Bitcoin has been around for about seven years now. Many around the world are gradually adopting it. It is slowly replacing the conventional money transfer methods like Western Union and MoneyGram with a much faster, safer and economical alternative. There are companies that offer bitcoin payment solutions that merchants can readily integrate into their websites or Point of Sale (POS) terminals and start collecting payments in bitcoin.
Even though the bitcoin payment services have evolved enough to enable any merchant to use their services (similar to conventional payment processors), its adoption is still negligible. This is due to multiple reasons.
Why merchants don’t accept Bitcoin
- The number of bitcoin users currently in the world is less than 3 million, which is less than 0.05% of the total world’s population. When you look at these statistics, the total number of active bitcoin users right now is equivalent to a small droplet I an ocean.
- Until now, the bitcoin transactions are one sided. Meaning, once a bitcoin transaction is executed, it is almost impossible to reverse it, unless the merchant does it manually. In case of any dispute, the customer has to reach out to the merchant and convince him to either refund the price to your wallet or adjust the amount to some other product that you are going to buy from the same vendor. There is a considerable amount of risk involved for both the parties involved in the transaction. (there are a couple of services that offer buyer protection, but they are not available worldwide)
- Lack of awareness about bitcoin and related services
- Lack of clarity about bitcoin/ digital currency regulations in the region
Why merchants should accept Bitcoin
- Adding a bitcoin payment processor won’t cost a penny more, but it will definitely allow the merchant to accept another mode of payment
- It is also a good marketing strategy. It will help the business stand out. If the business in among the first few in the region to adopt bitcoin, then the chances of getting covered in local media is also high.
Having bitcoin as an additional payment option has more advantages than disadvantages as anyone who is familiar enough with bitcoin to make payments using it also knows and accepts the risks associated with it. But the benefits of accepting bitcoins for a business is far greater than any disadvantage associated with it.