How to Accept Bitcoin Payments and Donations
Prologue: E-Commerce and Competition
E-commerce industry has been rapidly growing along with web development. The number of goods and services sold on the Internet is insanely high, and no one knows where comes its limit. The bigger the industry, the more competitive market conditions are. And here comes the question: how to be better, more advantageous, and attract more customers?
Apart from qualitative products, outstanding customer service, and user-friendly websites, e-commerce success considerably depends on variety and functionality of payment options. If a client experiences high transaction fees or is not able to make the payment using any of the option, then he simply goes away, which is a nightmare for any merchant...
So, if you are searching for ways to improve your business, consider paying attention to Bitcoins. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a payment method at the same time. Check out the video below to find out more:
Why You Should Accept Bitcoins as Payment
Over the past years, many businesses started accepting Bitcoins as a payment method. And there are several reasons for that:
- Instant and cheap payments. Bitcoin transactions are instant and absurdly cheap compared to other alternatives.
- Easy implementation. Enabling Bitcoin payments is a very effortless procedure for any online business. Merchants can use end solutions presented on the market or simply use a corporate Bitcoin address to receive payments.
- Competitive advantage. Merchants and businesses are only starting to pay attention to Bitcoin. Therefore, you can be one of the Bitcoin accepting pioneers in the e-commerce industry. When choosing a store, people can give you a preference only because they want to pay with Bitcoin.
- New target audiences. Any new payment method or feature attract new customer groups. By adding Bitcoin to your payment options, you open doors of your store to a wide audience of Bitcoin adherents.
How to Accept Bitcoin Payments on Your Website
There are several options you can get into when enabling Bitcoin payments on your website. First of all, there are special merchant solutions, for example, BitPay or Coinbase, that you can use, but pay some fee for that. Most of them process Bitcoin payments and eventually send you earnings in fiat money, excluding fees for their services.
Advantages: minimum work on your side. You just need to integrate with these services and start accepting Bitcoins.
Disadvantages: Bitcoin price is very volatile, and each time your customer makes a purchase with Bitcoins, they are automatically converted to fiat money according to the current exchange rate, which can be not the best one. And, you also have to pay a fee to Bitcoin processing company.
One more option would be simply to accept Bitcoins and store them till you decide to sell them by your own will.
Advantages: you decide, at which price to sell Bitcoins. You do not need to pay any extra fees.
Disadvantages: you need to integrate the option to your website, and it may take some development efforts.
If you choose the second option, your task will only be to find a reliable exchange where you'll be able to sell Bitcoins and cash them out to your card or bank account. Simple as it may seem, the market is now overwhelmed with such platforms, and you should be really careful when choosing an exchange, considering such criteria as service availability in your country, fees for selling Bitcoins, withdrawal options, legality, etc. I'd suggest looking at platforms who have been long on the market and provide fast and cheap withdrawal options. For example, CEX.IO offers instant withdrawals to payment cards starting from $3.80 per transaction and operates globally, Kraken offers cheap withdrawals to bank account, however, it will take a bit more time. Research, create accounts on exchanges and see what suits you most.
Benefits of Implementing Bitcoin Donations
If you are a non-profit organization, or want to launch a crowdfunding campaign for your project, consider enabling donations in Bitcoin. Why? Firstly, you will be able to accept donations from people all around the world, they will donate more money to you, not payment processing companies. Secondly, you can get more publicity in Bitcoin industry and attract attention of Bitcoin lovers to your project. Finally, some people prefer to make anonymous donations, which is exactly what Bitcoin payments offer.
To start receiving donations, make sure to create a Bitcoin address to gather funds. Thereafter, you need to provide people with this address, so that they could donate money to your project. Consider one of the options:
- Simply publish your Bitcoin address on the website. This is the simplest option, but it would require people to copy and paste it, which is not that comfortable.
- Generate a QR-code corresponding to your Bitcoin address and place it where needed. This option will be especially useful for those who are going to send Bitcoins from their smartphones using Bitcoin-related apps.
- Place a "Donate Bitcoins" button. You can either ask your web developer to code the button, or use existing services that allow you to copy and paste the code to your website. Here are some of them: Blockr, Coinwidget, Blockchain.info.
You can also use all the three options, depending on situations and placements.
Epilogue: Make Friends with Technology
The tempo of technology development is accelerating day by day. It's up to you whether to hop on, or not, but to compete on your market, to be the first and the best, consider bringing technology and modern solutions to your business.
Once, the Internet was new and unusual. Could it possibly happen to Bitcoin as well? It already does. Your choice is to support it or not.