If you’re running a business, it’s impossible not to have heard of Bitcoin. A decentralized, digital currency that’s revolutionizing the way we do our deals. Through Bitcoin, we’ve basically removed financial institutions in the process of transacting with one another. The best part is we’re now able to pay for goods and services anonymously, without divulging any sensitive information like our credit card details.
As an online merchant, the next step is gauging whether you should start accepting Bitcoin payments in your store. Here, we’ll talk about the benefits of Bitcoin payments and how you can get started.
Benefits of accepting Bitcoin
For customers, it removes the stress and fear of giving out account information online, which hackers and phishers might get a hold of. But for merchants, there are two major advantages:
- Reduced chargeback costs
With Bitcoin, payments are irreversible. Once your customers have sent their payment, they will be unable to retrieve it without the consent of the merchant. In effect, this lessens your chargeback costs, plus reduces cases of e-Commerce fraud.
- No transaction fees
Bitcoin isn’t regulated by the government and other financial organizations. This means that transactions happen solely between the buyer and the seller. There are no middlemen that will handle your money and require fees just to process the payment.
Process of offering Bitcoin payments on WordPress
Not only will you be saving money with Bitcoin, but you’ll also be reaching a much wider audience. A lot of customers are using BItcoin for security and convenience, mostly. Accepting Bitcoin on your website will enable you to tap into this market and perhaps can make you stand out.
Since this goes beyond purchasing an SSL certificate or registering a domain name, the whole process can get too technical. But don’t worry, just follow these steps so you can start processing Bitcoin payments:
WordPress is one of the top platforms to use for an online shop. You can go through Crazy Domains or other service providers where you can register and purchase a domain name, and immediately set up your WordPress website. After fixing up your website’s design and usability, make sure you install WooCommerce. This is every online entrepreneurs’ go-to plugin. You can create item galleries for thousands of products and turn your blog into a profit earning online shop.
Install the CoinGate WooCommerce Plugin
CoinGate is an extension of the WooCommerce Plugin, and this is the primary engine for accepting Bitcoin payments. Go to the Plugins menu at the left sidebar, then click Add New. Search CoinGate and start installing, then activate once it’s done.
When you already have products to sell, you’ll have to go to Products at the left sidebar (this will be available when WooCommerce is installed), and click Add New. You’ll be redirected to a screen which will require you to fill in product details such as the name of the product, description, and price. Then click the Publish button once you’re done. Make sure to copy the product URL as you will need it later.
Next, go to the WooCommerce settings and activate Bitcoin payments. Just click on Settings, find the Checkout tab. It is a bit difficult to see, but below the Checkout tab, you’ll see the Checkout options row — click CoinGate. You will be redirected to another screen to click the Enable Bitcoin payments checkbox. You will be required to fill in your CoinGate App ID, Public Key, and Secret Key. To do this, you will need to get your CoinGate app started.
Open a new window and go to CoinGate.com. Click the Register Now button and fill in the necessary details. Then, you will be given a set of instructions until you end up on a screen with Accept Bitcoin Payments option. At the very last screen, you will be given your app ID, public key, and secret key.
Copy these, and then go back to the WooCommerce settings so you can paste and click Save, then click on Finish. You will end up at your CoinGate dashboard which you will use to configure your settings. Just mouse over to your account name and then click on API Apps. There, you can set how long your customer needs to send their payments.
Then, get the product URL you copied from the first step to test if it is working. Just make a purchase and go through your checkout process. You should be seeing the CoinGate invoice page.
Applying Bitcoin payments might be a doozy. But remember that this is a chance for you to reach a market who prefer the secure transactions offered by a digital currency. Consider doing this for your online store and see how it affects your growth.