Bitcoin (BTC) is emerging as a new payment option for businesses. Business owners can circumvent broker processing times and transaction fees by accepting cryptocurrency from consumers around the world.
You will also join a number of other companies that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, such as Overstock.com, Shopify, Expedia and Microsoft.
But the relatively new one of this payment option may have raised some questions. Should you accept Bitcoin? How do I start? How do I exchange Bitcoins for hard currency? How do you protect your business from the crypt volatility?
These are all common questions. Before entering the step-by-step guide on accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, let's start looking at the benefits.
Benefits of accepting Bitcoin for companies
It can be shocking how intermediaries, such as financial institutions, can positively influence profits. The following are three big reasons to start accepting Bitcoin for your business.
Transaction fees from low to none
Bitcoin is supported by blockchain technology that enables decentralized peer-to-peer transactions. This makes the transaction fees much lower or non-existent as governments and financial institutions are not getting their cut.
Traditional processing is costing companies $ 0.25 per transaction authenticated by the pin, according to the Federal Reserve. Exchange fees for exempt transactions can go up to $ 0.51.
Not having these taxes can increase annually for your business. This makes Bitcoin's acceptance highly attractive for business owners
If you accept credit cards, you know the chargeback costs all too well, especially if you have an e-commerce site. Bitcoin picks up chargebacks from the table. Every transaction on the blockchain is irreversible, so once payment is received, the money is all yours.
Did you know that chargebacks amounted to 1.47 percent of a company's annual turnover? With a free payment option with a chargeback transaction, you can get decent online earnings.
Accepting Bitcoin can lead to more customers
An increasing number of consumers are making purchases using Bitcoin. A group of consumers, in particular, are the Millennials. Research by Urban Airship found that 67% of the digital wallet comes from Millennials. Closely followed by Generation X with 51 percent.
Why is this important? Well, Millennials are going to become the biggest population, which means they will be the largest group of consumers.
By accepting Bitcoin as a payment, you are providing for a large portion of the population that wants to use the digital currency to pay for goods and services. This is creating your company for exponential growth for years to come.
There are a number of other reasons why accepting Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is beneficial to companies. There are smart contracts, guaranteed payments, ID verification and more. But now that you know why, let's talk about the HOW!
How to accept Bitcoin for your business
To accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for your business, you will need to register for an account with a merchant processing and exchange service. It is important to do some research to ensure that these services are reliable and will keep your earnings safe.
For example, CoinPayments is a service that makes Bitcoin's acceptance easy. This service offers a full range of business functions, such as e-commerce plug-ins, Point of Sale (POS) interface, invoice builder and more.
After registering with CoinPayments, you should create an account with Uphold, a digital wallet that allows you to purchase, send and receive both fiat and cryptocurrencies.
To do a little online search from your to-do list, you can follow this step by step method using CoinPayments and Uphold.
After clicking on the "Start" button, enter the information required to set up your account.
You will then be asked to verify your email address.
This will lead you to the completion of the registration process. Then click "Sign In Here" to complete the 2-step verification.
Go to your email and copy / paste the verification code to continue.
Now it's time to set up your account. You can choose between two options: "Merchant" or "Portfolio". Choose "Portfolio" to accept the cryptocurrency as payment for your business.
So, choose the types of cryptocurrency you wish to accept. The "recommended" option is the best choice until you feel more comfortable with this new payment method for your business.
Now select the coins you wish to accept as payment.
Bitcoin is an obvious choice. It is a good idea to choose coins currently popular choices for payment. For example Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. Once you have selected the coins you have chosen, you have other options.
The payment method is the first option. Here you can choose how and where to get your payments. The simplest would be "Balancing". The next one is "Discount". Here you can choose to give your customers a discount by paying for products or services in cryptocurrency. And finally, the maximum value per transaction in the chosen currency.
Next, update your preferences by scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking on the "Update Coin Options" button.
Your coin preferences will be updated and you will be ready to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for your business. Now, before you exit the CoinPayments dashboard, you need to let your customers know that you're accepting digital currencies as payment.
Shopping Cart Plugin
From the merchant's dashboard, select "Other" and "Merchant Tools" to get started.
This will take you to a number of important business functions for your new Bitcoin payment method.
Select the shopping cart plug-in option.
Here you will get a nice list of 27 plug-ins for purchases to choose from.
Let's say you like WooCommerce. They have a zero confirmation setup and a video tutorial to help you get started with the plugin.
Click download to start setting up this shopping cart plug-in from the WordPress.org website. Once integrated into your payment pages, your customers can checkout with cryptocurrency.
Next, let everyone know that you are accepting the cryptocurrency by adding CoinPayments buttons anywhere. This could be on your homepage and certainly on all your product or service pages.
CoinPayments has three button options: simple, advanced and cart.
You can even customize buttons using item descriptions, tax amount and invoices.
The buttons have this appearance:
Now you have your business all set to start accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (if you have chosen). Your customers can find many payment buttons on your website and you have integrated a cart for the encryption method via the plugin.
What's next? Well, now that you can accept Bitcoin, you'll have to turn it into cold money to pay sellers, employees and your Internet bill!
How do you do this? Great question, and it's actually as easy as setting up your business to accept Bitcoin. It's time to link your CoinPayments account with Uphold to turn your digital coins into fiat currency.
Get the Fiat currency with Uphold
Uphold is a cryptocurrency platform that supports 34 currencies, including Bitcoin. To turn your Bitcoin into fiat currency like USD, you must first sign up for a Uphold account and link it to your CoinPayments account.
How to register
First, go to the Uphold homepage and sign up for an account.
Fill in the necessary details and select "Next".
In just two quick steps, you will receive a verification email.
Once you have registered and verified via e-mail and SMS confirmation code (2-step verification), you will be redirected to your new Uphold dashboard. Here you will choose the currencies you wish to accept and also where you will convert the cryptocurrency into the fiat currency of your choice.
Bitcoin exchange in Fiat currency
Once you have Bitcoin in your CoinPayments account ready for conversion into USD, go to your Uphold dashboard and select "USD Card".
This will send you to your USD Card dashboard. To add funds to your USD card from your Bitcoin CoinPayments wallet, select "Add funds" in the upper right corner.
Now choose "Fund with cryptocurrency or utility currency".
Then select "Bitcoin (BTC)."
This will generate a single cryptographic address that will be inserted into the CoinPayments withdrawal screen.
Next, log in to your CoinPayments account and log in to your digital wallet. Then select "BTC Options" and click "Send / Get".
Fill out the information in the CoinPayments withdrawal screen and copy it into the cryptographic key address you received from Uphold.
Your Bitcoin will be traveling to your USD Uphold card, available to deposit it to your bank account. But there's only one more pass, sending your USD to your bank account.
Send currency from the USD card to your bank account
Once your Bitcoin has been converted to USD (or the fiat currency of your choice), click on your USD Uphold card and select "Use funds" and then "Send to bank account".
If you have not yet linked your bank account with your Uphold account, you will be asked to do so.
Just enter your bank details, link accounts and voila! Your USD, which was once Bitcoin is now in your bank account ready to pay bills, take a vacation or expand your business.
Start accepting Bitcoin today!
Accepting cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, as a form of payment for your business opens new doors to business. Millennial-type consumers are already buying items exclusively from companies that accept cryptocurrency. You can simply create a new customer base in just a few simple steps.
The great news is that you can accept Bitcoin and turn it into the fiat currency of your choice using only two online platforms. The ease of use and fast exchange do not even slow down the workflow. Are you ready to bring your company into the future?
This is a guest post created by Nick Rojas. He combines 20 years of work experience and consulting for small and medium-sized businesses and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick does not share his experience, he can be found spending time on the beach with his dog Presto.