Accepting And Using Bitcoin In Your Business
While many online and brick-and-mortar shops and businesses have added Bitcoin to their payment options, it’s still not as widespread as the Bitcoin community would like it to be. Most business owners still prefer traditional payment methods as they simply don’t know enough about Bitcoin and what they’d get out of adding it to their business.
Many don’t trust Bitcoin and its volatility. They’re probably thinking that with such volatile changes in the dollar-bitcoin exchange rates, they would probably end up losing their profits. This fear is understandable, but there have been so many innovations nowadays that this really isn’t a concern at all.
After all, many well-known companies like Microsoft, Overstock, Expedia, Wikipedia, WordPress.com, Shopify, and so much more, are already accepting Bitcoin payments.
Online And Offline Businesses Can Accept Bitcoin Payments
Just because Bitcoin is a virtual currency that is electronic in nature doesn’t mean that offline shops can’t take advantage of receiving bitcoin payments. For online shops, you can integrate payment processors such as Stripe, Coinbase, Braintree, and more, into your e-commerce site’s checkout page.
For offline shops, you can choose from Bitcoin terminals or Point-Of-Sale apps such as XBTerminal, Coinify or Coingate. You can also print out QR codes that your customers can scan with their mobile wallets and easily pay you in bitcoins.
Once your bitcoin wallet is set up, all you have to do is announce to the whole world you’re ready to accept Bitcoin payments!
How To Handle The Volatility Of Bitcoin
The thought of losing your profits and essentially giving away your merchandise for free to your customers is one scary thought as you can quickly go bankrupt if all your customers paid in bitcoin.
At one point in time it may have been true, but with Bitcoin payment processors like Coinbase and BitPay, it’s now possible to receive your payments in bitcoin and have it instantly converted to US dollars or any other supported currency. This way you avoid all the risks associated with bitcoin and receive the full dollar amount you’re supposed to receive.
To illustrate, if your customer pays you $100 worth of bitcoin for a pair of jeans, then you’re going to receive exactly $100 in your bank account. The payment gateway you use, for example BitPay, will shield you from bitcoin’s volatility so you always get the full dollar amount.
For the more enterprising business owners who can handle Bitcoin’s unpredictability, the opportunity to make even more profit from the bitcoins they’ve been paid with might be irresistible.
If you belong to this category, you would probably choose to keep your bitcoins in your digital wallets, and forego the use of a payment processor who will automatically convert your bitcoins to dollars.
Why Your Business Should Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments
Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in response to the 2008 financial market crash which almost crippled the entire global economy. He created it to solve or overcome the problems we have with having a centralized banking system that benefited banks more than they did consumers.
Just think about the bank fees you have to pay everytime someone pays you for your product or service. Deposit fees, withdrawal fees, transaction fees, credit card fees, and all sorts of fees are deducted from your hard-earned money.
Bitcoin’s purpose was to avoid all that, and this peer-to-peer electronic cash system was Satoshi Nakamoto’s solution to the problem. The system was created essentially so that everyone gets what is due them without the unnecessary intervention of banks and government.
The Benefits Of Bitcoin Payments For Your Business
There are plenty of benefits for your business if you choose to start accepting bitcoin payments. Here are some of them:
No Risk Of Chargebacks
Paypal, credit and debit card payments leave your business vulnerable to chargebacks. Most, if not all, businesses (both online and offline merchants) have probably experienced this problem at one point or another. Dealing with a chargeback is a headache-inducing and time-consuming process.
Your customers can claim to not recognize the charge on their card statements, or their card was stolen and somebody else used it to buy from you, or they’re upset that your merchandise was not as described or it was defective.
Some people simply like to do chargebacks because they want to get an item for free, especially if it’s a high-value item. Of course, this is a very unethical thing to do, but you can’t predict your customers’ behaviors.
With Bitcoin payments, there is zero risk of chargebacks because all payments, once it has been confirmed, are final. There is no way for anyone, not even the savviest and smartest programmers in the world, can reverse or undo a bitcoin transaction.
Bitcoin payments offer merchant protection that is unparalleled by any other payment option available today. No bank and no government can give you the level of merchant protection that Bitcoin does.
No Fraud And Double Payments
The Bitcoin network is an extremely secure payment system. Unlike banks, Bitcoin is incorruptible. Before Bitcoin came along, double payments and fraud were a very real problem with digital cash but luckily, thanks to the efforts of Satoshi Nakamoto, the problem of double spending was finally solved.
Bitcoin is a decentralized, peer-to-peer payment system. Everyone on the network sees all the bitcoin transactions that have ever taken place. This transparency makes it difficult for fraudsters to fake records so they can spend the same amount of bitcoins twice or double spend it.
This massive ledger, also known as the blockchain, keeps a record of all transactions. A transaction is only added to a block once it has been confirmed or verified by miners that the transaction is valid.
Near Instant Payments
Bitcoin payments are fast, irrevocable and final. There’s no way for anyone to undo any bitcoin transaction. As long you indicate the correct bitcoin address for your customers to pay into, you’re good to go, and your bitcoins will arrive in your wallet usually within 10-45 minutes.
Using the correct bitcoin address is obviously a very important point to consider because if by any chance, you present the wrong bitcoin address, then there’s no way for you to recover those bitcoins. Unless of course, you know who owns that bitcoin address, then you can simply ask them to send those bitcoins to your correct address.
Another upside to using payment gateways like Coinbase and BitPay is that you can receive your cash in your bank accounts within 2-3 days. These services usually send payments every business day (not everytime a transaction occurs).
Alternatively, if you want to keep your bitcoins, that is, you don’t want to convert them to dollars, then that’s perfectly fine. You can select this option in your payment gateway settings. Either way, you’re going to get your bitcoins or your dollars very conveniently and in less time than if the customer paid with Paypal or a credit card.
Negligible Transaction Fees
With bitcoin payments, you get to keep more of what your customer pays you. You effectively cut out the middleman (your bank) with their expensive fees. You will still need to pay a very small bitcoin transaction fee which goes to the miners who verify all bitcoin transactions and add it to the ledger or blockchain.
This transaction fee is almost negligible and is a mere equivalent to cents, unlike the fees your bank or credit card company requires you to pay!
For credit card payments, merchants are usually charged an interchange fee (paid to the bank or card issuer) and an assessment fee (paid to the credit card company such as Visa or Mastercard). On average, these fees will end up costing the merchant around 3% to 4% per transaction.
In comparison, for bitcoin transactions, the fees are typically around 10,000 Satoshis or 0.0001 bitcoin. You’re free to set your own fees, but the higher the transaction fee you set per transaction, the faster bitcoin miners will confirm your transaction.
For a $1,000 credit card payment, the fees that merchants have to pay would be around $30 to $40. For a similar purchase amount paid for in bitcoin, the transaction fee would roughly be around $1 if the current bitcoin price is say, for example, $10,000 per bitcoin ($10,000 x 0.0001 = $1).
You can already see just by this example that bitcoin transactions will save you a lot of money just in transaction fees. Imagine how much you will get to save if you’re able to sell your $1,000 product just 10 times a day or 100 times a day!
Increased Sales And More Profit For You
Bitcoin doesn’t discriminate where anyone comes from. Even if your customer lives in a country known for credit card fraud, in Bitcoin’s eyes everyone is equal. If you’ve ever tried to accept payments from customers in these countries, you know just how difficult and cumbersome the entire process is.
Paypal, Stripe and other popular payment gateways don’t accept or support many countries with high prevalence of fraud. But with Bitcoin, you can easily accept payments from anyone who lives anywhere in the world. All they need to pay you is just your bitcoin address!
They don’t need to send their photos and national ID cards, so your customers’ privacy is well protected. And as you already know, all bitcoin transactions are final, so there’s no way for any of your customers to do a chargeback like they easily can with a credit card.
Bitcoin makes the world a smaller and better place. It erases borders, government red tape, and bureaucracy. It allows merchants and business owners like you to receive payments from customers who are unfortunate enough to live in countries with a high fraud rate.
Bitcoin protects you and your business. At the same time, it allows you to provide your service and your products to everyone in the whole world.
Adding Bitcoin to your list of supported payments will give your customers an extra choice to hand over their money to you. Even if they don’t have bitcoins yet, they might eventually get into the game sooner or later.
And when they do, they’ll remember you and recommend you to their friends. Even existing customers will be happy to know you’ve added Bitcoin payments.
If you’re one of the few businesses in your community that accepts Bitcoin payments, then you’re probably going to become popular because you’ll be viewed as an innovative and forward-thinking business.
Many people have heard about Bitcoin on the news, and many would have developed a passing interest or have begun to become curious about bitcoins and cryptocurrency in general. You can educate your customers and let them know what Bitcoin is and how it will help them in their financial transactions.
Think about it, would you rather be one of the first businesses to offer Bitcoin payments and steal your competitor’s customers in the process? Or would you rather have your customers go to your competition simply because they offer Bitcoin payments, and you don’t?
Get Support From The Bitcoin Community
The Bitcoin community is growing fast, and with skyrocketing bitcoin prices, they are looking for places where they can spend their bitcoins. A number of big companies have added Bitcoin to their payment options, but a great majority of businesses have yet to follow suit. So when the Bitcoin community discovers a new business that supports bitcoin, they share the news with everyone. That’s free advertisement for your business, and you can expect them to drop by your website or physical store anytime soon.
To get sufficient exposure to the Bitcoin community, you can spread the news on social media, in Bitcoin forums, pages, groups, etc. If you have a physical store, you should also put a large signboard outside that will announce to anyone passing by that you’re accepting Bitcoin payments.
Growing your business doesn’t have to be difficult. Accepting Bitcoin payments will not only make your business popular among the Bitcoin community, but it will also lead to more sales and more profits for you.