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If you run an e-commerce store, you know that it’s beneficial to accept a wide range of payment options.
After all, you never want to miss out on a sale simply because you don’t accept a shopper’s preferred card or platform.
And whether you’re interested in investing in Bitcoin or not, you may be wondering whether it would be feasible to allow users to make purchases with them.
The short answer to this question is yes.
In fact, Bitcoin payments offer a few distinct advantages for sellers — namely that they don’t involve transaction fees, are often faster than credit card payments, and eliminate the risk of chargebacks.
Plus, there’s no risk of your customers’ personal information being compromised, since it isn’t attached to their payment method as it would be with a credit or debit card.
And enabling these payments doesn’t have to be difficult, either.
Keep reading to learn how you can start accepting Bitcoins in your online store, as well as how to make the most of this capability.
The first step in accepting Bitcoin as payment is deciding whether you want to have shoppers send funds directly to your Bitcoin wallet, or utilize a third-party payment processor.
If you’re operating a small business or just testing the waters with Bitcoin, you may want to consider accepting payment directly from shoppers’ wallets to your own.
The app will generate a QR code corresponding to your payment address, which the shopper can then scan and send Bitcoins directly to your wallet.
This process is also technically possible for online payments, but much less convenient. You’d need to manually send each customer a Bitcoin address for their transaction, meaning that payment would not be automatic.
If you operate a service-based business, or any other business in which customers can place an order without paying immediately, this may be a feasible option. But in most cases, you’ll want to use a payment processor for online transactions.
If you’re looking for a simpler way to accept Bitcoins as payment, a third-party processor is the way to go.
Similar to the tools you use to accept credit cards and other forms payment, these platforms automatically process transactions and let users make their purchases without any manual assistance.
They can also convert Bitcoin into the currency of your choice, and depending on which you choose, come with helpful features like invoices, shopping cart plugins, and automatic bank withdrawals.
The only drawback is, of course, that payment processors all involve some sort of transaction or withdrawal fee.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get started with Bitcoin payments, one of the most popular options is Coinbase.
As the most popular Bitcoin exchange today, you may already be using it — so accepting payments is as simple as signing up for its merchant service.
Once you’ve enabled Bitcoin payment on your site using this service, all payments will go directly to your Coinbase account. Plus, there’s no cost for transactions — so you’ll only pay a 1% fee if you opt to withdrawal your funds to a bank account.
It’s designed to integrate with many major e-commerce platforms, and can also be used to set up recurring subscriptions, invoices, and donations. And much like Coinbase, it only charges a 1% fee for bank withdrawals.
So if you’re ready to start accepting Bitcoin as payment on your site, you really can’t go wrong with either of these options.
If you’re already using Shopify, Woocommerce, or Clickfunnels to run your online store, accepting Bitcoins as payment is easy.
Shopify describes the process of accepting Bitcoins as “fast, easy, cost-effective and hassle free.”
And with their platform, that’s certainly the case.
If you run your store with Shopify, you can accept any form of cryptocurrency by enabling Coinbase Commerce, BitPay, GoCoin, or CoinPayments Beta from the Payment providers page of your admin dashboard.
It’s important to note, though, that you’ll still be charged transaction fees unless you use your payment method in conjunction with Shopify Payments.
If you run your e-commerce store, you have a few different options for enabling Bitcoin payments.
The easiest is to use BitPay via the BitPay for WooCommerce plugin. As mentioned above, BitPay is one of the most established platforms for accepting Bitcoin payment, and only takes a 1% fee when you withdraw your funds to a bank account.
And integrating it with your existing WooCommerce setup is easy with this free plugin. Once you’ve installed it, all you’ll need to do is create a pairing code from your BitPay merchant dashboard, then copy and paste it into the plugin’s admin settings.
Once you’ve done this, Bitcoin will appear as a payment option alongside credit cards, PayPal, and any other options you’ve enabled on your site.
Regardless of how you choose to accept Bitcoin in your store, it’s essential that you keep accurate records of each of your transactions.
Although some Bitcoin traders in the past neglected to pay taxes on their gains, the IRS is now cracking down on cryptocurrency transactions.
So while accepting Bitcoin as payment is perfectly safe and legal, you’ll need to make sure that your records are just as meticulous as they are for standard credit card, PayPal, and cash transactions to avoid any tax issues.
Fortunately, many third-party payment processing tools offer free record-keeping services to simplify the process.
But if you’re accepting payment manually, through a wallet app or otherwise, it’s extremely important to keep detailed records of these payments.
As Bitcoin continues to become a more mainstream form of currency, there’s a chance that many businesses will accept it as payment.
But we haven’t yet reached that point.
So today, advertising that your business accepts Bitcoin is a great way to stand out.
Whether you run an e-commerce store or a physical storefront, adding a banner or sticker to your homepage or a cash register is a great way to differentiate your brand.
Sites like BitStickers even stell pre-made stickers, making it easy to advertise this feature.
This way, shoppers who are interested in buying goods or services with their coins will know that your business is an option.
Today, Bitcoin is still widely thought of primarily as a form of investment.
But as it becomes more common, consumers are looking for other ways to use their coins — including purchasing from retail stores and other businesses.
As a result, accepting Bitcoin as payment can be a great way to stand out. And if you’re intentional about advertising this aspect of your business, you may even wind up on a seller roundup, like our resource on what you can buy with Bitcoin.
Plus, considering how easy it is to do, there’s really no reason not to.