Want to Know How to Accept Bitcoin in Retail Shops?
How do you accept Bitcoin (BTC) at the cash register in bakeries, kiosks and other small retailers? We explain how you can accept Bitcoin in five minutes, what there is to keep in mind - and why the BitBucks Wallet is already designed to pay with bitcoin.
In retail, clocks often tick differently. Especially in small shops - bakeries, kiosks, snack bars - people usually pay cash. The amounts are often too small to justify the purchase of a terminal for credit card payments, and even if there is one, the fees are taking a disproportionate amount away from the income.
But cash payments are not free either. You then take your revenue to the bank, where some charge a fee to deposit. In general, cash is on the retreat. More and more people are no longer carrying banknotes and coins, but rather plastic money. Even for small retailers, there is no way around breaking old habits and accepting cashless payments sooner or later is inevitable.
Near Free of Charge, Global, Inflation-Proof
If you want to offer your customers an alternative without investing in a terminal or paying expensive fees, take a look at how to accept Bitcoin (BTC).
Even if you want to accept another inflation-resistant currency, you can benefit from Bitcoin. Bitcoin helps travellers avoid having to change money into euros, dollars or any other national currency. If you accept cryptocurrency at the checkout, you'll impress your technology enthusiasts and fiat sceptics - and free yourself from the influence of banks and payment service providers. There are many reasons to accept Bitcoin in retail.
Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009 and has since arrived in numerous brick and mortar and online shops around the world. Many believe it's the currency of the future: a global, value-stable digital money that can be sent from New Zealand to Canada as quickly as from New Plymouth to Dunedin. It's worth getting started early!
However, many people hesitate to use Bitcoin. Bringing it to your counter certainly requires a great deal of computer technology knowledge, perhaps even the help of IT professionals. Right?
No! There are few things as simple as bringing Bitcoin to your bakery or kiosk. If you can do Whatsapp or Facebook, you can do Bitcoin.
Ask yourself two questions: Do you have a smartphone? Have you ever downloaded an app? If you've nodded both times, it won't take you more than five minutes to accept Bitcoin on the spot.
How does it work? Download a Bitcoin Wallet to your smartphone – let’s look at wallets like Jaxx or Exodus for this example. If someone then wants to pay, tap on "Receive", enter the amount and show your customer the QR code. He will scan it and shortly afterwards your wallet will tell you that you have received a payment.
That's it. No bank or other service provider involved. Just like cash, Bitcoin flows directly from the sender to the recipient. Only electronically.
The only limitation is that both you and your customer need an Internet connection. Experience has shown that a 3G or 4G mobile network is sufficient, even if it's not available at full strength. If your store is located in a mobile dead spot, you could always offer your customers free wifi.
Bitcoin – HODL or Change?
Of course, you should know a couple of things about crypto. First, to protect yourself from thieves, you should regularly transfer the Bitcoin to another wallet. After all, Bitcoin is digital cash. What Bitcoin has in common with its analogue counterpart is that there is no way to undo theft.
Second, unlike cash, you don't have to go to the bank to exchange for fiat such as NZD. You can do this in seconds with your smartphone, no matter where you are. For example, you can sell the Bitcoin you have earned to us - you just need to have a verified account.
Although Bitcoin is stable in value long term (more so than the Euro and Pound), they sometimes fluctuate considerably in value in the short term. Anyone dependent on realising their income in NZD promptly instead of keeping it in potentially volatile money like Bitcoin should, therefore, exchange it as quickly as possible. For many, however, it's all about earning Bitcoin, keeping them (HODLing), and participating in the (hopefully) good price development in the long run.
The Problem of Transaction Fees and Block Times
There is also an important detail about Bitcoin that you should know about: a transaction is initially considered unconfirmed. Only after about 10 minutes, will it be confirmed by miners. No idea what I'm talking about? Catch up on what confirmations are here.
If you're dealing with smaller amounts - for a mine and cheese pie, a beer, a lamington, let's say - it doesn't matter in itself. Nobody will take the trouble to carry out a technically challenging and criminal double-spend to obtain a chocolate bar. If, on the other hand, you sell expensive things - jewellery, electrical devices, cars etc. - an unconfirmed transaction might not be safe enough.
Transaction fees can also be a problem. These are usually relatively low - a matter of a few cents - but in times of network congestion, can be a few dollars or more. The sender, i.e. your customer, pays the initial fees but if you transfer the Bitcoins later, for example, to exchange them for NZD, you pay them.
BitBucks Wallet: Designed to Pay with Bitcoin
Fortunately, some solutions solve the problem with both confirmations and fees. Making use of the Lightning Network, for example. Lightning is an off-chain network through which Bitcoin transmits almost free of charge, without the wait for confirmation. However, Lightning requires a great deal of technical skill and works very slowly with poor mobile reception. Only in exceptional cases is it suitable for retail use, at least at this time.
A simpler and more efficient solution appears - the BitBucks Wallet. This instant payment app allows you to send and receive Bitcoin both conventionally and internally in the BitBucks system. If both you and your customer use a BitBucks Wallet, the payments are free of charge and confirmed in real-time. It's the perfect tool for the retail sector.
Unlike Lightning, BitBucks is extremely simple to use. It's even easier than a Bitcoin wallet. You download the app, log in with your phone number, and you're ready to go. More information about the BitBucks Wallet can be found on their official website.
What are you waiting for? Take five minutes to accept Bitcoin at your shopfront. You have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain.
How to Buy Bitcoin (BTC) in NZ?
To easily buy Bitcoin (BTC) in New Zealand you can do so right here, at BitPrime. First, if you haven’t already done so, please register an account with us and have your ID verified. Finally, visit our Bitcoin page to order your BTC. If you require any further assistance, please contact us, and we will be happy to help.
The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. Do not take this as personalised financial advice or investment advice. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent the opinion of BitPrime.
Images courtesy of BitBucks unless stated otherwise.
Last updated: 13/12/2019