Mobile Top-ups with Bitcoin are slowly becoming a new trend in 2015. Even though none of the “major” mobile operators is leaning towards accepting digital currency payments just yet, T-Mobile Poland has broken the ice in that regard. In fact, it’s not just T-Mobile Poland accepting Bitcoin payments, but its subsidiary Heyah as well.
T-Mobile En Route To Accept Bitcoin Worldwide?
The partnership between T-Mobile Poland and payment processor InPay S.A. was announced this morning, and starting today, both T-Mobile Poland and Heyah customers can top up their mobile phone credit with Bitcoin. By endorsing Bitcoin as a payment option, T-Mobile Poland becomes the country’s first mobile operator to do so. But that is not all, as there is a promotion tied in with the announcement.
For every T-Mobile and/or Heyah mobile top-up within the first three months after the announcement today, customers paying with Bitcoin will receive 20% additional calling time. This is a great way to incentivize customers to find out more about Bitcoin, why it is useful and how they – both the customer and the merchant – can start reaping the benefits by working with Bitcoin.
“T-Mobile Poland, in its search for new and innovative projects from startups has teamed up with Polish Bitcoin payments processor. The agreement comes out of an acceleration program endorsed by T-Mobile Poland in cohorts with „Polska Przedsiębiorcza”. InPay S.A. Has demonstrated to us how fast you can top up your phone with Bitcoin.”
One of the main reasons for T-Mobile Poland to start working with Bitcoin payments is its sheer ease-of-use. Customers purchase a top-up code with Bitcoin, which is then entered into a field and credited to the customer’s account in just a few swipes of the screen. The entire process takes less than 30 seconds to complete, and it requires no personal information or signing up.
Considering the fact that T-Mobile Polska services roughly 15.7 million customers in the country, the partnership with InPay S.A. to accept Bitcoin could prove to be a major milestone for the digital currency. Their services are tailored towards both individual and corporate users, putting Bitcoin in the crosshairs for some of Poland’s most powerful business people.
A little known fact is that T-Mobile Polska is not just providing telecommunication services, but also facilitates banking operations for their customers with T-Mobile Banking. Even though no sources have confirmed that Bitcoin could be used for T-Mobile Banking in the future, no one is explicitly denying it either at this point in time.
InPay S.A. – A Polish Payment Processor
Processing Bitcoin payments involves certain risks in regards to price fluctuations, and T-Mobile Polska will rely on their partner InPay S.A. in that regard. In fact, InPay S.A. has publicly stated they will take the full risk of price fluctuations upon themselves in order to push Bitcoin adoption in Poland to new levels. Furthermore, T-Mobile will receive all payments in PLN, as was to be expected.
Not only is the above solution very favorable to T-Mobile Polska – as they run no risk and get paid the regular amount in fiat currency regardless of Bitcoin’s value – but it also helps InPay S.A. expand their operations. As of this writing, InPay S.A. already serves a Medicover hospital and CDP.pl [which gives Bitcoin users a 10% discount on their purchase].
One could go as far as saying InPay S.A. is truly embracing Bitcoin, as the company issued registered shares last year which you could only buy with Bitcoin. Even though you may not expect it, the undertaking was a massive success as 181 investors from around the world bought over 5% of the company shares – for a total of 200,000 PLN. This undertaking proves one of Bitcoin’s major strengths : the digital currency works across borders without any additional fees involved.
Mobile Top-ups With Bitcoin Thrive in Poland
Even though T-Mobile Polska is the first mobile operator to endorse Bitcoin themselves, similar services already existed in Poland. On one hand, you have a service called „Bitzdrapka” which sells mobile top-up codes [Orange, Plus, T-Mobile, Spelen and Heyah) in exchange for Bitcoin. This service does not require users to fill in any personal information, and offers returning customers a discount of up to 2%.
“BitFon” on the other hand is offering a very similar service, but it also supports other operators such as Virgin Mobile, Play and Nju Mobile. Additionally, they offer a 10% discount for the next two weeks on their website as well. Customers can purchase their codes with either Bitcoin, Litecoin or Dogecoin. However, BitFon does require your phone number and email address.
Bright Future for Bitcoin in Poland
Poland is a country often overlooked by Bitcoin enthusiasts, yet it ranks in the top 10 when looking at the total number of Bitcoin wallets downloaded. On top of that, there are a few dozen physical locations all across Poland where Bitcoin is actively accepted as a payment method, with over hundre online stores accepting the popular digital currency as well.
According to coinmap.org, there are 682 Bitcoin-friendly locations to be found in Poland. Add three operation ATM’s to that fact, and you can see why Poland can not be overlooked any longer. In fact, this country might be pioneering Bitcoin in Eastern Europe, which would be an amazing feat.