Undoubtedly, the world of business is evolving at a rapid pace, and with the advent of new technologies, businesses are finding innovative ways to reach more consumers and increase sales.
One such technology that has been gaining traction in recent years is cryptocurrency. In fact, a growing number of businesses are beginning to accept crypto payments from customers. If you're wondering how to do the same for your business, read on for tips.
Cryptocurrency may seem complicated and intimidating at first glance, but it's actually quite simple to use and understand. The first step is to create a digital wallet to store your cryptocurrencies.
There are many different types of wallets available, so be sure to choose one that best suits your needs. We'll be providing some of the best ones that can help you accept bitcoin payments for your business.
Start Accepting Cryptocurrency As A Payment Option
Small businesses are accepting cryptocurrency payments at a rate of 36%, according to an HSB nationwide survey from January 2020. You might want to consider accepting crypto payments if you're one of the enterprises that's not yet part of the crypto payments bracket to keep up with the competition.
In a survey of small business owners, 50% cited the use of crypto by large payment processors and innovative companies as the reason for their acceptance of cryptocurrency payments. Approximately 35% of respondents in the study said they went crypto to stay competitive and meet customer expectations.
But small businesses do not need to adopt crypto as a survival tactic. Crypto can also help small businesses become more efficient. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies offer numerous benefits for small businesses. The benefits include:
- Extending your global reach
- Cryptocurrencies have better security because they are decentralized
- Payments processed faster
- Process fees will be lower
- Eliminating chargeback fees that eat through your hard-earned money
Regardless of the advantages, crypto payments are not without their downsides. One of these downsides is high volatility, while another is cyber-attacks. To maximize the benefits of crypto, you must understand how to minimize these risks.
Who Accepts Bitcoin And Cryptocurrency?
Businesses like Microsoft and PayPal have been accepting crypto payments to some degree for years. They were among the first high-profile businesses to accept them.
Overstock took adoption to a new level by investing in blockchain projects, in addition to offering bitcoins as a payment method for new side tables, juicers, and other items.
The NBA, Whole Foods, and Home Depot, to name a few, have started going online in the past few years.
Thousands of small businesses around the globe also accept Bitcoin, capturing some of the more than $1 billion worth of daily transactions in Bitcoin alone. Global companies like these can make headlines by accepting crypto, but thousands of small businesses across the world accept payments.
How to Determine If Bitcoin And Crypto Is Right for You
Does It Make More Sense to Do It Yourself or With a Payment Tool?
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies allow peer-to-peer transactions. This means that a third-party payment processor is not necessary. The cheapest means to transfer money is with Bitcoin. Bitcoin, for example, is free to send and free to receive.
Payment workflow development, however, is a complex, time-consuming task requiring a great deal of expertise. This need is addressed by third-party payment tools that allow businesses to accept crypto payments quickly. In order to exchange crypto for cash with the service provider, you'll need to submit information about your business in your application.
As these services do not process credit card payments, they cannot replace payment processors. You will need both cards and cryptocurrency in order to accept payments.
What Cryptocurrencies Will You Accept?
The availability of cryptocurrencies varies widely from service to service, and not all are supported by all. Bitcoin, by far, is supported by most services. If you want to accept Mooncoin or Alice, for instance, you may have to look a little deeper.
How Do Tax and Accounting Issues Affect You?
If you plan to hold on to any cryptos you receive, you need to be aware of any tax implications.
You should also consider how your point-of-sale system sends information to your accountant. It's important to know if your crypto payments tool integrates with your cloud-based accounting software, such as QuickBooks or Xero.
If you're thinking about accepting crypto, you should consult your accountant.
What Are the Options for Converting to Cash?
Big price swings can have significant implications for your business since the value of your crypto could increase - or decrease - in a short period of time. Do you plan to hold onto it forever? Do you plan to convert to cash right away? Are you planning to convert it on a regular basis?
You should consider these questions even more if your operations are dependent on cash flow. Make sure your chosen crypto payment service can actually implement your plan after you've come up with one.
Other Questions About Operational Issues
With implementation services, crypto payments companies can monitor price volatility and create a user interface that is intuitive. Still, companies will need to deal with operational concerns.
Cryptocurrency doesn't cost you anything directly. There are costs involved, like reformatting a report and training customer service employees. Questions like "what happens with returns"? or "What happens if a dispute arises"? will need to be clarified. Then there is the limited resource of time.
Here are some operational questions you may want to consider:
- Is staff training needed?
- What are your plans for answering customer questions?
- What aspects of customer service - like refunds - need to be reconsidered?
- Do you have a current inventory or reporting system that works with your crypto-payments tool?
Accepting Crypto Payments For Your Business
Step 1 - Learn About Cryptocurrency Payments
The technology behind cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, can be traded for goods and services. But most people treat crypto as an investment - something that should be purchased, held for the long run, and then sold for profits.
In the cryptocurrency world, payments function as peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions between digital wallets, as they are decentralized and unregulated. The debit and credit card networks and your bank process traditional debit and credit card payments, respectively.
Step 2 - Crypto Wallets and Gateways
In the beginning, you need to determine whether you want your crypto payments to be received in bitcoins or as fiat currency.
The wallet you use for storing, transferring, and using cryptocurrency is necessary for both personal and business uses. A crypto payment gateway can convert digital currency into traditional fiat money so that you can accept crypto payments. There are many popular solutions, such as Coinbase and BitPay, that have both wallets and gateways.
Step 3 - Integrate Crypto Payments Into Your Online Check-Out Process
Having got your crypto wallet/gateway and enabled as a payment method on your website, the next step is to integrate crypto into your checkout process. You can follow either of the following techniques.
Open-source API - It is possible to integrate a crypto platform with your website using custom HTML code, such as self-hosted wallets that offer open-source APIs. Having more control over the look, feel, and functionality is an advantage, though small businesses may not have access to technical resources.
Plugin/App - It is possible to integrate with your eCommerce platform depending on the platform. By using cryptocurrency integrations, all the technical details are handled for you. It is as simple as downloading the plugin or app and installing it on your website.
The following platforms offer APIs and plugins for integrating with cryptocurrency payments:
Coinbase Commerce - Transact with seven different cryptocurrencies, send invoices, and manage accounting and reconciliation using transaction reporting tools. With Coinbase, you can make hosted and self-custodial payments and pay a 1% transaction fee.
BitPay - Coinbase Commerce integrates with BitPay for a seamless checkout process. But BitPay displays a QR code at checkout for customers to scan and take them to an online invoice which they must then pay. The same QR code can be used to make an in-store payment, except the cashier's mobile phone displays the code. Bitcoin is the only currency BitPay accepts, and Coinbase charges a 1% transaction fee.
CoinPayments - Payments made with CoinPayments carry a very attractive 0.5% processing fee (1% for token payments). This service accepts multiple currencies. It allows you to integrate payment and buy now buttons into any page on your website, send invoices, and customize the user experience using an open API. Point-of-sale (POS) integration is also available from CoinPayments.
OpenNode - Besides a hosted crypto checkout, OpenNode offers integrations and apps for ecommerce platforms. OpenNode can be integrated into the checkout process, purchased now, buttons added, and invoices sent to the customer. Due to its limited support for Bitcoin, it may not be a great choice.
Step 4 - Provide In-Person Cryptocurrency Payments
If you allow it, you can let in-store shoppers use cryptocurrency as well. Some of the platforms mentioned above can be used to process in-person cryptocurrency payments.
For the in-store checkout process, consider using a crypto-compliant QR code scanner or NFC terminal. Mobile point-of-sale systems may also be able to accept crypto payments if they support them.
Crypto VS. Credit Cards
Business owners have long accepted credit card payments, but is it time they started accepting crypto as one of their payment options? Let's take a look at a side-by-side comparison of cryptocurrency and credit card payments.
Used As Payments
In cryptocurrency payment tools, both the merchant and the customer have an easy way to transact in crypto. Additionally, these tools can help ease the impact of price fluctuations and often provide a built-in method for converting crypto into dollars.
A crypto transaction does not need to be routed through a payment tool, unlike conventional payments. They are viewed as value-added services.
Card networks and banks work together with a credit card processor to verify that a customer is who she says she is; confirm that the customer has the funds or credit to make purchases, and initiate the transfer of funds from the acquiring bank to the merchant's account. Payment processors are necessary in order to accept card payments.
For a crypto transaction, there is no charge if it is completed directly with the customer. Tools that automate transactions typically charge 1% of the total amount. Transactions involving crypto don't require identification or verification of funds, unlike card transactions. Therefore, compliance and chargebacks are free of charge.
Depending on the service, fees may differ. Typically, a flat rate of 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction applies. If your business uses interchange pricing, you might pay less, whereas if your business is high-risk, you will probably pay more. Additionally, you may encounter stand-alone fees for PCI compliance, such as the payment card industry.
Using Crypto requires the knowledge of a password, and this password is entered only on the customer's device. Crypto payments do not require compliance because secure customer data is not transferred through an organization's systems. In any case, if the customer loses or has their password compromised in any way, it is their responsibility, not the retailer.
By accepting a credit card payment, the merchant can instruct the customer's bank to move funds based on the card information. Merchants typically handle this process through payment processors. Any merchant - not just retailers - can initiate a transaction if they know the card number, so fraudulent charges are possible.
Despite advanced techniques used by card networks to spot and stop fraudulent transactions and PCI compliance helping businesses strengthen their security, fraud cannot be entirely eliminated. Merchants are charged fees for the risk of fraud associated with using cards.
Unlike traditional currencies, cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible. Refunds cannot be requested. If any problems do arise, merchants can address them directly, removing a pain point for them.
Merchandisers should consider addressing cryptocurrency-specific issues in return policies as well. Besides, a clearly stated process should explain how and when you'll calculate and send cryptocurrency to a customer making a return since cryptocurrency prices fluctuate relative to the dollar.
The merchant can credit the customer's account if the customer returns an item. Further, if card information is lost or stolen, a card user can claim that an unauthorized transaction occurred. A chargeback takes place when this claim triggers a chargeback, a process that requires the merchant to return the funds and often comes with a fee.
If a merchant wants to challenge the claim, there is an appeals process. It's ultimately up to the card network to make the final decision, and they often rule in favor of the client.
Cryptocurrency regulations are much shakier than those for card payments, which have been around much longer. In the meantime, there is still a lot of uncertainty. State, federal, and departmental regulators are busy proposing new regulations. As a result, when tax time arrives, you will have more work to do. Like stocks, you can take and hold crypto and eventually sell it.
There have been decades of oversight of the existing payment system. This has resulted in a fairly uniform and stable system that is widely adopted and recognized. Aside from the lack of money and time involved in being in compliance with every level of regulation, whether by the government or by the payments industry, there is the cost of time and money. A few examples include PCI compliance and consumer protection laws.
Crypto payments take the lead when it comes to speed and security when compared to credit cards. Some administrative tasks are also eliminated or reduced when using crypto.
It might take employees and customers some time to get the hang of the new technology, and it might not be able to integrate with other aspects of running a business, such as inventory management and bookkeeping.
Users are familiar with card payments since they are a relatively mature technology. When you shop online, autofill card information on file with a company or platform makes things easier.
Consumers can also pay with mobile phones during in-person transactions. It can be difficult for some to compare options and determine which payments partner is best for them due to the complexity of the payments process.
Services That Help Businesses Accept Crypto Payments
BitPay, based in Atlanta, is one of the world's largest companies accepting cryptocurrency payments. Besides offering various tools for accepting crypto payments, the company also integrates Quickbooks and Shopify with payment buttons, invoicing, and hosted checkout. It also allows customers to pay via phone, online, or in person.
Furthermore, BitPay offers businesses protection from crypto price fluctuations, which is a neat feature. A flat 1% transaction fee is charged on almost all transactions. Clients have the option of settling transactions in their local currency.
CoinBase is perhaps best known for creating a high-quality marketplace for buying and selling cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, from its Silicon Valley headquarters. The company also has a Commerce product that lets businesses receive digital payments more easily.
Companies accepting crypto payments must have e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce integrated with hosted checkout pages, payment buttons, invoicing, and integration with payment processors.
Similar to other services, CoinBase Commerce gives companies the ability to become their own bank and gives them granular control over their assets.
CoinPayments, which has been servicing companies worldwide since 2013, is one of the longest-running services for cryptocurrency payments. Using CoinPayments, you can make payments in-person or online, and CoinPayments supports a wide variety of cryptocurrencies.
Magento, OpenCart, and WooCommerce are just a few of the e-commerce services that the company's plugins work with. Furthermore, it offers a good return on the money thanks to a processing fee of just 0.5%.
GoCoin, founded in 2013, is another website that has been helping businesses process cryptocurrency payments for years. Merchants can accept Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin, Dash, and Litecoin payments through the service. There is a 1% transaction fee charged by GoCoin, which is compatible with most e-commerce platforms, such as Magento, Prestashop, Shopify, OpenCart, WooCommerce, OSCommerce, UberCart, and ZenCart.
Recent announcements from PayPal, one of the largest online payment companies globally, indicate that consumers will soon be able to pay PayPal merchants with cryptocurrencies. There are over 29 million merchants who accept PayPal, so accepting crypto payments will be much easier with this move.
By using PayPal wallets, customers with established PayPal merchants can convert Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and Litecoins into fiat currencies such as dollars and euros. You won't be able to accept cryptocurrency directly as a merchant, but at least it opens up the option to accept Bitcoin or other digital currencies as payment methods.
Cryptocurrency processor TripleA, founded in Singapore in 2018 by serial entrepreneur Eric Barbier, is one of the newest players on the global scene. With TripleA, cryptocurrency payments can be accepted for e-commerce, POS, invoicing, and remittances.
In addition to accepting credit card payments for e-commerce, point-of-sale, invoicing, and remittances, TripleA offers a lot of flexibility. Shopify, WooCommerce, and OpenCart are three e-commerce integrations offered by TripleA.
Merchants can track orders and payments, reconcile accounts, and identify refunds within the platform's dashboard.
Are you a small business owner who wants to start accepting crypto? Learn more about each service's exchange rate, transaction fees, regulations, and other factors on their official website.
Cryptocurrency Processing Fees
Cryptocurrency payments carry a standard transaction fee of about 1%, making them far less expensive than average credit card processing fees (3%) or even some ACH direct deposit fees (1%–1.5%).
There are providers that charge even lower transaction fees (CoinPayments charges just 0.5%), while others charge a network fee in addition to the 1%. Foreign exchange costs and withdrawal fees could also be involved. It is certainly more affordable to accept crypto payments than to accept credit cards.
Accept Digital Payments for Your Business
A large and even small business owner should be eager to accept cryptocurrency payments. If you're a business owner who wants to diversify your customers' payment options, you should consider accepting bitcoin payments and other cryptocurrency payments.
But then again, you should do your own research about the pros and cons, other apps that accept bitcoin as payment, how you can convert it into US dollar currency, and receive the money in your bank account. It's better to indulge in this option if you have enough knowledge about it.
FAQs About Using Crypto for Business Owners
If you want to collect or store cryptocurrency, you'll need a crypto wallet. If you plan to use a gateway to deposit the revenue from the sale into your business checking account, you will not require a separate one.
The three types of wallets are hosted wallets, self-custody wallets, and hardware wallets. Hosting wallets offer a simple, "out-of-the-box" solution that doesn't require much setup or technical knowledge. Moreover, hosting wallets are the most popular cryptocurrency wallets.
The self-custody wallet provides the software required to store crypto assets, but it is up to you to keep them safe.
Hosted wallets offer more flexibility, allowing more customization. Physical wallets are physical devices, so they are plugged into your computer to facilitate transactions such as buying, selling, trading, lending, and borrowing.
Hardware wallets feature the highest level of security, but you need to store them securely and keep track of them because they require a physical device.
The most common crypto wallets are Coinbase, MetaMask, Exodus, and MyEtherWallet. Coinbase is a popular and reliable digital wallet that is also beginner-friendly and secure. While Ethereum users will find MetaMask ideal for their crypto transactions.
Exodus sacrifices some security, but this platform offers greater flexibility. Lastly, MyEtherWallet usually benefits businesses with modest budgets. This is because this platform is an open-source platform that can be customized.
If you choose a crypto wallet, you should also choose one that works with the types of cryptocurrencies you intend to use. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are by far the most popular, with about 75% of crypto owners owning some form of bitcoin, but other currencies are emerging. If you cover more currencies, you're more likely to capture sales.
Consider using payment processors like BitPay and Flexa that automatically convert your Bitcoin into cash, removing volatility issues that can damage your crypto. PayPal's crypto option allows you to accept bitcoin payments without exposing your company to crypto exposure.
There is still no uniform international law that regulates Bitcoin, despite its use for buying goods and services. Bitcoin can be used in many developed countries, including the United States.
It is definitely worth it to accept cryptocurrency in your online store if you want to stay on top of the latest trends. Particularly because cryptocurrency processors such as BitPay can protect your business from price fluctuations, so you will not be exposed to the risk of losing money.
Business owners can start accepting DOGE by having their customers pay them in Dogecoin directly. This is the most secure and straightforward method. Dogecoin's website offers links to help business owners get started. There are three steps to holding Dogecoins: 1. Choosing an appropriate wallet. 2. Customizing your wallet. 3. Purchasing Dogecoins.
As part of the payment process, you must provide your public address to the person who will send you the Bitcoins. Generally, the person can scan a QR code generated on their wallet with their smartphone. Public addresses can also be texted or emailed.
At present, Square POS is not able to accept bitcoin or cryptocurrency payments.