Over the past few months, we have witnessed Bitcoin adoption by several major retailers such as Microsoft, Dell and Expedia. But while those household names are making the [mainstream] media headlines, a ton of smaller retailers also started accepting Bitcoin payments over the past year. Even though Bitcoin is still very risky in the general public’s eye, it also provides an additional revenue stream for both small and big retailers.
Easy to Setup And Nearly No Risk For Merchants
The increased Bitcoin adoption by merchants can be attributed to several reasons. First of all, there are a lot of retailers who only have an online presence, and most of them are barely making enough sales to cover the fees they have to pay to credit card transaction processors. Not to mention the fees that come with each transaction as well, and the wait time until they see money appearing in their bank account – which can take up to 30 days.
Bitcoin provides an excellent additional payment option for these retailers, as there are low to zero transaction costs per transaction. Furthermore, Bitcoin payments are processed relatively fast and as a merchant, you have the option to convert each Bitcoin payment to your local currency through a payment processor such as BitPay or CoinBase. Local currency payments usually take place the next business days, which is far more favorable compared to more traditional alternatives.
As an added bonus, by accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, merchants may very well attract a new customer base which otherwise would have been out of reach. When a new merchant opens their online business and accepts traditional payment methods, you won’t get noticed any time soon. But when you announce that you accept Bitcoin payments as well, it becomes a whole different ballgame.
And why wouldn’t you integrate Bitcoin payments on your website to begin with? There is virtually no risk in doing so, it is more likely to attract new customers and media attention, and it all it takes is editing a few lines of code on your website. There simply is no valid reason not to accept digital currency payments as an online merchant, regardless of whether you’re a small or major company.
Even if you are not keen on using a Bitcoin-only payment processor such as BitPay or CoinBase, there are other alternatives available. Most recently, Stripe announced the integration of Bitcoin payments to their existing range of services, which lets any retailer with a US bank account to accept bitcoin payments. With customers from over 60 countries being able to pay with Bitcoin through Stripe, this platform could prove to be an interesting alternative for merchants.
Are Bitcoin Payment Processors Jumping The Gun?
In the grand scheme of finance, Bitcoin is still in its infantile stage at this point in time. Despite seeing a great rate of adoption and awareness, the technology behind Bitcoin can be perceived as being ahead of its time. Most people simply aren’t looking for the solution Bitcoin provides to the current financial ecosystem, as the general public doesn’t even recognize there is a problem that needs solving.
The recent issues and drama surrounding Bitcoin – exchanges being hacked, ponzi schemes and the likes – are not doing the digital currency any favors. However, they are also a sign that there are a lot of people out there recognizing the potential – and equally important, the value – of Bitcoin and the technology behind it.
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