Why should you consider adding
BitCoin as a payment option? According to Coinbase, a US based bitcoin payment processor, more than 25,000 merchants are using their platform to attract new customers. BitPay, another Bitcoin Payment Service Provider, has over 20,000 merchants currently accepting bitcoins with their payment interface. Two years ago this number stood at few hundred.
Why are so many merchants
interested in bitcoin lately? According to Coinbase, on 27th of February 2014, the company has hit one million Coinbase consumer wallets. At the start of 2013 that figure was under 13,000. That is an astounding growth rate of 7,592.31%. As more people start using the upcoming virtual currency, more merchants are bound to follow suit and adopt it into their payment systems.
Lower Fees With Visa and
MasterCard estimated to take a 2 to 3 percent cut out of every card transaction, by using bitcoin instead, merchants stand to improve their bottom line instantly by at least 2 percent.
there is no possibility for
chargebacks and other payment related fraud. This reduces the costs of operation by another several percentage points. This coupled with the very low fees charged by bitcoin payment processors should make any business consider adding bitcoin to their checkout process. In addition, because bitcoin transactions are irreversible
Several major payment processors have
their own turnkey solutions that make bitcoin payment integration a breeze. Let’s start with US based Coinbase. Adding bitcoin to your payment options today is easier than ever.
In addition, this fee only
applies if you choose to convert bitcoin into your local currency, US Dollars for example. There is no fee if you decide to keep your funds in bitcoins and you just withdraw them to your local bitcoin wallet. ! Furthermore, the firm offers custom solutions for merchants who already process over $1 Million in sales per month. (for more info click here).
! • Pay/Donate/Subscribe Buttons. •
Hosted Checkout Pages. • Email Invoices. • Shopping Cart Plugins. • Point Of Sale. • Custom Integrations. • Recurring billing. • Free micro-transactions. Here are some of Coinbase’s professional merchant tools.
the company also allows you
to buy and sell bitcoins for US Dollars. The fee for this is 1%. If you live in the States, you can also link your bank account to Coinbase to facilitate quick and easy transactions. In addition to being a payments processor,
How to accept bitcoins with
Coinbase if you own a brick and mortar business? You can accept bitcoin at your brick and mortar shop by using a mobile device. Currently, due to restrictions by Apple, Coinbase’s app cannot be used with an iPhone/iPad. Luckily, the app works on android and android phones/tablets are much cheaper than their Apple equivalents.
The picture below shows the
simple few step process. ! 1. Enter the details of the sale 2. Tap “Request payment” to display the QR code 3. The customer scans the QR code with their own phone and taps to pay 4. The customer receives payment confirmation, so do you — sale complete! ! You can read more about Coinbase’s POS solution here. You can download the android app on Google Play.
BitPay is another popular choice
for online and offline bitcoin businesses. The company has several payment plans and boast to have ‘’the world’s first All-Inclusive Processing with Zero Transaction Fees, and Zero Hidden Charges.’’
Payments to bank accounts are
made every business day. While payments in bitcoins are sent to your btc address at least once per calendar day. The company has daily direct deposits to 33 countries (Click here for more info).
Coinkite.com Similarly to BitPay, Coinkite
has a tiered payment plans system. The options start at the starter pack that is free but carries a charge of 1% on withdrawals and 1% charge on POS (Point of Sale) transactions. By paying $29.46 per month you can cut those fees down to 0% (Check their pricing table).
A Retail Payment Terminal that
is WiFi only and costs $491. The option with the QR code scanner (the Exchange Payment Terminal) will set you back $819. Both terminals allow you to take Bitcoin and Litecoin payments. There are two terminal versions to choose from You can learn more about Coinkite’s products here.
Any two individuals that have
access to the internet are free to engage in commerce. While the three options outlined above make the whole process much easier, if you own a very small business and you’re not yet sure if the bitcoin ‘’gamble’’ will pay off, you can try taking bitcoin payments on your own. Bitcoin is a completely decentralized currency that doesn’t rely on any third parties.
MultiBit is an easy to
use bitcoin client that allows you to send or receive bitcoin payments. One of the major advantages of MultiBit over the traditional Bitcoin-qt client is that you can use MultiBit without having to download the entire bitcoin blockchain (which is over 5 GB in size at this point). There are a lot of ways you can do this but in this example I will use MultiBit
You can download MultiBit by
going here, the options on offer are Windows, Linux or Mac based clients. After installing the client you will be presented with a screen that looks something like this:
Confirmation and Fees This translates
into a charge of around 5.5 US cents at current prices. Due to Bitcoin’s persistently high exchange rate, the minimum fee will be cut tenfold to 0.00001 BTC or 0.55 of a US cent soon. As of March 1 2014, the minimum bitcoin fee is 0.0001.
All Bitcoin transactions need to
be included in a public ledger known as the blockchain. Because of this, btc transactions need a certain amount of time to both be included in the blockchain and then to propagate around the network. This time is measured in ‘’confirmations’’. This is a somewhat complicated subject, you can learn more about this process by going here.
How many confirmations should you
wait for? Taking into account the fact that a transaction with 6 confirmations can take up to an hour to propagate around the network, for smaller amounts it is recommended to use 1 or even 0 confirmations. For very small bitcoin payments, like purchasing a cup of coffee for example, a payment can be considered as confirmed as soon as it is seen on the network.
Take your time and download
MultiBit or one of the other bitcoin clients here. All of this probably seems complicated and a bit overwhelming to someone who is new to bitcoin.