While Bitcoin still may not be a common form of payment, it’s been growing in popularity a lot over the last couple of years and definitely isn’t going anywhere. You can even get virtual wallets now to store your bitcoin in. If you run an ecommerce site, you may have been wondering if it’s worth incorporating bitcoin as a payment option and how to do it. As with all forms of payments there are some risks and also benefits. Let’s start with the positive.
Why You Might Want to Accept Bitcoin on Your Website
Despite the impression that most people have, Bitcoin payments are actually extremely secure and every transaction is recorded. Bitcoin is much more secure than credit cards actually – as a merchant you won’t have to deal with fraud or chargebacks from disgruntled customers.
Low transaction fees
Another plus for bitcoin payments is their extremely low transaction fees. Again, when you compare what you will pay per transaction for bitcoin payments versus credit cards, bitcoin comes out on top.
Receive your cash faster
Bitcoin also pays out a lot quicker than credit cards, which means you get your money faster. This can be really handy for managing cash flow.
It’s a global currency
This is particularly nice if you sell in countries that credit card companies typically don’t accept payments from due to high amounts of fraud
If the nature of your business means that your customers value their privacy, this is much better than credit cards which require a lot of information for verification
The Downsides of Accepting Bitcoin
One negative is that the value of bitcoin fluctuates a lot. You could end up losing money on a transaction if the value drops sharply and quickly. But the flipside is true as well, you could end up coming out ahead.
Lack of regulations
Because it’s not regulated, this can make it hard to know if you are properly complying with your country or state’s laws around accepting payments. However, as it is becoming more commonplace more governments are catching up and including bitcoin in compliance documentation. This will vary from place to place, so please look up information that is specific to your state or country.
Most of your customers won’t use it – yet
Although more folks use bitcoin than ever before, it’s unlikely that anything but a small minority of your customers will actually want to pay with it at this time. Sometimes being an early adopter of new technologies can be a boon, but I wouldn’t scrap your credit card payments just yet.
It does require some technical skill
You can integrate bitcoin payments into almost all major ecommerce platforms (I go over some gateways below), it will require some technical skill to get set up with. Luckily there are web professionals out there that you can hire to help you (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
Payment Gateways that Allow You to Integrate Bitcoin Payments
The gateways below work across all major ecommerce platforms including WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, and more.
- Coinbase Commerce – accepts bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
- BitPay – really popular and relatively easy to integrate with most platforms
- CoinPayments – supports over 1800 different cryptocurrencies
- GoCoin – supports bitcoin, litecoin, and ethereum
- Spectrocoin – this gateway currently supports more than 20 kinds of cryptocurrency
This is just a short list, there are plenty of cryptocurrency gateways out there and more cropping up all the time. Which one is best for your business will ultimately come down to your ecommerce platform, your customers, and the developer who installs and helps maintain it for you.
The Best Way To Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments: Hire Professional Help
Speaking of installing & maintaining a payment gateway…I definitely advocate for hiring an experienced web developer to help you integrate bitcoin payments to your website if that’s something you want to do. I know that probably sounds extremely biased coming from a developer, but honestly it’s the best way to start accepting bitcoin on your website. It will save you hours of frustration that you can put back into doing what you do best: running your business.