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Australian Retailers Now Let Customers Pay for Gas, Snacks, and More With Bitcoin

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OTR, an acronym for “On the Run,” is South Australia’s leading convenience retailer. And in the spirit of convenience, the chain just announced a partnership to bring Bitcoin and cryptocurrency integration to hundreds of locations.

The partnership is a major step for Australia in bringing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency connectivity into the “real world.” Peregrine Corporation, parent company of OTR, teamed up with Crypto.com to pull this off.

“The OTR story is about giving customers choice and making life easy,” said Yasser Shahin, executive chairman of Peregrine. “The decision to offer cryptocurrency payments is centered around this story –– by offering our customers convenience in how they pay, whether it be cash, card, or crypto.”

The idea of a convenience store accepting “convenient” forms of digital payment should not seem far-fetched, but for South Australians this is a major development because OTR is the state’s main gas and convenience retailer.

The small convenience retailer has been able to move quickly, beating bigger chains to the punch in accepting Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments.

To use the service, customers simply select Crypto.com as their payment method. After a QR code is generated, the customer selects Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency they would like to use, scans the code, and the payment is instantly settled in Australian dollars.

The technology also relies on DataMesh Group, a payment infrastructure services provider, which acts as the backbone to connect retail locations with Crypto.com’s exchange.

“We know merchants are looking at many alternative payment instruments including crypto as an opportunity to diversify their payment streams and attract new customers, which is why we are determined to deliver integrated processing capabilities that will make crypto payments fast and accessible for all involved,” said Mark Nagy, CEO of DataMesh.

The impact from this development will likely be felt in businesses beyond OTR as well. The chain has in-store partnerships with other big brands, such as Subway, Hungry Jack’s, Wok in a Box, and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, which allows for these major chains to experience exposure to customers interested in using Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as payment.

In an initial push to promote the service, OTR customers will receive an additional 2% cash back on all purchases using Bitcoin until September 16th. The partnership comes on the heels of a Crypto.com survey which revealed that 55% of customers and merchants wanted to use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for everyday purchases.

Adan Kohnhorst is a globally-based writer and producer with a focus on alternative culture and emerging ideas. He’s a founding member of Shanghai-based media outlet RADII, and the founder of Mind Body Globe, a blog covering intersections of travel and wellbeing.

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