AXA Switzerland Activates Bitcoin Payment Option For Customers Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 17 April 2021 Switzerland’s biggest insurance firm AXA has activated a cryptocurrency payment option for its customers, thereby becoming the first all-line insurer to roll out the plan. Pay Insurance Premiums with Bitcoin The latest policy of the leading insurance company provides all private AXA customers with a Bitcoin payment option. In this regard, AXA customers can effect payment for insurance premiums relating to non-life insurance products using their Bitcoin. The insurance firm said that the policy will be implemented in collaboration with popular cryptocurrency broker Bitcoin Suisse. However, the Bitcoin payment option allowance is not extended to life insurance because of prevailing regulatory barriers. More importantly, the company explains that the incorporation of cryptocurrency payment options is due to the accelerated growth of the digital economy witnessed at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, the company cited its market research report in 2019 as another reason for adopting cryptocurrency. It explains that the market report showed that a third of respondents between the ages of 18 and 55 had an interest in cryptocurrency. Speaking on the development, Claudia Bienentreu, head of open innovation at AXA Switzerland, commented that the acceptance of Bitcoin payment underscores the company’s responsiveness to customers’ demand. Under this new arrangement, customers can make online transfers with a unique reference number. Instructively, the amount owed in Swiss francs will be calculated in Bitcoin’s equivalent. Interestingly, the company holds that customers will not bear the risk of unstable exchange rates because the specified rate will be provided. Additionally, AXA is not charging customers using the Bitcoin payment option with any additional fees. Management of Bitcoin Payment Option The adoption of Bitcoin payment options by many companies across the world comes with different internal regulatory mechanisms. For Switzerland’s leading Insurance company, AXA, the company has disclosed that it will not hold any Bitcoin on its balance sheets despite accepting the cryptocurrency as a payment option. In this regard, AXA maintains the incoming Bitcoin will go into the hands of crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse. While AXA does not charge any additional fee for using a crypto payment system, intending customers should bear in mind that Bitcoin Suisse charges a 1.75% commission regarding Bitcoin to Swiss Francs exchange rates. On the other hand, the CEO of Tesla Inc., Elon Musk, disclosed that accepted Bitcoin used by customers to purchase its electric cars would be added to its balance sheet. Musk added that the company would make use of internal and open-source software to facilitate the payment process. Also, the company will operate its Bitcoin nodes to verify each transaction.