Pioneering Australian startup Diamond Circle is set to launch its products internationally in UK and US, it has revealed.
The company currently manufactures contactless Bitcoin debit cards and cashless ATMs, with more products in development, and is keen to open up new markets as “Australia is taking a wait-and-see approach,” Chairman Mike Oswald told Startupsmart.
Diamond Circle’s debit cards are denominated in nine fiat currencies, making them easily usable internationally, and use near field technology which is slowly catching on in contactless payment on both sides of the Atlantic.
“We’re moving pay wave to bit wave,” Oswald continued.
Its ATMs are similarly ambitious in capabilities, with Bitcoin purchases loaded onto a contactless card in cold storage, and BTC sales wired directly to a nominated bank account. For merchants, alerts ensure that the ATM feeder hot wallet is continually replenished, and the retail price of an ATM at around AUD$11,000 represents a considerable saving over many others on the market.
Oswald considers the banking payment system is “ripe for disruption,” Startupsmart notes. “I think it’s evolving very quickly,” Oswald commented, “…technology for global funds transfer hasn’t changed much for 50 years. Point-to-point transfer of funds in this domain is as revolutionary as the internet was to publishing.”
Diamond is currently raising its first round of funding and was recently named as a Gartner Cool Vendor 2014, a scheme which recognizes uniqueness in emerging companies and describes them as “not your ordinary vendors.”
Contactless payment technology is currently still a minority payment method, with the UK Card Association listing approximately 40 merchants having the facilities to accept it for transactions amounting to £20 or less. Whether the contactless Bitcoin debit cards would be subject to this limit remains to be seen.
In the US, mobile payments are already possible, meaning consumers can use their phone as a contactless card.
Meanwhile, Diamond is also creating a mobile reader which will allow merchants to accept BTC payments with their smartphones. The service will be available for both Android and Apple technology, subject to approval of the app by the Apple store. Delivery of the first readers is expected later this month.