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How to pay for a Bitcoin invoice? Step-By-Step Guide (Updated 2020)


Paying for a Bitcoin invoice is easy. Here we’ll walk you through the steps of the whole process: how to pay, what happens when you pay too little, too much, or too late.

To pay a Bitcoin invoice, first you’ll need a working Bitcoin wallet and some bitcoins. See the instructions for setting up a Bitcoin wallet on Electrum, or get some bitcoins with your Credit or Debit Card.

So, how to proceed when you see a CoinGate invoice like the one below?

coingate invoice

How to pay a Bitcoin invoice from CoinGate?

The example below is described using Electrum but the same steps apply to any other wallet.

You will have a time window of 15 minutes to 24 hours to complete the payment. The expiration time depends on the settings of the store you are buying from.

For starters, open Electrum wallet, and go to the Send tab.

In the Amount field, enter the amount of bitcoins you want to send. Our advice is to copy the exact BTC value from the invoice. If your Bitcoin wallet only allows a certain amount of digits, then you should round the amount to the higher side to avoid underpaying. In the example of the invoice above, if allowed 4 digits past the decimal, it is advised to transfer 0.0112 BTC.

In the Pay to field, enter the Bitcoin address to which you want to send the payment. Always make sure that the Bitcoin address you are sending to is correct.

Here’s how to get the Bitcoin address from the invoice into your wallet for payment:paid order coingate

  1. Enter your email address and click on “Pay with Bitcoin” on the invoice;
  2. Manually select and copy the Bitcoin address from the CoinGate invoice to your wallet OR click the copy button, and paste the invoice Bitcoin address in your wallet;
  3. Finalize the payment by pressing the “Send” button in your wallet OR by scanning the QR code on the invoice with your mobile Bitcoin wallet.

In Electrum and other wallets, you can also include a Description, which will later remind you what you paid for.electrum payment coingate

We recommend leaving the Fee slider in the default position. Reducing the transaction fee may cause a confirmation delay on the Bitcoin network, resulting in unwanted problems. Leaving the default fee will let Electrum calculate the required Bitcoin network transaction fee automatically.

Confirm the transaction details once again, and proceed to click Send. 

What happens next?

After the transaction is sent, you will instantly see a confirmation message, because our system will detect the incoming transaction automatically right away.

If you are making a small purchase, the transaction will be confirmed immediately. Meanwhile, if the transaction is bigger, you may have to wait for it to be confirmed by the Bitcoin network. See the screenshot below.

Seeing the window below means that you do not need to do anything else – your Bitcoin invoice is paid! Great job – the merchant is notified and will soon process your order. 

paid invoice

If you want to pay the Bitcoin invoice value using two or more different wallets or different Transaction IDs, rest assured – this is possible. Please read the part on underpaid orders in the following section.

What can go wrong?

Three things, really. One, you may accidentally (or purposefully) pay too little. Two, your Bitcoin invoice might expire before you make a transaction. Three, you can accidentally pay too much. Let us go over all of these scenarios, and what you should do if you face any problems.

You Underpaid

Most likely, this is the case if you make a transaction, yet the Bitcoin invoice does not switch into confirming/paid state. In the updated invoice (see below on the left) you will see the amount of bitcoins that you sent, as well as the amount that is still left to pay (in the red box). You should make another transaction to cover the underpaid amount before the invoice expires.

Once you make the sufficient payment, your transaction will be confirmed. You will see a confirmation window with your Transaction IDs on the invoice. 

Coingate upderpaid order

On the other hand, if the invoice expires, you will be displayed a refund form. See the next section on what to do with an expired invoice.

The Invoice Expired

If this happened before you sent a transaction, do not worry and start over with your order. If you did send a transaction, but the invoice did not update, then read on.

expired coingate order

You most likely made a Bitcoin transaction from a source where you do not have full control over your bitcoins: either an Exchange, a Web Wallet of some kind, or a Third-Party Service. These services may not always make transactions on demand, but rather process your payment request with a delay.

Nevertheless, you should not worry, because your bitcoins will reach us at some time. What you should do is monitor the CoinGate invoice status every once in a while. The invoice form will update immediately when the transaction is broadcast to the Bitcoin network.

What can then happen is:

(1) You will see a Refund Form on the invoice. Fill out the form and you will receive the refund within 48 hours.

(2) The invoice will remain expired, though you will see your Transaction ID on the Bitcoin invoice. This means that your seller may still accept your late payment, so hold on for a little while, and contact your seller if you have not already.

what do do if invoice expires

You Overpaid

In case you paid too much, you will be displayed a refund form such as shown below on the right. To receive a refund for the overpaid amount, please fill out the form and your overpaid amount will be sent to your Bitcoin address within 48 hours.

how to refund overpaid coingate

That is it. These are all of the scenarios that you may face when paying our invoice with Bitcoins. We recommend sticking to Electrum to minimize the risk of expired invoices and underpayments. Refer to our guide here for setting up Electrum.

We hope that reading this guide has helped you understand how to pay for a CoinGate invoice with Bitcoin. If it was your first time making a transaction and you found it difficult and tiring – we assure you that the second time will be much much easier.

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