Benfica has announced plans to accept online payments with cryptocurrency in what it claims marks a first for a major European football club.
The Portuguese club has linked up with digital payment provider Utrust on the initiative, which gives fans the chance to use cryptocurrencies to buy match tickets and products through Benfica’s official online store.
Benfica hopes the partnership with Utrust will help the club’s e-commerce strategy to bring tech-savvy supporters and cryptocurrency investors both in Portugal and overseas closer to the Estádio da Luz.
Benfica Chief Executive, Domingos Soares de Oliveira said: “This is an exciting day in the history of S.L. Benfica as we announce our decision to accept cryptocurrency payments. Our benfiquistas make Benfica the unique and special club it is, and we recognise that many of our supporters are now digital users first so we want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting novel technologies and giving our supporters the best online experience.
“We are very excited about the possibilities that this partnership with Utrust presents in the evolution of our e-commerce strategy and we look forward to accepting our first cryptocurrency payment."
Utrust is seeking to modernise the finance and payments industry by providing instant crypto-to-fiat conversions. Its partnership with Benfica is designed to provide the club with access to a wider customer base and significantly enhance the online user experience for fans.
The partnership will also significantly reduce processing fees and eliminate credit-card chargebacks and fraudulent payments. Benfica said it would also be able to settle payments directly to its bank in fiat on the same day they are received.
Utrust’s platforms allow fans to pay using the native Utrust token (UTK) in addition to other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Utrust Co-Founder and Chief Executive Nuno Correia added: “This partnership with Portugal’s number one football club marks a major milestone for Utrust and the blockchain ecosystem as a whole. Benfica is one of the biggest sporting clubs worldwide and we are delighted to be making cryptocurrency payments possible for their 14 million supporters around the world."
Benfica’s online store has already started accepting cryptocurrency and fans can now purchase tickets, clothing and other merchandise via the club’s desktop website, on mobiles and through its dedicated app.