The blockchain technology and Bitcoin, in particular, is surely on the way to change the financial landscape forever. In fact, Bitcoin already made a huge positive impact, especially in the global payments industry.
Since the whitepaper for Bitcoin has taken the Internet by storm in 2008, it became much more than just a commodity to hold on to. Right now, the biggest companies like Microsoft, Overstock or Subway already accept Bitcoin for their goods as a legitimate, valuable currency. It might just mean that the way we understand online payments at this particular moment can shift very quickly.
These are just a few examples out of thousands of merchants that already accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. Though it is still a very young industry, more and more individuals seem to realize what the open source blockchain technology is capable of in terms of cheap and fast cross-border payments. That is why there is a substantial number of people who already own and use Bitcoin every day.
Currently, the whole Bitcoin network processes around 300,000 transactions per day, sometimes reaching over 500,000. On CoinGate alone, there are more than 70,000 users who make over 1000 payments daily.
Why accept Bitcoin payments?
Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, are becoming extremely convenient in terms of speed, costs, and security. Hence, businesses start reaping the benefits. Just by utilizing the blockchain technology, merchants avoid dealing with numeral issues that traditional payment methods like credit cards or bank transfers have. Onboarding cryptocurrency payment gateways and start accepting cryptocurrencies is an instant solution. Such payment systems solve most of the existing problems, as well as add some extra benefits, and here is how:
Get paid instantly and from anywhere
Location for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is not relevant, thus do not impact speed and costs of transactions as well. Merchants take advantage of that whether they sell only digital products, or ship the merchandise to another continent, or just sell it locally. Whether a customer sends Bitcoin from Siberia to Denmark, or from France to Angola, it does not matter. It will be processed instantly as all transactions on the blockchain require the same effort to make.
Avoid costly currency conversions
Also, paying with digital currency does not involve any need to convert one currency to another. In comparison, cross-border payments via bank account can get quite complicated as currency conversion might be necessary which creates additional obstacles. When transacting with Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, these issues cease to exist. Payments via blockchain also spare a headache of dealing with fiat currency exchange rates. As it happens, it might not always be in your favor.
Take advantage of cheaper transaction costs
Traditional payment providers will easily charge merchants 3% and a higher fee for every credit card transaction. Instead, some merchants take advantage of cryptocurrency payment gateways that offer distinctly lower rates (around 1%). Though considering the recent success in the development of the Lightning network, transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain might soon cost even less than a few cents.
Forget fraudulent chargebacks
When using cryptocurrency, merchants never have to worry about fraudulent purchases, because payments on the blockchain are irreversible. That means merchant always knows exactly when he is paid. It removes the risk of fraudulent chargebacks completely, thus providing full security when shipping goods or providing services.
Embrace the new base of potential customers
Cryptocurrency is already widely used for purchases online. That means there are plenty of people who prefer to use their Bitcoin wallet as a convenient payment tool. Moreover, crypto shoppers are more willing to return to the same places where they are allowed to spend their coins. Hence, the fact that merchants started accepting Bitcoin brings new paying customers to the shop that might even stay loyal.
Avail of the new marketing opportunity
Where there are new potential customers, there will be a new marketing opportunity. Merchants who advertise themselves as crypto-friendly establishments often catch the attention of crypto enthusiasts very quickly. With that in mind, clever use of social media might boost the sales of any business that decided to accept cryptocurrencies. In the end, it is beneficial in the long run as merchants gain a competitive advantage in early adopters market.
Be part of the Bitcoin future
Bitcoin did not achieve its success by itself. Many blockchain related projects strived to make Bitcoin better in terms of convenience for every single person, and business alike. For example, Lightning Labs have been perfecting the Lightning Network protocol for years. Their goal is to make blockchain transactions cheaper, faster and more secure for everyone. Moreover, they also provide solutions for scalability of Bitcoin blockchain. These solutions are essential in order to maintain the exponential user growth of the Bitcoin community.
Other companies like Blockstream focus on developing the sidechains. They run parallel to the Bitcoin blockchain and are interoperable to each other. Also, sidechains provide new features and capabilities for blockchain users. Especially in terms of secure and instant peer-to-peer payments designed for the commercial use of Bitcoin. Moreover, the sidechain technology provides developers with tools to issue their own assets and build their own networks.
Of course, there are many other companies, as well as many other solutions to both scale and adapt the blockchain technology to more real-life use cases. As of now, becoming part of the cryptocurrency economy is not that difficult anymore. In fact, any business can integrate cryptocurrency payments with ease and join the next revolutionary movement.
How to accept Bitcoin: 4 methods of integration
There are different ways for a merchant to start accepting cryptocurrencies with his business. Some methods allow more space for customization, and some are simple and require only a little effort.
Here are the most convenient ways to integrate cryptocurrency payments for all kinds of businesses.
The easiest and most flexible option is to integrate a plugin via the preferred e-commerce platform. Many e-commerce platforms like WHMCS, PrestaShop, WooCommerce, Opencart, and others provide official plugins for merchants to accept Bitcoin. Some plugins even allow accepting other cryptocurrencies as well.
Installing a cryptocurrency payment plugin is not challenging at all. You can download the plugin from the back-office of the e-commerce platform, or straight from the official website. Once you upload the module to your website, the last step is to set up API credentials. Do not worry – your payment gateway provider will generate them automatically.
And that is it. Just choose the currency in which you want to receive your payouts and you are good to go!
Time to set up: 15-60 minutes
Technical skills required: None to some
Point of Sale (PoS)
Merchants also have a choice to integrate Bitcoin payment option with Point of Sale apps. They generally work on both Android and iOS devices, as well as any web browsers. As long as the device is connected to the Internet, the merchant is able to accept Bitcoin payments face-to-face, on a go, anywhere, and instantly.
Other than that, the merchant can connect as many PoS devices to his payment gateway account as he needs. Some PoS systems provide its users with features to trace their orders directly from the app. Some even enable the option to accept more than one cryptocurrency.
Worth noting that some payment gateways also provide their customers the option to convert Bitcoin payments to Euros or U.S. Dollars. Converted payments can then be sent to a bank account.
Time to set up: 10 minutes
Technical skills required: None
Connect with API
Merchants can also make use of a payment API which is the most customizable solution of all. The API is designed to process cryptocurrency payments on virtually any website from the point of checkout to settlement.
The API works similarly to other integration options – it provides Bitcoin address and QR code to finalize the payment. However, its implementation requires a wee bit of technical knowledge. To put the API to work, you need to implement its code in a website. Besides that, further API configuration might be a bit too challenging for a casual customer. Though for merchants who are eager to use the customizable API option, payment gateways usually provide a clear and detailed walkthrough.
When using payment gateways, merchants that make use of the payment API can track and manage their orders easily. As usual, the collected funds can be withdrawn to a bank account or a personal Bitcoin address.
Time to set up: 1 hour to 1 day
Technical skills required: Developer
Use the payment buttons
This is a very simple solution to accept cryptocurrency payments, yet fairly customizable. It is as easy as copying and pasting one line of code into your website. To some degree, you can easily adjust the function of the button according to your personal needs.
For example, you can set up the button to charge only one single amount. In other cases, the button can include a slide that allows choosing minimum and maximum amounts of payment. It is also possible to make a list of buttons with several fixed amounts to choose from.
Other areas, such as button window title, description background picture, and logo, are also customizable. Furthermore, certain payment gateways provide users with some additional features. For example, notifications for receiving payments or custom information fields for a shopper to fill out.
Of course, the button is also not limited to accepting only one cryptocurrency. In fact, any cryptocurrency can be implemented as long as the payment gateway supports it. Also, the payment gateway provider can transfer the collected funds to a bank account in form or Euros or U.S. Dollars.
Time to set up: 10 minutes
Technical skills required: None
Is any paperwork required?
Prior to any cryptocurrency payment integration, a merchant has to create an account with a payment gateway and verify it. All merchants must be compliant with regulatory requirements, period. It is crucial to ensure that no money laundering, terrorist or criminal activities are being executed via payment service providers.
Otherwise, there are certain limitations that apply to those who do not provide legal documents. In fact, the verification is utmost important as merchants will not be allowed to withdraw fiat currencies to their bank accounts. Also, the lack of proper documentation restricts the access to multiple other services.
The verification process itself is pretty standard and involves a few steps.
- Fill up the questionnaire;
- Provide a signed copy of the incorporation or registration certificate of the company;
- Provide a valid copy of the applicant’s government-issued Photo ID Document.
It takes around 10 minutes to complete a verification process. Usually, merchants get the approval of verified status in around 24 hours. After that, the merchant is ready to use the services of the payment gateway right away!
It is not just Bitcoin anymore: get paid in Altcoins
You already know how to set up your cryptocurrency payment options. Now, it is time to think whether it is worth accepting other cryptocurrencies rather than only Bitcoin. Though Bitcoin might be the most commonly used cryptocurrency, it is not the only one around. Still, it remains as the most popular means of payment both across crypto-friendly merchants, and crypto customers. Despite that, cryptocurrency payment gateways such as CoinGate allow merchants to accept more than one cryptocurrency that is dominating the industry.
Why accept only Bitcoin, when you can accept them all? There are plenty of “Altcoins” that are also rapidly gaining massive traction. Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash are just a few cryptocurrencies that successfully operate on their blockchains since day 1. These markets might not be as huge as Bitcoins, but Altcoin owners still possess the spending power that merchants could harness.
Because the crypto industry is still young, merchants who are willing to accept less popular cryptocurrencies are still rare. That is why owners of such coins are more than eager to find such merchants themselves. For CoinGate customers, on the other hand, it makes no difference which cryptocurrencies their shoppers use to fill up their shopping carts. In the end, all cryptocurrency revenues are paid in Euros or U.S. Dollars to merchants’ bank account, unless merchant wishes to keep them as they are.
Ready to accept cryptocurrency payments?
We already discussed the cryptocurrency payment implementation methods as well as the necessary verification procedures in order to get started. Now it is time to choose a payment gateway which will satisfy the needs of both merchants and their customers.
CoinGate provides all payment processing services that are mentioned in this article. Whether merchant wishes to accept Bitcoin or any other supported Altcoin, our services cover it all. With that said, feel free to inspect our website where you can learn more about what we have to offer.
You can also see the example of how cryptocurrency payments work on our demo shop. And if you have any questions, do not hesitate and reach out to us!
We hope this article was helpful and will make a positive impact on the success of your business! So, do not hesitate and accept crypto now!