BitPay Scraps Free Starter Plan for Merchants

BitPay, one of the largest bitcoin wallets and merchant payment processors, will be scrapping its "unlimited" Starter plan for merchants.

BitPay, one of the largest bitcoin wallets and merchant payment processors, will be scrapping its free “unlimited” Starter plan for merchants.

Executive Chairman Tony Gallippi introduced the plan last year in a bid to attract merchants to its platform, targeting the 1 million mark by 2017.

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Now, free payment processing will be capped at $1,000 per day or 30 transactions per month, beyond which a 1% fee will be applied. For most merchants in the starter category, the impact is relatively small. Gallippi wrote in a blog post that many small businesses will still have “more than enough access to our platform for their needs.”

In addition, such merchants will receive bank settlements on a weekly basis. Bitcoin payments will continue to be settled daily.

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For larger businesses processing higher volumes, Business and Enterprise plans are available. Business plans will be moving from a $300 monthly charge to a usage-based 1% fee model. They are eligible for daily bank settlements.

Enterprise plans have customized contract pricing and are the first to access new features, and receive priority service and support.

While the changes are relatively minor, they may reflect a larger business strategy shift as the notion of bitcoin acceptance struggles to pan out as hoped for by Bitcoiners.

BitPay has secured a total of $32.5 million in venture investment in three rounds since 2013. Some have speculated that the company is burning through cash, and there have been unconfirmed rumors of layoffs.

Most recently, it was revealed that the company lost $1.8 million in a hacking.

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