Paving a new way for payments with cryptocurrencies - a comment by René Pomassl, CEO at SALAMANTEX

Cryptocurrencies have seemingly sprung from relative obscurity into mainstream consciousness over the past few years. What was once the remit of only a few staunch industry advocates is now a touchstone of technological innovation for many nations worldwide. And crypto’s growing popularity shows no signs of slowing down. It’s not a bubble to burst but here to stay!

As the world watches money as we know it slowly morph into something entirely digitalized and different, the question of how this will affect our lives remains. It has been a few years already that the crypto revolution has arrived in the payment sector, a very tangible touchpoint for businesses and end-users alike.

Salamantex is a well-established industry leader in this field, with a best-in-class software that enables merchants to accept payments for goods and services in cryptocurrencies as well as other digital assets. Retailers can choose to retain the payment in digital form, or convert it to fiat to bypass the crypto’s inherent volatility risk. Our platforms are leading the way in powering a new era of digital payments, accessible to all. Why would consumers want to spend their digital assets, and why would merchants want to accept it?

Just how does crypto work?

Before treating the pros and cons of cryptocurrencies, it is worth outlining the technicalities of how they work, and how they differ from conventional fiat money.

Cryptocurrencies are not issued by a central bank or government system like fiat currencies, such as the Euro, Dollar and co. Rather, cryptocurrencies are purchased from exchanges and then placed into a digital ‘wallet’ for save guarding. Another way to get your hands on cryptocurrencies is the so-called ‘mining’. Simply speaking, mining is the process of calculating complex mathematical problems to support the crypto’s underlying blockchain technology. In exchange for supporting the system, the miner is compensated with cryptos. However, this process requires insight, knowledge and extremely powerful server capacity and is therefore usually restricted to industry geeks and businessmen and women.

Now that we have mentioned the ‘blockchain’, let’s quickly explain this technology. Payments involving cryptocurrencies are processed through a private network of computers. Each transaction is represented in a building block and the entire blockchain is simultaneously recorded in each of the computers in the network. Overall, the blockchain serves as a distributed ledger, and therefore makes the need for a central authority to maintain records redundant.

The benefits of crypto payments

Now that we understand how crypto works at the simplest level, we can consider the benefits of paying with them. Moving beyond considering them purely as an investment.

We are all aware of the hefty fees we sometimes face for transactions with our usual fiat currencies, especially when it comes to transactions across borders between different banks. However, with crypto, additional charges are relatively negligible. None of the ‘maker and taker’ fees incurred with fiat transactions are present with cryptocurrencies. No banking fees also means no account maintenance, minimum balance, overdraft charges, etc.

Paying with crypto also brings to bear the benefits of the underlying blockchain network, based on decentralization. This offers complete certainty that ‘what you see is what I see’, as well as superior levels of security. This transparency and assurance is difficult to find with traditional currencies that act behind closed doors.

Finally, banks are susceptible to boom and bust, for example. With cryptocurrencies sitting outside of the financial system, users are truly in control of their money.

However, this does not mean that cryptos act in a legal no-mans land. On the contrary, more and more countries are implementing stringent regulations for this new world of digitalized assets. Salamantex is proud to serve as a best practice case with extensive regulatory and compliance know-how. As one of the very few, SALAMANTEX has been officially recognized by Austria’s FMA as being fully compliant with the country’s regulations. The entire growth process is structured around regulations from the get go. This allows merchants to fully concentrate on their core business, without worrying about compliance and special book-keeping. It already comes with the software solution.

Paving a new way for payments

Bringing the benefits of crypto to the payments world is the mission of SALAMANTEX. The unique software enables merchants to accept payments in cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, both on in-store payment terminals and in webshops. For consumers, paying for goods and services using cryptocurrencies can in fact be quick, risk-free, and as simple as paying with a bank card. If integrated into the existing payment infrastructure, the roll-out is smooth and efficient on a large scale for the retailers.

Rather than integrating this innovative payment option one-by-one for the retailers, the Salamantex solution has been designed to be completely interoperable with existing cash registers. Proprietary state-of-the-art APIs and reporting tools enable a simple handle of accounting data, empowering merchants to actually integrate transactions made in crypto into their bookkeeping without additional administrative effort, regardless if they keep the cryptos or prefer to transform them into fiat money.

A testament to just how efficient and scalable the solution is, is the partnership with the Concardis group. Through this partnership, merchants throughout Austria are already reaching a new customer base by offering cryptocurrency payments at the Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals. With more and more business owners and acquirers realising the potential of accepting additional means of payment, this option will become increasingly available in the near future until ultimately reaching mass adoption, which is the mainstream acceptance.

This is only the beginning

When you consider an estimated 42 million people worldwide now hold Bitcoin, the shift to being able to pay for goods with digital assets is a natural evolution.

With the SALAMANTEX solution, merchants can offer consumers the flexibility in payments they are seeking. As a recent Mastercard study found, the appetite for digital payments is growing, not only with millennials but within all generations. It’s time to future-proof your business to not miss out on a growing customer base of digital natives! Want to know more about a customized solution for your business? Our team is happy to answer all your questions:

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