Technology has changed the way people work, how they interact with each other, how they do shopping, and even how they pay for goods. The use of smartphones allows consumers to pay for goods digitally. Now a new payment system is gaining popularity—cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency has become a trend for the last few years.
According to studies, the cryptocurrency market will grow by up to 60% by 2025. Businesses are integrating cryptocurrency gateways so in many e-shops you can see a cryptocurrency payment method among traditional methods such as credit card and PayPal.
Its popularity is permanently growing and it has been used in business as well. In this article, we’d like to highlight the best crypto payment gateways for businesses that accept bitcoin and transfer it to fiat currencies automatically.
All about cryptocurrency technology
What are cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrency is a digital payment system that does not use banks to verify transactions. It is a peer-to-peer system that allows for sending and receiving payments. Cryptocurrency payments exist only in the digital form and stored in online databases; they have no physical form. When transferring money in cryptocurrencies, transactions are recorded in open registers. Cryptocurrency is stored in users’ digital wallets.
It is encryption that is used to verify transactions. The purpose of encryption is to provide security. Encryption is used to store and transfer cryptocurrency between wallets. By the way, that is why cryptocurrency got its name.
Cryptocurrencies are created by the means of blockchain technology. Blockchain is a way to store information about transactions in “blocks”. This is a rather complex technical process, which causes difficulty to hack them. In addition, transactions require two-factor authentication.
There are over 2,000 different types of cryptocurrencies. The most popular ones:
- Stellar Lumens
- Binance Coin
What is a crypto shopping cart?
A crypto shopping cart or cryptocurrency gateway is a payment instrument that allows you to accept transactions for paying for goods and services in digital currencies, and then exchange them for regular money. Sometimes the name of a getaway implies which currency is available and a word “crypto” is replaced by the currency name, for example, bitcoin shopping cart.
Why should businesses accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
Businesses and in particular ecommerce accepting cryptocurrency have a lot of benefits. By integrating a cryptocurrency payment method entrepreneurs can attract more customers and increase sales. Also, they use it as an alternative for credit card payments. There are some reasons why people want to switch to or add a new payment method:
- New way of payment that may attract new people
- Security of transactions
- Decrease commissions for acquiring
- Implement new loyalty programs
- It may increase the average check of customers
- Some entrepreneurs just want to support the cryptocurrency revolution
But there’s one thing you need to keep in mind when thinking about accepting cryptocurrencies. This currency is super volatile. You need to make sure you’ll be able to convert it to fiat currency right after you receive the payment.
What to look for in a cryptocurrency payment gateway?
Before we come to the best cryptocurrency payment gateways let’s see the main features of cryptocurrencies. Some of them may be positive, others are negative or both.
- Security—the first feature that naturally comes to mind is a safeness of money flow. Ecommerce accepting cryptocurrency increases transaction’s security.
- Irreversibility of transactions—transactions can be refunded only by the party receiving the funds. Businesses should process customers’ requests in private. You will be obliged to have immaculate records of transactions. It allows businesses to manage money flow accurately but requires a lot of additional effort.
- Lower taxes—in comparison to common technologies like PayPal the taxes are lower. For example, PayPal’s taxes start from 4% while transactions in crypto shopping carts may be free or 1% whatever country it is. It is possible since cryptocurrencies do not depend on national banks.
- Changes in the tax system—accepting crypto payment gateway you have to pay capital gains tax which means that you should check the value for each currency daily to provide the information about your sales.
- Instability of cryptocurrencies—there are a lot of risks related to volatility of such currencies. Some businessmen even consider it dysfunctional.
- Publicity—all transactions are publicly available, but there is no information about the owners of the addresses. However, the identity of the owner can be established subject to the availability of additional information.
The benefits and disadvantages are questionable since their applicability depends on a certain business model.
Best bitcoin payment gateways
Payment21® is a Swiss-based crypto shopping cart for online merchants, multinational corporations, and financial intermediaries worldwide. The company offers solutions optimized for eCommerce, mobile commerce, and in-store transactions. They have tremendous experience in establishing payment and banking systems in Europe and the United States.
Payment21® bitcoin shopping cart accepts digital cash online in compliance with AML-laws. The service includes a payment gateway, collection of funds, currency exchange, clearing and settlement, data processing, reporting, and compliance services. It allows eCommerce stores to accept not only Bitcoin but also Ether.
Settlements times are very short: payments are transferred to your account in real-time and get settled in a legal tender on the same day or the next business day.
The transaction fee depends on your business model, industry, transaction status, geolocation, and a number of other factors. The system also supports fixed price plans, flat-fee pricing, and tiered fees. CS-Cart works with Payment21® by default.
BitPay was founded in the United States in 2011 when bitcoin was in its infancy. They are pioneers in cryptocurrency transactions. BitPay offers a number of options of accepting bitcoin for businesses: on the website, by email, or in person.
BitPay is one of the best bitcoin merchant and most trusted cryptocurrency payment systems in the world: BitPay is used by Microsoft, Newegg, AirBaltic, Twitch, and thousands of other vendors worldwide.
The mechanism of accepting payments is simple: you integrate your eCommerce website with BitPay and add the bitcoin payment method to the checkout page. When customers pay via the cryptocurrency at a locked-in exchange rate, BitPay converts it to US dollars, euros, or any other fiat currency. Then BitPay initiates a bank settlement to you the next business day. Simple as that.
The pricing is also simple: BitPay takes a 1% transaction fee. They offer unlimited monthly transactions and daily settlements.
NOWPayments is a non-custodial crypto shopping cart founded in 2019. The service lets you accept payments in 100+ cryptocurrencies. There’s an auto coin conversion available, so regardless of what coin customers pay with, merchants can choose to accept the ones they prefer. The fee policy includes a 0.5% transaction fee plus 0.5% exchange fee if an exchange is needed.
The platform supports fiat conversion and offers customized Casino solutions, a Twitch donation button, a Mass Payouts solution, and a point-of-sale link.
NOWPayments provides merchants with different payment and donation tools: API, invoices, donation widget, buttons, as well as plugins for WooCommerce, ZenCart, PrestaShop, OpenCart, WHMCS, Magento 2, and others.
Coinbase for commerce is an crypto shopping cart that accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, USD Coin, and DAI. Over 8,000 merchants accept cryptocurrency through Coinbase worldwide. Coinbase integrates with WooCommerce and Shopify by default but it has a robust API for custom integrations with other shopping carts.
The service offers ready-made checkout pages and payment buttons, so you will be able to start accepting cryptocurrencies very quickly. After a sign-up, you get access to all the features, robust API, multi-currency functionality, webhooks for charges, customized payment buttons, and hosted checkout pages.
But the coolest thing about Coinbase for commerce is that it’s free—no fees to accept cryptocurrencies.
CoinGate is one of the oldest crypto payment gateways—it was founded in 2014. Now, it integrates with lots of popular shopping cart solutions. It has a good reputation among merchants and partners with big companies like Dimoco, Changelly, Elliptic, Simplex, Dao Pay, and others.
The mechanism of accepting payments is simple and transparent: a customer picks cryptocurrency to pay for a product, CoinGate calculates the amount in the selected cryptocurrency and generates a payment window for the shopper. Them Coingate collects the payment and you can receive payouts whether in fiat currency or crypto.
CoinGate crypto shopping cart offers three payment plans: 1% transaction fee for merchants, 3% fee for traders, and custom pricing for enterprises.
CoinsBank is an all-in-one crypto payment gateway that supports instant deposit and withdrawal through the mobile application. The service works with all major fiat currencies. The Coinsbank wallet can be easily synchronized with your debit card in just a couple of clicks.
Among major features, we’d like to highlight instant deposit and withdrawal, convenient currency exchange in current market rates, two-factor authentication, 24/7 customer support, easy setup for conversion, and payouts based on time period or the accumulated amount in cryptocurrency or major currencies.
Opening and closing the account is free. Transaction fees depend on the type of cryptocurrency and other factors. You can see all the information about the fees on their website.
One of the best bitcoin payment processors, OpenNode is popular and has a lot of advantages. According to the creators, “this is the world’s first multi-tier bitcoin payment processor for business.” Transactions happen instantly with zero fees.
The company strives to make a reliable network in which bitcoin becomes an understandable and secure payment method. The digital environment is constantly changing. The company is actively researching all Bitcoin protocol developments in order to create services that optimize the business and expand possibilities of payment methods.
OpenNode is available for integration with many eCommerce platforms, in particular marketplaces which are created on popular softwares such as Shopify and Magento.
In conclusion, cryptocurrencies are an interesting technology which open up new possibilities for crypto shopping carts and business in general. We had a look at the best crypto payment processors. Their use of bitcoin shopping cart and similar getaways is risky in some points but still this method is applicable and permanently develops. We hope that in the nearest future it will be improved to provide reliable payments.
- Yan Anderson is the Social Relations and Content Manager at CS-Cart. He's passionate about creating content that explains complicated things in simple terms. Yan loves writing and making videos about the ecommerce industry and technology trends. He manages this blog as an editor.