Cryptocurrencies to disrupt APAC in-store payments
There has been a gradual rise in cryptocurrency acceptance at Asia-Pacific (APAC) merchant locations, with companies being won over by benefits such as lower transaction fees, no chargebacks, and cheaper payment acceptance from foreign tourists, says GlobalData.
Large merchants such as Bic Camera and Yamada Denki in Japan and Goto Mall in South Korea are now onboard, which is likely to push many more peers to look at this area. Earlier this year, cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb partnered with Korea Pay Services to enable 6,000 retail outlets across South Korea to accept cryptocurrency payments. And in April 2017, another crypto exchange, Coincheck, teamed with Recruit Lifestyle to roll-out its Bitcoin-enabled PoS app AirREGI across 260,000 merchant stores in Japan.
New regulatory initiatives are, meanwhile, expected to provide a much-needed push to widen the use case of cryptocurrencies. “Cryptocurrency has traditionally been a topic of discussion for its volatility and authenticity, with several industry experts not reckoning it as an alternative to traditional payment tools. This perception is changing with a large number of merchants and consumers in the region now gradually embracing it as a payment tool. Lower transaction charges compared to traditional card-based payments could make cryptocurrencies a preferred choice among merchants,” says Sowmya Kulkarni, Payments Analyst at GlobalData.