Insurance provider AXA is enabling customers in Switzerland to pay their bills in , in response to "growing demand."
In an announcement, AXA Switzerland claims to be the first all-lines insurer in Switzerland to enable customers to pay their premiums in Bitcoin; the option to pay in Bitcoin will be introduced from the start of April for all non-life products.
The decision to launch a Bitcoin payment option for customers follows market research conducted by AXA Switzerland in late 2019, which found that around a third of respondents owned or were interested in cryptocurrencies. With the coronavirus pandemic having "fueled the spread of cryptocurrencies," the insurer has taken the plunge and introduced Bitcoin payments through payment provider Inapay.
"This is AXA's response to growing demand from its customers for alternative payment solutions, with new technologies playing an ever greater role," Claudia Bienentreu, head of open innovation at AXA Switzerland, said in a statement accompanying the release.
To pay in Bitcoin, AXA customers can go to invoice.inapay.ch/axa, and enter a reference number from their bill, along with the amount. The amount owed in Swiss francs (CHF) is converted into the relevant amount in BTC, with a progress bar showing how long the displayed BTC/CHF exchange rate is valid; the price updates each time the bar expires.
AXA also noted that "further payment options besides Bitcoin" will be available in the near future.
Bitcoin accepted here
AXA joins a flood of companies that have introduced the option to buy their products with Bitcoin in recent months. Just yesterday, America's oldest wine shop, Acker, announced that it would accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for purchases at retail and auction, while earlier this month, Nashville boutique hotel The Bobby Hotel also announced that it's accepting cryptocurrency payments.
By far the highest-profile company to do so, however, is EV manufacturer Tesla. Following its purchase of $1.5 billion in Bitcoin for its corporate treasury, Tesla introduced an option to pay with Bitcoin for its products and services. Unlike many other companies accepting Bitcoin, however, Tesla doesn't convert the cryptocurrency into fiat at the point of sale.