In response to a government inquiry, Dutch buy now pay later (BNPL) firm Afterpay told the Australian Senate that the use of cryptocurrency could shave merchant fees associated with payments and urged the government to develop a framework for an AUD-backed stablecoin. Afterpay is scheduled to speak before the Senate committee on Wednesday (Sept. 8).
Afterpay’s submission to the public hearing, “Australia as a Technology and Financial Center,” told the senate that transactions working across the blockchain could reduce the fees merchants pay that are associated with cards, network operators and banks, news outlets reported.
The customer pays for the cost of validating a crypto payment, and fees vary depending on the digital currency, blockchain and the network’s traffic at the time of transaction. The fees would be transparent, and users could opt out of the purchase and “wait for more favorable network conditions and a lower cost,” Afterpay said.
The senate hearing is looking into several matters concerning the FinTech space, cryptocurrency and blockchain. Issues being explored include employment opportunities that could come from the new technologies, impediments to implementing the technology and the ramifications of corporate law “restraining new investment” in Australia.
Afterpay so far has not announced any plans to accept cryptocurrency for purchases or engage in the buying and selling of the assets.
The firm’s recent $29-billion acquisition by Square — which accepts digital currency payments — could trigger a change in the BNPL firm’s policy. Its senate submission suggest that Afterpay is looking into how digital currencies could work as part of its platfor.