While most people don’t understand how cryptocurrencies work, almost anyone can experience their benefits. The main features of the blockchain are simple: an irreversible ledger, speedy transactions, and extremely low fees.
In addition to improving your overall customer experience, accepting cryptocurrency as a business makes you especially appealing to other early adopters of crypto.
Not to mention the fact that you’re getting paid in an asset that is almost certainly going to appreciate over time.
In a nutshell, cryptocurrencies allow for irreversible transactions at lightning speeds — negating the potential for chargebacks, adding convenience, and reducing the revenue you lose due to transactions fees.
Save Money on Transaction Fees
Cryptocurrency payments cost significantly less to process than credit cards. Credit and debit fees range from 3% to 5% while most cryptocurrencies max out at about 1%.
2% to 4% doesn’t sound like much, but across thousands of transactions a week, small fees can start to add up quickly.
If you’re an online business, thousands of dollars a month on credit card transaction fees are all too common.
As more altcoins continue to flood the market promising even faster and cheaper transactions, accepting crypto is becoming a no-brainer for businesses that process a lot of digital payments.
Stay Ahead of Trends
As investors flock to the market and new coins get more publicity, most people are starting to become aware of the benefits cryptocurrencies have to offer.
Crypto helps both consumers and businesses in terms of usability and security.
The number of crypto wallets is increasing exponentially; bitcoin alone sees at least 300,000 new wallets a month.
A mere 400,000 wallets were opened between Q1 ’15 and Q2 ’15, shooting up to over 4,000,000 wallets added between Q3 ’17 and Q4 ’17.
Entice Tech-Savvy Consumers
Accepting cryptocurrency makes your business feel cutting edge to tech-savvy customers.
It seems like everyone is talking about crypto, but we’re still only at 1% adoption. If you can be the first in your industry to accept cryptocurrency payments, you have massive marketing appeal to customers who also got in early.
Eliminate the Potential for Chargebacks
Credit card chargebacks are one of the most common complaints amongst business owners — a one-way scam that allows customers to shop for free by reporting fraudulent charges to their credit card company.
It’s possible to fight unscrupulous chargebacks, but it’s extremely complex and ends up taking ages — or at least long enough for most businesses to give up completely and just take the loss.
The silver lining? Cryptocurrencies are impossible to chargeback. Anything that takes place on the blockchain is recorded on an immutable ledger.
In other words, once a transaction takes place, you can’t alter it.
Accepting cryptocurrency allows you to eliminate the potential for chargebacks while still maintaining a seamless return policy.
Price Volatility Can Be a Bit of a Downside
If you’re familiar with cryptocurrency, you know it only takes a few hours for the price to move upwards of 15%.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are all subject to trading on public markets, with their price action based largely on headlines and technology announcements.
BTC went from $14,000 to $20,000 and back down to $12,000 in less than a month. This can be difficult on the pricing of your products or services depending on how your business is structured.
For now, the easiest way to combat price fluctuation is to set your prices in USD and update the equivalent price in cryptocurrency at the time of a transaction. If you don’t want to hold exclusively cryptocurrencies, most apps will automatically convert whatever coins you accept to your local currency during the sale.
This allows you to reap the benefits of accepting cryptocurrency without having to take on the risk of storing your revenue in a highly volatile asset.
On the other hand, if you do choose to keep your cryptocurrency, there’s always the possibility for the price to rise and increase the value of your investment.
Your Money Is Available Instantly
Processing credit card transactions and bank transfers in USD comes with a huge delay.
Whether you’re wiring money or transferring cash from your invoicing app to your checking account, the average time for a USD based transaction ranges from 24hrs to five business days.
If daily revenue is your business’s only source of capital, not being able to access your money for days on end can spell disaster.
Cryptocurrency based transactions have little to no waiting period. Bitcoin takes only a few minutes, Ethereum just a little quicker, and the latest altcoins in under a minute. Low latency transactions with extremely low fees are two of the undeniable benefits cryptocurrency offers to modern business owners.
How to Get Started Accepting Bitcoin
It all starts with a merchant wallet. BitPay is currently the biggest and most widely used, including a list of massive companies like Microsoft, Virgin, and Shopify.
Setting up an account with BitPay allows you accept bitcoin, safely store them, convert them, and transfer your local currency to a banking account.
Get Your Address out There
If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, a QR code is likely going to be the best way for customers to send their payments. Almost all consumer wallets have the option to scan wallet addresses, so QR codes are a great option for any business looking to start accepting crypto.
For online businesses, allow users to copy your address at checkout so they can just paste it straight into their wallet along with the exact amount of cryptocurrency at the time of sale.
Stay on Top of Your Taxes
If you’re frequently converting between cryptocurrencies and US dollars, you need to report it to the IRS. Use accounting software to stay on top of your revenue and don’t hesitate to contact the IRS if you have any questions before you start to accept cryptocurrency.
As a whole, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is designed to streamline consumer transactions. It’s only a matter of time before all businesses start to hop on board.