How to accept Bitcoin in retail?
By Philipp Peters
Online Marketing at BitBucks.
How do you get Bitcoins to the cash register at bakeries, kiosks and other small retailers? We explain how you can accept Bitcoins in five minutes, what there is to keep in mind – and why the BitBucks Wallet is already designed to pay with bitcoin in retail?
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. The revenues have to be brought to the bank, where usually a fee is due to pay them in. 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.
Free of charge, global, inflation-proof
If you want to offer your customers an alternative without investing in a terminal or paying expensive fees, you should take a look at Bitcoin.
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 the crypto currency at the checkout, you will impress your technology enthusiasts and euro/dollar sceptics – and free yourself from the influence of banks and payment service providers. There are many reasons to accept Bitcoins in retail.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that was created in 2009 and has since arrived in numerous shops and online shops around the world. Many believe that it is the currency of the future: a global, value-stable digital money that can be sent from Canada to Kuwait as quickly as from Stuttgart to Berlin. It’s worth getting started here early.
Problem of transaction fees and times
There is also a detail about Bitcoin that you should know about: A transaction is initially considered unconfirmed. Only after about 10 minutes it will be confirmed by the Bitcoin miners. If you are dealing with smaller amounts – for a bread roll, a beer, a cake, let’s say – it doesn’t matter in itself. Nobody will take the trouble to carry out a technically challenging and criminal double spend in order to obtain a chocolate bar. If, on the other hand, you sell expensive things – jewellery, electrical devices and others – an unconfirmed transaction might not be safe enough.
Transaction fees can also be a problem. These are usually relatively low – 2 to 5 cents – but can in some cases be up to 50 cents or more. They are paid by the sender, i.e. your customer, but you also have to transfer the Bitcoins later, for example to exchange them for euros. At the latest then the fees can become unpleasant.
Fortunately, there are solutions that solve the problem with both the confirmations and the fees. Usually it is suggested to use the Lightning Network. Lightning is an off-chain network through which Bitcoins are transmitted almost free of charge, without having to wait for confirmation. However, Lightning requires a great deal of technical skill and will only work very slowly with poor mobile reception. Only in exceptional cases is it suitable for the retail, at least at this time.
A simpler and more efficient solution delivers the BitBucks Wallet. This instant payment app allows you to send and receive Bitcoins 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 is the perfect tool for the retail sector.