Back in 1984, motorists who drove into BP service stations in Australia were able to pay for their fuel using EFTPOS for the very first time, a payment method that would become a standard to this very day.
Fast forward to 2018 and there is a new payment technology taking hold — blockchain — driven currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. These cryptocurrencies offer a decentralised form of payment that’s free of intervention from third-parties like banks, and have become a popular investment option for those across Australia.
Like the humble EFTPOS terminal before it, there are new and exciting ways for retailers, merchants and small business owners to accept these cryptocurrencies, including a brand new digital currency from Liven where simply eating a meal earns diners funds to keep them coming back.
Cryptocurrency Payments Through Debit Cards
There are many cryptocurrency debit cards already available on the market right now. These allow consumers to spend their digital currency at any business that accepts traditional card payments like EFTPOS and credit cards.
Bitcoin has its own dedicated debit card and there are other options like CoinJar Swipe (which is a physical card) and TenX (which offers both a physical card and a mobile wallet option). Vendors do not need to change their operations to accept these payments, although it is worth noting that it can take up to an hour for sales to become final.
This is a great option for vendors, but there are pitfalls for consumers. Exchange rates and fees can make the practice expensive while there weren't a terrific range of cryptocurrency debit cards available in Australia at the time of writing.
Teller machines for converting cryptocurrency to Australian dollars is the more cost-effective way for shoppers to use their digital currency, and the technology is starting to surface across the country to accommodate this.
Nearly 3000 Bitcoin automatic teller machines will be rolled out across Australia in 2018 alone, although there are only 49 in operation at present. Essentially, these will allow consumers to access their funds quickly and without the fees associated with debit cards.
Vendors can use map tools to see if there is a bitcoin ATM nearby, or even consider installing one on premises to offer a point of difference to other businesses.
Accept Payment Using a Smartphone or Tablet
There are apps available like BitPay that allow you to use a smart device like a phone or a tablet to accept bitcoin payments. These work by generating a QR code that customers can scan, which then sends the payment directly from their digital wallet to yours.
The obvious advantage here is you avoid the fees associated with debit cards and converting digital currency to Australian tender, but it is a slower process than traditional EFTPOS. Also, you will receive the funds as cryptocurrency, which will mean further delays in converting it (unless you have a bitcoin ATM nearby).
How You Can accept Cryptocurrency without Lifting a Finger
What if there was a way you could accept cryptocurrency without installing any new systems, through a platform designed to reward your customers and bring them back in for more?
That is the success-based incentive marketing platform for restaurants, bars and cafes that Liven has rolled out. The platform allows its user base of over 220,000 people to pay for meals at participating restaurants and earn new digital currency called LivenCoin (LVN) for doing so.
Merchants don't need to do anything except sign up as a participating restaurant, with customers earning LVN just by paying for their meals. These digital coins can then be used to purchase future meals, trade in the LVN community or be donated to charity.
All the heavy lifting is done for you, there is no need to install new systems and you will benefit from the repeat business that this rewards-based system delivers.
Want to learn more? Read here for more details on how the Liven network works for merchant.