When Shopify, Zynga, Overstock.com, TigerDirect and slew of other major retailers began to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment, the writing was already on the wall – Bitcoin is not going anywhere anytime soon. In another colossal development, payments giant Stripe has now begun testing ACH (Automated Clearing House) as well as Bitcoin payments among certain users.
Some of the other well known companies operating in this space are Andreessen-Horowitz backed Coinbase and BitPay – which does the payment processing for companies such as Wordpress, AmagiMetals, GamerKeys.net. and even The New Mexico Tea Company, among others. However, Stripe is the first major payment processor to begin accepting the virtual currency.
- Stripe currently supports over 130 currencies globally, and Bitcoin will now be added to that list.
- The company will begin supporting payments via Bitcoin, through a private beta program that its users can sign up for.
- Merchants that utilize Stripe to accept bitcoin payments will automatically be paid out in the local currency of their choice.
- The Price for the product or service is set by the merchant in his local currency. Thereafter, that value in Bitcoin is calculated for the users by Stripe.
- Payments will arrive in their bank accounts in around 7 days and neither Stripe nor its users will hold onto the Bitcoin.
- Stripe usually charges its customers a 2.9 percent fee plus 30 cents on each credit card transaction it processes but the company has yet to decide on a transaction rate for Bitcoin.
- Currently, stripe accepts major international debit or credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club and JCB.
- The first customer to integrate Bitcoin payments via Stripe is Tarsnap – an online backup service.
“This is a long-term investment for us. People selling online aren’t going to shift all their sales to bitcoin overnight, or even in the next few months. There’s some education needed on what accepting bitcoin means and what the advantages are. We also need to make the consumer buying experience better. That’ll take time,” Stripe’s Lead Bitcoin Engineer, Christian Anderson told Coinbase. On the topic of competition, “We would like interoperability to be the winning path, and we want to support the ecosystem. Think about a South African consumer using their Coinbase wallet to buy services from a German Stripe merchant. That’s a very cool world to live in,” he stated.