Using crypto for the purchase of goods was always the fundamental dream behind digital currency. Yet to date, it has remained a peripheral use of Bitcoin, Ethereum and the rest. While plenty of traders are willing to chance their arms buying and selling crypto on the exchanges with a view to making a quick buck, few use their digital coins for buying tangible goods.
That, however, seems set to change as the use of crypto among retailers moves from the eccentric few to the mainstream. USDT payments with the Tether stablecoin reduce volatility risk, and research by Deloitte indicates that by 2025, the majority of retailers will be inviting customers to use Bitcoin to make their purchases. So what is driving this change and just how complicated is it to accept virtual payments in the physical world?
Crypto payments can benefit everyone
Deloitte’s research found that about a third of consumers in the 18-54 bracket that is so important to retailers own crypto. Of these, about three quarters would like the option to spend it on physical purchases. So accepting crypto will meet the wishes of about 25 percent of customers in a way that is not being done at present. That’s a significant win from any angle.
But it is not just the customers who benefit. Accepting crypto can reduce costs, hassle and fraud risk for businesses, too. Crypto payments are fast, secure and low cost. Businesses are already taking advantage of this in the B2B sphere, especially where international payments are concerned, as using crypto also removes all exchange rate costs and complications. More than a third of multinationals are already using crypto for cross border transactions, and they are saving as much as 75 percent in costs and 96 percent in time according to Synovus.
Many of those benefits also apply to B2C ecommerce and even to brick and mortar retail stores. It would tempt fate to say blockchain transactions are hacker-proof, but we can say they are more secure than any other form of transaction. They are also instant and do not incur significant transaction cost. In fact, transactions are usually free or close to free.
How to add crypto to your payment options
Part of the reason that so many retailers are considering adding crypto as a payment option is it is so quick, cheap and easy. It won’t end up costing an arm and a leg like Amex, and if you use a reliable payment gateway like UniPayment, it is zero hassle to set it up for BTC, ETH or USDT payments, and for other cryptocurrencies too.
Before you start, it is important to understand the crypto regulations in your country or US state. Forbes published a handy guide earlier this year on the topic. In brief, the US is saying a lot at federal level but doing little in terms of firm regulation. The UK is promoting stablecoins with enthusiasm, so USDT payments are a good option here. There is also information on other countries around the world.
Once you are clear on where you stand from a tax and regulatory perspective, you need to choose a payment gateway. A gateway takes care of the actual transaction and can either hold the money in crypto for you or instantly transfer it to your fiat account. Unipayment is a popular choice as it allows merchants plenty of flexibility and has low pay-as-you go fees.
More pros than cons to crypto
Be under no illusions, there are still downsides to crypto, most notably its volatility. But with a reliable gateway that transfers unpegged cryptocurrencies to fiat and provides the option for stablecoins like USDC or USDT payments, this risk is well mitigated.
We are approaching a watershed, and when the really big retail players like Walmart and Amazon start encouraging crypto transactions, it will become an accepted practice. It makes sense that so many retailers see now as the time to get onboard.
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