Public transport users in 37 locations across Argentina can add Bitcoin to their credit balance on their SUBE travelcards, the national contactless smart card used by passengers. This is thanks to a collaboration between local fintech company, Bitex and Alto Viaje, a travelcard loading platform.
The cards are promoted by the Argentine Secretary of Transportation and are used to pay for public transportation throughout the country. The Ministry Of Transport’s website states that the card is valid on “buses, trains, subways and motorboats”. The Buenos Aires tourism website warns that visitors will need to “get a rechargeable Sube travel card” if they plan on travelling by bus or the underground metro, known as the subte.
“We believe that this type of project is of great importance since it brings technology as disruptive as bitcoin to the common people, demonstrating the true value and the applications it has in everyday life,” said Manuel Beaudroit, the Chief Marketing Officer at Bitex.
Charge Your Card On The Go
Travellers can head to one of the 200 citywide locations that stock SUBE cards and they can be charged at subway stations, kiosks and other places that display the SUBE sign.
Explaining how the partnership with Bitex will allow for secure bitcoin top-ups, Luciano Verardo, the director at Alto Viaje, said: “We want to offer safe and innovative services, the alliance with Bitex allows us to integrate payment with Bitcoin and explore new possibilities of financial inclusion”.
In addition to supporting Bitcoin transactions, Alto Viaje accepts PayPal and is reportedly planning to partner with local payment processing service, RapiPago, in order to offer more payment options to SUBE travelcard holders. Argentina has had its fair share of financial worries and inflation rates are a huge concern. This has led to many people turning to Bitcoin as a way of preserving their wealth. LocalBitcoins volumes have soared and Bitcoin ATMs have been increasing across the country, with Athena Bitcoin Argentina rolling out seven more late last year.
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