A major California-based passport services company has announced that it is accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for some of its passport services. The announcement came after the US State department opened such applications again after a pause caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Peninsula VISA, the passport services company based in San Jose, California has announced this bold move as part of their outreach to users of all kinds. Users will be able to pay with Bitcoin and get their passports within 4 weeks according to the company. The current services being offered for the Bitcoin users include name change applications and requests for 2nd passport books. Americans are entitled to 2 passport books with the first one acting as a primary document with a validity of 10 years while the secondary one has a validity of 4 years only. These VISA books can be ordered as soon as Americans turn 16 legally.
According to Peninsula Visa COO Evan James:
Offering travelers the ability to pay via Bitcoin feels like the right move at the right time,”
He continues on to say that the pandemic is forcing people to pay for their passport remotely and Bitcoin was proving to be a reliable remote payment method. According to the company sources, users will be able to pay for their passports using a Coinbase Commerce payment gateway. This approach will allow users to pay in Bitcoin and remove the need for the company to engage in endless conversions on their own end.
The Covid-19 crisis wrecked considerable havoc on the passport services industry. Most of the agencies across the US were closed for a long period of time as the State Department was closed for a long period of time. According to LA Times, a backlog of almost 1 million cases was witnessed in the country at one time. Now with the offices close to being opened again, the time for processing passport applications has reduced from to 10-12 weeks for standard applications to a more 4-6 weeks for expedited applications.
However, the numbers remain to be seen just like with every new crypto payment service in town. The company would be looking for increased business from their customers but ultimately actual usage will matter in the long-run.
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