Stripe’s Bitcoin for Checkout feature, which had been in beta testing for nearly a year, has now been fully launched.
Stripe provides payment processing tools for websites and mobile apps. They seek to make the checkout process as easy as possible by, for example, enabling mobile users to securely pay without having to enter credit card details each time.
The company has embraced Bitcoin as it strives to anticipate the future of payments. Co-founder Patrick Collison said, “We acknowledge that bitcoin is important today … it may or may not be important in five years.”
The feature can be integrated via an API for a merchant’s own checkout form, or it can be used as part of Stripe’s checkout process. The same platform allows merchants to accept bitcoins alongside credit cards, with the same backend reporting features.
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Bitcoins are accepted via a BitcoinReceiver–“a wrapper around a Bitcoin address that provides a virtual location” where payments are sent. A “charge” is then created with the receiver, but unlike with credit cards, this charge cannot be declined since payment was already secured.
Though the company aims to make the process as simple as possible–so that “you shouldn’t have to be an expert in payments to build a business”–the documentation may seem abstract to the non-technical user. But, recall that it is the merchant’s checkout that is effectively being customized as the full bitcoin solution.
Merchants have the option of specifying the quantity of USD they wish to receive and to receive the payment in dollars, thereby avoiding exposure to volatile bitcoin prices.
The only fee on bitcoin transactions is 0.5%.