Australians will be able to pay using crypto at convenience stores and service stations in South Australia by the middle of this year, as private companies cautiously embrace digital currency payment capabilities.
From July, around 170 On The Run (OTR) convenience operations, including service stations, C Coffee dine-in and drive through cafes, Subway, Oporto and Wokinabox restaurants will be set up to accept payments in cryptocurrency.
This will apply across the corporation’s group of companies’ point of sale merchant terminals in metropolitan Adelaide and regional Australia.
The payments capabilities come from a new partnership with Singapore-based payments and cryptocurrency company Crypto.com, which has been growing its global presence over the past year.
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The firm made news in November last year when it announced it had bought the branding rights to rename the Staples Center in Los Angeles ‘Crypto.com Arena’.
It is Crypto.com’s second partnership in Australia, following the announcement of a multi-year agreement to sponsor the Adelaide Football Club in January.
DataMesh Group, a technology and payments company will bring Crypto.com in as an accepted ‘payment type’, the company said.
The partnership enables the platform to launch its payment gateway with the largest private company in South Australia.
The company’s Pay Merchant payment system enables crypto payments to merchants in Australia and follows the launch of an app and a Crypto.com VISA card in Australia last year.
Crypto.com general manager for APAC Karl Mohan said the landmark partnership marked the first step in achieving its goal of letting its customers “pay with cryptocurrencies at real-time market prices and avoid the cost and hassle of fiat conversions.”
“We’re thrilled to be bringing this vision to life with one the most trusted companies in Australia,” Mohan said in a statement.
Executive chairman of Peregrine Corporation Yasser Shahin said the growth and mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrency adoption globally and in Australia offered the firm “a clear opportunity to tap into the momentum of this fast-growing space for the benefit of our customers”.
The partnership would enable the firm to become a leader in payment innovation, Shahin said.
“Crypto.com is a world-changing platform. It is synonymous with the future of technology, payments and business.
“We are excited that our collaboration with Crypto.com and DataMesh has enabled this capability, and I look forward to our customers embracing this innovative and convenient way to engage with us.”
The move follows internal research, conducted with payments company Worldpay from FIS that found 75% of Crypto.com customers are interested in purchasing goods or services with cryptocurrency in 2022, with retail one of the top two industry segments.
Similar research commissioned by Australian cryptocurrency exchange Swyftx earlier this year found the majority of Australian business leaders want to see stronger regulation before exploring opportunities to integrate crypto into their business.
The announcement follows a raft of developments as the government and private industry navigate how crypto companies will be regulated as its use becomes more widespread in Australia.
Earlier this year ANZ launched Australia’s first bank-backed ‘stablecoin’, an innovation advocates believe could change how local businesses and investors transfer money online.
And in March the government opened the floor to consultation with businesses on proposed legislation around regulation of cryptocurrency and digital payments.
Mohan encouraged other retailers to jump aboard with crypto payments.
“A note to merchants: customers are ready when you are! This is a great opportunity to increase your addressable market, reduce dispute costs and lower transaction fees,” he said.