Dubbed the currency of the Internet, Bitcoin is a fast growing mode of payment around the world. Indeed, with zero transaction fees and anonymous payments, both customers and merchants are adopting the use of Bitcoin very rapidly. Due to its rapidly rising popularity, different bitcoin payment gateways have been established to allow merchants accept online bitcoin payments. However, not all Bitcoin merchant services are made equal and competing for the same customer segment. Some are only in testing stages, whereas some are already very established. Here are the top Bitcoin merchant services that are in operation and gaining traction (There is no ranking system here, just listing by region):
Located in Australia, Bitpos is a Bitcoin merchant provider that helps shop owners and chain stores alike accept Bitcoin payments.
Launched in June, 2013, Artabit allows users to buy and sell Bitcoins in exchange for Indonesian rupiah (IDR). The Indonesian diaspora can also transfer funds into Indonesia using Bitcoin network.
Most US-based bitcoin merchant services today do not do overseas transactions, except for bitpay, which has expanded to both Europe, South America and some part of Asia.
Founded in 2011, Bitpay is the largest Bitcoin payment service provider, based in the US. Bitpay allows the merchants mitigate the risk of Bitcoin price volatility by allowing them to accept and immediately convert Bitcoins to the currency of their choice. With Bitpay, American employees can elect to have a part or all of their salary paid in Bitcoin.
Coinbase offers an online wallet service for storing, sending and receiving Bitcoins. In addition, users can sell and buy Bitcoins for US dollars at the current market rate using their United States bank account. Buying or selling through Coinbase, however, attracts a fee of about 1% of the value of the transaction. Coinbase enables businesses to accept Bitcoin payments online. (Update: Coinbase has just announced that they will be operating the buying and selling of bitcoin in 13 countries in Europe).
GoCoin accommodates Bitcoin and other popular altcoins such as dogecoin and litecoin. The company gives the customers the convenience of choice; that is, customers can decide to keep the coins or exchange them to their preferred currency. GoCoin charges a 1% fee. Gocoin focuses on online merchants.
Blockchain provides its users a free online Bitcoin wallet called My Wallet. The wallet allows users to make worldwide payments for free. Blockchain also provides an API for developers to access data about the company. As of January 2014, the site had over a million registered users. Blockchain does not do wire transfers. They help merchants calculate how much bitcoins required for that currency.
BIPS is a Bitcoin payment gateway that allows its users to accept online Bitcoin payments, point of sale and recurring billing. BIPS also delivers near field communication (NFC) to make secure Bitcoin payments fast and convenient. The provider runs a 0% payment processing fees as it hopes to earn profit by the conversion spread.
PayFast enables its sellers to accept Bitcoin payments from local and international buyers. However, although buyers can make a Bitcoin payment, sellers only receive South African local currency (rand, or ZAR) in their PayFast accounts.
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