Dutch point of sale (POS) software provider Countr recently announced a strategic partnership with European Bitcoin payment provider Conify. The partnership allows Countr to offer a wider variety of alternative payments, including Bitcoin and 13 other cryptocurrencies, for more than 3,000 new retailers.
Countr advertises “unlimited payment options” on its website, which include cash, card, invoice, gift card, mobile payment. The new options will be included in a new version of its POS app released on June 1st, and constitutes a new “blockchain payment method.” Retailers can currently request access to a beta release of the app, according to the announcement.
"We are always happy to take the advantage of new payment technologies and help our merchants to improve their businesses. Blockchain is expected to be one of the major payment trends in the upcoming years and we are excited to integrate it to our POS system.”
- John Staunton, Countr Co-founder and CEO
Founded in 2014, the Amsterdam-based Countr provides a retail solution for small to medium-sized retail stores, cafes, and restaurants. The company’s 3,000+ registered merchants are spread across 115 countries.
The company's flagship product is a tablet-based point of sale app for both iOS and Android. The app allows retailers to make transactions, manage inventories, and perform in-depth store analysis.
Previously known as CashOrCard, having rebranded to Countr on May 1, Countr offers retailers the ability to leverage several payment partners, including Adyen, Worldline, SumUp, iZettle, Payleven, SEQR, Payconiq, and YodoPAY.
Thursday's announcement explains how adding blockchain payment option to the Countr POS app will “help increase profit margins for buyers, retailers and ultimately Countr POS.” The announcement states that added transparency, security, the speed of blockchain payments, and the removal of chargebacks will help bring new business opportunities for Countr as a payment service provider.
“We chose Coinify as our preferred blockchain payment service provider because of their versatility of services.”
Coinify was incorporated in 2014, and currently processes payments for fourteen different cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, litecoin, ether, dogecoin, and TetherUSD. They provide services to mostly Europeans, including online businesses, physical shops, and individuals
In addition to offering merchant solution, the company has a trading platform for buying and selling bitcoin. Customers can purchase the cryptocurrency with a Visa card, a Mastercard, or with a bank account.
The payment processor raised over US$4 million in capital early in 2016, from SEED Capital Denmark, SEB Venture Capital, and Accelerace. Often compared to their American payments competitor Bitpay, the company has also established an “Innovation Lab” to build blockchain-based Proof-of-Concepts for financial institutions.
The funds have allowed the company to continue growing in Europe. In August 2015, they acquired competitor Coinzone, taking their merchant count beyond 10,000 customers.
“Coinify has a strong financial management team, supportive investors behind it, and together with the strong position that Coinzone has built over the last few years, we look forward to even more growth with Coinify.”
- Manuel Heilmann, Coinzone CEO
Coinify then partnered with Blockchain, in November 2016, and now offers instantaneous bitcoin wallet funding. The partnership brought an option to link bank accounts and credit card accounts to Blockchain wallets, allowing Coinify to sell bitcoins directly.
The integration eliminates considerable friction, according to Blockchain, and enables “near instantaneous wallet funding via credit and debit cards inside a single user interface.” Coinify Sales Manager Morten Bebe states that the company is, “on a mission to spread the use of digital currencies by offering everyone the opportunity to use alternative payments methods and accept blockchain currency payments.”
The benefits of payments via cryptocurrencies are echoed by merchants using Coinify. A Netherlands-based online food ordering service Hungry Group services over 2,400 restaurants, and accepts cryptocurrency payments with the help of Coinify. The group's CEO Rune Risom states that accepting blockchain payments through Coinify has increased margins by 3% increase in margins.