Bitcoin—the best-known name in cryptocurrency—is now accepted by a number of major corporations. Small and mid-size businesses can get in on the action, too. Accepting Bitcoin payments can be a faster, lower-cost way to take payments than processing credit card purchases, and it can be great if you make international e-commerce sales. Also, it will bring in a new consumer market; Bitcoin users actively seek out and support companies that take payments in this form of digital currency.
If you’re interested in getting involved, here’s a quick primer on accepting Bitcoin payments.
Getting Started with Taking Bitcoin Payments
- The first step in accepting Bitcoin payments is to set up what’s known as a Bitcoin wallet. This is essentially an address where your customers or clients will send their payments. There are lots of sites through which you can do this for free. The Balance has a number of recommendations, with explanations about who each one is best suited to. Check it out and choose one for your business, or do further research if you don’t want to limit your options to these.
- Read this information about securing your Bitcoin wallet.
- You may need payment processing services, which are available from many of the sites that set you up with a Bitcoin wallet. This is generally necessary if you have a complex sales process or do a high volume of daily sales. While this involves a fee (either monthly or a percentage of your sales), it’s lower than similar credit card and PayPal charges. Also, you usually get useful perks, like the ability to send email invoices or add a shopping cart plugin to your e-commerce store.
- Consult with your accountant about how to keep proper cryptocurrency records. For a frame of reference, it’s works similarly to taking foreign currency payments.
- Advertise the fact that you accept Bitcoin payments. This is a big deal to consumers who use Bitcoin, who will gravitate towards you over the competition that doesn’t take cryptocurrency payments, and they’ll spread the word to other users. Here’s a free button you can add to your website to let people know that you take Bitcoin. There are also lots of other free-use Bitcoin promotional graphics here. Spread the word via your mailing list, on your social media accounts, and in person.
- Get listed in online directories that list businesses accepting Bitcoin. A simple Google search for Bitcoin business directory will bring up lots of places you can submit your company to help reach new cryptocurrency-spending consumers.