Bitso is Latin America’s largest crypto exchange. It announced Thursday that it is working to launch a new QR code payment method in its wallet app. This will allow Argentinans to use cryptocurrency to purchase items in retail shops.
This new payment method will offer consumers an alternative to the Argentine peso, and it will help curb inflation.
Members of Argentina’s Bitso exchange (estimated at more than one million users) will be gradually granted access to the QR code option starting September 27.
In Argentina, where inflation is at an all-time high of 80% and the purchasing power of the peso is declining, QR codes will offer another way for consumers to save money and then spend it in physical stores.
Santiago Alvarado, Bitso’s Senior Vice-President of Product, stated that the idea was to make crypto more usable in more places and to allow all citizens to live in crypto by purchasing everyday services.
Bitso wallet software is able to scan QR codes at many stores in Argentina. This will allow customers to choose whether they want to purchase Bitcoin, Ether, or U.S.-dollar pegged stabilitycoins. Bitso will convert the crypto of the merchant into Argentine Pesos at the time of purchase.
Alvarado explained that Bitso’s wallet can scan QR codes from “all systems approved by central bank,” Alvarado added.
Why did LATAM see a rise in QR codes?
QR codes are a popular payment method in Argentina – a nation that has the highest rate of QR code usage in Latin America, according to data from the Mastercard New Payments Index.
Digital payments are growing at a rapid pace in Latin America, despite being cash-based economies that have been historically. The popularity of QR code payments has increased significantly due to the covid-19 pandemic.
QR, which stands for “quick response”, — and codes can be encrypted with payment information to facilitate contactless digital purchasing. QR codes enable consumers to pay using their smartphone’s camera. The code is then scanned and withdrawn from their digital wallet.
All over Latin America, there are many companies that facilitate QR code payments. In Argentina, companies such as Mercado Pago, TodoPago, ValePEI, Ualá, PIM, and Rapipago allow users to pay via QR codes from their digital wallets or accounts.
Recently, the Argentina Central Bank encouraged digital payments by allowing several payment providers companies to offer QR code payments. This represents a major step forward in changing the payment methods of a society which has traditionally relied on cash.
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