year, well above the 63% in Latin America, according to a report by Mastercard’s New Payments Index.
In May 2022, the company enabled the function Bitso+, an investment tool that allows an annual return of up to 8% on the balance in eligible cryptocurrencies, the interest of which is deposited to its users every Monday.
“By combining the two services, all Bitso Argentine users will be able to preserve the value of their money and live in crypto, confirming our commitment to making crypto useful for people’s lives,” said Colombo.
According to the latest data available, Transfer payments initiated through interoperable QR codes reached 2.9 million operations in July in the countrythe highest since its launch in late November last year.
The acceptance of these payment methods shows a continuous upward trend, after registering 1.5 million operations in February; 1.7 million in March; 1.9 million in April; 2.0 million in May; 2.3 million in June; and 2.9 million in July.
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