Digital currency exchange and custodian Gemini recently announced that its users can now purchase crypto with Apple Pay and Google Pay. To use this feature, users can connect a debit card to Apple Pay or Google Pay and then buy the cryptocurrency of their choice from within the Gemini mobile app.
The new feature supports over 30 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Filecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Gemini is currently available in over 50 countries globally, and this feature can be availed in any country that supports Apple Pay and Google Pay.
While Gemini offers a variety of payment methods, the added Apple Pay and Google Pay functionality makes crypto transactions easier and more accessible for consumers. “The introduction of this feature lowers barriers to entry in the crypto industry by further streamlining the payment process, allowing consumers to buy crypto even more immediately – in the case of Gemini, with as little as two clicks,” said Blair Halliday, head of U.K. at Gemini. “Offering payment options such as Apple Pay and Google Pay that are already widely adopted means that the experience of buying crypto feels more familiar, secure, and trusted.”
At the moment it’s not possible to link a credit card to Apple Pay or Google Pay for purchasing crypto on Gemini. “Debit cards enable crypto purchases to occur without being subject to exorbitant fees, which is a benefit passed on to the consumer,” explained Halliday. “In contrast, some credit lines see crypto as a cash advance purchase and charge customers interest and fees on that purchase.”
Although the option to purchase cryptocurrencies with Apple Pay and Google Pay is still quite a new phenomenon, there are a few digital currency exchange platforms and marketplaces that have recently started to offer this feature. These include Paxful, DropBit by Coin Ninja, Spot, Coin Wallet and LocalBitcoins.
Lumi Wallet is a secure crypto wallet offering purchases with Apple Pay in all countries where Apple Pay works. “We were sure that Apple Pay would be a crucial feature in our wallet, as well as Bitcoin adoption in general. Our team understands that we, as a participant of the market, have to simplify crypto as much as possible,” said Diana Furman, CEO of Lumi Wallet.
Furman says her team is currently busy working to enable crypto purchases with Google Pay as well. “We want to make it available soon as it’s one of the simplest ways to pay and it can massively improve crypto adoption. We hope to make it live this year,” she said.
The increasing number of secure crypto platforms with simple payment options means that the industry as a whole is becoming more user-friendly. “Recent Gemini research conducted in the U.S. and U.K. shows that an increasingly mainstream consumer base is engaging with crypto,” said Gemini’s Halliday. “The accessibility that advanced crypto platforms are bringing to the table plays a major part in opening up the digital asset market.”
Gemini’s addition to the list of platforms offering crypto purchases through Apple Pay and Google Pay is an important development for the industry, according to Jordan Spence, chief marketing officer at MyCrypto, which is an open-source tool for the secure management of Ethereum accounts. “I don’t think any platform as large as Gemini has implemented this feature yet. This is a pretty big deal – there’s an entire world of users who prefer the user-friendly Apple Pay and Google Pay over the traditional bank connection/ACH methods,” said Spence. “One of the biggest headaches with cryptocurrency is the friction to onboarding new users. Reducing that friction is an important step, and getting these payment services integrated into major platforms helps move that along.”
Mobile payment tools such as Apple Pay and Google Pay will play an important role in the greater adoption of cryptocurrencies because of how familiar they are to mainstream users. “While crypto can be scary to some, mobile pay options have been around for a few years and are familiar,” said Ian Kane, co-founder and COO at Ternio, a blockchain-based fintech platform. “Blending the old (mobile pay) with the new (crypto) gives users the best of both worlds. It’s also a very low-friction way for customers to start using crypto in their daily lives.”
This feature is one in a series of steps that will incrementally help cryptocurrencies reach a much wider audience over time, according to Jason Wu, founder and CEO of crypto lending platform DeFiner. “This news in particular is not the ‘watershed moment’ for our industry per se, but a culmination of good news events helping push the cryptocurrency industry toward mainstream adoption,” said Wu.
“What this moment signifies is still yet to be discovered or realized, but the Coinbase IPO might have been the start – or the catalyst – of the crypto movement.”