Are you considering accepting Bitcoin at your business? Here’s what you need to know.
What are Bitcoins?
As merchants continue to develop their online shopping experience for customers, the demand for secure, widely accepted digital currency has grown.
Since 2013, when Bitcoin charged into the currency trade with its astonishing €1,242 exchange rate, the push for merchants (both brick-and-mortar and eCommerce) to accept the crypto-currency has increased.
Bitcoins are considered speculation currency. The value is determined by the amount people are willing to trade for them–a gambler’s bet that the value will remain the same, or with luck, increase.
What benefits are there for merchants who accept them?
Perhaps the biggest draw for merchants who accept Bitcoin, other than as a convenience to customers, is the fact that Bitcoin transactions are non-reversible.
For eCommerce merchants or any other merchant who is struggling to deal with chargebacks, this has huge implications. Non-reversible transactions mean no handling chargebacks, no loss of revenue, no hassle. International transactions, typically prone to higher rates of criminal fraud, can be processed without the risk of fraud via Bitcoin.
Should I start accepting Bitcoin?
If you’re trying to offer your customers another form of payment, Bitcoin is widely growing in popularity among consumers and would be a savvy way of letting your customers know you’re up on the latest technology advancements.
If you deal in international sales or are in a market that relies on being current with the times, Bitcoin is an effective way to offer your customers a reliable payment method
Are there risks to accepting Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is effective at eliminating the risk of criminal fraud, due to their non-reversible policy. However, the process of accepting Bitcoin is more complex than other forms of currency.
While the transaction may be secure, the rate of currency is not, meaning the value of the Bitcoin may change. Although the rate has remained relatively stable since 2014, the potential for fluctuation exists, leaving merchants in the uncomfortable position of needing to convert Bitcoin to traditional currency to ensure their revenue.
Payment processors can convert the crypto-currency into easily accessible funds, but the process may incur additional fees or require selling the currency on digital markets – one more step for merchants to deal with.
The addition of digital currency to payment options has provided merchants with another means of securing their revenue. While it may remove the necessity of dealing with chargebacks or chargeback representment, it doesn’t remove the risk of fraud involved with other forms of payment.
Rather than relying on the currency, merchants must engage in a comprehensive, systematic method of identifying and reducing their risk of chargebacks.