Guest Post by Sam Bowman
Cryptocurrency has gained significant footing in the modern financial world in the past decade. This growth is largely driven by the rising number of individuals who are investing in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and similar cryptocurrencies. Many of these investors are ready to spend their assets on everyday goods, but businesses have been slow to adopt crypto as a payment method. Economies are transitioning to crypto slowly, beginning with some large players.
The emergence of fintech and major financial institutions’ adoption of blockchain systems may be signs that accepting cryptocurrency is the way of the future. While your company may already accept modern digital payment methods like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal, integrating cryptocurrency payments into your business model can be your best next step to creating a better customer experience. Plus, it can offer countless benefits for your business.
So, what’s holding businesses back from accepting crypto? For many, understanding cryptocurrency and setting up crypto payments are two complex and time-consuming processes. In this article, we’ll break down what business leaders need to know about accepting crypto as legal tender, no matter your company size.
Why Accept Crypto Payments?
If you’re still debating whether cryptocurrency for your business is worth the effort of implementation, there are a few benefits that are important to consider.
First, crypto is an extremely cost-effective payment method for businesses. There are virtually no transfer fees associated with Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies, and you can receive your digital funds in a matter of minutes. Crypto eliminates the hefty credit card processing fees that can quickly add up with every order.
For growing businesses, crypto is one of several ways you can manage rising costs and increasing demand. You can evade many of the cash flow issues that cause many new businesses to fail — and keep up with competitors. Using crypto can also help you avoid fraudulent chargebacks since purchases are typically irreversible.
Cryptocurrency can also help your company attract more customers. People who are interested in buying goods and services with crypto still have limited choices in most industries. Being an early crypto payment adopter can help your business stand out from the rest.
How To Accept Cryptocurrencies as a Business
How can you start accepting cryptocurrencies as a business? In this section, we’ll describe some of the steps you’ll need to take to set up your new payment method.
1. Decide How to Receive Payments
Businesses that use crypto have two options for accepting cryptocurrency. First, if you want your crypto converted into fiat money — paper money like the U.S. dollar. Upon receipt, you can set up an account with a crypto payment gateway like CoinGate or Coinbase. You’ll get the current market value of the crypto you earn, typically for no more than a one percent transaction fee. Choosing this route allows you to get this much-desired functionality while limiting hardware expenses.
Alternatively, if you want to earn cryptocurrency and hold on to it as a business investment, you’ll need a crypto wallet to store and receive your funds. Setting up crypto wallets is often as simple as following provided steps, like creating a password and downloading software.
For small business owners, digitally hosted wallets are incredibly simple to set up since they’re largely managed by a third party. If you want a bit more security, consider purchasing a hardware wallet, a physical device that you can store in a safe. Hardware wallets limit hacking since they’re offline, and they can still be set up in just a few steps.
2. Adjust Your Checkout Process
Once you finish setting up your gateway or wallet, you can accept cryptocurrency payments. The next step is ensuring your customers can pay you.
An increasing number of point-of-sale systems and e-commerce platforms offer crypto payment capabilities, so you don’t necessarily have to deal with HTML code or have software development experience. For example, PayPal and Coinbase Commerce are already offering crypto options, and Square is planning to enter the crypto market.
QR codes are often available for cryptocurrency payments, so you don’t necessarily need to purchase hardware to allow crypto investors to pay you.
3. Practice Risk Management While Accepting Crypto
As you start reaping the benefits of cryptocurrency, you can celebrate your wins. It’s important, however, to continuously practice risk management instead of going all-in on crypto, especially if you’re not immediately converting cryptocurrency into fiat money. Alternative investments like crypto can strengthen your portfolio, but continuing to collect payment in diverse ways is key to coping with the volatility of crypto.
Expand Your Payment Options
The more payment options you provide, the more you can attract customers to your business. If you’re interested in turning your business into an early adopter of crypto and winning over avid investors, the good news is that cryptocurrency payments aren’t as difficult to set up as they may sound.
Additionally, incorporating crypto can save you money in the long term. Start by setting up a crypto wallet or payment gateway, depending on how you want to receive your funds. Then integrate cryptocurrency into your checkout process.