There are countless Bitcoin payment processing services, applications, and plugins to enable websites to accept bitcoin payments for goods and services. However, most of them require webmasters to sign up as customers and pay fees on each transaction, similar to legacy banking services or Paypal. This article examines a few Bitcoin applications that can give webmasters total control over processing payments online.
To accept bitcoin payments on a website, webmasters can either sign up for a third-party service or they can install an application to do the job themselves.
Features of Direct Bitcoin Payment Processors
Website payment processors tell e-commerce programs like a merchant shop or a sales widget when a payment has been successfully received so that the goods or services can be released to the customer.
Processors for accepting bitcoin payments have different features than fiat processors. For example, they need to generate new Bitcoin addresses for each customer to preserve the webmaster’s privacy, or generate a QR code payment address – which could even pass along pricing information.
They also keep up with currency conversion, therefore allowing items’ prices to be listed in fiat currency, but still be paid in bitcoin. In addition, they preserve Bitcoin’s feature to evade censorship and their code is open source, like Bitcoin, so webmasters can rest assured that the code contains no hidden backdoors that could steal payments. Compared to debit cards, there is no identification info to be hacked or compromised in other ways.
Below are three direct Bitcoin payment processors available today for free that can do the job described above.
Better known for their popular smartphone wallet, Mycelium offers the Gear merchant processing solution that is free and only needs an email address to create an account. It offers a customizable widget for many types of websites and several content management plugins like WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal. However, it requires wallets that support BIP32 public keys like Electrum or their own wallet in order to generate unique addresses for each customer.
Gear offers an admin dashboard on its website which shows an order book of all transaction history, and a configuration suite for widgets and custom gateways. It also offers extra security features like two-factor authorization and joint escrow accounts. Moreover, the platform can automatically send mass payouts to multiple recipients with preserved privacy. The app also integrates with bitcoin-to-euro conversion service, Cashilla, to allow fiat payouts in euro for users living in Europe.
Popular blockchain explorer Blockonomics offers their own merchant processing application, which is accessible through their dashboard. Also requiring BIP32-ready wallets for processing, Blockonomics has integrated with fewer widgets and platforms than Mycelium. In addition to offering an order history, the application has some unique features such as charting, an address watcher and a transaction fee wizard.
While free at first, Blockonomics does charge a subscription fee after the first 50 public key addresses it generates. The service has five tiers of membership that include additional features such as custom invoicing and technical support.
Bitcoin Payments is a free and simple WordPress plugin that is powerful enough to generate custom addresses and QR codes but it has not been updated in over 2 years and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress. The plugin can place payment boxes anywhere on a website. While it does not offer an order history page or advanced dashboard feature like the other two processors, it is not connected to any other websites which makes it ideal for webmasters who are concerned with privacy.
What do you think of these bitcoin payment processors? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Mycelium, and Blockonomics
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