Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Bitcoin in Australian newsagencies … but why?

Mark Fletcher
March 8th, 2018 · 4 Comments

The news that Bitcoin can now be purchased in some newsagency businesses in Australia has got a bit of a run in the media, including the AFR.

Cryptocurrency punters are now able to buy bitcoin and ethereum from 1200 newsagents across the country with nothing more than a digital wallet, $50, an email address and a phone number.

The move makes it easier for people interested in investing a small amount of money in cryptocurrencies to purchase bitcoin or ethereum, without needing to navigate the process of doing it online.

For newsagents, it’s also providing a new reason for shoppers to come into the stores, while newspaper and magazine sales decline.

The AFR journalist who wrote this, Yolanda Redrup should have done more legwork. I doubt Introducing Bitcoin to a business will boost valuable traffic. It is agency business. The commission will not cover adequately for the time necessary.

While some newsagents prefer agency revenue, many have long ago left that world for more valuable and higher margin retailing.

Adam Joy CEO of ALNA commented for the AFR piece:

“Newsagents have many ways to innovate that are much less concerning and fall within regulations and safeguards. For example, embracing omni-shopping with mobile apps and an online presence that integrate with in-store shopping,” he said.

“When looking at cryptocurrency in particular, businesses need to be aware of the level of illegal activity and lack of transparency attached to cryptocurrencies.”

I agree with him.

In my opinion, the Bitcoin move like other agency products on the Blueshyft platform are leech products and services that leverage existing newsagency traffic and that do not offer adequate compensation for the work involved and the risk to the business.

That said, from a tech perspective I am not imposing any barrier to agency products like this on any platform with which I am involved.


Category: Newsagency management · newsagency of the future · Newsagent representation

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michael // Mar 8, 2018 at 8:20 AM

    Have been involved in the Crypto world for several years now and have watched it develop. I have no doubts about its future as a payment method. That said i would not be selling in my agency due to lack of %. The training/knowledge and time it would take to get all staff knowledgable and then deal with a customer base that is interested in trying it would make this loss making due to low margins.

    I am not fond of the illegal activity argument as any form of currency can be used to conduct illegal activities in any country. I believe Cash is still the king of this.

    When we spoke last Mark (A few years ago now) i asked if Tower would be looking further into making Bitcoin/Crypto an accessible payment method through the program itself, Has any interest been had over the last few years on your end?


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Mar 8, 2018 at 8:32 AM

    Michael it is enabled through platforms the Tower software integrated with but not, currently, directly as it is not an everyday traded currency at retail with the usual hooks and protocols.


  • 3 Michael // Mar 8, 2018 at 9:18 AM

    Understandable. Curiously what platforms do you speak of that Tower has integrated with? Just interesting to see what’s going on.


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Mar 8, 2018 at 9:52 AM

    A whole range including: Oxipay (first in the world), Transactor, Blueshyft, Touch, ePay, Tyro, PCEftpos, Magento, Shopify, Woo and others.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reload Image