Head-turning news from Argentina this week, with the Banco Masventas (BMV) announcing that it now lets its customers use Bitcoin as a cross-border payment option. This is possible due to a partnership with Bitex, a cryptocurrency exchange startup started in 2014 and focused on Latin America.
This might very well be the first case of a domestic bank allowing its customers to use Bitcoin as a payment option. According to the bank’s representatives, anyone can send money over 50 different countries in less than 24 hours, with a fee of 3%+VAT.
In a statement, Jose Humberto Dakak, one of Masventas’ most significant shareholders, hints that this move will not only reduce the costs of services for banks, but it will also help strengthen the digital and smartphone-based services.
“One of the initiatives is to use Bitex as a strategic partner to provide our overseas customers with payment and collection services at the Bitex Exchange,” he stated.
Manuel Beaudroit, Bitex chief marketing officer, went on further saying for CoinDesk that: “For the customer, it’s transparent, they don’t touch, they don’t see the bitcoin. We are a provider for them, and they are not touching bitcoin.” He also stated: “The customers will ask the bank to do an international payment, and the bank uses Bitex as a provider.”
More specifically, the money travels in cryptocurrency form to an exchange that’s able to cash out to the recipient. The system has a lot in common with how Ripple works. Evidently, the “within 24 hours” transfer times are in place because Bitcoin is inherently slower and more expensive to move than XRP. Still, this smooth combination of fiat and cryptocurrencies might prove to be very beneficial for customers.