Easier Bitcoin access for merchants is beginning to materialize, with several tech companies developing solutions to improve the asset’s use case. The latest iteration is from the crypto payment processor BitPay, which announced a new product for businesses.
Pay With Crypto, but Don’t Hold It
Earlier this week, the payment processor launched BitPay Send, a service that allows businesses to conduct mass payouts. The service, which is now available in 225 countries, will enable companies to process crypto payments en masse without handling or owning digital assets themselves.
Use cases for this tool include batch contractor payments, payroll processing, affiliate payouts, reward programs, and possible refunds for products. BitPay claims that the service can cut transaction times from days to mere minutes, with users merely needing to have valid crypto wallets and pass Know-Your-Customer (JYC) requirements.
The service is off to an impressive start, having been adopted by advertising platform AdGate Media. In a press release, AdGate’s President Dan Sapozhnikov explained that most of the company’s affiliates are based outside Europe and North America. With BitPay Send, the firm sees an opportunity to bypass these regions’ weak banking structures and digital payment facilities.
Sapozhnikov added that these affiliates had indicated their desire to get payments in Bitcoin, even though AdGate Media isn’t so inclined to hold cryptocurrencies on its own.
“Having BitPay manage that risk was an important factor in choosing BitPay Send. With BitPay Send, we are able to get our affiliates paid in a matter of minutes and not days,” he added.
The Payment Market Shakes Up
While BitPay is going out of its way to accommodate companies that don’t want to hold crypto, the company appears to be doing well in its core markets. In September, it released a report on a study of four of its crypto-accepting clients.
As the report noted, the merchants lauded the lack of fraud-related chargebacks with crypto. Chargebacks are a significant problem for most businesses dealing with legacy financial institutions. They also reported that although crypto represented less than 6.5 percent of their sales, it helped grow new customer inflow by an average of 40 percent in the last three years.
The report highlighted that these merchants saw growth in online shopping during the pandemic. This influx increased their crypto transaction volumes, with 11 percent of their customers confirming that they used digital and crypto payment methods for the first time.
However, BitPay will have some serious competition when 2021 rolls by after top payment processor PayPal announced that it would incorporate digital assets into its core services from January 1. PayPal is a much larger company, and its announcement was met with significant fanfare from the crypto industry. The firm has now launched its crypto trading and payment services for customers in the United States, allowing eligible customers to transact with up to $20,000 a week.