So you’ve decided to accept Bitcoin in your business, awesome! Today there are over 100,000 businesses worldwide that accept Bitcoin. Accepting Bitcoins doesn’t mean that you actually have to own Bitcoins. A lot of services out there allow you to accept Bitcoin just as a form of payment and then immediately send you the amount paid in Dollars, Euros or whatever currency you choose.
Now let me give you a short overview of what steps you’ll need to take in order to get started with accepting Bitcoins.
Step 1 – Find a merchant solution provider
A Bitcoin merchant solution provider is basically a company that will accept the Bitcoins for your and then convert them into your own currency. You can also choose to keep the Bitcoins and not convert them to traditional currency.
The leading Bitcoin merchant solution providers today are Coinbase, Bitpay and Snapcard – The last two allow you to accept Bitcoins and convert them into your own currency, as far as I know Coinbase only allows you to accept Bitcoins and keep them. Here’s a list of all of the current providers.
Step 2 – Integrate a POS solution
A good provider will also supply you a POS (point of sale) integration – meaning a way to charge your customers without interruption the normal sale funnel.
A good example for this would be Bitpay which gives you a POS app for your store (if you have a brick and mortar one) or a plugin for your website. If you own a brick and mortar store it’s advised to keep an iPhone or iPad next to the “regular” cash register with the payment app. Some provider (e.g. Coinkite) will supply you with a physical payment terminal so you won’t need anything else.
Step 3 – Accounting
You should consult your accountant regarding the regulations for accepting Bitcoin in your country. Different countries have different approaches toward Bitcoin and this should be determined personally based on your location. This is also relevant as what to print on your invoices as form of payment.
Step 4 – Put up a sign 🙂
Last but not least let your customers know that you accept Bitcoin. If you have an online store you can use the official logo as shown here:
Or if you have a brick and mortar store you can print one out. This will not only notify people that you now accept a new form of payment but will also help the Bitcoin economy in general as more people will be open to receiving payments in Bitcoin (because they know they have where to spend it).
That’s it! Pretty simple huh ? If you have any more questions about how to start accepting Bitcoins you’re welcome to share them in the comment section below.
Thanks for writing this article – perfect timing for me as I intend to accept Bitcoins at my brick and mortar store. I can’t wait to see how many (if any) people will start using this option!
I wouldn’t get my hopes up that high 🙂 but it’s great to see you’re implementing it. It really helps the Bitcoin ecosystem
This is the perfect time to print out a “Bitcoin accepted here” sign because you will attract a whole new range of people that deal with this currency. Also, you competitors will see your sign and wonder what “bitcoins” are and when they find out they will most likely add a sign of their own. This will increase the usage of Bitcoins, increasing their price, Bitcoins get more used and you make more. Everybody wins.
The POS is the most important of the ones you talked about. Without a perfect integration of such a POS, your customers might not like the interruption and even back out of buying and go somewhere else. Customers don’t like interruptions while they are buying something online – they like it simple and quick.
I agree that the transaction has to have a very “smooth flow” or else you may end up losing people from your funnel.