Since the popularity of cryptocurrencies has significantly increased, companies across a variety of industries are wondering how to accept crypto payments. As of January 2022, the number of cryptocurrencies exceeds 9,900, as reported by Statista.
Despite thousands of rivals, Bitcoin (BTC) continues to dominate the market with a capitalization of over $886 billion. There were nearly 330,000 daily Bitcoin (BTC) transactions in December 2020 and about 400,000 in January 2021. At the end of July 2021, Ethereum (ETH), which is another worldwide leading cryptocurrency, was processed more than 1.1 million times per day.
To meet consumer needs and gain a competitive advantage, it is important to provide users with a possibility to pay using digital currencies. It is worth noting that many prosperous organizations have already enabled this payment method, for instance, Microsoft, Twitch, Etsy, Shopify, Virgin, Starbucks, Restaurant Brands International, Whole Foods Market, Coca-Cola Amatil Limited, and Rakuten.
In this article, software experts at Surf will show you how to integrate crypto payments. For this purpose, our team has described 6 popular crypto payment gateways. But before we start, let’s have a look at the definition of cryptocurrencies and their benefits.
What are cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrency is a virtual currency and a form of tokens or coins that utilize cryptographic algorithms to carry out transactions in a secure way. Circulating on the blockchain decentralized digital database, cryptocurrencies are processed without the intervention of a central authority like a bank.
Initially introduced in 2009 as the technology behind BTC, blockchain is a distributed ledger that maintains a continuously increasing number of transactions. For instance, Bitcoin transactions employ private and public keys to enforce security. In order to spend BTC, a user must know a private key — not revealed to anyone — and digitally sign a transaction. With a public key, the blockchain verifies a signature.
Although some cryptocurrencies have been issued into the physical world with payment cards, the majority of them are intangible. While virtual currencies are generally created to act independently from government control and regulation, this fundamental feature is being often criticized. In fact, the value of cryptocurrencies is determined by supply and demand.
Why should you integrate crypto payments?
Crypto transactions are among the key payment trends for 2022. With cryptocurrencies, it is possible to perform transactions without intermediaries, for example, a bank or monetary authority. As a result, crypto-based payments are generally faster compared to conventional money transfers.
In addition, international payments can be less expensive due to lower fees, which is especially useful for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). According to PYMNTS, 51% of cryptocurrency owners are more willing to purchase from vendors that accept crypto payments.
The main advantages of enabling crypto payments are:
- Improved transaction speed
- Lower commissions
- The highest level of security and privacy
- No third-party (bank, court, government) intervention
- A wider range of payment options is offered by an organization
By providing crypto payments, a company can attract more customers, improve user engagement, and raise the conversion rate. However, fluctuating prices of digital tokens is a drawback that should be considered by either businesses or their clients. It is noteworthy that crypto-based payments contribute to increased financial inclusion by making financial services more accessible to the unbanked population.
While some software products (e-commerce websites, e-learning platforms, gaming services, and others) will only benefit from connecting crypto transactions, some platforms have to offer this functionality by default, for instance, cryptocurrency trading apps.
When thinking about how to integrate crypto payments, an organization has to choose a specialized gateway system. So, let’s consider what a crypto payment gateway is.
What is a crypto payment gateway?
Representing an analog of a third-party virtual terminal, a crypto payment platform is utilized for performing transactions in digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ripple. By integrating an application programming interface (API) of a gateway provider, merchants can receive payments from their clients, partners, and suppliers.
The crypto payment flow has the following steps:
- A customer chooses to make a payment via cryptocurrency at checkout (in a mobile app, on a web platform, or in a physical store).
- A user pays the required crypto amount, which is equal to the real-time market value of a virtual currency.
- The system instantly converts a crypto payment into a fiat currency indicated by the vendor.
- As soon as a transaction is confirmed, the coins are transferred to the designated account, while the gateway notifies the parties about successful payment.
Now, let’s take a look at 6 leading crypto payment processing solutions that allow for enabling transactions via a variety of virtual currencies.
Top 6 crypto payment gateways to consider
1. Coinbase Commerce
Coinbase Commerce is a popular blockchain crypto payment gateway solution that enables businesses across the globe to carry out transactions in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Dai, and USD Coin in a decentralized way.
By integrating Coinbase Commerce API, organizations let customers make purchases and money transfers using desktops and mobile devices. To accept crypto payments, a user has to register and create an API key.
Operated by the leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, the gateway does not have access to the funds of merchants. However, if a 12-word seed phrase — utilized to secure transactions — is lost, it is impossible to recover it.
Coinbase Commerce provides the following functionality:
- Multicurrency support
- Conversion to fiat money or stablecoins
- Payment buttons
- Hosted checkout pages
Additionally, this crypto payment platform can be easily integrated with 12 e-commerce services: Shopify, WooCommerce, OpenCart, PrestaShop, Zen Cart, Drupal, WHMCS, osCommerce, Spree, X-Cart, Gravity Forms, and Magento.
The amount of transaction fee may depend on various factors like the order size, selected payment option, and volatility. As an example, the commission for Bitcoin generally varies between $1–$5 while fees for other currencies are less than $1.
Established in 2011, BitPay was among the first crypto payment gateways. At the moment, BitPay is the worldwide largest blockchain payment processing solution. By integrating BitPay, businesses manage to accept payments in cryptocurrencies, tokens, altcoins, and stablecoins.
The service supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and XRP. BitPay also allows for carrying out transactions via ERC-20 stablecoin tokens, such as USD Coin, Binance USD (BUSD), Gemini Dollar, and Paxos Standard.
BitPay contains the following features:
- Refund issuing
- Bill management
- Payment conversion into local currency
- Payment buttons
- Hosted checkout pages
The BitPay crypto payment provider is compatible with numerous plugins and e-commerce platforms. For example, in October 2021, the organization announced that BitPay’s Bitcoin was added as a new payment option on Wix.
It is noteworthy that BitPay protects users from the price volatility of cryptocurrencies. With the view to enforce security, API lets software developers set up two-factor authentication. Considering the pricing, merchants are charged a 1% transaction processing fee.
Many globally recognized companies have already adopted BitPay, involving Microsoft, Twitch, Neteller, and airBaltic.
CoinPayments is the largest crypto payment gateway that enables providers of goods and services to accept about 180 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ether Classic, Dash, Ripple, Litecoin, and Dogecoin.
Employing the CoinPayments wallet, users can send, receive, and store more than 2,275 virtual currencies. CoinPayments is supported by all globally leading e-commerce platforms that involve Shopify, Magento, Opencart, Prestashop, and WooCommerce.
Serving over 100,000 vendors across the world, this crypto payment processing solution has a conversion tool that lets sellers convert their digital assets within their electronic wallets. Unlike many other gateways, CoinPayments offers a relatively low transaction commission of 0.5%. At the moment, CoinPayments is available in 190+ countries.
CoinGate is another well-known crypto payment platform that allows companies to sell, purchase, and accept more than 70 cryptocurrencies, involving Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Populous, Litecoin, Filecoin, Dogecoin, Dai, Augur, and Ripple. By employing CoinGate, merchants can manage their earnings and track orders. Using a crypto payment gateway API, vendors can integrate the tool into their websites and applications.
With CoinGate, businesses can utilize a specialized dashboard to send custom bills to their suppliers, partners, and other parties. Furthermore, CoinGate contains functionality such as payment buttons, shopping cart plugins, and point-of-sale (PoS) systems. It also enables software developers to implement two-factor authentication for enhancing security.
Additionally, CoinGate safeguards companies from the volatility of cryptocurrency prices. By integrating CoinGate, sellers provide customers with the possibility to make payments via cards, mobile balance, and SEPA bank transfer. Consumers can also convert their cryptocurrencies into fiat money.
Being available in over 100 countries, CoinGate charges a 1% commission for all buttons, plugins, web-based PoS, application programming interfaces, as well as billing. As of January 2022, this crypto payment gateway has more than 307,000 registered users.
Launched in 2015, Blockonomics is a decentralized crypto payment processing solution that accepts Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. The platform allows businesses to send emails via Bitcoin and generate peer-to-peer invoices.
Utilizing Blockonomics, companies can convert BTC to any fiat currency, this way shielding themselves from price fluctuations. The crypto payment platform supports a variety of Bitcoin wallets, for instance, Trezor, Exodus, Ledger, and MyCelium.
Blockonomics provides software developers with the possibility to embed payment buttons into their websites. Engineers can also create payment links that can be shared via social networks, emails, and messengers.
Serving more than 10,000 shops worldwide, Blockonomics enables merchants to install free plugins for different e-commerce platforms that involve WordPress, Opencart, Shopify, Wix, WHMCS, Prestashop, and SquareSpace. In April 2021, Blockonomics became the most rated and used Bitcoin WHMCS plugin.
As for the pricing, the service offers to make the first 20 payments free of charge and then requires vendors to pay a 1% fee per transaction. At the moment, Blockonomics has over 40,000+ users across the globe.
Founded in May 2019, NOWPayments is a non-custodial crypto payment gateway that lets merchants accept more than 100 virtual currencies that include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, DASH, Ripple, and Cardano. NOWPayments also supports stablecoins, for example, Dai, Pax Dollar, USD Coin, Binance Coin, and Gemini Dollar.
The service provides rich functionality, such as payment buttons, a donation widget, invoicing, and non-custodial digital wallet support. With a non-custodial gateway, companies instantly receive money transfers to their own wallets, removing third parties from transactions.
Considering other features, NOWPayments allows for converting cryptocurrencies into the necessary coins and sending them to user wallets. In addition, NOWPayments contains plugins for the majority of major e-commerce platforms like Opencart, ZenCart, PrestaShop, WHMCS, Magento, and WooCommerce.
Using a crypto payment gateway API, software engineers can integrate the service into their web and mobile solutions. With transaction commission ranging between 0.4%–0.5%, NOWPayments claims that its fees are the lowest on the market.
Wrapping it up
When figuring out how to integrate crypto payments, a company has to utilize a specialized gateway service that will allow for authorizing transactions in digital currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum. To choose a crypto payment platform, it is important to extensively analyze your business-specific needs, for instance, the budget you have and the cryptocurrency used by the majority of your customers.
While the market offers a wide range of reliable crypto payment processing systems, an organization should take into account such aspects as functionality (for example, payment buttons and links, plugins), commissions, supported currencies and electronic wallets.
If you want to build a software product accepting crypto-based transactions or integrate a crypto payment gateway API into an existing app, contact our team. We will soon get back to you to collect project requirements and help address all issues.
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