The biggest financial institution in El Salvador, Banco Agrícola is now allowing users to use Bitcoin for transactions. The option allows customers of the 65-year old bank to use Bitcoin to refund loans and pay credit card bills, as well as use it to purchase goods and services from merchants.
These merchants, however, will only be those that are connected to Banco Agrícola’s payment gateway known as Wompi. The payment option will work with any wallet compatible with the Lightning Network, including El Salvador’s official wallet Chivo.
To access these online payment options, though, customers are required to download the latest version of the bank’s mobile app, Banca Mobile, or better still visit their official website for more details on how to get started. All Bitcoin payments will be made “at the exact fair market rate, without any additional fee or spread.”
Cryptocurrency payment network Flexa also had a huge role to play in the process, as the network recently partnered with Banco Agricola to assist the bank with this new Bitcoin payment option.
Although it is the first bank in El Salvador to take such a step, Banco Agricola’s action is not so surprising considering the fact that all businesses in El Salvador are now under compulsion to accept Bitcoin as payment from any customer who chooses to use the cryptocurrency to pay for goods or services.
Recognizing the open arms that many citizens of El Salvador are extending towards Bitcoin, the Bitcoin adoption policy in the central American country might turn out to be a success despite earlier critics.
However, if Salvadorians should thus end up successfully adopting Bitcoin on a large scale, it could impact a huge negative blow on several global remittance providers such as MoneyGram and Western Union as these providers could begin to record a $400 million loss every month.
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