With the year coming to a close, many companies are publishing their insights on what 2014 may have in store for the payment industry.
Revel Systems, a US company specializing in iPad based point-of-sale solutions released their predictions for 2014. While most of their predictions focus on utilizing new tech crazes, like sport bands and wearable gadgets, and further integrating loyalty programs through mobile transactions, an interesting anecdote was made on the acceptance of digital payment methods.
Revel Systems’ “2014 Predictions: Hospitality & Retail Industry” report, states 2014 will see a growth in digital payment method acceptance with PayPal, Google Wallet, and Bitcoin becoming more accepted by major retailers. The addition of Bitcoin to their list makes it stand out as no company or regulating firm is behind the digital currency. Comparing Bitcoin to the likes of PayPal and Google Wallet shows the acceptance and popularity of the cryptocurrency, and helps position it as viable tender.
It would seem Revel Systems’ predictions are true, as US online retailer Overstock.com has released a statement stating they are planning on accepting Bitcoin as a payment method during the second half of next year. Overstock.com already hinted at the notion of them accepting Bitcoin in a TIMES magazine article in late October. However the new statement made by Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, to Bitcoin news website newsBTC, clearly states the retailer is planning on accepting Bitcoin in 2014.
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This is the first we are hearing of a major retailer seriously planning on accepting Bitcoin, or any other digital currency for that matter. Byrne even went as far as mentioning that “Bitcoin is good money”.
Byrne also talked about smaller outfits who already accept Bitcoin, mentioning they are doing so for the monetary value, by converting it immediately to FIAT currencies. Byrne discussed Overstock.com’s acceptance of Bitcoin would result in the company looking for ways to hedge their risk, showing they are intending on accepting Bitcoin for what it is, and not to convert it to FIAT currencies.
PayPal’s President David Marcus also mentioned Bitcoin in his predictions for 2014. On the contrary to Byrne’s statement, Marcus does not see Bitcoin positioning itself as a currency, although he does see it growing in popularity and price.
Revel Systems’ predictions and Patrick Byrne’s announcement show the direction major retailers, both online and offline, are moving toward. While 2013 was the year Bitcoin grew in popularity, 2014 seems like it will be the year it grows in acceptance.