he appeal for cryptocurrency investments has waned these last few months, yet businesses are still keen on exploring the space. A recent survey by Singapore Business Review revealed that six in 10 Singaporean businesses plan to accept crypto payments within the next two years.
Companies such as TripleA and FOMO Pay are leading the charge with their payment solutions, making it convenient for traditional retailers to start accepting crypto.
While traditional payment platforms such as PayPal, Stripe, and DBS PayLah! charge merchants upwards of three per cent in processing fees, TripleA’s fees are capped at 0.8 percent. These fees are only charged when merchants decide to convert their crypto receipts to fiat currency.
We decided to accept crypto payments because we wanted to expand our target market. Moreover, the transaction fees charged are lower than the traditional payment channels like credit cards. The implementation was quite seamless too. Setting up an account on Coinbase actually took more time than the integration itself!– Chit Yin, founder of local dancewear brand, Supertone
Beyond the low fees, accepting crypto payments also helps merchants avoid chargebacks. Once a transaction is complete, it is irreversible and any funds due are received immediately.
For consumers — especially those with pre-existing crypto holdings — such payment solutions can make life more convenient.
Earlier this year, Singaporean sneaker marketplace Novelship conducted a survey and found out that a large number of its customers were interested in alternative assets such as crypto. The company then decided to partner with TripleA and began accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether.
“Both crypto and sneakers are alternative investments,” Novelship’s Brendan Leng told Vulcan Post. “By accepting crypto payments, Novelship allows our users to conveniently switch from crypto to sneakers.”
A trend shift across industries
The introduction of crypto payments isn’t limited to any one industry. Since the start of the year, businesses in a variety of fields — from fashion to transport — have been making the leap.
Local ride-hailing firm Ryde, for one, has expanded its crypto payment options, allowing users to be able to pay for their trips with 70 different cryptocurrencies.
Meanwhile, Charles & Keith announced its partnership with TripleA this April, and skincare brand mtm labo enlisted FOMO Pay’s services in June.
“Since we started offering crypto payments, we have seen an uptake of customers expressing
their interest to delve into the blockchain world,” says mtm labo’s Managing Director, Kelly Keak.
[When it comes to] technology, once it takes off, it does so almost immediately and rises in usage rapidly. Rather than playing catch-up, we want to be the leaders in the customised skincare scene, paving the way and setting the standards for our industry and customers.– Kelly Keak, Managing Director of mtm labo
In the yachting industry, Yacht Bookings became the first to accept crypto payments in Singapore.
“In the world of luxury, 85 per cent of millennials drive the global luxury sales growth and also make up 58 per cent of the crypto population,” the company reasons. “It’s likely that this generation is keen on funding their celebrations using crypto investments as users seek more ways to spend their crypto.”
Moving and relocation company Vanpac GroupAsia offered a similar rationale, suggesting an overlap between crypto investors and its clientele.
For most companies, accepting crypto payments has been a forward-looking move. However, in the case of HR consultancy Techlinker Asia, it has already been paying dividends.
Upon introducing crypto payments at the end of May, CEO Carrie Lui said, “80 per cent of our clients are in the FinTech, cryptocurrency, and blockchain space and have been asking for options with regards to crypto payments.”
“The demand is so strong that we’ve even had to turn down some new opportunities in the past since we were unable to process.”
Crypto communities go IRL
Beyond its operational benefits, crypto has been proving its worth as a marketing support as well. The idea of ‘community’ has always been a big part of the crypto world, and brands are now leveraging this to draw customers.
F&B outlets such as Maison Ikkoku and Joo Bar have emerged as places for crypto enthusiasts to get together and exchange ideas. The former is a self-proclaimed ‘crypto hub’, hosting brunches where people are invited to ‘tell their crypto story’. The latter offers up to a 15 per cent discount for customers who pay using Bitcoin.
Joo Bar owner Jamie Lim told Bloomberg that his goal was to encourage crypto adoption through this incentive.
Latest to jump onto the trend is premium Japanese sake bar, Saketoshi. The outlet derives its name as a play on the words ‘sake’ and ‘Satoshi’, a pseudonym used by the creator of Bitcoin.
After getting into crypto a few years ago, the bar owner (who asked not to be named) decided to pay homage to the space with his F&B venture. “I look forward to the growth and increasing acceptance of crypto,” he says.
Apart from integrating crypto payments, companies have also been capitalising on other blockchain developments. NFTs for example, have been an alternative gateway to the crypto community.
The Parlour was launched as Singapore’s first NFT bar and lounge earlier in April. Featuring visual displays which showcase NFT art, the venue has hosted a number of events for projects such as influencer Tammy Tay’s TTTreasures.
NFT marketplace Tezarekt has also been working to create unique social experiences which bring the Web2 and Web3 worlds together. Recently, the company launched a random cocktail generator at Boat Quay bar JU95. Those who use the kiosk are rewarded with crypto tokens which can later be redeemed for NFTs.
With each new use-case, the real and virtual worlds come closer together.
Looking back to previous market crashes, there was always a question of whether the curtains were closing on crypto. This time round, the air’s still filled with optimism.