CryptoCurrencyWire Editorial Coverage: As cryptocurrency seeks a route to mainstream adoption, ATMs may pave the way just as they have with other non-cash forms of payment in the past.
- ATMs encouraged the adoption of electronic payments through a gradual move away from cash.
- Cryptocurrency ATMs may offer a similar route for cryptocurrency into the mainstream.
- Focus on overcoming challenges to adoption, including technological practicality.
Previously only usable on the internet, cryptocurrencies are becoming a mainstream option through the proliferation of specialist ATMs such as those provided by Virtual Crypto Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: VRCP) (VRCP Profile). These establish a crypto equivalent to the ATMs of companies such as Diebold Nixdorf Incorporated (NYSE: DBD), the provider of a third of the world’s ATMs. Cryptocurrency is also appearing in other electronic payment systems, such as the point-of-sale solutions of Worldpay, Inc. (NYSE: WP), which is looking to add blockchain payments to its technology. Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ), whose technology turns phones and computers into point-of-sale systems, is also looking at adding bitcoin to its services. Meanwhile, PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) continues to expand upon its established electronic payment system, showing how smooth integration with everyday life can lead to swift adoption of new technology.
ATMs in the New Economy
More than 50 years has passed since ATMs (automatic teller machines) came onto the financial scene. In the past five decades, they’ve become an essential part of life around the world, a way for people to access their money as well as a growing range of other services. For wealthy nations, these machines have created a bridge from an era when most payments were made by cash in hand to a modern era of electronic payments, whether by bank card, online transfer, or newer systems such as PayPal. But in many parts of the world, cash is still king.
Now a new form of payment is emerging in the form of cryptocurrencies. These offer a way to overcome many of the problems and inefficiencies inherent to the current financial system; however, they have not yet achieved mainstream use. ATMs may once again provide a way forward, making cryptocurrency accessible for consumers around the world.
Bridging the Gap
While many people continue to choose a more traditional method of completing transactions, companies such as Virtual Crypto Technologies (OTCQB: VRCP) are providing access to main street electronic payment systems. Although the majority of consumers in North America use payment cards when shopping, globally, most people stick with cash. In most countries, more than half of all payments are made in notes and coins rather than digits. Even in India, a rising economic power with one of the world’s largest populations, more than 90 percent of payments are in cash despite the country’s growing embrace of technology.
Making the jump from cash to electronic payments can be intimidating. Humans naturally prefer familiar patterns to taking a risk on something new. For a change to take hold, it often needs to be introduced gradually. ATMs provide that gradual introduction to electronic payments.
An ATM provides individiuals with instant access to their cash through the use of a bank card, thus providing a way for them to become accustomed to using a card while still using the traditional method of making cash payments. This services creates a bridge for consumer behavior, providing the perfect transition for consumers to establish trust in a new payment method.
No wonder the use of ATMs is spreading. Currently, there are more than 3 million ATMs in use worldwide, and on average, a new ATM is installed somewhere every three minutes. This trend creates the perfect market environment for companies, such as Virtual Crypto, that want to introduce the world to a new type of ATM.
The past few years have seen huge growth in the popularity and value of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. Unlike existing electronic payment systems, cryptocurrencies allow users to make direct payments to one another without banking system intermediaries. They can provide people with greater control over their finances and reduce friction in the global economy. But while cryptocurrencies have garnered plenty of attention in tech circles, they haven’t yet made the jump to the mainstream.
Virtual Crypto is trying to change that through its about NetoBit ATMs. These ATMs allow users to instantly convert cash into cryptocurrencies and vice versa, always at the best available exchange rates. As more people become aware of cryptocurrencies, these ATMs allow them to easily access the new form of payment for the first time, gradually introducing it to the main street.
As with the change of consumer behavior toward card payments, VRCP’s NetoBit platform could well provide a bridge leading to wider use of crypto. The more customers become accustomed to using these currencies, the more they will look for stores that accept this form of payment, creating a natural demand, hastening the mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies and their benefits.
The Challenges to Making Crypto Mainstream
It’s only taken 10 years for cryptocurrency to go from a fringe interest to an internationally recognized form of exchange, with bitcoin worth thousands of times what it once was. But if this pace is to continue and crypto is to achieve widespread use, several challenges must be overcome. Research by Etoro and academics from Imperial College London has identified six factors standing in the way of mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. Of these, usability appears to be one of the most fundamental.
While cryptocurrency is theoretically already accessible to everyone, the reality is different. The use of crypto wallets currently requires a level of technological ability that might seem simple to established crypto enthusiasts but is beyond many people’s understanding and comfort level. To achieve wider use, cryptocurrency needs to become more technologically practical, so that both large organizations and private individuals can adopt it with ease.
As a leading player in the world of crypto ATMs, Virtual Crypto is committed to overcoming this challenge, as evidenced by its NetoBit system, which paves the way for users to buy and sell bitcoin using both ATMs and mobile devices. For individuals, NetoBit makes cryptocurrency accessible without complications. The currency is presented through the familiar format of an ATM. Behind the scenes, the system provides access to a range of crypto exchanges, allowing users to get the best exchange rate without having to work their way through the complexities of multiple platforms.
Virtual Crypto also removes much of the challenge for companies running these ATMs. NetoBit’s financial management system allows the operation of a large number of points of sale and ATMs, with tools to manage the flow of cash through them.
By meeting the market needs of both customers and businesses, Virtual Crypto’s machines can help overcome the challenge of usability, increase awareness of cryptocurrency and encourage broader adoption.
Providing Payment Methods
As the potential of electronic payment grows, companies are jumping in to provide supporting systems.
Diebold Nixdorf Incorporated (NYSE: DBD) is an end-to-end provider of services, software and hardware for the financial and retail industries. It provides one in three of the ATMs in service around the world. Among other advances, it was the first company to integrate mobile phone technology with ATMs, bringing together important elements of the modern payment processing ecosystem. The company recently teamed up with Mastercard to provide a new managed self-service solution for banking and retail customers, creating greater efficiency and convenience in electronic payments.
Worldpay, Inc. Class A (NYSE: WP) provides point-of-sale solutions with the aim of making payments simpler for customers. As part of this mission, it supports credit card processing, online transactions and in-store payments. The company’s co-CEO, Philip Jansen, has stated that blockchain, the technology underlying cryptocurrency, provides an opportunity for his company. The adoption of blockchain technology by mainstream payment companies such as Worldpay will provide an important step in cryptocurrency’s gradual transition to the mainstream.
Also making this transition is mobile payment provider Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ). The company’s technology helps merchants turn their existing phones and computers into point-of-sale systems, reducing the friction involved in taking electronic payments. The company is currently exploring the option of integrating bitcoin into its systems, and the rise in its stock price that followed this announcement indicates the interest investors have in the future of cryptocurrency.
The email payment system provided by PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) is increasingly ubiquitous because of the way it smoothly integrates into people’s lives. By letting customers send a payment using only an email address, PayPal makes it easy for anyone to make payments and transfer money. The company’s recent acquisition of Hyperwallet adds to its capabilities through a comprehensive payments solution that includes multicurrency payment distribution capabilities with disbursement options including cards, checks and cash pickup.
Companies around the world are offering a growing range of payment systems that integrate smoothly into people’s lives. As cryptocurrency companies provide solutions such as these, the probability that blockchain will go mainstream becomes increasingly sure.
For more information on Virtual Crypto Technologies, please visit Virtual Crypto Technologies (OTCQB: VRCP)
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