Allowing customers to pay with cryptocurrency could open up a new market for your business
The use of cryptocurrency as a mainstream form of payment has continued to grow in popularity in recent years. Adopting the use of cryptocurrency as a form of payment has not only opened businesses up to a new wave of potential market, but can also secure the safety of transactions for both the business and clients due to the incorporation of multi-level encryption in blockchain technology. With about $150 billion in market capitalization and over 1,000 different cryptocurrencies, incorporating cryptocurrency payments into your website gives you a point of difference that could draw a new client base.
The benefits of integrating cryptocurrency
Many big names in ecommerce such as PayPal and Microsoft are accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as a mode of payment. There are a lot of advantages to integrating cryptocurrency into a website. For instance, since cryptocurrencies are not affiliated to any major financial institutions and traditional banks, there are no hidden charges, and this reduces the costs of transactions significantly.
Integrating cryptocurrency payments into your website also gives you control over the cash flow and transactions, allowing you to get payment from transactions faster.
Finally, integrating crypto payments in your website allows you to take advantage of a new wave of future consumers. According to recent research, about 67% of digital wallets were opened by Millennials, and Generation X followed closely with 51%, compared to only about 28% among Baby Boomers.
Also, cryptocurrency integration helps you take your offering global, since cryptocurrency transactions are digital and aren't limited by geographic borders. These transactions have no consumer chargebacks and further eliminate currency exchange fees.
Payment gateways for cryptocurrency
There are several approaches to start accepting cryptocurrency on your site. The first approach is by using your web developing skills to set up an account on one of the cryptocurrency exchange platforms such as Coinbase or Bitstamp. You'll then need to set up a digital wallet and save the generated Bitcoin addresses on your server. Whenever a customer wants to buy something on your website using cryptocurrency, they'll receive a unique Bitcoin address to make the payment. Your Bitcoin exchange account will enable you to convert the payments to your currency of choice. One of the main advantages associated with setting up cryptocurrency payment systems on your website on your own is that you're able to control all the funds without interference from the third party providers.
Another popular approach is using third party providers to incorporate these systems into your website. Before deciding on a crypto gateway, you should consider the number and types of cryptocurrency they accept, the cost of transactions, crypto to fiat conversion support and the nature of the gateway in terms of whether or not they're regulated and the type of services they offer. It's also important to contact them following your research to confirm your facts.
One of the common payment gateways is Coinbase. Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that allows buying and selling of cryptocurrencies online. The solution enables people to access cryptocurrencies online in about 190 countries. However, due to government restrictions, conversion to fiat is only available in about 32 of these countries. To incorporate Coinbase into your website, you need a Coinbase Commerce account.
Bitpay is another crypto payment gateway that can be integrated into your site. Bitpay can be integrated with accounting solutions, point of sales and ecommerce platforms such as WooCommerce. After transactions, the Bitcoin is exchanged to your preferred currency and sent to your bank.
Another payment gateway you could consider is CoinSimple. Unlike other payment gateways, CoinSimple doesn't facilitate the exchange of Bitcoins into fiat currency. They're either sent directly to your wallet or an exchange market. This option gives you more control of your funds.
Getting set up with cryptocurrency payment gateways
The very first step involved when integrating a payment gateway into your site is setting up a merchant digital wallet. This entails opening up an account with your payment processing company and registering as a merchant. A digital wallet will enable you to store, receive and transact with cryptocurrency.
Then you'll select your preferred cryptocurrencies. You can choose to pick only the currencies your payment gateway can support. You can also choose to select all the available coins, or those that auto convert such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and Litecoin.
It's best to select all the cryptocurrencies that your payment gateway can support. Also, you're given an option with most payment gateways of selecting whether you want to receive the Bitcoins directly or whether you want the cryptocurrency to be converted to fiat currency. The digital wallet contains a QR code that enables customers to send payments for their purchases to your digital wallet.
The next step involves integrating cryptocurrencies into your point of sale (POS) system. This entails further integrating all elements of the merchant digital wallet such as the public address, the QR code, and the private key. The integration into your POS system or your online shopping cart can either be done manually or digitally using the QR code. You can also incorporate these elements as plugins into ecommerce platforms such WooCommerce.
It's also important to make the transactions on your website accounting friendly. That means integrating the cryptocurrency transactions to your accounting system. Each crypto payment gateway has its own step-by-step guides for integrating transactions with your accounting system.
How a freelance web developer can help you
After setting up your account and the digital wallet, it's smart to get help from a web developer to integrate the payment gateway on your website. If you're operating on WordPress and using WooCommerce, there are plugins to help with integration. But when it comes to getting a new payment gateway up and running, you don't want to leave anything to chance.
You also need to set up the interface for your users to actually pay using cryptocurrency, along with the necessary privacy requirements to help keep user data secure. After all, privacy is one of the main reasons people choose to use cryptocurrency.
Also, the services of a web developer come in handy in case you want to add advanced options on your payment gateways such as caching, adding a callback or adding metadata.
And, even if you're using a WordPress plugin to accept crypto payments, a web developer can help make sure everything on your WordPress site is set up correctly.
Cryptocurrencies may not be the most common payment option, but they're an option many consumers want to make use of. By offering the option, you could be tapping into a whole new market.