Easier payments are now a reality: pay with bitcoin, stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies
Making payments with bitcoin has always been painless, but widespread acceptance of crypto payments has taken a bit longer to take hold. That is changing fast as Bitspark builds out its selection of stablecoins which, among other things, can be used to pay bills.
Other projects across the world are adding to the momentum: Flexa just added Litecoin to its payments network and Bitpay continues to grow its commercial network of vendors accepting Bitcoin payments with Microsoft as a flagship customer.
The payments industry is truly well on its way to becoming crypto-based.
Payments are broken
If you recall the last time you purchased something with a card, it probably wasn’t a complex thing to do. You simply swipe your card and the payment is made almost instantly. In fact, you can use your card pretty much anywhere in the world which is a great thing as we travel more and move from country to country.
That same payments system is a completely different story for the merchants involved in the transactions.
For merchants, the current payments system is a cocktail of frustrations and agitations. For a simple thing such as swiping a credit card to make a purchase, there can be up to 12 entities involved in processing that transaction and they certainly aren’t doing it for free.
The entities that hold power today are deeply entrenched legally and operationally. There’s a whole range of hardware like scanners, terminals and POS systems and software that runs off those touchpoints that make switching to a new payments system a massive and complex undertaking. Plus, coupled with a consumer that doesn’t see the need to switch, it’s a long and arduous uphill battle.
To fix payments, it needs that 10x multiplier. Only a huge jump like that can bring both merchants and consumers together to change the way payments work.
Cryptocurrencies deliver that 10x multiplier.
How paying with bitcoin and stablecoins is 10x better
When using crypto for payments, merchants take back a degree of control like they haven’t had in recent times. Because of technical efficiencies, transaction fees can inch down close to zero. That, in turn, can make a huge difference in the revenue for merchants as credit card transaction fees are currently a huge cost-center.
By reducing the middlemen involved in a transaction, crypto payments actually bring merchants and consumers closer together. Commerce is conducted in a much more straightforward way as consumers pay merchants directly for goods or services. In a way, crypto mimics the behaviour of cash but in a digital way.
The comparison of crypto to cash be taken even further when you look at the characteristics of cryptocurrencies. Transactions are easily verified and irreversible, founded in guaranteed ownership of funds.
This greatly eliminates payment fraud which is one of the highest cost-centers in commerce today. The only way fraud is still possible with crypto is again similar to cash: someone could steal your wallet and spend your cash. That’s a lot easier to protect against compared to credit card fraud.
Stablecoins turn the tide and make crypto payments work
Stablecoins will make a big difference in how fast crypto will be accepted for payments. At the moment, it’s fair to say that probably most of Bitcoin is held for speculation purposes or as a hedge against expected global market fluctuations.
Even if shops in the past had signs with “Bitcoin Accepted Here”, many of them have since dropped Bitcoin for payments simply because there wasn’t much interest from the consumer side. Bitcoins behaves a lot like gold and for speculative reasons people don’t often spend Bitcoin
Stablecoins on the other hand are a lot more spendable. They aren’t created for sitting in your wallet to grow in value over time. They are designed for usage. Stablecoins will most likely turn the tide and create a lot of users of cryptocurrencies.
Using the Bitspark mobile app for payments with Philippine pesos stablecoin
Next to features such as depositing, withdrawing and exchanging crypto, bills can also be paid through our mobile app in a selection of markets. For example, in partnership with Okra Solar, residents of Palawan in The Philippines can pay their solar electricity bill straight from their Bitspark mobile app.
Across our product suite, we have a strong focus on stablecoins that next to the usual currencies such as USD, EUR and HKD include emerging market fiat currencies such as the Philippine Pesos stablecoin in this case. With the stable.PHP coin, anyone in the Philippines can buy crypto locally with cash and pay bills with specific providers connected to our network. The service provider then further trades stable.PHP which adds more market depth to the stablecoin.
We expect our crypto payments network to expand exponentially when we add the next batch of fiat-pegged stablecoins. From a crypto point of view, the markets for Vietnamese Dong (VND), South African Rand (ZAR) and Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) are still untapped.