Dubai: After real estate deals and coffee purchases, UAE hotel stays could be the next big step for cryptocurrency payments. Whatever the industry, cryptocurrencies could solve some of the delay in payments experienced in other transactions, with the exception of cash, of course.
It helps that crypto payments happen near real time, unlike those made through cards. At a time when businesses keep an eye on their cash flow situations, (almost) instant payments help.
Abhishek Jajoo, founding partner and CEO of AJMS Global Network, said the local F&B sector is profoundly affected by the speed of cash flow reversal. So, if a payment method is provided to expedite the cash payment, acceptance will be easier.
Card payments to delivery platforms take weeks to process and involve higher costs which force F&B owners to consider options. And crypto payments are one of them. “Here, blockchain technology comes in handy as the speed of the flow of funds is instantaneous and offers much higher security,” she said.
He cites the case of a blockchain and cryptocurrency powered F&B outlet: bistroo is a direct-to-consumer F&B marketplace that “connects consumers directly to restaurants and payments are received instantly instead of waiting weeks. The UAE’s F&B sector is quite likely. United will embrace this example “.
Easier with refunds too
Bake N More, a bar operator, offers crypto payments via the Mixin Network, allowing customers to purchase sweets or coffee using Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Shiba Inu. “We are using an all-in-one cloud-based Point of Sale (PoS) that allows customers to choose between credit / debit cards or cryptocurrency options,” said Mohammad Al Hammadi, the founder. “Customers who pay in crypto tokens are converted to dirhams with real-time prices and will receive a tax invoice with 5% VAT, similar to any cash invoice.”
The bar uses the Mixpay system in the Mixin network which directly converts tokens in real time. Al Hammadi said, “This system eliminates the problem with a wallet-to-wallet payment not having a record. This becomes essential if the customer’s money is to be refunded. In our case, if a customer requests a refund, it will be. refunded in dirhams according to the invoice value. “
According to a recent Oracle survey, only 6% of UAE F&B customers are willing to take cryptocurrency payments to pay at the restaurant or for delivery orders. And 36% of the restaurants surveyed prefer contactless payments such as ApplePay or GooglePay.
“This 36% segment, who prefer contactless payment, has a better chance of adopting cryptocurrencies as an alternative contactless payment method,” Jaoo said. “However, this trend of adopting cryptocurrencies as a payment method is strongly linked to people’s willingness to own cryptocurrencies for investment or trading purposes.”
Jajoo, however, adds the pilot that awareness of the downsides should be present for all parties involved in the transaction. “Restaurants and consumers should know that once a cryptocurrency payment is successful, it is permanent, which can be a risk to small businesses. Such transactions can only be refunded by the party receiving the funds.
“Companies that accept cryptocurrencies should be prepared for the additional effort required to facilitate customers requesting refunds by keeping track of how much money each customer has paid.”
Traction with hotel stays?
The UAE hospitality industry has become the latest to allow guests to pay using cryptocurrencies. Those properties that fit the profile of a millennial or younger guest will definitely have to offer that option.
According to Mohannad Zikra, co-founder and CEO of Stella Stays, “Being the first to market cryptocurrency payments offers a clear competitive advantage. We have seen strong traction in the number of crypto transactions at Stells Stays since we introduced the service in the February 2021.
“Global companies say the same; earlier this year, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky reached out to his 405,000 Twitter followers, asking them for suggestions for improving the booking service. The results showed strong demand. of cryptocurrency payments, suggesting that travelers are much more likely to own and use cryptocurrencies than the general public. “
While the price volatility attacks will mean that “traditional hotel groups and property owners take some time to accept cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency will not go away,” Zikra said. “The market and consumers will always reward companies for quickly adapting to the latest trends and technologies.”