How to pay for purchases with cryptocurrency: the main ways.

How to pay for purchases with cryptocurrencies

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The majority think of cryptocurrencies as of an investment tool only, a way to ensure high ROI quickly. But due to financial markets development and the appearance of new services, crypto also became a popular way to pay for online purchases.


How to pay for purchases with cryptocurrencies? What can you buy with bitcoin? And how much will you have to pay for the right to use your digital assets? Let us have a closer look.

Why Pay in Crypto?

Paying in cryptocurrencies, not controlled by modern banking systems and not taxable, for goods and services offers multiple perks. Essentially, crypto payments have the advantages of being:

  • Cost-effective: this is guaranteed by low payment fees (the rates depend on how loaded the blockchain network is). Unlike bank transfers, the fees on crypto payments are not calculated as a percentage of the amount paid, but instead, they are charged as network fees, which are significantly lower than those on card payments. 

  • Fast: transactions are done continuously, so money is credited to the seller as soon as possible. The process can slow down only in case of a need to convert money or a blockchain queue (remember, if many transactions are processed at any given moment, payments with higher network fees will have priority). 

Transactions are carried out in a continuous mode, so that funds are credited to the seller's account as quickly as possible.

  • Secure: cryptocurrency payments are completely private because all transactions are anonymous; there’s no information anywhere that would make anyone able to identify the buyer, and crypto encoding security system is virtually hack-proof. Read the article on cryptocurrency storage security. 

  • Easy to make: thanks to the distributed nature of the technology, international payments become easier because they are not linked to the monetary policy of any country. 

  • Convenient: crypto operations are done online, and transactions can be carried out at any time and at any place if an internet connection is available.

Digital assets are mostly used for large purchases, but technological developments gradually make them relevant for small payments as well. You can use direct crypto wallet transactions, prepaid crypto cards or specialized crypto processing services — see all the details below.

You can also read our article «Cryptocurrency Payments: Pros and Cons for Merchants»

Direct Crypto Wallet Transactions

Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency payments directly from crypto wallets are, in essence, direct transfers of money from the buyer to the seller. In order to do that, log in to your wallet, enter the receiving wallet (address), the number of coins to be transferred and the transaction fee.

Advantages of the method:

  1. Those payments are completed as fast as possible. 

  2. All the seller has to do is publish his or her own crypto wallet address in an open access. There is no need for any third-party services. 

Payment for goods with bitcoins and other currencies by direct transactions from a crypto wallet, in fact, is a simple transfer of funds to the seller's address.

Disadvantages of the method:

  1. If you make many small-amount payments, you may lose the low fee advantage. 

  2. You have to determine the payment amount on your own because there is no automated conversion option (but the seller may sometimes provide the information you need to make the transaction). 

  3. The transaction to the specified crypto address has to be confirmed manually.

Before sending a direct transfer from your crypto wallet, you should check the mempool status to see how many transactions are waiting for approval and the average blockchain network fee rate (you can look that information up on analytics websites). You can identify the best fee amount based on that data so that your transaction gets high priority and is completed as soon as possible.

You also have to be very careful about your crypto wallet’s security. 

Crypto processing services

You can use crypto processing systems to pay for goods and services if the seller has an option for crypto payments on his or her website. Crypto processing works as a regular payment system: the buyer chooses a cryptocurrency to pay with, the plugin converts the price and generates unique crypto details (an address) for the transaction.

Advantages of the method:

  1. Payments are secure and convenient: the blockchain data is encrypted so it is impossible to steal it, and the payment plugin’s interface is intuitive and easy to understand. 

  2. No payment risks: transactions bypass the banks, can not be blocked, and are private and instantaneous. 

  3. Crypto conversion rates are calculated in real time. 

  4. Automated transaction confirmation: the service approves the transaction after several confirmations from the blockchain network, and then the order status changes. 

  5. Payment receipt: after completing the payment, most services send the transaction details to the e-mail address specified in the payment process. 

Crypto processing works like a regular payment system.

Disadvantages of the method:

  • The availability of an option to make crypto payments through a processing service depends only on the seller.

If you wish to know more about how crypto processing services operate, please read our article called «How to start accepting cryptocurrency payments on the website»

QR code Payments

A QR code is unique for each product. If that code is entered into the program on the seller’s device, the customer can scan the code for payment. You have to give your payment app permission to write the product’s cost off your account.

The process for crypto wallets is the same as for traditional accounts and bank cards. Payments are secure in this case: you do not leave any of your data in the online store when using QR codes for payment. The key is the platform having the necessary software to enable blockchain payments.

Nowadays, sometimes, you can pay with crypto, even in offline stores, using POS terminals. The seller enters the fiat currency amount and selects the required cryptocurrency. The screen displays a QR code. You can scan it with your mobile phone and pay for the product or service you want in crypto. Some stores issue receipts to confirm transactions.

This payment method is especially convenient for customers from abroad who do not want to bother themselves with getting a foreign bank card or paying for currency conversion. So far, however, this method of crypto payments remains extremely rare.

Pre-paid Crypto Cards

Those are cards you can transfer crypto to, convert it into your national currency and vice-versa. Pre-paid crypto cards work like debit cards and are used for regular small payments. We recommend them for those whose salaries are paid in crypto.

If you want to issue a crypto card, you have to go through the customer verification (KYC) process at the issuer’s request. The leading crypto card issuers are BitPay, Crypto.com and Wirex. They offer cards under contracts with MasterCard and VISA partner companies.

Advantages of the method:

  1. You can use your digital assets to pay for goods and services in places that do not accept crypto payments and offline (in cafes, entertainment centers, supermarkets) facilities thanks to their broader functionality that converts crypto to fiat. 

  2. You can get a card that supports multiple fiat and crypto currencies. 

  3. MasterCard and VISA cards are easy to top up. 

Digital assets can be used to pay for goods and services where bitcoins are not accepted, as well as offline.

Disadvantages of the method:

  1. Limits and restrictions on card top-ups, cash withdrawals or permitted transactions. 

  2. Fees are charged on money conversion (as well as on card servicing, any transactions, cash withdrawals from ATMs, and card inactivity for certain periods of time). 

  3. Convenience of use depends on the level and the quality of the partnership between the card’s issuer and the financial institution — a payment network member. 

What Can You Buy With Crypto?

Now, increasingly more services offer a crypto payment option, and those who do have an advantage because their customers get an extra and convenient payment method. It is also widely used for accepting donations.

The list of things you can pay with cryptocurrencies is expanding every day and now includes at least the following:

  • real estate in various countries of the world: the Huobi crypto exchange that offers such services in partnership with Fäm Properties real estate agency, acts as a mediator and guarantees that all transactions are carried out in a clean and secure way; 

  • cars: in Europe, Alza, a Czech portal, accepts bitcoins that can be used to buy a Tesla or another luxury brand car; 

Now more and more services are offering payment in cryptocurrency, and those who provide such an opportunity have more advantages.

  • jewelry: Samer Halimeh New York jewelry company now accepts bitcoins and considers them a highly promising way of payment; 

  • yachts or planes: usually sold by manufacturer companies, although there are some advertisements from private sellers floating around the Internet.

On top of that, you can use your digital assets to book hotels or organize travel (leading services in that field are Expedia, Cheapair, Travel For Coins), bet at online casinos and bookmakers, pay for your purchases at online stores, recharge your hosting service balance, purchase online courses, etc.

You can also read our article «TOP-13 Ways to Use Cryptocurrency in Everyday Life».

Which Companies Accept Crypto Payments?

Many companies have cryptocurrency payment options on their websites, including:

  • Shopify, an online store creation software developer, so far only accepts bitcoins but plans to expand the list of acceptable cryptocurrencies; 

  • Microsoft has been offering an option to pay in bitcoins at its digital content store since 2014; 

To find out where cryptocurrency payments are accepted, the Coinmap service will help, which searches for such companies and online stores on the network.

  • KFC, a fast food chain, has been accepting bitcoins as payment for orders in Canada since 2018; 

  • Starbucks, a U.S. coffee shop chain, accepts crypto payments through an app, which generates a single-use QR code you provide at checkout.

The Coinmap service that searches for online companies and shops accepting crypto payments will help you learn where to use your digital assets for payment. Their map is constantly expanding because new services and stores start using crypto with time. 

How to Start Accepting Payments on the Website?

Using digital assets to pay for goods and services gives you the greatest freedom, which is why this type of payment looks very promising. At the same time, crypto acquiring is the most convenient way to make transactions.

You can connect to the CryptoCloud processing service and start accepting crypto payments on the website. We accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether and other cryptocurrencies, guarantee protection against DDoS attacks and convenient account management from any device. Money withdrawals take just 30 minutes. You can connect to CryptoCloud for free after signing up. 

Промоблок processing-crypto

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