10 Best Payment Processors for Bitcoin for Merchants
An Introduction to Bitcoin Payment Processors
Accepting payment in Bitcoin has a wide range of benefits for both online retailers and good old fashioned bricks and mortar businesses.
Of course the 'decentralized' nature of Bitcoin means that anyone can start accepting payments using this innovative new system, without needing to have an account with a third party provider. But for many businesses it is simply easier, cheaper, and more secure to pay a small fee to a professional payment processor.
One of the most popular services provided by these payment processors is the instant conversion of Bitcoin (BTC) to your local fiat currency (like USD for example). This is important for many businesses because most businesses which accept Bitcoin payments still have to pay all of their own costs and buy stock using fiat money, so changes in the exchange rate between Bitcoin and the businesses local currency could lead to losses if the BTC accepted as payment is not instantly converted into fiat.
Payment processors also provide you with all of the tools and reports that you need to make accepting Bitcoin payments as simple and convenient as possible without you having to develop your own software solution.
In this article I will provide an introduction to 10 of the best and most popular Bitcoin payment processors. I have selected these ten on the basis of the range of features they offer, the cost of using them (which is universally cheaper than the cost of credit card payment processors), and their reputation for reliability and fair business practices.
There Are Many Reasons...
What is the main reason you would like to accept Bitcoin payments?
Coinbase offers one of the most popular solutions for both merchants and regular Bitcoin owners. The fact that they have such a large base of users holding their coins in a Coinbase wallet gives merchants an excellent opportunity to provide their customers with a convenient and familiar checkout process - and if you are able to create your own Coinbase app it also provides an excellent way to reach new customers from directly within their own wallet!
In order to eliminate the risk of holding Bitcoin, Coinbase offers instant conversions to fiat currency on every sale. This service is offered for free on your first $1,000,000 worth of transactions - which for smaller merchants is a really excellent offer. After that there is a 1% fee for these conversions.
All money generated from your sales is paid out daily to your bank account. These payments take 2-3 days to clear.
Learn more here: https://coinbase.com/merchants
Examples of Coinbase Apps
Contrary to popular perception Bitcoin is not just for making payments over the internet - it can also be a great solution for taking payments in person at physical bricks and mortar business!
Coinkite provides one of the best point of sale (POS) solutions for merchants and other businesses wanting to accept Bitcoin payments from their customers. The Coinkite POS system allows you to take payments by printing out a small piece of paper with a QR code on it. When the customer uses their phone or tablet to scan the QR code and send a payment, the terminal alerts the merchant that a payment has been made.
Because Coinkite also offers a web wallet and Bitcoin debit card solution to regular users, this system has the added benefit of allowing you to accept card payments from Coinkite users.
Transactions from Coinkite users are confirmed instantly, and the merchant is able to customize the number of confirmations from the network which they require for payments from other wallets.
Other features include bookkeeping records, printed receipts, and even the ability to use the terminal as a currency exchange to buy and sell coins with your own choice of markup on top of the exchange rate.
Learn more here: https://coinkite.com/faq/terminal
The CoinKite Point of Sale Payment Terminal
Moolah offers a wide range of services to both merchants and regular Bitcoin users.
In addition to payment processing Moolah offers a complete solution for building your own web store and accepting a wide range of payment options. Building a new storefront using one of Moolah's templates is quick and easy - taking as little as 5 minutes before you can start adding products and launching your site.
Moolah merchants can use their system to take payments via credit cards, using Bitcoin, through ACH wire transfers or with a variety of other digital currencies. The list of supported 'alt coins' (alternative digital currencies) is quite long, and combining this with the option for credit card payments I believe Moolah offers the widest range of different payment options.
A point of sale terminal is also available for accepting both credit card and digital currency payments in a physical store.
Learn more here: https://moolah.io/
Moolah Merchant Account Screenshot
Bitpay offers one of, if not the most comprehensive solution for merchants wishing to integrate a Bitcoin payment processor into their existing operations.
The company offers a wide range of 'plug-ins' for existing shopping cart software including Magenta, OpenCart, Zen Cart, X-Cart, Wordpress (Woocommerce, E-Commerce etc), Drupal Ubercart, and others. So if you have already got a store running with any of these then integrating Bitcoin payments is super-simple. If you are just starting out, then a partnership with Shopify allows you to create a new store that accepts BTC payments.
All merchants get access to a point of sale app so that you can take payments in a physical store using a phone or app, and anyone wanting a more comprehensive solution can take advantage of BitPay's integrations with Soft Touch POS systems.
Merchants using BitPay can choose to instantly convert all or part of their sales revenue into a range of fiat currencies including US Dollars, Euros, GBP, CAD and more. Payments are made to your bank account daily. You are charged a monthly fee for using BitPay merchant services, but there is no additional transaction fee so you do get $1 paid to your bank account for every $1 paid by your customers.
Learn more here: https://bitpay.com/
GoCoin offers merchants the ability to accept payment in Bitcoin, Litecoin or Dogecoin.
It allows for easy integration into existing sites using a reasonable good selection of plug-ins for popular shoppin cart software such as Magenta, PrestaShop, OpenCart, WooCommerce and more. In addition to this there is an API for developers wishing to build their own custom solutions.
GoCoin's usual fee is the same as Coinbase - 1% on instant currency conversions into fiat, but at the time of writing they have a special offer in which new merchants pay no fees at all for the first 60 days.
Learn more here: https://www.gocoin.com/#home
Bips has a comprehensive payment processing solution which includes unique features such as:
- Recurring payments - the equivalent of direct debits for Bitcoin!
- Hosted and email invoices
- They claim to provide the fastest payment processing solution currently available.
In addition to this they also offer most of the features you will get from the bigger providers, such as a wide range of shopping cart plug-ins, and a point of sale app.
Bips does not charge monthly membership fees and nor do they charge any transaction fees for instant conversions from Bitcoin into fiat. Instead they charge a flat fee for each time you withdraw your fiat balance into your bank account (or paypal account). Withdrawals take 1-5 days.
Learn more here: https://bips.me/
Like Moolah, BitPagos allows merchants to accept both credit card and Bitcoin payments through the same all-in-one solution.
To use BitPagos you can simply add a payment button to your site, or you can use their API to construct your own checkout pages.
BitPagos offers some unique tools, especially useful for businesses such as hotels, including a reservation booking tool and email invoices.
Learn more here: https://www.bitpagos.net/en/
Coinjar is an Australian company which offers one of the lowest fees out of all the payment processors who use the percentage fee per transaction model - 0.5% per instant conversion from BTC into fiat.
They offer merchants a point of sale app, and a pre-built checkout that you can integrate into your web store.
They also promise next day payouts on all transactions.
Learn more here: https://www.coinjar.com
Cryptopay is primarily a European service for buying and selling Bitcoins for either Euros or GBP, but they also offer a good solution for merchants as well.
The Cryptopay merchant service includes a point of sale app with printable QR codes for bricks and mortar businesses. For web stores and web sites looking to take donations there is a choice between a simple 'pay now' button which is as simple to use as just pasting some code into the appropriate place in your site, a hosted checkout page, and an API with Ruby, Node.js, PHP, C# and Python code libraries.
Learn more here: https://cryptopay.me
As I said in the introductory paragraph, the main service provided by most payment processors is the instant conversion of BTC into fiat to avoid currency exchange rate risk. But not every merchant wants to sell their Bitcoins as soon as they get them. Just as some customers like to own and use Bitcoin, so do some businesses like to keep hold of their coins.
If you just want a simple API service to help you accept Bitcoins then look no further than the well respected Block Chain website, as they may well have just what you are looking for. The Block Chain API is entirely free to use and requires no registration. It will create a new unique address for each of your customers, and then monitor that address and alert you with a simple callback when payment is received.
Learn more here: https://blockchain.info/api/api_receive