Bitcoins emerged in 2009 and have become an increasingly popular form of electronic payment ever since. Their use does not involve banks or credit card companies and no personal information about the consumer is at risk of identity theft. Bitcoins were designed to be as easy to use as credit cards, debit cards, or PayPal.
The Rise of BitPay
As the number of merchants accepting bitcoins increases, businesses seeking to accept this new form of payment needed a way to process the transactions. Tony Gallippi and Stephen Pair saw the potential in bitcoin processing and co-founded Bitpay in 2011. BitPay opened their Atlanta office in 2012 and expanded to San Francisco and Amsterdam in March of 2014. The number of merchants using BitPay reached 10,000 by September of 2013 and grew to 60,000 by February of 2015.
Pair and Gallippi began by offering Bitcoin payment processing and are currently working to create open source software that will allow many additional applications of this form of payment. They are also searching for other innovative uses for bitcoins.
BitPay is available in countries throughout the world and transactions can be processed for over 150 different types of currencies.
Three Levels of Service
BitPay offers three levels of services with a progressively increasing number of available features. BitPay Basic is a free service that still has an impressive number of features that include the following:
- Unlimited payment processing
- Free, instant conversions
- Daily bank deposits
- Retail POS solutions
- More the 40 integrations
- Email support to ensure customer satisfaction
The Business package costs $300.00 a month and includes all of the features of Basic in addition to:
- Phone support
- QuickBooks sales integration
The Enterprise package offers all of the features of Bitpay Basic and Business and adds:
- VPN Access
- Dedicated account managers
- Engineering and integration services
Advantages of Bitpay
- BitPay is compatible with all bitcoin wallets. There is no need to open additional accounts.
- Invoices are URI and QR coded to allow click-to-pay and scan-to-pay functions.
- Mobile optimization allows merchants to access their BitPay dashboards from mobile devices.
- BitPay can produce invoices in 40 languages to accommodate clients throughout the world.
- Bitpay calculates the best prices by taking an average from the major bitcoin exchanges in order to give clients the best possible invoice pricing.
- BitPay uses Google Authenticator as a measure to protect merchant accounts. This process requires two-factor authentication.
- Transactions can be completed in one of the eight national currencies. The client may also elect to receive payment in bitcoins or a combination of both forms of payments.
- BitPay offers direct deposit in 33 nations around the world.
- Clients of Bitpay can customize their confirmation and security settings.
- The Bitpay APL allows clients to perform custom integration by the set of publicly audit-able code. This custom integration process is possible through 11 open source libraries and SDKs.
- BitPay offers multiple forms of online payment options. Clients may opt for e-commerce platform integration, website payment buttons and shopping cart plug-in applicators.
- BitPay can also handle in-store payments with POS integrations and bitcoin checkout applications.
- BitPay can be of service to non-profit organizations by allowing bitcoin donations to be setting up donation buttons on the organizations website. They can also design a separate webpage for donations.
- Bitpay can utilize mobile SDKs to create payment applications capabilities for major platforms..
Payments by BitPay
Bitpay issues payments to registered users each day. This practice was established so that funds do not accumulate in the client’s account. The daily transfer of funds discourages hackers from attempting to steal from the BitPay accounts.
Payments are made to the account designated by the client. Clients also have the option of receiving their payments in bitcoins or having a direct deposit sent to their designated account.
BitPay has taken measures to increase account security by using a standards-based REST interface. This permits application developers to have high levels of safety and security when incorporating Bitpay into their accounting systems. Using Bitpay will allow them to create invoices, process refunds and perform billing operations. Bitpay allows users to obtain real-time sales information and access merchant ledger entries.
The BitPay is designed with several security requirements that must be satisfied to grant an inbound request. There is a specialized identification scheme called BitAuth ID Protocol. This gives each user and public ClientID. The protocol is similar to that of bitcoin and is supported by BitPay’s client libraries.
Every API request must come with an API token. This token gives the holder access to specific area of the BitPay program. BitPay users may also establish facades; facades are defined sets of capabilities. Best practices indicate the façade only allows the minimum access needed to complete the task at hand.
As you can see, BitPay features some very robust technical capabilities for clients and merchants to integrate it into their existing payment processing systems and processes. It’s an exciting time in processing technology and it no doubt will continue to grow as companies like BitPay build out impressive solutions to grow the usage of bitcoin and other emerging payment technologies.