Bitcoin: Where Do Payment Processors Stand?

Bitcoin has frequently been the topic of discussion in the financial and payments industry.  Although the anonymous virtual currency has long been associated with the black market and fraud, the reputation for bitcoin has changed in recent years.  Today, accepting bitcoin for goods and services is an opportunity for all kinds of merchants and many are taking advantage.  Now, payment processors are presented with the challenge of adapting to the new currency and creating their own solutions for merchants who want to accept it.

What are the benefits to merchants?

Accepting bitcoin can actually be a faster and cheaper alternative to traditional payment methods.  Merchants both in brick and mortar store fronts and online can accept bitcoins with very low transaction fees and practically no settlement wait time.  With bitcoin, no personal identity is attached to the funds being exchanged so there is no way for hackers to steal personal data from transactions.  Also, there is no chance for chargebacks when it comes to bitcoin payments, as the exchange is final and confirmed on the blockchain.

What’s available now?

Today, there are a number of processors available for merchants to use to accept bitcoins as payment.  Here are just some of the most popular names in bitcoin acceptance solutions:

With every processor, merchant and transaction fees vary.  Some of these processors, like Moolah, offer point of sale equipment options like tablets and/or terminals that can accept credit cards as well as bitcoin payments.  Even without a dedicated POS hardware option, merchants can accept bitcoins using mobile apps that generate QR codes for the consumer to scan and use to pay.

Some business have opted for the completely free Block Chain API to accept bitcoin which allows them keep the coins they receive instead of exchanging them for fiat currency.  With the API, merchants can avoid any registration and avoid the risk of changing exchange rates by exchanging only when they want to.

What do merchants want?

Today’s merchants are looking for POS solutions that allow them to meet all of the needs of their consumers as well enhance the convenience in processing payments.  With a POS solution that allows them to accept bitcoins merchants have the opportunity to avoid missing out on sales. It’s important that a payment processing solution that accepts bitcoin can accommodate a merchant’s unique business and the products and services they provide.

Business owners are always interested in robust processing that allows them to analyze sales and other reports.  If processors plan to offer bitcoin payment acceptance, they should also ensure that they’re allowing merchants to analyze what consumers are paying for and how.

Is bitcoin worth the investment?

Although less than 1% of the population uses bitcoin, the demographic is definitely growing.  Because the people who choose to use bitcoin are such a niche group, they are appreciative of the business who make the commitment to accepting the currency.  These consumers are likely to become very loyal to businesses who accommodate their payment preferences and often view these businesses as leaders.  Although accepting bitcoin will not significantly impact a business’ income in the immediate future, making the adjustment now is a great way to get ahead of an innovative shift in commerce.  Payment service providers can impress their merchants now by offering a bitcoin solution that will give them the opportunity to show a dedication to progression.

in Industry News, Technology

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