Prepare your business for the digital payments landscape of the future

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Blockchain and Bitcoin technologies look set to change and shake up the course of the digital payments industry. Bitcoin to date is the most successful cryptocurrency and blockchain is what makes it possible, so it is not surprising these two technologies are dominating the eCommerce and payments news space.

A large number of business owners feel confident in their understanding of them, according to a 2016 Payments Pulse report. Among the CFOs surveyed, 61% feel extremely confident in their understanding of blockchain technology, and 35% are somewhat confident. But while many business owners may feel confident in their understanding of the technologies, and that this is certainly the payments landscape of the future, how many know how to prepare their business for it? Below are ways to help you prepare for the future of digital payments, written in collaboration with PayU.

Before figuring out how to prepare for this type of digital currency, why would your business consider using Bitcoin in the first place? There are a number of benefits to this method, outlined below:

No fees attached

Bitcoin takes away the hassle and frustration of bank transactional fees. While a bank can charge a merchant up to 3%, Bitcoin will only charge up to 1% for a transaction. As there is no bank or middle-man involved in the transfer of currency, a merchant does not typically have to pay a fee to send or receive money. The only time a fee will be required, is when a merchant wants to speed up the transfer.

No long waiting periods

Transferring money from one bank account to another, particularly if the parties hold accounts with different banks, can sometimes take up to 48 hours to complete. With Bitcoin, transfers are almost instantaneous. As there is no bank checking every transaction that happens, the process is far quicker with the use of blockchain technology.

Investment opportunity

As Bitcoin is a currency with a fluctuating value, it can be viewed and used as an investment opportunity. After accepting Bitcoins, a merchant can wait until the value increases to cash them in, earning a higher amount. While the value can decrease, there is always the potential for growth.

So with these benefits in mind, how does one prepare their business for this type of payment? The first way to prepare is to fully understand the technologies you intend to embrace. And if you do already have a comprehensive understanding of them, make sure your employees do too. Take some time out to organise a training session, and answer any questions your staff may have. As they’ll be the individuals putting new processes into place, they need to have a clear understanding of what the technologies are and how they might go about implementing them. As Bitcoin and blockchain are still new, and have yet to be fully accepted by major businesses, keep on top of the online conversations happening around the technologies and any breaking news relating to their growth.

The second way to prepare for this payment method is to find external partners who might help you fully capitalize on the trend if your business does not have the capacity to do it all alone. One way to make the transition easier through collaboration is to partner with an online payments provider, which will offer the right technology and services to give your customers a personalized and secure service. Partnering with other well-known businesses will improve trust in your brand as customers start to embrace new payment methods. Ultimately it is trust and confidence in a brand that facilitates growth, and showing your customers that you’ve partnered with other tried, tested and trusted brands will be to your favour.

While Bitcoin and blockchain technologies are still new to the world of eCommerce, their growth is vital to watch as they look set to be a big part of the future of digital payments globally. As they become more widely accepted and used, the ways in which the world transacts will change, making it advantageous to remain one step ahead. Be flexible and willing to readjust your payment model to suit the future payment needs of your customers, as these technologies might not be able to slot easily into your existing model and be used to their full potential. This doesn’t only ring true for Bitcoin and blockchain though, merchants must continue to educate themselves and their employees on how all eCommerce related technologies are evolving, and partner with other business to prepare for the future. This is essential for merchants who provide cross-border eCommerce, who want to stay relevant and grow their customer base overseas.