The rise of online shopping and mobile wallets has taken digital spending to new heights. However, the risk of a data breach is a major concern for today’s shoppers. Safer and more secure, it's no surprise that cryptocurrency is rising in popularity with both businesses and customers.
How consumers pay for things is rapidly evolving. The rise of online shopping and mobile wallets has taken digital spending to new heights. However, the risk of a data breach is not only a new concern for today's digital shoppers but a reality considering that more than 4.2 billion data records were stolen in 2016. It's no surprise that cryptocurrency is rising in popularity with both businesses and consumers. Cryptocurrency is digital currency that offers more security and data protection than credit cards. Read on to see why your business should consider accepting cryptocurrency.
Shifting consumer expectations
As more of their personal and financial information is online, consumers have begun shifting their expectations about data security and privacy. With fraudulent charges from hackers and thieves on the rise, consumers are using more secure methods to pay for goods and services.
A recent voter survey showed that 75 percent want stores to move as quickly as possible to adopt new forms of electronic payments that would help protect consumer information. Sixty-three percent said stores and retailers should offer the payment types that consumers find to be the most secure.
In addition to wanting payment security, online shoppers want to be able to check out in a variety of ways. The more options offered, the more customers you'll please. Research firm L2 noted the availability of 11 different checkout options beyond credit cards, but most consumer brands only offered one option. Just 20 percent of brands support two options, while 3 percent support three or four. The study noted that the top-performing brands had two or more expedited payment options, demonstrating that companies that offer multiple payment options are preferred by customers.
Cryptocurrency adoption is spreading
Businesses are already beginning to take note of these customer preferences. A recent study from Oracle found that 44 percent of businesses would like to focus on offering newer payment options.
Japan is currently rapidly adopting cryptocurrency. About 260,000 commercial facilities, food establishments, drugstores and other retailers will soon accept bitcoin and 50,000 already do via BitPay software.
Here in the U.S., cryptocurrency adoption is also on the rise. Big name brands now accepting cryptocurrency include Overstock.com, DISH Network, Microsoft, Intuit (TurboTax and QuickBooks), PayPal, Subway, Expedia and more. Upon Overstock.com's announcement that they would begin accepting every major cryptocurrency, their share prices increased by over 130 percent, showing strong Wall Street support for this innovation. Additionally, several New York and Miami real estate companies are now accepting cryptocurrency to better serve international buyers and maintain buy privacy. Nasdaq recently accounted plans to launch cryptocurrency futures in first half 2018.
SMBs should take note. Vendors like Shopify, Etsy, and Square already offer cryptocurrency integration. If you use one of these services, you could easily begin accepting cryptocurrency in your store via their service.
With benefits over traditional currency, like smaller transaction fees and the lack of exchange rates for currencies, it is hardly a surprise that cryptocurrency is now accepted by 100,000 merchants worldwide.
How to accept cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency adoption doesn't have to be complicated. To determine which cryptocurrency to integrate with, monitor popularity or stability (change in value). There are increasing numbers of cryptocurrency evaluation technologies can help you determine which cryptocurrency payments are most preferred by your customers, or by other businesses in your industry. SMBs can immediately begin accepting a variety of cryptocurrencies via popular gift card services like eGifter, Gyft, and Purse.io (which integrates with Amazon).
Once your business begins accepting cryptocurrency, owners will need to be mindful of converting it back to standard tender, such as dollars or British pounds. Digital tools like CoinFi or Investing.com help small business owners easily monitor fluctuating exchange rates so they can cash in their cryptocurrency when it's most favorable to their business. Currently, cryptocurrency sees more price fluctuations than typical currency exchange rates. For example, Bitcoin is traded in over 400 exchanges and has exchange rates that can vary by up to 20 percent.
SMB owners can also keep their cryptocurrency in a bank. World Core, Change Bank, Fidor Bank, Bankera, and Monaize all often banking services for cryptocurrency. Mainstream financial service Fidelity Investments also offers cryptocurrency services.