Users of public transportation across 37 cities of Argentina will now be able to pay using the world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC). This is a great push towards the usability of Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, for day-to-day purchases.
Users can now top-up their national contactless smart card SUBE (Sistema Único de Boleto Electrónico) with Bitcoins, reports Argentina’s local news publication Cripto247. The minimum top-up to the SUBE card is kept at 50 pesos.
The SUBE card is used by a majority of Argentinians and is valid on different modes of transport like “buses, trains, subways and motorboats,” as per the official government website.
Thanks to the Integration of Alto Viaje and Bitex
Getting Bitcoin onboard as a payment option on the SUBE smart cards was possible due to the integration of online card funding platform Alto Viaje and fintech startup Bitex. Alto Viaje is a government authorized vendor facilitating cardholders to fund their accounts.
On the other hand, Bitex is Argentina’s homegrown FinTech startup that provides different solutions on the Bitcoin blockchain. The company specializes in developing robust infrastructure and helping companies in integrating APIs that can offer services using the Bitcoin blockchain.
Bitex has also signed an agreement with Argentinian bank Banco Masventas to facilitate cross-border payments using Bitcoins. This has helped the banks to improve transaction speeds and reduce costs. Apart from Argentina, the service available in other parts of Latin America, North America, and Europe. Manuel Beaudroit, CMO of Bitex, expressed optimism over this new SUBE project saying:
"We believe that this type of project is of great importance since it brings technology as disruptive as bitcoin to the common people, demonstrating the true value and the applications it has in everyday life”.
Alto Viaje decided to leverage Bitex’s infrastructure for the technology and liquify it offers. This was a major reason for collaboration considering the big magnitude and size of the project.
"From Alto Viaje we want to offer safe and innovative services, the alliance with Bitex allows us to integrate the payment with bitcoins and new possibilities of financial inclusion for people and companies", commented Luciano Verardo, Director of Alto Viaje.
Besides BTC, Alto Viaje also allows SUBE users to load their cards with PayPal. It is also working with another local payment processing company RapiPago.