How to start accepting Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a payment method in the Caribbean.

“A guide for improving the weak internet banking infrastructure of the Caribbean region.”

Introduction

While the market and prices of cryptocurrencies are reaching new lows the interests in the true value of the famous cryptocurrency “Bitcoin” has only grown more. With this, there is a lot of curiosity on how cryptocurrency can add a strong and independent internet banking option to local and international shops within the Caribbean.

Due to Popular demand and growing awareness in the Caribbean region by retail shops and other companies for the explanation on how to implement a Bitcoin payment method in countries situated within the Caribbean. A collective initiative by the Caribbean Blockchain Network has taken place to write an informative guide on the different ways on how an offline/online store can implement and accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a payment method.

Let’s get started! But first, we will take a look at a general overview of all the different options that are currently available for use.

General Overview

There currently are various different options to implement a Bitcoin or cryptocurrency payment option in an online and offline store. These options include Bitcoin payment (software) service providers such as CX pay, BitPay, BTCpay or Blockonomics plugins for online stores. Furthermore, there are also ways to implement a mobile wallet (online wallet) point of sale and combine it with a hardware wallet (Trezor or Ledger) adding an extra layer of security for funds being accepted.

We created a comparison table which gives you a simple overview of all solutions. Below we go more in-depth into each solution and provide the links to the specific guides.

The Caribbean Crypto Payment options comparison table provides you with an overview of all solutions.

CX pay

CX pay is a third party merchant software application which makes it easy for businesses especially in the Caribbean and South American region to accept Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum payments.

CX pay solution allows physical and online small businesses to accept bitcoin without the risk of price volatility which could harm small businesses. CX pay allows businesses to accept payments in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ether and receive funds directly to your bank account in euros. Bank deposits are possible in 23 Caribbean countries with the possibility of countries outside of the Caribbean. CX pay is a third party solution which uses other third-party solutions to provide internet banking solutions mainly for the Caribbean, South, Central — American region.

How CX pay provides payouts in Bitcoin or Fiat:

Xx = an amount set by the merchant.

– For the ones who live in Europe, they can receive payouts in Bitcoins or choose to receive in euros every xx days or at a certain threshold.

– For the ones in the Caribbean region, payouts occur in Euros every xx days.

CX pay features include:

  • Email Support
  • Automatic Payment Exception Handling
  • In-store option
  • Mobile application
  • E-commerce, Billing, Retail Payment Tools

Costs:

the fee ~ 1% per transaction

- Sepa APM (Alternative Payment Method) fee: 0.60 euro per trx and 1% commission with 8.50 euro chargeback fee.

Note: The Sepa APM is only used when considering receiving the bank settlement option of CX pay.

Are you interested in using CX pay for your business? Check the Caribbean Blockchain Network how-to guide here!

BitPay

BitPay is a third party merchant software application which makes it easy for businesses to accept Bitcoin payments for non-technical people.

Some important specifications of this software (from a business perspective) is that it allows small businesses to accept bitcoin without the risk of price volatility which could harm small businesses. BitPay allows businesses to accept payments in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash and receive funds directly to your bank account. Bank deposits in 38 countries, settled in US Dollars, Euros, GBP, and more.

The way BitPay does this can be viewed here:

However, unless your business has bank accounts in Europe, Canada, the united states of America and Australia & New Zealand this feature of BitPay will not work in known “blacklisted” areas and weak internet banking regions such as the Caribbean & South America. As can be viewed on this global map of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) list of “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” (NCCTs):

implementation of the internationally agreed tax standard as of 2011.

  • Dark green — substantially implemented the standard
  • Light green — committed to the standard, but have not yet substantially implemented it
  • Grey — have not committed to the standard (none)
  • Red — jurisdiction not monitored

Nevertheless, the other aspects of the service BitPay provides can still be of use for online and offline businesses in these regions. Such as, receiving invoices and accepting and receiving bitcoin payments.

All Bitcoin payments received via BitPay’s payment platform will be charged a 1% service fee with higher fees applicable for high-risk industries.

BitPay’s features include:

  • Multi-User Login Access
  • Email Support
  • Automatic Payment Exception Handling
  • Quickbooks IIF Download
  • E-commerce, Billing, Donation, and Retail Payment Tools

Are you interested in using BitPay for your business? Follow the Caribbean Blockchain Network how-to guide here!

BTCpay (More technical expertise)

For a more Peer 2 Peer Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payment option BTCpay server allows merchants to be their bank, receive payments in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Doge and plenty other cryptocurrencies without the third party. BTCPay allows merchants to run their node (or connect to someone else’s node) and receive payments directly, P2P, with no fees, no intermediary, no censorship while providing better privacy over their customers financial and private data. However, you cannot convert your cryptocurrency to fiat currency right away like with some payment processors.

Difference between BTCPay and third-party payment processors

Think of BTCPay as a server which allows you to accept bitcoin without intermediaries. You are your own payment processor. The payment processors act as a server as well, but your customer’s data, IP addresses go through them. Furthermore, most of the payment processors hold your crypto payments, and you’d have to withdraw it or convert it, similar to what exchanges do. Last but not the least, third-party processors charge fees on your transactions.

Some BTCpay Beneficial features:

You are running a full node and helping the network

  • You are protecting the privacy of your customers.
  • You’re using Bitcoin the way it’s supposed to be used, p2p, directly
  • You’re avoiding fees that all payment processors have (monthly subscription/fees per transaction usually 1–5%)
  • You can accept payments directly to your wallet, including the hardware wallet (currently integrated with Ledger Nano S) and you’re the immediate owner of those assets
  • You can be a host and help other smaller shops accept payments through their stores
  • You can accept other cryptocurrencies through BTCPay directly
  • You can accept Lightning Network payments on the Mainnet easily

Cost scheme:

You can now host BTCPay Server for as little as 10$ a month on LunaNode or between 15–25$ for any other VPS service.

It takes a bit more time to set up and configure to fit your store needs, (takes between 3–4 hours excluding node syncing time).

Note: Both BitPay & BTCpay can be implemented via a physical mobile or tablet in-store and as a payment option in a webshop. Other options to implement a Bitcoin payment method for web shops are via plugins such as the blockonomics plug-in.

Are you interested in using BTCpay as a payment processor for your business? Check the Caribbean Blockchain Network how-to guide here!

Blockonomics plug-in

For people who want to avoid the middleman — Blockonomics allows you to accept payments directly into your wallet instead of utilizing a central wallet hosted by a payment gateway. From the ground up, their payment module is the only 100% decentralized gateway that removes the need for a middleman, saving additional transaction fees. Great for those that want to be their own bank.

Some benefits of using the Blockonomics plug-in:

  • Payments go directly to your wallet — get paid instantly
  • No security risks — we don’t have access to your private keys. You control your Bitcoins
  • Permissionless — no KYC/documentation required. Only email required

The Blockonomics plug-in is compatible with famous e-commerce platforms; Wordpress, Magneto, Prestashop, WIX, and Opencart.

costs: Transaction fees are 1%, and the first 10 transactions are free.

Note: Blockonomics held an ICO in July 2018 which has been canceled due to unforeseen market conditions, as well as feedback from the community regarding implementation of the ERC-20 token, they have decided to pause their ICO and token sale. However, for merchants Blockonomics will move forward with the roadmap this means that the plug-in is still being used.

Are you interested in using Blockonomics? Check the Caribbean Blockchain Network how-to guide here!

Mycelium mobile wallet POS system

Another more permissionless and direct (P2P) option to receive in-store bitcoin payments. is a mobile wallet POS system.

This is where only a hardware device such as a mobile or touchpad with WiFi is needed to accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies without a lot of technical knowledge. This POS can be used by employees and small shops which are owner operated.

The implementation is easy, cheap and a powerful way to accept bitcoin payments anywhere in the world where internet is provided. However, there are some drawbacks such as, that the bitcoin accepted will not be automatically converted in any local fiat currency. Which in a volatile market such as cryptocurrencies could have some economic risks attached to it.

Features of instore Bitcoin POS system:

  • Global and digital currency
  • Peer to Peer
  • Mobile watch only option
  • You are your own bank

Costs:

If you have an employee operated cash register and want an extra layer of security a Ledger, Trezor or KeepKey wallet is recommended this will be about 80–120$

Are you interested in using a mobile POS system? Check the Caribbean Blockchain Network how-to guide here!


Special thanks to Peter Krol, Ricardo de Freitas and Fernando Trouw.

Created by Ruben Russel
Please consider leaving some claps if this guide was helpfull to you!

If you have any questions or require assistance you can reach out to info@caribbeanblockchain.net

Website: https://www.caribbeanblockchain.net/


References

Bitcoin wiki. (2011a, February 24). How to accept Bitcoin, for small businesses. Retrieved August 24, 2018, from https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/How_to_accept_Bitcoin,_for_small_businesses

Bitcoin wiki. (2011b, March 13). In-store Transactions. Retrieved August 24, 2018, from https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/In-store_Transactions

Bitcoin wiki. (2016, November 11). Why Your Business Should Use a Full Node to Accept Bitcoin. Retrieved August 26, 2018, from https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Why_Your_Business_Should_Use_a_Full_Node_to_Accept_Bitcoin

Caribbean Blockchain Network