Transaction network ZipZap has announced that consumers across 34 European countries will soon have access to its cash-to-bitcoin services.
The company says consumers will be able to use its platform to purchase digital currency, pay bills for their relatives in other countries, alongside a host of other services. ZipZap offers free sign up, free wallet and free deposit services.
The expansion comes just months after the company announced plans to enter the Latin American market.
CEO Alan Safahi spoke to CoinDesk back in April to explain his vision for the future of innovative payment services in emerging markets and developed economies.
Simplifying payments worldwide
ZipZap says it has already developed strategic partnerships across Europe in order to facilitate the expansion. It now accepts cash and bank transfers from networks including: GiroPay, SEPA, SOFORT, iDeal and MisterCash.
The company has experienced issues with its payment processors in the past. Earlier this year it was forced to suspend services in the UK after its payment processor PayPoint said it needed more clarification on the regulations surrounding bitcoin.
However, it did not take long for the company to secure a new partner, PayZone, and resume operations in the country.
“ZipZap has a commitment to simplify and democratise payments worldwide,” said Simon Nahnybida, senior vice president of business development for ZipZap.
“We are now enabling more consumers with the power to easily, safely and securely buy digital currencies at affordable prices using multiple payment options.”
Over the counter
ZipZap is not the first platform to target over-the-counter transactions. London's first bitcoin voucher shop, Azteco, opened earlier this year on the edge of the city’s financial district. Customers hand the shop's attendant cash to receive a voucher code that can be redeemed at the Azteco website – minus a 3% commission.
Further afield, bitcoin users in Ukraine can now utilise a network of more than 4,900 payment terminals to convert their cash into digital currency all over the country. The machines, known as BNK-24 terminals, also allow customers to pay utility bills and purchase mobile phone credit.
BTCU, the company behind the service, charges 3.5% commission on each transaction – citing pent-up demand for a cheaper, more convenient payment system to settle overseas e-commerce transactions.
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