Convenience store and petrol station brand On The Run (OTR) has launched crypto payment support across all 175 of its petrol stations and convenience stores across Victoria, South Australia (SA), and Western Australia (WA) as of Thursday.
As previously reported, the move is part of a collaboration between OTR, Singapore-based exchange Crypto.com and DataMesh, a Sydney-based payment systems provider.
The exchange has provided its Pay Merchant service as a payment settlement layer, while Datamesh has provided the point of sale terminals.
Speaking with Cointelegraph, Crypto.com’s Asia & Pacific general manager Karl Mohan noted that it only took “eight weeks to from the time of proof of concept to the point of actually getting a full scalable production-ready environment.”
Mohan noted that while 175 OTR stores have initially been outfitted with the infrastructure, the crypto payments service is operationally ready to scale much further.
“What happens now is any merchant, whether you’re a cafe owner or someone who runs thousands of stores, could just plug and play,” he said.
Adding to the 175 stores, OTR’s parent company Peregrine Corp intends to roll out the crypto payments service to another 250 retail sites across the country such as Subway, Oporto and Krispy Kreme.
Mohan also stated that Crypto.com charges zero fees on the transactions in this context. However, there will be fees on the merchant’s end, which will set their own rates. Such may suggest that transaction costs could be similar to that of card payments with fiat.
Questioned on what is needed to make crypto payments widely adopted in Australia, especially given the tax obligations of paying with crypto assets, Mohan opined that the utilization of an Australian dollar-backed stablecoin could be the key:
“So of course, Bitcoin and Ethereum because of their market capitalization are already on the top of the list. But an overwhelming number of consumers have said they are ready to accept and actually start paying with Australian stablecoins.”
“We’ve made the system available and if you've seen ANZ announce the Australian dollar stablecoin, and we see these types of stablecoins becoming available, I really believe that it will become mainstream,” he added.
So far, the ANZ bank has pilot tested its A$DC stablecoin purely for private institutional purposes, but if it eventually does get opened up to the retail market, Mohan stated that “we would love the opportunity to work with any financial or any Australian deposit-taking institution that is keen to introduce a stablecoin.”