More than 25,000 points of sale in France will soon be able to accept bitcoin payments through applications provided by Global P.O.S., a retail software provider, according to a press release from the company.
To enable the payment option, Global P.O.S. is leveraging their Easy2Play payments platform and EasyWallet application. Nearly 30 brands are expected to accept bitcoin payments through the partnership, which is set to go live in 2020, including cosmetics giant Sephora, sports gear company Decathlon, Intersport, Foot Locker and others.
Global P.O.S. also notes that, according to a survey conducted by market research firm Kantar, 4 million French citizens hold cryptocurrencies and that this effort is meant to allow these people to spend their cryptocurrency in physical locations in the country.
“This is an important, symbolic step in the evolution of payment methods in France,” Stéphane Djiane, CEO and founder of Global P.O.S., said, per the release. “However, more than a symbol, what we bring to 25,000 outlets is the ability to safely enter the world of the 3.0 economy.”
While the press release states that over 25,000 points of sale will be able to accept bitcoin payments through the initiative, Global P.O.S. indicates on its website that its software is in closer to 3,500 stores.
The release also notes that BTC accepted upon sales will immediately be converted into euros through conversion services provided by Savitar and Deskoin, which are currently applying for accreditation under France’s plan d’action pour la croissance et la transformation de enterprises (PACTE). Though retailers will only be able to accept bitcoin at first, Global P.O.S. hopes to enable payment through other cryptocurrencies soon.
“With our partners, we want to simplify the adoption of cryptocurrencies as a real means of payment within the framework defined by the law,” Djiane said. “If, initially, the service we offer will only allow the use of bitcoins, our goal is to open our solution to other cryptocurrencies in the future.”
It is worth noting that value-added taxes are now imposed on cryptocurrencies being used to make payments in France, as Minister for the Economy Bruno Le Maire made clear in September 2019. While more burdensome tax requirements could be a stumbling block that prevents bitcoin from being adopted by more merchants in France, technological progress like that from Global P.O.S. should create positive momentum.
Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.