I have re-written this post three times now, this being the third. The issue of contention is forgetting the audience. If you don’t know anything about bitcoin, this post will introduce you to bitcoin payment processors in three minutes. In this day and age, we believe three minutes are all we can take of your time. So this is a very light survey of bitcoin payment processors, with an uninitiated public in mind.
3 minutes … Go!
Bitcoin is internet money. It has been around since 2009, and it hasn’t died yet. In fact its use case is increasing. It is being adopted by large companies such as Dell, Overstock, Expedia, and even the Nasdaq stock exchange. Banks are now exploring how they can profit from it, while businesses have been transacting in it for the past couple years. Anyone can send or receive bitcoin by downloading a wallet, and anyone can acquire bitcoin through a variety of ways.
Payment processors [companies that facilitate bitcoin transactions on behalf of merchants] have been trying to come up with ways to make it very easy to accept bitcoin payments for products and services. In fact, these companies have made using bitcoin as easy as checking your email. BitPay is one such service, of many, that has made great efforts to create an online experience for accepting bitcoin very simple and straight forward. Users can login to an online account to access graphs, settings, and accounting details that are presented in an easy to read format. Those familiar with accessing their Facebook account will be comfortable with the BitPay interface.
Payment processors are making it extremely easy to accept bitcoin online for goods and services. Merchants are ultimately going to benefit from these developments because it brings down payment processing overhead. Using bitcoin is less expensive than credit cards, there are no charge-backs, and the merchant doesn’t need to keep customer credit card information secure. There are still some drawbacks to using bitcoin for commerce, such as the confirmation time [this is the time it takes to authorize/verify payments]. Credit cards still win this race.
However, the possibilities bitcoin presents are too powerful to ignore. What bitcoin offers in the way of improving customer experience while cutting business costs, will soon graduate it from a payment alternative to a payment standard. And as the aim of payment processors is to make transacting with bitcoin very easy, issues can still pop up. Many people still have trouble using email let alone a new service designed to make our lives easier. For those wanting some support along the way, complete a merchant registration form with BIGbtc to get more information and to ask some questions. BIGbtc can help with integration questions, customer service issues that may arise from accepting bitcoin payments, or basic questions like what is this whole thing about. Whichever way you discover bitcoin, ask some questions along the way because the benefits are well worth your consideration.
Disclaimer: This has been read out loud within three minutes. But it may have taken a couple tries…
The comments above are not intended to be taken as an endorsement of any company or service. BIGbtc has no contract nor affiliation with any company mentioned in this post, unless explicitly credited. For clarity and understanding many technical concepts have been heavily generalized, and may conflict with current consensus in their general form, but the intention is to offer basic understanding, which may or may not be at the expense of technical correctness. Attribution for claims made above may be available upon request.
Toby Algya – VP, US Payments & Integration – BIGbtc.us