Payment processor Stripe has announced that that the company is enabling its clients to accept Bitcoin payments.A developer-friendly way to accept payments online and in mobile apps, Stripe stated in a release last week stated that its now integrated with Bitcoin enabling merchants to accept payments in the cryptocurrency. While it is still accepting credit card payments, the method of payment differs. Stripe users can however start accepting Bitcoin payments without changing their server-side integration: all API endpoints and dashboard reports are available for both types of payments.
They explained in this respect- “With credit cards, you collect a card number from your user. You can use this card number multiple times, but each time, the user’s bank may choose to decline the charge. Simply collecting the card number does not guarantee access to any particular amount of funds.”
With Bitcoin, on the other hand, there’s no saved number that you can attempt to charge multiple times or at a later date. Instead, you invert the process by telling your customer how much they need to pay you, and providing a way for them to be able to pay you that amount—a place where they can “push” funds.
When accepting Bitcoin with Stripe, they suggest that you specify the amount that you want to collect from your user, in USD; they determine what amount of bitcoin (BTC) is needed to convert to the specified USD amount. A BitcoinReceiver—a wrapper around a Bitcoin address provides a virtual location that your user can push the payment to. Once the user has pushed enough bitcoin into the receiver, they can create a charge using this receiver (very much how you would use a card token if you were accepting credit card payments). Because the funds are already in the receiver when you create the charge, there’s no concept of a “decline” the way there would be in credit cards. You already have the bitcoin, so creating a charge from the BitcoinReceiver cannot fail.
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Stripe allows customers to authorise payment using any Bitcoin wallet or service. it takes a few lines of code to enable bitcoins alongside other forms of payment. The simplest way to accept Bitcoin is to use Stripe Checkout. Bitcoin in Stripe Checkout can be enabled by adding the data-bitcoin=”true” option when constructing the checkout form.
Stripe has explained the process of checkout in detail here. The thorough guideline gives step-by-step instructions on generating addresses for payment and creating a charge.
Stripe started testing Bitcoin integration last March with a private beta. Stripe merchants were able to accept Bitcoin transactions from more than 60 countries. The trial was finished in December. Stripe will charge 0.5 percent per transaction made with Bitcoin.
(image credit: scottks)