Mobile Payments and Bitcoin Partnerships: a chance for backdoor integration?

Mexico continues its open arms approach to Bitcoin propagation with the partnership of Bitcoin exchange Bitso with mobile payment provider Pademobile.

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Mobile Payments and Bitcoin Partnerships: a chance for backdoor integration?

Mexico continues its open arms approach to Bitcoin propagation with the partnership of Bitcoin exchange Bitso with mobile payment provider Pademobile.

As of today, Bitso clients are able to fund their accounts by credit card using their Pademobile account, while Bitcoin’s liquidity is being made available to all 3 million current subscribers to the Pademobile service.

In cementing the partnership, Bitso furthermore becomes one of only a handful of exchanges globally to offer credit card funding.

“This marks the beginning of a very exciting partnership for developing and promoting the use of Bitcoin in Mexico. We have big plans together,” Bitso CEO and cofounder Pablo Gonzalez said in a press release issued Thursday. “Pademobile’s mission is to provide easy access of financial services to the unbanked, and ours is to create the foundation of a strong Bitcoin ecosystem by developing a local liquid exchange.”

The potential for success in easy Bitcoin-to-peso transactions is clear to see. In 2012 alone, remittance figures for funds reaching Mexico from the US totaled US$22.8billion according to the Pew Research Center’s Remittance Map.

Now that a considerable new demographic is being introduced to the possibility of using Bitcoin, in whatever capacity, it is no wonder that the mood is buoyant.

“It is quite simple really, Bitcoin + mobile payments, I would say we are a good match!” Gonzalez added.

He may be right; across the Atlantic in Kenya, mobile payment network MPesa is being challenged by a host of Bitcoin startups spearheaded by BitPesa, which will use mobiles to provide both domestic and international Bitcoin remittances.

While those projects are still in the initial phases of instigation, a definite concerted effort is underway to bring those already familiar with banking alternatives closer to Bitcoin acceptance.

But will it work? “I think that banking institutions here have been familiarized with digital currency [through MPesa] so a virtual currency is not much of a leap,” BitPesa CEO Elizabeth Rossiello told a recent documentary about the Kenyan progress.

That Mexico’s financial lawmakers and central bank will be as amenable however is by no means a foregone conclusion.

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