Last Monday, Paymium launched its merchant solution, to enable any online European merchant to accept bitcoin as a payment method.
To do this, you only need to use Paymium’s API or plugins and you could accept bitcoin payments tomorrow. No worries, as a merchant, you won’t be exposed to the bitcoin price’s high volatility: with Paymium’s solution, prices are displayed in Euros, the consumer sends bitcoin at the current exchange rate, and once the bitcoin payment is received, it is instantly converted into Euros.
Then the next obvious question is: why would I accept bitcoin as a merchant? Without getting into the depth of what is bitcoin and what makes it – I believe – one of our century’s most noteworthy innovations, here are a few reasons why:
- Bitcoin transactions are cheap: without converting your bitcoin payments into Euros, the fee for a bitcoin transaction is around 0.0001 bitcoin, which means at the current rate around 0.05 Euros. Using merchant tools to easily accept bitcoin and convert them directly in your official currency still remains pretty cheap. To be even more precise, using Paymium will be free until the end of 2014, meaning that if you receive a 100€ payment, you will receive 100€ on your bank account. After these first free months, the merchant will have to pay a 19,90€/month subscription fee. Likewise, other bitcoin payment processors like Coinbase or Bitpay offer pricings that have nothing to do with the conventional 2.5% commission used by traditional payment processors.
- Bitcoin gives businesses a global outreach from day one. If a merchant accepts bitcoin now, it also means that he can sell his products to the entire planet – provided he can ship anywhere on the globe. International payment is a pain for most businesses in terms of exchange risk and because of the lack of good and easy existing solution to accept payments in any currency.
- With bitcoin, fraud becomes complicated. Many consumers are reluctant to pay online with their credit card for fear that their personal and payment info would be stolen – either by a hacker or the merchant himself. Unfortunately, this fear isn’t totally unjustified, as even regular offline transactions aren’t 100% secure. Last december, a hacker stole the credit card information of 40 million consumers of Target, a major US retailer. This wouldn’t be possible with bitcoin payments, as the consumer doesn’t provide any of his personal information to transfer bitcoin: he only has to use the public address or a QR code provided by the merchant, confirm the transfer, and that’s it! The payment is done.
- Chargebacks are not possible with bitcoin payments as they are irreversible.
Accepting bitcoin as a payment method is cheaper, more secure, and more global than any existing solution. These three reasons should be good enough to look into it.
As a European merchant, you can do so today with Paymium. The company was created in 2011 by Gonzague Grandval and Pierre Noizat. They first created a bitcoin exchange which enables consumers and businesses to buy, sell, send, receive and store bitcoins. They have been very active in France, discussing with the government to encourage the implementation of smart regulation around bitcoin. They’ve also been working hard to make their service compliant with existing European regulations – which isn’t exactly an easy job as there is very few regulation around bitcoin as most governments scratch their heads to figure out how to legislate about this new payment medium.