HARDISON’S TIPS – DECEMBER 15, 2020 – SHOULD RETAILERS START ACCEPTING CRYTOCURANNCY
The mobile implication of Bitcoins plays out in two different ways.
First, developers can accept bitcoins directly from a mobile site and app. They need only add four lines of code to collect a Bitcoin payment through the Bitcoin Payment Gateway API.
This also provides an easy payment method for consumers who have Bitcoins. They can easily pay on a mobile device without having to type in all of their billing information.
The second outlet for Bitcoins is mobile payments in-store. Retailers can accept Bitcoin payments by integrating a QR code scanner or NFC terminal into their POS.
Consumers can then easily open their Bitcoin mobile wallet to pay in-store.
Jordan McKee, an analyst at Yankee Group, Boston, MA, sees a specific niche for Bitcoins within the mobile space.
“I think we are not that far off from seeing Bitcoins becoming an option for in-app purchases in mobile games,” Mr. McKee said. “As for merchant apps and sites, notable adoption will not occur in the near term. Many merchants are still very unsure about Bitcoin and have a lot of questions that need answering.”
Similarly, Brian Stein, managing director at Pervasive Path, Cleveland, OH, does not think that retailers need to integrate Bitcoins in mobile sites and apps in the near future, but he does see why the currency could be beneficial in the mobile space.
“Because of the transaction fee structure that Bitcoins provides, they work very well for micro-payments,” Mr. Stein said. “Lowering the threshold for purchase volumes allows for more buying opportunities on the mobile channel.
“Additionally, the easy integration of Bitcoins into a mobile app, and the fact that the security is handled by third parties, lowers the barriers to adding Bitcoins to mobile applications and for merchants to accept Bitcoin payments.”
If appealing to consumers’ needs is not enough of a reason to accept Bitcoins, there is even an added benefit for retailers. Transaction fees for Bitcoins tend to be much lower than other forms of payments.
Bitcoin transactions rely on peer to peer processing, so no banks or regulatory authorities are involved, hence very low transaction fees.
It does not cost retailers anything to start accepting Bitcoins, and there are no chargebacks or fees.
“The benefit of Bitcoin is very much around its cheap transaction fees,” Yankee Group’s Mr. McKee said. “Compared to bank-issued currencies, it’s considerably more cost effective for things like international money transfers. Bitcoin is also policed by its users – there is no concern over a central bank failing. This is why conversations around Bitcoin exploded during the financial crisis in Cyprus.”
END OF PART TWO
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