Ease of use, lower fees and increasing adoption - what's not to like about bitcoin? (Image via BitOasis)
This is a crosspost with BitOasis.
If you’re selling goods or services online, you’re surely familiar with the pains of collecting payments from your customers and clients. You may have heard of a new way of accepting payments using bitcoin and already are wondering what its benefits to you are as a merchant, and what kinds of businesses are accepting bitcoin today.
The examples of businesses accepting bitcoin are numerous and the possibilities are endless; from fashion and jewelry stores, to consumer electronics shops, to airlines, hotels and restaurants, many of which are online and offline merchants. Most notable international companies accepting bitcoin today are Microsoft, Expedia, Dell and Overstock.
When it comes to the Middle East, bitcoin technology has the potential to boost its fast growing e-commerce market by offering a cheaper and easier payment method to consumers and merchants. Credit card penetration in the region is low, as a large percentage of adults in the Middle East don’t have a bank account. This leaves online retailers stuck with accepting cash payments for online merchandise. In fact close to 75 percent of online transactions are done by Cash-on-Delivery. On the other hand, even if merchants accept credit card payments, they’re still charged close to 3-5 percent fee on transactions, and are exposed to fraud and chargebacks risk.
Below we’ve listed the six main reasons why you, as a merchant, should start accepting bitcoin today:
1. Lower transaction costs: Credit card fees run anywhere from 3-5 percent plus $.30 per swipe. Bitcoin transactions are free (with a few cents going to the network as miner fees) and you don’t have to pay monthly machine rental fees or deposits. Sure, the majority of consumers in the region buy goods and services either using cash or credit cards. Digital currencies such as bitcoin may look like a distant third. But the use of bitcoin as a new payment option will continue to rise at the retail level as more and more people learn about it and realize its benefits of the technology as a cheaper and easier payment option for both merchants and consumers.
2. No chargebacks: When you accept bitcoin payments, there are no chargebacks – meaning there is less risk to the seller. For this single reason alone merchants should embrace bitcoin payments. Your chargeback rate can have a huge impact on your bottom line, especially if you’re a small to medium-sized online store.
3. Easy to use and set up: It’s extremely easy for you and for your customers to get up and running to start accepting bitcoin. It’s as easy as downloading a bitcoin wallet on your phone or opening a bitcoin web wallet online and generating a QR code for your clients to scan so they can pay you immediately. It’s really that simple. You don’t need to place any deposits or go through lengthy verifications to set up and get going.
4. Offer diverse payment options to increase your sales: If you want more customers to buy on your platform, make it easy for them by offering diverse payment options that cater to their needs. Set up your business to start accepting bitcoin. Bitcoin users tend to be tech savvy young consumers who prefer to purchase goods using bitcoin over other methods. This means that they will gravitate toward merchants that offer them ability to pay for goods and services via bitcoin. You may wonder how bitcoin adoption is growing in the Middle East. Today, our BitOasis products (wallet and exchange) are available across the Middle East with our exchange and our Buy Bitcoin service is only available in UAE. We’ve seen seen tremendous wallet growth the past 6 months, and our users’ buy bitcoin order volumes are almost doubling on monthly basis.
5. Generate publicity: When you place a ‘Bitcoin Accepted Here’ sticker in your storefront or announce it on your online store, it’s an immediate conversation starter because you’ve shared with the world that your store is embracing a new innovative payment option. Since bitcoin is new and newsworthy, your brand can capitalize on being associated with the new trend of adopting and embracing digital currency. Free press equals more marketing for your business. Who wouldn’t want that?
6. Cross borders: Bitcoin is a global payment system. It’s not bound to a geographical area or a certain company, and with bitcoin anyone across the world with access to the internet can now pay instantly and across borders without the need to have a bank account. Accepting bitcoins means accepting all customers across the world to pay on your platform without any friction or any extra fees. Your customers are only a click away.
If you’re an online store that wants to start accepting bitcoin payments, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get you set up. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me.