Today, crypto technology continues to revamp the financial sector globally. Businesses accepting digital currencies like Bitcoin as modes of payment are slowly attracting a significant share of the world’s customer base.
However, integrating bitcoin payments into your merchant account does not come without notable concerns and difficulties. Read on for a brief overview of the pros and cons of having a bitcoin merchant account.
What is a Bitcoin Merchant Account?
If you are going to accept bitcoin as payment for your products and services, then you will need a specialized merchant account designed for bitcoin payments. This is popularly known as a bitcoin merchant account.
Since crypto services are considered high risk, a bitcoin payment gateway can only be made available by a payment processor specializing in high-risk merchant accounts. The blockchain technology behind bitcoin payments makes a bitcoin merchant account superior to ordinary card accounts.
The Pros of Creating a Bitcoin Merchant Account
Regardless of bitcoin’s market value, creating a bitcoin merchant account offers a wide range of opportunities and benefits to small and large businesses. They include;
Having Lower Transaction Fees
Payment processing is known for its high cost of facilitating transactions, discouraging businesses from accepting card payments. Typically, running a merchant would cost you tens of thousands. The fees are even higher when procuring high-risk merchant accounts.
However, with a merchant account for Bitcoin, businesses can enjoy comprehensive payment services at a cost of four times less. Where other processors charge about 4%, Bitcoin payments will cost you about 1% per transaction.
No Possibility for Chargebacks
Unlike other forms of online payments, transfers made to a merchant account for Bitcoin cannot be disputed. This is because Bitcoin technology has no room for the reversal of transactions. As a result, Bitcoin payments safeguard businesses from chargebacks and chargeback fraud.
Primarily, transactions initiated over blockchain technology are structurally peer-to-peer. There is no third party to oversee reversals and fund returns. Therefore, the responsibility to refund a payment lies entirely on the seller and not the system.
Accepting International Payments
Although card payments eliminate international barriers, transacting across countries attracts currency exchange fees and other transboundary costs. Not to mention the time limits that define the operations of financial institutions. It can take hours, if not days, to complete a bank payment.
With a bitcoin merchant account, however, funds do not fall under the control or oversight of a third party. As a result, payments by bitcoin are made within minutes and at zero additional costs.
Bitcoin transactions are probably the fastest form of payment processing in the market. With the speed of sending an email, payments by bitcoins take a few minutes to process and hours to complete.
Bitcoin conversions into cash are also faster and more efficient than credit card conversions. Generally, credit card payments involve a wide range of players, spending more time verifying and confirming transactions. While bitcoin merchant accounts come from a third-party vendor, the processes are designed to run faster.
The Cons of Creating a Bitcoin Merchant Account
While there are plenty of benefits associated with bitcoin merchant accounts, there are equally notable downsides that should be considered. These include;
Being Considered a High-Risk Merchant Accounts
The lack of sufficient information about the bitcoin industry dissuades most banks from creating bitcoin merchant accounts. Often, this is attributed to the fact that bitcoin payments are new and that assessment of market risks is limited.
The few acquiring banks that accept applications to bitcoin merchant services require you to meet special requirements, including anti-money laundering policies.
The Market Volatility of Bitcoin
The value of bitcoin is significantly driven by dynamic factors, including media hype, government regulations, and speculation. In most cases, this value fluctuates wildly daily, pushing businesses into unimaginable losses.
If the market value of bitcoin declines before your business makes the necessary conversions, you may end up losing more money against your sales.
The Lack of Regulations
Generally, the finance industry bears inherent risks and challenges. However, since cryptocurrencies lack regulation, integrating a bitcoin payment system into the global financial system might remain a nightmare.
The overall impact of operating in an unregulated industry is that your business stands to be exposed to illicit payments, financial crime, and financial instability.
How to Create a Bitcoin Merchant Account
There are two methods of creating bitcoin merchant accounts.
Firstly, you can choose a merchant service provider with a specialty in bitcoin payment processing. Usually, the provider will require you to provide predetermined credentials and meet certain requirements to set up the account. Once you have signed the stipulated agreements, the financial institution will create the merchant account on your behalf at a fee.
Alternatively, you can sign up with a third-party bitcoin vendor and create a merchant account for your business as guided. Ideally, the vendor will require you to generate a secret key or PIN to access your merchant account. You can now integrate your online platform with the generated account for processing payments.
Bitcoin brings greater flexibility and convenience to both sellers and buyers. However, before you integrate the bitcoin payment system into your business, you might want to understand the limitations that come with the system. A look into the pros and cons of bitcoin merchant accounts should help you make informed choices.