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French Bus Operator First in Europe to Accept Bitcoin

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:50 PM
Olusegun Ogundeji
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:50 PM

After experimenting the payment of bus tickets with virtual currency, Bitcoin, since 2 August 2016, a French company has become the first in its sector to set up this type of payment across Europe.

Isilines is a new offering of the leading long-distance passenger transport by bus operator in Europe, Transdev Group, a French-based international private public transport group. Isilines’ lines is growing to cover the entire French territory. Transdev’s other subsidiary is Eurolines, a private transporters association created in 1985.

The group has more than 30 years of experience in this market, offering easy access, safe and environmentally friendly, and at very competitive prices. It is a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts and Veolia. Transdev advises and supports regional authorities, from pre-project to the daily operation of public transport networks through assistance in project management.

With a presence in 20 countries operating 41, 000 vehicles and 22 tram networks, the company realized a turnover of 6.6 billion euros in 2014.

Using Bitcoin as a method of payment has been operational with Isilines on its website since August 2, 2016. This subsidiary of Transdev is now the first company in its sector to experiment with payment in Bitcoin alongside the traditional credit card payment.

As an alternative mode of transportation, CEO of Transdev France, Richard Dujardin, said in a statement that the new service is part of their breakthrough innovation policy and as a new way to respond better to the new uses and expectations of their passengers.

Some of the advantages of this approach include that transactions are validated in ten minutes, allows immediate conversion of funds in euros, provides a means for tourists to avoid exchange fees associated with credit card payments and as an initiative that reflects an innovation-oriented mindset.

Isilines is working with Paymium, a French start-up specializing in secure and compliant exchange between bitcoin and euros, to implement this solution. Paymium operates a Blockchain decentralized storage technology that is seamless and secure. It is the first European exchange platform that offers a unique bitcoin/euro service in compliance with European regulations on payment services.

Though the use of bitcoins as a payment method at Isilines is not yet available on the mobile reservation system, its implementation has been finalized on the website.

Isilines plans to take stock of its operation after six months having ended its free usage period of service with Paymium. Afterward, a standard commission of 0.59% will apply afterwards. This rate seems better than charges that accrue from card payments.

Featured image from Shutterstock.