Afterpay says retailers can make ‘big savings’ from digital currencies

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) company Afterpay believes Australian merchants could make big savings if they adopt digital currencies over hefty fee-driven bank services.

In a submission to the ‘Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre’ senate inquiry, the Australian-owned firm said the use of blockchain-based technology could remove costs associated with traditional debit and credit card systems.

“Merchants stand to benefit considerably from the cryptocurrency model as card network fees are entirely removed from the equation and the customer/payer bears the transaction costs,” Afterpay said.

The inquiry delved a broad range of factors related to financial technology, such as the economic and employment opportunities posed by digital currencies and blockchain technology; barriers to the uptake of new technologies; and the impact of corporate law ‘restraining new investment’ in Australia.

“Afterpay does not currently offer crypto-related products, but we are actively considering how innovative features could be a part of the financial management ecosystem we are building,” it added, noting that it was looking to evolve its services to ‘further entrench its role in the digital asset payment space’.

“Our customers expect us to evolve with their needs and aspirations, whether or not they meet traditional definitions of financial products and services.”

Afterpay is one of several fintech and financial firms who presented to the senate committee that was chaired by NSW Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg.

Qoin is a good example of what Afterpay is talking about. The first digital currency of its kind in Australia, Qoin is fee free and offers small businesses an opportunity to use their spare capacity and maximise their earnings potential.

A utility coin that can be traded for goods and services, Qoin, which is available in Australia and New Zealand with other countries planned in the next 12 months, is innovative, progressive, easily transactional and the ideal alternative to cash.

Finally, in addition to its senate suggestions, Afterpay also flagged the need for a regulatory taskforce to be assembled to supervise the emerging blockchain and digital currency industry and its implications on the Australian market.

The BNPL firm has called on the government to build a safe regulatory environment for an Australian dollar tied stablecoin to give Australian cryptocurrency users and investors alternatives outside of gold and other precious metals.

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