OpenNode, a bitcoin payments startup, has found a way to help retailers convert fiat currency they receive from customers to Bitcoin. The company just got access to Apple Pay paving the way for merchants to easily load up on bitcoin.
OpenNode allows customers to spend fiat currencies like dollars while shopping using their regular fintech accounts. These funds go through OpenNode’s partner, Wyre, who then converts them to Bitcoin and deposits the amount to the retailer’s wallet. The service is yet to rollout publicly but is currently running a beta version where interested merchants can sign up and become the first to test the service and give feedback on the private feature release. It is expected that the complete version will go live within a few months.
Wyre’s director of institutional sales, Jack Jia provided some insights about the service saying
They [shoppers] put the card information into the widget that OpenNode is using, in some cases the card information may already be stored, for example with your Apple Pay. So all the user does is click the ‘Buy with Apple Pay’ button” to make a purchase with fiat that the merchant receives as bitcoin.
It is believed that the service will use the same back-end rails used by most debit cards to access Apple Pay accounts. This will provide easy integration for OpenNode and Wyre on the Apple Pay platform and seamlessly enable customers to spend fiat and choose the option that the merchants receive bitcoin.
The system retains the power with the customer by providing an additional button before checkout. This will place some additional impetus on the merchants to create awareness about the option among their customers. This will not likely be a tough ask for the retailers with OpenNode CEO Afnan Rahman saying that most of their merchants have a preference for Bitcoin. Retailers with high retention rates and a devoted customer base are therefore more likely to benefit from this invention. He also noted that there is an increased uptake of their product with 5,000 merchants registering with OpenNode to date. The CEO said
Our merchants keep some, or most, of their payments in bitcoin. Merchants want exposure to bitcoin. This year a lot of luxury goods businesses are signing up.
The payment processor hopes that they will sign up more merchants in the future and normalise the acceptance of bitcoin across the retail industry in the future.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
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