As of April, AXA Switzerland will be the first insurer to offer its customers the option of paying their bills with Bitcoin.
Retail customers can currently pay their premiums for all non-life products. However, this payment option is not offered for life insurance products for regulatory reasons.
AXA said customers would need a reference number, the amount and their own Bitcoin wallet to make payments with Bitcoin.
The amount in Swiss francs is converted into bitcoins in the background and payment can then be made via desktop or smartphone.
A progress bar is displayed showing how long the specified exchange rate between Bitcoin and Swiss Francs is valid.
The contributor does not bear any exchange rate risk during this time. If the time runs out before a transaction is completed, the exchange rate will be updated and the timer will start over. AXA does not charge any special fees for Bitcoin payments.
In the future, the new payment option will appear on invoices that are sent by email. Customers who want to pay with Bitcoin must go online for the transfer by entering the reference number and the amount and confirming the entry.
AXA added that it will not keep bitcoins on its balance sheet as the cryptocurrency payments will be forwarded to the crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse, who will convert them to Swiss francs.
The insurer said in a statement that in addition to Bitcoin, other payment options will go live in the near future, including TWINT, a mobile app payment solution for the Swiss market.
Additionally, AXA mentioned that it intends to get some bitcoin experience before deciding to accept other cryptocurrencies.
“AXA is reacting to the growing demand from its customers for alternative payment solutions, with new technologies playing an increasingly important role.”
says Claudia Bienentreu, Head of Open Innovation at AXA Switzerland.