Payza adds bitcoin acceptance to its eWallet

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U.K.-based global online payments provider Payza is streamlining the process for consumers who transact with bitcoin by making the cryptocurrency directly accessible within its eWallet.

Payza customers may now hold bitcoins directly in the Payza eWallet instead of maintaining a separate bitcoin wallet, simplifying the process when using bitcoin to pay or when exchanging bitcoins for fiat currencies, Payza announced on Monday.

The move is the first of several advancements Payza plans to introduce in the next several months to make bitcoin usage easier for merchants and consumers, said Firoz Patel, Payza’s global executive vice president.

Payza introduced bitcoin as a payment option two years ago, and says demand is rising from the company’s diverse market of e-commerce merchants targeting unbanked and underbanked consumers in 190 countries.

“There are a lot of companies that want to take bitcoin as a payment option, and now we’re making it so that customers can ... also transact within their Payza account without ever converting it to another currency,” Patel said.

Patel predicts the upgrades could draw more bitcoin neophytes to begin transacting in the cryptocurrency. “We’re creating an easy and secure approach for consumers to pay with bitcoin, which we believe will drive more usage for overall purchases,” he said.

Payza has been steadily expanding its payments options since rolling out its eWallet in 2005, such as by adding a prepaid card in 2010 and moving to a gateway model in 2015, according to Patel.

Payza members can now send and receive bitcoin from other Payza members for 1.2% per transaction, which is less than Payza’s standard receiving fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents.

Payza, founded in 2004 under a predecessor company called AlertPay, is privately held and has an operations center in Montreal, with regional offices in New York, Mumbai, India; Dhaka, Bangladesh and Solna, Sweden. Payza currently reaches 13 million customers in 26 currencies.

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