Delhi-based Bitcoin trading platform Coinsecure and US-based Bitcoin payment processor, BitPay partnered to enable merchants in India to accept Bitcoin payments and receive settlement payouts in India’s national currency, the Indian Rupee INR.
Bitcoin use in India and the entire South Asia has just received the required push to make the digital currency more mainstream globally as merchants in the second largest country in the world - more than a billion population - are presented with the opportunity to process its payment for the first time.
Mohit Kalra, CEO at Coinsecure, says to Cointelegraph:
“When we talk about the size of the market- there are over 1.2 billion individuals living in India right now. India is second in population size to China. Imagine if only 0.5 billion individuals got into the market. Huge potential. For some time now, Indian merchants were able to accept payments in Bitcoin but just not receive a payout in INR. Now, Indian merchants can accept payments in Bitcoin and receive a payout in INR. Bitcoin is no longer just an ‘investment’ in India but an opportunity to buy goods from Bitcoin accepting merchants.”
India, a tech haven
Coinsecure will be the first company to use BitPay’s platform to offer Bitcoin payment processing to merchants in India and southern Asia. Aside from its population, India is a tech haven with many freelance software developers operating locally to serve a global market. This will likely ease the adoption level among the tech-savvy service providers to the wider populace.
On whether the India/South Asia region is a good market for Bitcoin, Kalra says:
“Again, India has the second largest global population and many pain points with traditional options for payment. It is very difficult for individuals to obtain and use credit and debit cards in India and many do not have access to bank accounts. The fact that individuals can now obtain Bitcoins in India but also make purchases in Bitcoin, opens the door for further international e-commerce as well as enables individuals who do not have credit and debit cards to make purchases online. One other key element which can truly shakeup the Bitcoin acceptance in India is remittance. Coinsecure is not a remittance-related company but we are seeing a key interest in using Bitcoin for the international transfer of funds as India is the number one remittance receiving country.”
Bitcoin to win hearts of middle-class consumers
Coinsecure and Bitpay’s integration coincides with the release of a new report by Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) which says the broader South Asian region - not just India - will be the epicentre of future middle-class growth, paving the way for one billion new middle-class consumers to emerge who will ‘change the shape’ of the world.
The research paper titled The Velocity 12 report identified 12 ‘velocity’ markets which would be key to middle-class consumer growth over the next decade. It is centred principally in India, but inclusive of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and extending up to China - and to Egypt, Nigeria, Mexico, and Brazil in the other direction.
The report says:
"Over the next decade, these 12 markets will be the source of the next billion middle-class consumers, which will create a critical tipping point as the middle class move from a minority to the majority of the local population in many of these markets."
Coinsecure notes on its blog that it has several merchants now accepting payment in Bitcoin including the consulting firm First Principal Ventures, design firm Lazy Eight Design, e-commerce platform Kartmagic, and personalized furniture shop Zraya.
It adds that the new development will not only enable merchants to expand their customer base through Bitcoin acceptance, bu tit will also take away their worry about price fluctuations in Bitcoin as they can receive those Bitcoin payments converted into INR into their bank accounts.
"Bitcoin gives businesses a powerful way to reach customers online and around the world. With our new merchant services and our wallet service, we want to make Bitcoin one of India's favorite payment methods."