If your online business still doesn’t accept cryptocurrency, now is the right time to take the plunge. Crypto payments can save you up to 70% in processing costs and attract a new audience. But how to choose among dozens of payment providers?
The COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to the fascinating phenomenon of low-touch economy: as users are trying to avoid infection, they are shifting towards online shopping and services. This means new opportunities for online businesses and larger payment volumes.
At the same time, the pandemic forces entrepreneurs to rethink their payment flows and try to cut expenses. Card acquiring fees are one of the main cost items for online companies, especially in e-commerce and iGaming. A great way to reduce payment costs is by accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies – and indeed, almost 20,000 companies already do so.
There are more processors to choose from than you think
The first shocking thing you discover when you start googling ‘accept Bitcoin’ is how many providers there really are. You’d imagine that there will be just a couple of options – something akin to Stripe and Braintree – but there are at least a couple of dozens. From their home pages, it might seem that they all offer very similar terms and charge almost the same fees.
However, before you rush to sign up to the first crypto payment service you see, make sure to have a long and detailed chat with its sales department and study all the available documents. According to Max Krypyshev, CEO of Cryptoprocessing.com there are 6 key criteria for choosing a processor. Let’s look at them in detail.
1) What are the real fees?
There are two sides to the fee question. One is if the rate that the customer pays is fair. There should be no hidden fees. If the user wants to deposit $100 in a casino account, for instance, then after they pay in Bitcoin, exactly $100 must be deposited on their balance. Not $98, not $99, but exactly $100. Even a small difference can cause disappointment and make the customer leave.
The other side of the matter are the processing and conversion fees that you will have to pay – as well as the exchange rates. Often, a processor will advertise lower fees than its competitors but compensate for this with a less favorable exchange rate.
2) Is there a learning curve?
Make sure that you understand what the customer will need to do to pay with Bitcoin or another coin – and try it for yourself. Does it involve more clicks than paying with a card? If so, then something is wrong.
Paying with crypto shouldn’t involve jumping through hoops. Some providers make it unnecessarily complex, confronting the customer with multiple steps and choices. Chances are that the user will just abandon the attempt.
Ideally, you’ll be offered to pick a coin, and a blockchain address will appear, together with a QR code. You should then be able to pay with a couple of taps on both mobile or desktop.
3) How fast are the deposits in crypto?
Remember: most of the users wanting to pay with crypto on your site are already active cryptocurrency users. They know how things should be – and expect you to provide them with the same smooth user experience as other operators do. One of the key parts of this UX is deposit speed.
Bitcoin accounts for up to 95% of the total payment volume, in spite of its clunkiness and high blockchain fees (circa $2-3 per transaction). So it’s the speed of BTC deposits that you have to think about first. Thanks to some third-party infrastructure providers, it is now possible to deposit Bitcoins in seconds without waiting for transaction confirmations. Unfortunately, not all processors support instant deposits, so this should be one of the key questions you ask.
4) Will you have to change your payment flows?
You shouldn’t have to make any changes to your payment infrastructure to incorporate crypto. The golden rule is: cryptocurrency payments shouldn’t cause a disruption either to your clients or to your own business.
Ask for some details about the integration process. Will the processing company provide you with a dedicated support manager? How long will the procedure take? Can you start accepting crypto straight away?
5) Which coins are accepted?
As we’ve said, Bitcoin can be clunky and inefficient as a means of payment. There are many other coins that suit the purpose much better, with low blockchain fees and confirmations that take just seconds or a couple of minutes. Make sure that the payment provider supports alternative coins like Ethereum, Ripple, USDT, Dogecoin etc.
You don’t need to include many cryptos on your site – 4 or 5 will do – but you have to give your customers a choice. Another reason to accept payments in several coins is that a blockchain can always freeze or go down.
6) Are there fiat settlements?
Businesses are often cautious about keeping crypto on their books – and rightly so. Cryptocurrency can be very volatile and tricky in terms of accounting and taxation. So it’s better to pick a processing provider that offers fiat settlements directly to your bank account. For instance, Cryptoprocessing.com supports fiat settlements in 6 different currencies.
It may seem like a lot of work to do all this research and obtain the answers from different providers. A shortcut would be to follow the big players. Find out which crypto payment providers serve the largest companies in your segment – for example, casinos or betting sites. Once you have a short list of providers, check how long they have been on the market and what their market share is. For example, Cryptoprocessing.com processes over 2% of all Bitcoin payments in the world, and a very significant portion of the payments in the iGaming industry.
Ultimately, your results with crypto payments will be as good as your initial research, so do dedicate a few hours of your time to this task. The possibility to cut costs by 50% or more and increase your user base is definitely worth it.
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