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Thursday, June 9, 2022

Merchants eager to accept crypto

Merchants are keen on accepting cryptocurrencies, but they recognize there will be challenges. That's the upshot of a new report from the international consultancy Deloitte, which surveyed 2,000 senior executives at U.S. retail organizations.

Deloitte found that most survey respondents believe accepting these digital currencies will put them at a competitive advantage in the market. Eighty-five percent expect digital currencies to be ubiquitous in their respective industries within five years. Industries represented in the survey included digital goods, electronics, fashion, food and beverages, home and garden, hospitality, and transportation.

Fifty-four percent of retailers surveyed have already invested more than $1 million toward enabling cryptocurrency payments, Deloitte said.

"This survey shows that merchants view acceptance of digital currencies – driven by consumer acceptance and demand – is key to driving business, and those that are slow to adopt run the risk of falling significantly behind," said Zachary Aron, principal and chief of the global and U.S. banking and capital markets practice at Deloitte. "Customer demand for more innovative and flexible options is now a given, and merchants are finding the means to deliver digital payments in more effective ways, creating value for each player in the transactional flow."

In February of this year, the website Crypto.com released survey results that also reflect strong interest in crypto payments. Crypto.com surveyed 110,000 customers, as well as 1.5 million Worldpay merchants, and found roughly 60 percent of both groups were interested in crypto payments.

Challenges retailers expect to confront in enabling digital currency payments include the complexity of integrating with existing financial infrastructures, or across various currencies, as well as regulatory initiatives, Deloitte reported.

The Deloitte survey, developed in collaboration with PayPal, also identified steps payment processors can take to provide more favorable conditions for adoption, including eliminating traditional hold periods, eliminating transaction costs and instituting incentive programs.

PayPal gets NY BitLicense

"Merchants understand how important it is to accept payment types their customers want to use, and digital currencies are now an important consideration as merchants think about their payment capabilities," said May Zabaneh, vice president for PayPal's blockchain, crypto and digital currencies business unit. "What this survey shows is just how many merchants are now recognizing the importance of digital currencies and planning accordingly."

PayPal entered the crypto world in October 2020, when it began allowing its 400 million users to sell and purchase bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and litecoin. And this week, the payments company announced it had begun supporting exchanges of those same cryptocurrencies between PayPal accounts and other wallets and exchanges.

The development follows PayPal being granted a full Bitlicense, a virtual currency business license, by the New York Department of Financial Services. A Bitlicense subjects holders to a range of regulatory requirements when transacting crypto business in the state or with residents of New York.

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, senior vice president and general manager of the blockchain, crypto and digital currencies business unit at PayPal, said the ability to transfer cryptocurrencies to other wallets and exchanges has been one of the most requested enhancements since PayPal began offering users the ability to hold cryptocurrencies.

"Customers who transfer their crypto into PayPal can extend the utility of digital currencies while fully complying with regulatory guidelines and best practices," he said. "We're excited to connect PayPal's customers to other wallets, exchanges and applications, and we will continue to roll out additional crypto features, products, and services in the months ahead." end of article

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