Binance crypto exchange launches payments app in alpha

One of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges is further expanding into the payments sector.

Binance has released its payments app, Binance Pay, in public alpha. The app is a contactless peer-to-peer cryptocurrency payment feature that lets users send and receive payments in cryptos like Bitcoin (BTC).

Binance initially rolled out Binance Pay in a soft launch in February 202 for P2P payments, enabling 250,000 users to interact with the product. Today, Binance Pay is launching in alpha with new features like merchant-based transactions and is available to all users.

A spokesperson for Binance told Cointelegraph that the new service is not limited to certain jurisdictions and is “currently available to all eligible users on” In order to get started with Binance Pay, users need to sign up on Binance and complete their identity verification.

“Users need to go to the Pay function on their Binance app to initiate the Pay account to start using the service. Once activated, users can fund their Pay wallet by moving funds from the spot wallet,” the representative explained.

Binance Pay supports more than 30 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), and supports five fiat currencies including the euro, British pound, Australian dollar, Brazilian real, and Turkish lira. 

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao claimed that the zero-fee structure could help address the shortcoming of fiat-based payments networks:

“Traditional payment infrastructure services are riddled with high transaction fees; we see this Pay product as a way to solve one of the many issues and limitations of traditional finance. Finance is truly moving towards a digital world and economy where crypto is at the crux of this change which benefits the larger global population that needs it.”

Major legacy payments firms have increasingly been recognizing the potential of cryptocurrencies. In February, Mastercard, one of the world’s largest payment companies in traditional finance, announced its plans to enable its almost one billion users to spend cryptocurrencies in 2021. Its biggest rival, Visa, officially reaffirmed its commitment to crypto payments and fiat onramps in January.

Digital payments giant PayPal also announced in early February that the company is looking to offer crypto payments across its platform after debuting crypto trading in the United States in November 2020.

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