Portuguese Primeira Liga football club Benfica says it has become the first major European football club to accept online payments for tickets and merchandise with cryptocurrency.

Through its partnership with digital payment solution UTRUST, fans that are more technologically savvy can pay for their match-day tickets and Benfica products at the official online store using the native UTRUST token (UTK), as well as Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies.

The technology will reportedly provide the Lisbon-based club with increased security of payments, “significantly reduce” processing fees, eliminate credit-card chargebacks and prevent fraudulent payments.

In addition, the partnership allows Benfica, who won the Portuguese championship in 2018-19, to settle payments directly to its bank in fiat on the same day they are received.

Domingos Soares de Oliveira, Benfica’s chief executive, said: “Our benfiquistas (fans) 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.”

Benfica claims to have more than 14 million supporters worldwide and attracted an average attendance of 53,824 to the Estádio da Luz during the 2018-19 season.

Nuno Correia, co-founder and chief executive of UTRUST, said: “This partnership with Portugal’s No.1 football club marks a major milestone for UTRUST and the blockchain ecosystem as a whole.”

Image: Benfica