with bitcoin, each transaction strengthens the currency. Just like the internet, bitcoin can also be used across borders, bypassing country restrictions and local regulations.
however, as an electronic payment system, bitcoin is predominantly used online and requires some initial setup by those wishing to use it.
Reading: Bitcoin set to payment
When you finish reading this, you will be able to start accepting bitcoin as a payment gateway in your e-commerce store, or incorporate it into your physical store or business.
to start accepting bitcoins:
choose your bitcoin payment processing provider (psp) and open a bitcoin account.
There are several websites that offer bitcoin management services, such as bitpay, coinify and bitcoinpay. Each of these companies charge different rates and have slightly different features, so do your research and find the one that works best for you.
Coming back to bitcoinpay.com, setting up the account is very easy. just click the “accept bitcoin” button, enter your email and you’re good to go.
(When we started researching for this article, we tried to open an account on bitpay, but after filling in some details we realized that bitpay does not support Israeli accounts. For demo purposes, we will use butcoinpay.com.)
remove restrictions by adding your bank account details
Although bitcoin transactions are anonymous, new accounts are limited to $1000 in transactions per month by default. to remove that limitation, merchants must provide their personal information for verification purposes. this may include a copy of your ID or passport, names and addresses of company directors, and address of incorporation.
choose your currency
once you open your account, you will be asked what currency you want your bitcoins converted to when paid to your bank account. while fees and exchange rates are slightly different with each psp, bitcoinpay recommends working with eur as that will drastically reduce the amounts of fees paid for each transaction.
For pricing, you can charge your end customers in US dollars and continue to charge in euros. The exchange from usd to eur is provided at the spot exchange rate and does not imply any commission.
check bitcoin price converted to usd, eur or gbp using this tool.
accept bitcoin payments at your point of sale
Now that your account is set up, you’re ready to start accepting bitcoin payments.
For a brick-and-mortar business, the easiest way to do this is to send your customers an email containing a payment link. Alternatively, you can provide your customers with a unique QR code, which can be generated on the bitcoinpay website.
Of course, customers who wish to pay with bitcoin must have their bitcoin wallet set up.
accept bitcoin payments on your website
bitcoinpay offers an api that can be integrated with most of today’s e-commerce platforms, including websites and mobile applications. code samples with mock server tests are available in php, java, python, ruby, perl and more. they even have a button generator designed for dummies.
but here’s the best part: if you don’t know how to code, you can still integrate bitcoinpay relatively easily by downloading one of their dedicated plugins for opencart, magento, prestashop and woocommerce. just navigate to the developers section and download the required plugin. then upload it to the backend of your website and configure the settings as per your needs.
how are payments sent and received?
To give you a better idea of how bitcoin actually works, here is the sequence of actions that occur when a customer presses the “pay with bitcoin” button.
what to do next?
after receiving the bitcoin payment, you have several options:
- keep bitcoins in your bitcoin wallet to use for your own purchases.
- automatically convert and deposit bitcoins to your bank account. you can set a certain threshold for deposits or define recurring deposit dates.
- the split option allows you to define how much of your bitcoin earnings should be deposited in your bank and how much should remain in your bitcoin wallet.
The above options are some very basic examples of how bitcoin money can be automated. there are many other actions that can be configured and automated according to the needs of your business, such as paying employee salaries, creating new supplier orders when stock is low, or paying invoices, in countries that allow it.
To summarize, while bitcoin is still well on its way to competing with traditional financial systems, it is clear that this incredibly flexible currency is here to stay and may change our lives forever. Jump on the bandwagon by signing up for a bitcoin account today.