Crypto payments coming to Whole Foods, Starbucks and other big retailers

13 May, 2019 | Updated: 28 May, 2019
Crypto payments coming to Whole Foods, Starbucks and other big retailers

It looks like mainstream retailers are finally jumping on board the crypto payments band wagon, following recent news that several retailers will be implementing digital asset payment solutions in conjunction with normal payment methods through a new Gemini and Flexa partnership.

Fortune reports that several retailers will be making use of the latest partnership by digital asset platform Gemini and cryptocurrency payments startup Flexa. The partnership will see Flexa's application called Spedn will allow everyday shoppers to make use of the app to spend Bitcoin at some of the biggest stores in the United States.

The partnership between Gemini and Flexa will see Spedn, which operates much like normal scan-to-pay solutions on cell phone, utilize the back end of Gemini's technology to allow customers to spend their cryptocurrencies in store.

The news could usher in the future of retail payments for cryptocurrencies, with the partnership allowing customers to spend Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum as well as Gemini's stable coin Gemini Dollar.

So far the list of stores includes Crate and Barrel, Nordstrom, and Amazon-owned Whole Foods, with Regal Cinemas, Gamestop and Baskin Robbins also on board. Starbucks has also been touted as a retailer that will be joining, although this is yet to be confirmed. However, the Winklevoss twins were recently seen in Starbucks testing out the functionality at Starbucks.

The partnership appears to be more attractive for merchants this time around, as Gemini, which is a digital asset exchange, will handle the conversion on their side and the merchant will receive the fiat equivalent of the cryptocurrency payment, something that was not available before. Merchants in the past were against accepting cryptocurrencies due to the volatility in the market.

Key benefits to retailers now include additional methods of accepting payments, as well as minimized commission fees for payments received.

Gemini founder Tyler Winklevoss commented on the partnership, saying "The idea of living on crypto is now a reality. You can now do it, for the consumer, it amounts to being crypto conscious. It’s like being green.”

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