Crypto Will Gain Broad Acceptance by Retailers… Says the Crypto Acquirer

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The information presented as facts in this article is suspect because the sources are all participants in providing crypto solutions. For example, the subtitle states: “Reduced fees, faster transactions. . .” Not so fast; cryptocurrency fees and transaction times are notoriously unstable on both Bitcoin and Ethereum. You can use an intermediary like Lightning Network, but this adds another intermediary that increases risk to your payment operations.

The article also states that cryptocurrencies are safer. This is clearly a matter of perspective. From the consumer perspective, crypto lacks the ability to dispute a charge and doesn’t offer Zero Liability. This article also doesn’t point out that there are several important use cases supported with cards today that merchants can’t implement with crypto unless there is a smart contract controlling the payment, such as Pay at the Pump, tipping, or lodging.

Lastly, I’d beware survey results that identify huge market opportunities and adoption from the suppliers that sell the solutions being investigated:

“Providing crypto payments is one way to improve customer experience. It is especially significant for the 93% of crypto owners who say they would consider using crypto to make a purchase (while 57% have already made at least one crypto purchase in the last year).

Secure, in-store networks, mobile payments and biometric authentication may completely eradicate the need for traditional checkouts. Payment requests to a customer’s mobile device make paying in crypto as easy as with Visa (V), PayPal (PYPL) or any preferred digital payment option.

Stores of the future will be designed around these types of fluid, mobile-first and customer-centric experiences, so there’s no surprise nearly three-quarters of businesses surveyed see accepting new forms of payments as fundamental to their growth.

Conserving risk

Offering crypto payments comes with both pros and cons for merchants. Accepting cryptocurrency requires a certain amount of effort, whether by modifying retailers’ existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals or redesigning their entire shop floor.

Likewise, the volatility of cryptocurrencies make them a risk, and they can be subject to complicated tax rules and regulations.

This complexity often forces retailers to be specific in their terms and conditions and to have impeccable book-keeping – a benchmark that should be set across the industry.

Crypto isn’t alone in having structural problems: Fraudulent credit card transactions and ID theft increased by 35% during the coronavirus pandemic and small, independent businesses remain some of the greatest affected. Mobile device crypto payments could be a step towards security there: because they are customer-led transactions, rather than routing through third-parties, crypto reduces the attack vector for fraud opportunities.

In addition, blockchain transactions are final – both a blessing and a curse. Retailers may manage their cash flow better but also need to keep track of how much exactly each customer has paid in case of a refund.”

Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group

Crypto Will Gain Broad Acceptance by Retailers… Says the Crypto Acquirer

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