London-based payment service provider Zazoo recently formed a partnership with Singapore-based bitcoin platform BitX. The alliance will permit bitcoin users to spend the cryptocurrency online or in-app using VCpay, Zazoo’s patented mobile virtual card (MVC) technology.
VCpay is activated through a registration process and linking the application to numerous funding options, including credit cards, EFTs, direct top-ups, crypto-currencies and more. The MVC technology can apparently be used anywhere in the world, without requiring merchants to make any changes to their hardware or software platforms. The virtual credit card system is also NFC ready and can be used to transact at NFC enabled points of sale.
Philip Belamant, Managing Director of Zazoo, said:
This collaboration eliminates the current challenge experienced by these new currencies, namely that of interoperability with the existing financial system, by providing a seamless gateway between crypto-currencies and traditional payment channels, resulting in the immediate and pervasive acceptance of Bitcoins as a payment currency in the online world. This collaboration will enable BitX and VCpay users to now spend Bitcoins agnostically, anywhere online and anywhere in the world, without any changes to the existing acquiring or switching infrastructures. We believe that BitX is an ideal partner for our technology as it is a rising star in the crypto-currency field, and supported by astute investors such as Naspers.
Marcus Swanepoel, Chief Executive Officer of BitX added:
The gap between the speculative trade in digital currency and users’ ability to trade the currency for any item that they choose is closing, with VCpay as a critical enabler in this transition.
The deal between VCpay and BitX will permit bitcoin users to integrate the various virtual worlds in which they operate. For example, online gamers will be able to sell materials within the game in exchange for bitcoins and will then be able to generate a VCpay MVC to pay for his UBER ride. Alternatively, he could speculate in bitcoins on BitX and convert his balance or gains into a VCpay MVC to spend anywhere online.
Inter-connecting VCpay and BitX means that anyone who has Bitcoin will be able use MVCs from their mobile device, completely offline and without the need to access a mobile phone network. Customers can then use these MVCs to pay for goods and services online or at any merchant that accepts debit or credit card payments, or they can transfer funds to family or friends who do not own Bitcoin via standard remittance applications.
We look forward to rolling out this technology over the coming months, and whilst users will be able to spend their Bitcoin funded virtual card anywhere in the world, the initial target markets include Europe, Singapore, Philippines, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Zazoo, a business unit of Net 1 UEPS Technologies, Inc., is an aggregation of innovative technology companies and a leading provider of payment solutions and transaction processing services. Zazoo’s diverse product offering is consolidated into five primary business lines, namely mobile banking, MNO solutions, third party payments, cryptography, and smart card technologies. Net 1 UEPS is headquartered in Johannesburg, and has a primary listing on NASDAQ and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
BitX was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Singapore with offices in Cape Town and Jakarta.