Europe’s second-largest insurance firm AXA has become Switzerland’s first all-line insurer to offer its customers the option to make payments using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, facilitated through a collaboration with the established crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse. Bitcoin payments will be accepted for nearly all AXA products except for life insurance due to the latter’s regulatory barriers. AXA has cited the accelerated digital transformation of the global economy during the coronavirus pandemic as being a key factor in its choice to integrate cryptocurrency into its everyday operations.
Acceptance of Bitcoin payments is “AXA’s response to growing demand from its customers.
In 2019, the Swiss insurer noted it had conducted market research showing that roughly a third of respondents aged between 18 and 55 already owned or were interested in crypto. According to Claudia Bienentreu, head of open innovation at AXA Switzerland, the acceptance of crypto payments is “AXA’s response to growing demand from its customers for alternative payment solutions, with new technologies playing an ever greater role.” AXA itself will not be holding any Bitcoin it receives on its balance sheets. Instead, Bitcoin will go into the hands of crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse.
Bitcoin continues to gain mainstream exposure.
Bitcoin has witnessed massive growth this year as the price of the leading cryptocurrency reached new all-time highs. At the time of writing, BTC is changing hands at just above $63,000. Several major companies embraced bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Earlier, the leading electric car maker Tesla announced to accept payments in bitcoins. Swiss insurance company AXA itself is not adding any fees for Bitcoin payments, and Bitcoin Suisse does incorporate its own commission of 1.75% when it calculates Bitcoin-franc exchange rates for AXA customers. AXA’s prior engagement with blockchain-based technologies includes its membership of the car dossier platform since 2017, which uses blockchain to track and record the life cycle of vehicles.