Bitcoin (BTC) is emerging as a new payment option for businesses. Business owners can bypass middleman processing times and transaction fees by accepting cryptocurrency from consumers around the world.
You will also be joining a number of other businesses that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, like Overstock.com, Shopify, Expedia, and Microsoft.
But the relatively newness of this payment option may have brought up a few questions. Should you accept Bitcoin? How do I start? How do I change Bitcoin for hard currency? How do you protect your business from crypto volatility?
These are all common questions. Before diving into the step-by-step guide on how to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, let’s start by looking at the benefits.
Benefits of Accepting Bitcoin for Businesses
It can be shocking how cutting out middlemen, like financial institutions, can positively affect your bottom line. The following are three big reasons to start accepting Bitcoin for your business.
Low To No Transaction Fees
Bitcoin is supported by blockchain technology that allows decentralized peer-to-peer transactions. This makes transaction fees much lower or nonexistent since governments and financial institutions are not getting their cut.
Traditional processing is costing businesses $0.25 per pin-authenticated transaction, according to the Federal Reserve. Interchange fees per exempt transaction can be as high as $0.51.
Not having these fees can add up annually for your business. This makes accepting Bitcoin highly attractive for business owners
If you accept credit cards, you know chargeback costs all too well, especially if you have an e-commerce site. Bitcoin takes chargebacks off the table. Each transaction on the blockchain is irreversible, so once you receive payment the money is all yours.
Did you know that chargebacks eat up 1.47 percent of a business’ yearly revenue? With a chargeback transaction free payment option, you can make decent bottom-line gains.
Accepting Bitcoin May Lead To More Customers
A growing number of consumers are making purchases using Bitcoin. One group of consumers, in particular, is the Millennials. Research by Urban Airship found that 67 percent of digital wallet use is coming from Millennials. Followed closely by Generation X with 51 percent.
Why is this important? Well, Millennials are about to be the largest population, meaning they will be the largest group of consumers.
By accepting Bitcoin as payment, you are catering to a large portion of the population that wants to use digital currency to pay for goods and services. This is setting up your company for exponential growth in years to come.
There are a number of other reasons accepting Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is advantageous for businesses. There are smart contracts, secured payments, ID verification, and more. But now that you know the 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 sign up for an account with a merchant processing service, as well as an exchange. It is important to do a bit of research to ensure these services are reputable and will keep your earnings secure.
For instance, CoinPayments is a service that makes accepting Bitcoin easy. This service has a full suite of merchant features, like shopping cart plugin for e-commerce, Point of Sale (POS) interface, invoice builder, and more.
After signing up with CoinPayments, you should create an account with Uphold, a digital wallet that enables you to buy, send, and receive both fiat and cryptocurrencies.
To take a little online research off your to-do list, you can follow this step-by-step method using CoinPayments and Uphold.
After you click the “Get Started” button, fill in the required information to set up your account.
You will then be prompted to verify your email address.
This will take you to the completion of the signup process. Next, click “log 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 setup your account. You can choose from two options: “Merchant” or “Wallet.” Choose “Wallet” to accept cryptocurrency as payment for your business.
Next, choose what types of cryptocurrency you would like to accept. The “recommended” option is the best bet until you get more comfortable with this new payment method for your business.
Now select what coins you would like to accept as payment.
Bitcoin is an obvious choice. It is a good idea to choose coins currently popular choices for payment. For instance Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Once you select your coins of choice, you have a few more options.
Payment Mode is the first option. Here you can choose how and where your payments go. The easiest would be “To Balance.” Next is “Discount.” Here you can choose to give your customers a discount by paying for products or services in cryptocurrency. And lastly, the max value per transaction in your currency of choice.
Next, update your preferences by scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking the “Update Coin Preferences” button.
Your coin preferences will be updated and you are ready to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for your business. Now before you log out of your CoinPayments dashboard, you need to let your customers know you are accepting digital currencies as payment.
Shopping Cart Plugin
From your merchant dashboard, select “More” and “Merchant Tools” to get started.
This will take you to a number of merchant features important for your new Bitcoin payment method.
Select the shopping cart plugin option.
Here you will get a nice list of 27 shopping cart plugins to choose from.
Let’s say you like WooCommerce. They have a zero-confirm setup and video tutorial to help get you started with the plugin.
Click download to begin setting up this shopping cart plugin from the WordPress.org website. Once you have it integrated into your payment pages, your customers can checkout with cryptocurrency.
Next, let everyone know you are accepting cryptocurrency by adding CoinPayments buttons everywhere. This could be on your homepage, and certainly all your product or services pages.
CoinPayments has three options for buttons: Simple, Advanced, and Shopping Cart.
You can even customize your buttons using item descriptions, tax amount, and invoices.
Buttons look like this:
Now you have your business all set up to begin accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (if you chose). Your customers can find plenty of checkout buttons on your website and you have integrated a crypto-payment method shopping cart via the plugin.
What’s next? Well now that you can accept Bitcoin, you will need to turn it into cold hard cash to pay vendors, employees, and the Internet bill!
How do you do this? Great question, and it is actually as easy as setting up your business to accept Bitcoin. It is time to link your CoinPayments account with Uphold to turn your digital coins into fiat currency.
Getting 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 will first need to sign up for an Uphold account and link it to your CoinPayments account.
How To Sign Up
First, go to the Uphold homepage and sign up for an account.
Fill out the needed details, and select “Next.”
In just two quick steps, you will get a verification email.
Once you are all signed up and verified via email and SMS confirmation code (two-step verification), you are redirected to your new Uphold dashboard. Here you will choose the currencies you want to accept and also where you will convert cryptocurrency to the fiat currency of your choice.
Exchange Bitcoin to Fiat Currency
Once you have Bitcoin in your CoinPayments account ready to exchange to USD, go to your Uphold dashboard and select the “USD Card.”
This will send you to your USD Card dashboard. To add funds to your USD Card from your CoinPayments Bitcoin wallet select “Add Funds” in the top right corner.
Now choose “Fund with Cryptocurrency or Utility Coin.”
Then select “Bitcoin (BTC).”
This will generate a unique crypto-key address you will enter into your CoinPayments withdrawal screen.
Next, login to your CoinPayments account and access your digital wallet. Then select “BTC Options” and click “Send/Withdraw.”
Fill out the information in the CoinPayments withdrawal screen and copy paste in the crypto-key address you received from Uphold.
Your Bitcoin will be on its way to your Uphold USD card, available to deposit it into your bank account. But there is just one more step, sending your USD to your bank account.
Send Currency from USD Card to Your Bank Account
Once your Bitcoin has been exchanged to USD (or the fiat currency of your choice), click on your Uphold USD Card and select “Use Funds” and then “Send to Bank Account.”
If you haven’t linked your bank account with your Uphold account yet, it will prompt you to do so.
Simply fill in your banking information, connect the accounts, and voilà! 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 up new doors for business. Consumers of the millennial type are already buying things exclusively from businesses that accept cryptocurrency. You may just create a new customer base in just a few easy steps.
The great news is that you can accept Bitcoin and turn it into the fiat currency of your choice only using two online platforms. The ease of use and quick exchange won’t even slow workflow. Are you ready to take your business into the future?
This is a guest post made by Nick Rojas. He combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium business and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto.