EY Switzerland has prepared good news for its customers – starting January 2017, they will be able to settle invoices for auditing and advisory services using bitcoin. According to the official announcement, the company has put into operation a Bitcoin ATM at its publicly accessible office building next to the Hardbrücke train station in Zurich.
The Bitcoin ATM will enable the exchange of Swiss francs for bitcoins and vice versa. EY employees will be able to purchase products and services using bitcoins via a secure digital wallet (EY wallet app). The wallet is easy to top up – employees can do it on their company smartphone.
EY Switzerland guarantees the highest protection of the wallet against unauthorized access within the EY system environment.
“We don’t only want to talk about digitalization, but also actively drive this process together with our employees and our clients. It is important to us that everybody gets on board and prepares themselves for the revolution set to take place in the business world through blockchains, smart contracts and digital currencies. Blockchains are a very quickly developing technology that can permanently change many sectors. In Switzerland’s role as an important financial and industrial center and to further its development as a digital hub, it is essential that it be a pioneer in this area,” says Marcel Stalder, CEO of EY Switzerland.
The new bitcoin ATM is only a part of an internal EY Switzerland digitalization program. In the long term, the company wants to make both employees and customers more familiar with the notions of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. EY Switzerland encourages clients across various sectors to implement their own digitalization processes.
Daniel Haudenschild, EY Partner Advisory Financial Services, unveiled that the company has launched EY Garage Lab aimed at the development of blockchain-based digital products in cooperation with clients.
“In combination with digital currencies, the benefits of such products, including low transaction costs and automated processing, can be fully realized,” Haudenschild said.
EY Switzerland has become the first advisory firm to accept bitcoin for its services.
Switzerland has its own initiative, digitalswitzerland, for digitalization and innovation supported by several sectors. EY is not only a founding member – it is also one of the sponsors of the FinTech satellite at the WorldWebForum 2017 in January in Zurich. The company is planning to present its own blockchain solutions at the Forum.
Besides, EY Switzerland has teamed up with the University of St. Gallen and the ETH Zurich. The partnership called Redesigning Financial Services intends to work on the innovations with the potential to revolutionize the financial industry.