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Telekom Austria’s “A1 Telekom Austria” has enabled customers to pay using cryptocurrencies since 19 August. The field test by the Austrian TelCo market leader is being carried out in collaboration with the FinTech start-up Salamantek and will initially be carried out in seven selected A1 branches.

The new payment option will be introduced in collaboration with the Austrian FinTech start-up Salamantex. Salamentex provides both the software and hardware for the Bitcoin POS solution. The field trial is to expand A1 Payments, the payment service of the Austrian communication provider, by cryptocurrencies. Paying with Bitcoin & Co. is possible since the 19th of August in the following A1 branches:

    Vienna – Kärntnerstraße
    Vienna Mitte – The Mall
    Lower Austria – Krems Bühl Center
    Styria – Graz Herrengasse
    Tyrol – Innsbruck department store Tyrol
    Salzburg – Europark
    Upper Austria – Linz Landstraße

Bitcoin acceptance does not make A1 a hodler

However, as with most XY Accepted Bitcoin Payments messages, bitcoin acceptance by A1 requires differentiation. For what lands in the end on the account of the Austrian telecommunications market leader is not BTC, but Euro. Bitcoin payments from customers are automatically converted into Euros by the POS system. What could cause ideologically motivated criticism for crypto-purists, however, has a tangible advantage for the traders. By directly converting Bitcoin into euros, business owners are protected against the sometimes pronounced volatility of cryptocurrencies.

This is also emphasized by Markus Schreiber, responsible for business marketing at A1:

    The trade in cryptocurrencies per se and the acceptance of cryptocurrencies at a payment terminal. Clear answer: No, there is no price fluctuation risk in our service – neither for the customer nor for the dealer. If a customer pays with a cryptocurrency, the value of eg 100 Euro will be offered at a current crypto-exchange value and will remain valid for a short limited period of time (less than 1 minute). Our service or our partners handle the exchange. The dealer always gets his 100 euros guaranteed. If the confirmation takes too long, the exchange rate becomes invalid, a new exchange rate is generated, which is limited again.

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