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The main issue holding Bitcoin back from wider adoption is the lack of businesses accepting the digital currency as payment. This is a chicken-and-egg problem. If more people embraced Bitcoin, it would encourage consumers to start acquiring and spending it, and vice-versa.
We as do other Bitcoin users believe it to be a brilliant way to make and receive payments. There are no chargebacks, payment processing fees, over draught fees and many more problems associated with other payment systems to this convenient and efficient system, which not only enables you to get paid within seconds it can also help promote your business within a thriving community. We feel it is our duty to offer advice and encourage small businesses to accept
Bitcoin. Here is our guide to accepting Bitcoin in a physical store.
Person-to-person payments The most convenient way to accept Bitcoin is in person, simply by asking your customer to send the right amount of Bitcoin (BTC) to your wallet. This is similar to a cash in hand payment. This is usually done with a smart-phone app, such as the Bitcoin Wallet app, Blockchain or many other Android/iPhone apps. There are many options available, including Windows Phone and even Blackberry. We published a blog post and are soon to release a new article on the different Bitcoin Wallets.
A few months back; Apple removed all Bitcoin wallets from its App Store. However, on the 2nd of June, rescinded this policy, once again paving the way for Bitcoin wallets on all iOS handsets. These are already starting to re-appear, with Blockchain, Coinbase and others now available. We can expect much more to arrive in coming months too. There is little to fear, by keeping all your details safe and secure and making sure you can back up your accounts, if you loose your phone you don’t lose your Bitcoin wallet; just the same as if you loose your phone you don’t loose your Facebook or Twitter account!
Another alternative is CoinBox which is specially tailored to businesses wanting a simple solution to receive payment. In this situation, the merchant enters the price of items or services into the phone, which then presents a QR code; which contains 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 within seconds!
Pay Stand California-based on-line payment processor PayStand provides US-based websites and mobile apps another method to start accepting payments such e-checks, credit cards and Bitcoin. Started in 2009 Pay-Stand is a multi payment gateway that eliminates transaction costs.
Coin of Sale A new Bitcoin Point of Sale system, Coin of Sale; is making it easier for merchants to accept Bitcoin payments for their goods and services. Created by Singapore-based Thomas Forgac, Coin of Sale works with both Android and iOS devices. After users sign up for an account, they are automatically set up with an Electrum wallet. The merchant must simply enter the amount of money that needs to be charged and the application will automatically generate a QR code for it. The customer then scans this QR code to complete the payment.
Stripe Stripe is one of our favourites for online businesses, we love the way it accepts credit card, PayPal and Bitcoin and the way its easily customised to the web developers and can be used with so many different frameworks.
XB Terminal XB Terminal implements a Bitcoin POS device that allows the customers to pay from any mobile Bitcoin wallet by QR code or NFC. Payments from offline mobile devices are supported by Bluetooth.
DIY The most appealing thing about Bitcoin to us, it is possible to surrender the fees of using a payment processor or provider, and simply integrate payments into your own custom system. Many with a technical background have achieved this, like Steve Early, who integrated Bitcoin into his pubs. You can easily achieve this without technical skills by just accepting the payment to your phone or with a system like pay-stand; one tip we would give to people who are worried about losing track of their sales is to print off the receipts of each sale and keep a physical collection of the transactions for book-keeping purposes. One argument against Bitcoin is its currency movements, however, more people and rightly so are seeing Bitcoin as being more stable than most fiat currencies and it being a healthy way to diversify their income.
Get noticed Whether you have an on-line or a physical store, if you accept Bitcoin, you need to let people know. You can find a Bitcoin Accepted sign at Bitcoin wiki, or perhaps a sign with more impact may work better for you. Cryptocables produces LED and Neon signs which are very effective. There are many attention grabbing Bitcoin products like 'Bitcoin Accepted Here' door mats!
Summary Accepting Bitcoin can add great exposure to your business, especially if you are one of the first in your field. There are many other options we haven’t covered and this article is not intended to be a step by step guide (we will be publishing a more in-depth guide in the coming months) but we hope this can give business owners an idea of what they can be doing to help their business grow and benefit from this great system!
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