OneBit, a bitcoin app that allows making payments with the use of digital currency at credit card accepting merchants, is developing new bitcoin transfer technology that will use near field communication.
The product is now in its alpha stage of testing, which will allow testers around the globe to ensure the technology works properly. OneBit has also announced the app is expected to go into closed beta soon.
Earlier, the company announced the prototype that enabled people to pay with virtual currency at any MasterCard PayPass terminal. Now, the users will be able to make bitcoin payments at any NFC compatible credit card accepting merchant.
OneBit has been working in partnership with MasterCard and other firms to develop the technology. The company participated in a MasterCard-sponsored hackathon, what helped it to raise funding rounds for the app development. OneBit CEO Toby Hoenisch was always interested in bitcoin, but didn’t have an exact business model until he took part in the hackathon.
However, OneBit noted that they haven’t partnered with the credit card issuer. “To be clear: We don’t have [an] official partnership with Visa or Mastercard. But we also don’t need one. The risk would be that they force all of their thousands of issuing banks to stop doing business with bitcoin companies. The issuing banks are quite independent, so I don’t see this [happening],” Hoenisch told Cointelegraph.
In April, OneBit joined the Startupbootcamp FinTech accelerator in Singapore with an aim to receive more funding for the app.
Near field communication enables people to pay using their smartphones or other devices. The new app will allow customers to use smartphones for bitcoin payments.
The new technology is expected to incentivize more users to adopt the digital currency. Allowing people to use bitcoin through standard credit card payment software will make it much more attractive for consumers and businesses.
The company has recently released a trial video of a user paying with OneBit wallet at Starbucks. In the video, the user opens the app, makes a payment and then sees the balance change.
Like all cryptocurrency wallets, OneBit is prepaid. The users can always check if the app has enough money for a payment.
On Reddit, Hoenisch described the app as both a Visa debit and a prepaid MasterCard. If the user lacks the funds, the app is smart enough to tell the customer there are not enough funds to realize a transaction.
For many people, the use of bitcoin is still associated with difficulties. Besides, the fact that it is mainly used for online payments holds the cryptocurrency back from the widespread adoption. OneBit believes the technology will contribute to the wider usage of digital currency.