Here at BoostSuite we accept payment for our paid subscription plans from multiple credit card providers. But all of our customers pay us in US dollars via one of our major credit card issuers: Discover, Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.
Another currency type – Bitcoin – is gaining popularity and causing us to consider accepting a different type of payment from our customers. Neil shares his perspective on BitCoin and how any business can take advantage of this trend in automated online payments.
Why Accept Bitcoin As A Payment Method For Your Business?
In the off chance you have been living under a rock for the last two years, a new way to accept payment has become very mainstream recently, and this is crypto currencies the father of which is Bitcoin.
Crypto currencies are a decentralized method of payment, usually online based, using cryptography to secure and control the transactions. Unlike a bank, these currencies don’t belong to a certain country (hence decentralized) meaning they have quickly become popular within certain groups of people.
One of the largest of these groups is the technophiles, a group which makes up a very large part of the online market. The unfortunate truth at the moment is that not many online retailers (or services) currently accept Bitcoin as a payment method, most opting for PayPal or an onsite payment method.
We recently released a blog post which found that the payment methods you offer, will effect if a customer buys from you; the most important message from that post was that you are limiting yourself by not offering every payment method. So let’s look at addressing this issue “Why should you offer Bitcoin as a payment method?”
Firstly, What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin might sound scary and complex, but it’s actually very simple. The team over at WeUseCoins put together a great explainer video that gives a good introduction to Bitcoin. It explains everything in simple-to-understand terms.
Advantages Of Bitcoin
The biggest advantage of Bitcoin for you is that it is decentralized. This means that it offers the users anonymity, which in the current world of surveillance is a really big plus. An important thing to note here is that not everyone who wants anonymity has something to hide, some people just feel it’s a basic human right to not have every detail of their private life known by the government. Your transactions are private, and not tracked, which means that you don’t feel like you live in a world right out of 1984.
Due to not belonging to a specific country, Bitcoin transactions aren’t taxed, and have much lower fees than alternatives such as paypal. You have to declare it as an income if you transfer it between centralized currencies, but if you keep it decentralized you can’t pay tax on it, because no one actually owns it (apart from you). If you started to accept Bitcoin payments, you could then use your Bitcoins to pay in Bitcoins to other people who accept Bitcoins and everyone is happy! Except for the banks, but who cares about them right?
Bitcoin is also a very safe currency. Despite the best efforts of banks to convince you that decentralized currencies fund crime (no one has ever used a centralized currency to fund crime, right?), it’s a currency which will make dealing with fraud a lot easier. One of the best aspects of Bitcoin is that it is held on a wallet on your personal computer, and unless someone has access to your personal computer, it’s almost impossible to steal.
No one knows how much you have stored on your computer (not even the banks), and it can’t be frozen. The days of worrying about online fraud, people coming into your shop and stealing from your cash register, or Nigerian bankers gaining access to your entire savings account are long gone if you start to accept crypto currency payments. You also don’t have to worry about your money losing value very quickly overnight, due to very little hyperinflation. The country’scurrency is collapsing? No problem I’ll pay you in Bitcoin!
Our personal favourite advantage of using Bitcoin is that it is both fast and mobile. You can download apps allowing you to transfer it from your mobile device, as long as you have Internet (which is like everywhere on this planet!). It’s also very fast to transfer.
Although cash is also fast, you can’t transfer physical notes online, and sometimes PayPal can freeze your account (or withhold funds) a problem which Bitcoin doesn’t have to face. Oh, and you can basically print your own money. Yes Bitcoin is mined using computers (just like the one I’m typing this on!) which means that you can quite literally make your own cash. Although it’s becoming more difficult (as only a limited amount of Bitcoin is available) there are other crypto currencies which can be mined and held until the value of them rises.
Should I Accept Bitcoin As A Payment Method?
It might not be 100 percent right for you to offer Bitcoin as a payment method (depending on the business you are in) but if you have technophiles regularly visit your website, then there is no harm in accepting payment in it.
As a tech company we personally do accept Bitcoin and would be more than happy to help you understand why you should also consider making this change.
The main take home message here is that offering more payment methods is never a bad thing, and the benefits of Bitcoin mean it should certainly be one of the first ones you think to offer.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community