A quick journey down the Google rabbit hole will show you an ever-growing list of products and services that you can buy with bitcoin. A smartphone, a watch, a brand new Tesla, how about a remote farmhouse in Norway found on Techopedia? You can even buy yourself an original painting or a six month course in machine learning or 100 spins on a casino slot game.
The list goes on, and it gets longer every day, so it is little wonder that more and more merchants in the US and beyond are asking themselves if they should join in the fray. That in itself is a question we could discuss for an hour, but as we want to get on and look at payment processors, let’s simply say that there are more pros than cons to accepting crypto payments, for both you and your customers.
The importance of a good payment processor
Of course, there are several provisos and caveats to that sweeping statement, one of which is that you must have the right payment processor on board. It is easy to over-complicate anything to do with crypto, and some people make a career of doing exactly that. But when looking for a payment processor, there are four fundamental things you want from it:
- Fast transactions
- Low costs
- Top security
- Ease of use
Even crypto-sceptic regulators like the FCA acknowledge that crypto inherently has all of the first three properties, so it is more a case of ensuring that nothing the payment processor does has an adverse effect on these “golden metrics” and that it adds convenience and user friendliness to the equation.
Top crypto payment processors
Let’s check out some of the top rated processors and see how they stack up against one another and against those metrics we mentioned above.
- BitPay – the most popular choice
The most commonly used crypto gateway, and the choice of big hitters like Microsoft and PayPal, BitPay makes it simple for online sellers to accept cryptocurrency payments. It is simple to integrate into ecommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, OpenCart, Drupa and several other using simple open source plugins. The buyer pays in cryptocurrency at a locked-in exchange rate, and the merchant can then convert the payment into local currency for withdrawal the next business day. BitPay charges a flat one percent fee on each transaction.
- CoinGate – the number one challenger
Another popular choice,the CoinGate offering is very similar to BitPay. It can be integrated with the same ecommerce solutions and charges the same transaction fees. Various comparisons have been run between the two, and on balance, sellers tend to find BitPay easier to use and set up, but once it is up and running, they find CoinGate easier to administer.
- Stripe – a handy full stack solution
This internationally recognized payment processor handles both fiat and crypto payments. In other words, if you need a full-stack solution for credit card payments and so on as well as crypto, then it is well worth considering.
- BitHide – the gateway of choice for casinos and brokers
Where customer privacy and anonymity are the prime concern, BitHide is a compelling choice. It allows you to accept and manage payments in a range of cryptocurrencies while preserving the anonymity of clients. Today, many online casinos in the US accept Bitcoin (see www.gamblingsites.com/banking/cryptocurrency/ for more information) and this is just one example of a growing sector that takes confidentiality and user information very seriously.
- Coin Payments is a low cost solution
Another relatively new name on the list of providers, Coin Paymentsis getting a lot of attention for its lightning fast processing and its low transaction fees. It’s ideal if you are comfortable dealing in crypto and do not necessarily with to exchange the funds for local currency. Under those circumstances, Coin Payments will see to it that the payment arrives in your business’s digital wallet almost instantly and will only charge 0.5 percent per transaction. It has prebuilt plugins for all the usual ecommerce platforms and useful tools such as a mobile app, point of sale tool and invoice builder. It works with Bitcoin and all the popular altcoins.
Accepting crypto payments – why not?
Thriving in the business marketplace of the 2020s is all about anticipating customer needs and making it so easy for them to do business with you that they have no reason to look anywhere else. Increasingly, accepting crypto payments is a large part of that, and with the right payment processor, you can welcome crypto with open arms.