How to Accept Bitcoin Payments

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How to Accept Bitcoin Payments for Your Store? With this in mind, here is our guide to accepting bitcoin in a physical store.

One issue holding bitcoin back from wider adoption is the lack of businesses that accept the bitcoin currency as payment. This is a chicken-and-egg problem. If more businesses had the ability to Accept Bitcoin Payments, it might encourage consumers to start obtaining and spending it, and vice versa.

Person-to-person payments

The easiest way to accept bitcoin payments is in-person, simply by getting your customer to send the correct amount of bitcoin (BTC) to your digital wallet. This is similar to thinking of it as a cash-in-hand payment.

A customer of Burger Bear, which uses a simple QR code system to accept bitcoin payment

This can be done via many smartphone apps, such as the Bitcoin Wallet app by Andreas Schildbach, on Android. There are also options available on the Windows Phone app store for users of that OS.

Some months ago, Apple removed all bitcoin wallet apps from its App Store. However, on 2nd June, the company rescinded this policy, once again paving the way for wallet apps on iOS devices. These are already starting to appear, with Blockchain, Coinbase and others apps now available. We can expect many more to arrive in coming months too.

Another alternative is CoinBox which is specifically designed for merchants wanting a straightforward option to receive payments. In these scenarios, the merchant enters the price of an item or service into the phone, which then presents a QR code containing the amount to be paid and the address the funds are sent to. The customer scans the QR code with their bitcoin wallet app and the payment is sent.

All of these simple systems are ideal for small businesses testing bitcoin acceptance or for those doing odd-jobs for small amounts. Businesses which are larger in scale will likely look into a dedicated solution that fits in with their existing POS systems.

Merchant bitcoin point-of-sale (POS) solutions

There is also a growing number of commerce-specific options that aim to streamline the process of taking bitcoin payments. The following services offer a variety of POS solutions for merchants, both online and off.

Coinify

Coinify, a Danish firm that acquired BIPS and Coinzone, offers POS solutions for both brick-and-mortar and online stores. Merchants can get paid in bitcoin or fiat currency – or a mixture of the two – and its mobile app, Coinify POS, works with both Android and iOS devices.

For online sellers, Coinify offers various integration tools, such as payment buttons, shopping cart plugins or hosted invoicing.

CoinKite

CoinKite is a new startup that offers a bitcoin payment terminal looking exactly like the over-the-counter chip-and-PIN terminals we are so used to using in stores today. This handset reads a bitcoin-based debit card, also offered by CoinKite. The handsets can also serve as a bitcoin and litecoin ATM, as well as offer the option to print QR codes for customers to scan with their smartphone apps.

CoinBase

Coinbase is another payment processor that provides a point of sale app (Android) for brick-and-mortar retailers. While it currently only supports US bank accounts as a funding source, it offers extensive e-commerce support. Not only does it offer an HTML code segment for easily inserting payment buttons into your website, but it also provides plugins for WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, and ZenCart.

BitPay

BitPay is an international payments processor for businesses and charities. It is integrated into the SoftTouch POS system for bricks-and-mortar retail stores. However, BitPay has an API which could be implemented into any other POS system with some coding work. BitPay has various tariffs that merchants can subscribe to, enabling features such as using the service on a custom domain (for online stores), exporting transactions to QuickBooks, etc.

Blockchain Merchant

Blockchain has also produced a merchant app for Android devices. Blockchain Merchant promises instant transactions, 0% fees on payments and it has multiple linguistic versions for use around the world.

Revel

Revel Systems offers a range of POS solutions for quick-service restaurants, self-service kiosks, grocery stores, and retail outlets, among other merchants. POS packages start at $3,000 plus a monthly fee for an iPad, cash drawer and scanner.” It was recently announced that Revel will also include bitcoin as a method of payment in its POS software.

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