At launch, the offering will be available to a select number of users in Argentina, who will be able to borrow between $500 and $1,000 in bitcoin directly from the service, with credit extended based on the user's annual salary. Users would then pay back the loan in three or six-month installments, plus interest.
Ripio and BitPagos CEO Sebastian Serrano said his team is seeking to make the digital currency more accessible for online consumers.
Serrano told CoinDesk:
"Right now if you're a bitcoin user, you're a holder of a debit card, in terms of making a payment. You need to fund your wallet by buying bitcoins, and then when you're spending, you're spending your actual funds, it's money that you have."
Further, the company stressed the benefits to this system over more traditional financial products, noting it requires no credit card, bank account or account maintenance fees.
At launch, Ripio is working with select merchants to trial the payments service, including local e-commerce startup Avalancha, which began accepting bitcoin last year. Avalancha will give 10% discounts to customers who buy on credit with bitcoin.
Serrano said Ripio has been working on the concept for over a year, and that he sees it as yet another way the community can use the bitcoin network as a rails for payment.
"We've been focused on building solutions that solve people's problems," he said, adding: "This is a way to make payments or allow our consumers to do payments in a more seamless way."
Disclaimer: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in BitPagos.
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