While the regulatory battle over Bitcoin’s validity rages, businesses are slow moving when it comes to adoption. While this is an obstacle for Bitcoin enthusiasts, there are companies, such as Gyft, who are blazing forward and offering loopholes. Now Pademobile, a global payment platform, is extending that versatility to our neighbors down south.
Pademobile is a platform that was developed in Mexico, with offices in Spain and Silicon Valley, that turns the user’s phone into a digital wallet. Users create an account which they top up using any number of payment methods like banks, credit cards, and of course, Bitcoin. Once you have an account you can send money anywhere in the form of a text message. The platform allows you to move between different currencies fluidly, which is important for users who want to pay with Bitcoin.
“We’re really interested in innovation, so that was one of our main reasons to look into Bitcoin. But we also wanted to give our users a tool to use Bitcoin in order to make purchases in their local currency, as well as make international transactions easier,” said Lucía Cangas, the Marketing and Communications lead for Pademobile.
Currently, Pademobile is using Coinbase as their Bitcoin wallet, which they integrated at the end of December, but they are taking steps to develop their own Bitcoin wallet. People in Mexico and Spain have been using the service for a variety of services.
“People are using it to do things like top up their mobile phone or buy coffee from 7-11. One guy paid for his water bill using Bitcoin. Places like 7-11 don’t take Bitcoin yet so we do the conversion into Pesos for the customer,” explained Lucía.
One of the most significant aspects of Pademobile’s service, and one that shines a light on the occasional bubble surrounding Silicon Valley, is that most of Pademobile’s transactions occur through text message. The average denizen of Silicon Valley might find this slightly archaic, but in Mexico only about 17% of people have smartphones. The text message has become a base technological function that most of the world can rely on and Pademobile has taken advantage of it elegantly.
Pademobile became part of the Bitcoin Foundation in February and they have partnered with the GRG Bank in China to develop their own Bitcoin ATM, which is very exciting for the people of Mexico.
“You’ll be able to use without a card because you’ll be able to use the code on your phone. We will make the conversion and the user will get pesos,” per Lucía.
Pademobile presented their technology at the recent Bitcoin Meetup at Plug and Play, where they connected to an affiliate in Mexico live and then watched them buy a cup of coffee from 7-11. Going forward, Pademobile is launching a campaign to make it easier for the Mexican community in Silicon Valley to send money to their families back home.
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