Digitec Galaxus has launched a crypto payment option, allowing customers of online shops digitec.ch and galaxus.ch to pay with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Ethereum, XRP, Binance Coin, Litecoin, Tron, OmiseGo and NEO.
Known as the “Amazon of Switzerland” Digitec lists over 2.7 million items for daily needs, with fast and free shipping. Customers who pay in crypto will have to make a minimum purchase of 200 francs. There’s no maximum threshold.
The new payment option began as a collaboration between Digitec and Swiss e-payment company Datatrans AG. Crypto payments will be settled by Danish-based fintech company Coinify to convert the transactions into fiat, reducing the company’s exposure to volatile crypto prices.
Customers who want to pay with Bitcoin or any of the supported altcoins select the crypto payment option at checkout before being redirected to Coinify where they can complete the transaction. The exchange rate will be fixed for 15 minutes, and the shopper will have the option of using a wallet address or a QR-code to complete the payment.
The payment option will compete with PayPal which charges a 2% fee. Coinify charges a conversion fee of 1.5% of the purchase amount, while Digitec Galaxus does not charge any additional fees for cryptocurrency payments.
According to the announcement, Oliver Herren, chief information officer and co-founder of Digitec Galaxus, says cryptocurrencies are likely to become a relevant means of payment in e-commerce, and that the company wants to support developing trends.
“We’ve been wanting to do this for ages, but the effort it would have required has just always been too big. Now we’ve found a simple solution with Datatrans and Coinify.”
However, he’s not fully convinced of the advantages blockchain offers over other database technologies.
“So far, these transactions have proven more expensive and slower than regular payments. Making any improvements is hugely slowed down by the decentralization. That’s because none of the technologies are scalable enough yet. But maybe I just haven’t invested enough time in fully understanding how the blockchain ecosystem works.”
According to Tobias Billeter, head of communications, the company is not yet offering Apple Pay or Samsung Pay but it will closely monitor customer feedback for future inclusion. As for cryptocurrencies, the company says it’s trying to appeal to mobile Millennials and tech heads.
The new crypto payment option is available in Switzerland and may extend to Germany, pending the success of the roll-out.