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The state of crypto payment processing

 

By now, you've probably heard all about cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and Blockchain. It’s been a decade since Bitcoin sprang into existence, and Bitcoin paved the way for thousands of other cryptocurrencies (altcoins, in crypto slang). Amid all the cryptocurrency hype, it can be hard to keep track of what is actually happening in the strand of the cryptocurrency ecosystem that is perhaps most important to crypto's long-term survival: payment processing.

 

That's why developers may find themselves asking questions like these: How easy is it to set up an app to start accepting payments in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies? How many payment processing vendors support crypto? What does the process for integrating crypto payments into an app look like, and is it as easy as setting up payment processing in your app for fiat (i.e., traditional) currency?

 

If you think these questions don't matter, think again. There are a number of reasons for accepting payments from customers in cryptocurrency. Accepting crypto payments helps you reach a larger number of customers, especially in countries where certain types of traditional payment options are not widely supported. Crypto payments can also help to cut down on bank charges for both vendors and customers. And supporting crypto can help apps to stand out in crowded markets, just because of the buzz factor.

 

With this context in mind, this article surveys the state of cryptocurrency payment processing by evaluating available solutions and discussing what remains to be done to make crypto payment easier to integrate into applications.

 

Cryptocurrency Payment Processing Options

 

The payment processing solutions available for processing crypto payments are far outnumbered by those for processing fiat currency. The reason is quite obvious: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy. A lot is left to be done to make crypto mainstream, especially when it comes to transaction times.

 

That said, there are certainly crypto payment processors out there. In no particular order, here are some popular options available to developers who want to integrate crypto payments into their apps.

 

  • Coinbase

Coinbase is a popular choice when it comes to cryptocurrency payment processing. In fact, it is one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges, with some 20 million users and over $150 billion already traded on the platform.

 

Coinbase makes it possible to quickly begin receiving cryptocurrency payments (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum) without having to pay any fees to accept crypto. Coinbase offers a variety of payment options. They include e-commerce plugins, libraries (Python, Ruby, Node.js, PHP), and SDKs (Android, iOs, Unity). Coinbase’s options make it a great choice for crypto payment processing for virtually any kind of app.

  

  • BitcoinPay

BitcoinPay makes it easy and inexpensive to start accepting Bitcoin payments. BitcoinPay offers developers several payment processing integration options to cater to any use case: API & Button, mail, point of sale, and e-commerce plugins (WooCommerce, OpenCar, Magento, and PrestaShop). BitcoinPay’s API gives developers “superpowers” by allowing developers to customize the payment process to suit their needs. And e-commerce plugins make it seamless to integrate into an e-commerce platform.

  

  • CoinGate

CoinGate processes Blockchain payments. That means it is not only limited to Bitcoin payments. It supports Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, Golem, and several other cryptocurrencies. It offers integration options including e-commerce plugins, Bitcoin point of sale, Bitcoin payment API, and payment buttons. In addition, CoinGate charges low fees when withdrawing in fiat currency, such as USD or EUR.

  

  • CoinPayments

CointPayments is yet another cryptocurrency payment gateway that supports payments for Bitcoin and several other popular altcoins. Like the others, it offers e-commerce plugins, for even more e-commerce platforms. And CoinPayments offers many integration options that make payment even more simple: donation buttons, shopping cart button & plugin, invoice builder, API, Instant Payment Notification System (IPN), etc.

 

The cryptocurrency processors we’ve seen so far offer very similar integration options, distinguishing themselves in only a few places, such as the number of supported cryptocurrencies. Setting up your app to accept cryptocurrency payments using any of these solutions is akin to setting up payment processing for fiat currency.

 

What Remains to Be Done for Cryptocurrency Payments

Integrating and accepting cryptocurrency payments in applications is certainly possible, but there is still much to be done to make integration more seamless.

 

One major challenge is keeping cryptocurrency safe. In most cases, crypto transactions are irreversible, meaning that recovering funds from a fraudulent (or even just accidental) transaction is virtually impossible. This challenge requires developers to build extra safeguards into applications to ensure that each crypto transaction is valid before it begins.

 

Equally important is the payment processing time. With fiat payments, payments are processed within a few seconds and reflect in your account immediately. Cryptocurrency, however, takes longer to process, sometimes failing unexpectedly as a result. Certain cryptocurrencies are working to address this challenge, but Bitcoin, which remains the most popular cryptocurrency by far, takes very long to process — sometimes hours. Developers must also think about how to make sure their apps can accommodate very long transaction times, and make sure users remain aware of the state of a transaction until it is fully complete.

 

Final Thoughts

Even with the challenges inherent in cryptocurrencies that impede their widespread adoption, cryptocurrency payment processing, in general, is improving. Remember that the sector is barely a decade old; yet, there’s been so much innovation in a rather short time. Will crypto payment integration catch up with fiat payment integration? Probably, although it will certainly take some time before integrating crypto into your app is as easy as supporting fiat currency transactions using a simple solution like WorldPay's APIs.

 

Check out: Worldpay's Card-to-Crypto Exchange 

Offering free trial applications is a useful strategy for helping to attract new users. However, in order to retain those users and turn them into paying customers, you need to deliver a flawless experience that helps your app stand out from the seemingly endless number of free apps available on the Web.

 

free-trial-to-paying-customer-tips-2

 

Lots of considerations factor into this, of course. In this post, we’re going to look at one of the big ones: payment processing. The payment implementation inside your app plays a key role in shaping user experience, and ultimately, in determining whether users remain engaged with your app and your company.

 

In this post, I’ll cover some important best practices to follow in implementing payments for your free trial web application. These best practices will make it easy to turn trial users into paying happy users.

 

Choose a proven payment processor

Your payment processor is probably the most important element in implementing payments for your trial web application. There are several payment processors out there, but it’s critical to get the basics right. In that vein, you’ll want to choose a payment processor that has a strong track record. Worldpay is a prime example. Worldpay is one of the best payment processors in the world, processing over 40 billion transactions annually across most countries.

 

With a proven payment processor as the backbone of your free trial web application, you can focus on delivering great value to users and allow your payment processor to seamlessly transition trial users into paying users.

 

Pick an integration option that matches your web app requirements

Knowing what kind of integration your trial web application needs is important. Do you want a hosted payment page (widget), or do you need fine-grained control over payment with a payment API?

 

A payment widget is easier to set up. It sometimes requires no programming expertise, and is very secure. But a payment widget will not always deliver the best end-to-end experience for your users, as it has limited customization. Additionally, a payment widget may yield slightly higher charges.

 

A payment API offers better integration flexibility. Thus, it requires some expertise and compliance. Your web app requirements will determine which of these options is better. As an example, Worldpay offers several integration options that match any app requirement: JSON API, XML API, and HTML API.

 

The Web is constantly changing. Web technologies quickly become outdated as newer and more secure technologies emerge. It’s imperative to pick integration options that are based on the latest accepted standards for your trial web application. In the world of payments, security is king, so pick wisely.

 

Go for payment options that cover most, if not all, users

A great web app will compel users to pay to keep using it. But if your users can’t pay because of limited payment options, your users will abandon your app. There are a number of alternatives to practically any web application — Some are completely free and open source, and users will quickly switch. To retain your users, ensure your payment system provides support for a variety of payment methods: credit/debit card, mobile payments, bank transfer, PayPal, and even cash.

 

There is a caveat here: Think about the charges associated with each payment method your web app provides, and devise a strategy that works for your users.

 

When you want a variety of payment options, consider Worldpay. Worldpay provides credit card payments, bank transfer, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and more.

 

Check out merchant account options

Last but not least, how you process payments from your web app users is crucial. Setting up a merchant account to start receiving payments shouldn’t be an overly sophisticated process. In picking your payment processor, research the required effort to set up a merchant account, and look at all terms and conditions for money transfer, including charges on merchant accounts.

 

Worldpay provides unmatched merchant account options that cater to several demographics, including individuals, small businesses, and enterprises — and you receive payments instantly.

 

Closing thoughts

Implementing payments for your free trial web application shouldn’t be a cumbersome task. An important step is turning casual, non-paying users into return customers who want to pay for your web app. Worldpay is a payment processor that helps businesses reach their goals by streamlining payment processes and allowing businesses to focus on their core values and deliver quality products and services to their customers. Using Worldpay, you can set up and start receiving payments for your web application within minutes.

 

About the Author:

Bruno is a junior at Ashesi University College studying Computer Science. He is interested in leveraging the power of technology to increase productivity. As a big fan of open source technology, he is currently exploring the possibility of using Bitcoin Blockchain to fight corruption in government. 

Why You Should Share Code on GitHub

GitHub is a massively popular tool among developers these days — and with good reason. It offers all of the functionality of Git, and much more to boot. Indeed, GitHub has become so important to modern software production that if you’re not using it, you’re likely making a mistake.

 

Let me explain. In this article, I’ll discuss all of the benefits of sharing code via GitHub. This will illuminate why many open source projects (plus some non-open source projects) are hosted on GitHub and why the platform has become the default code-sharing solution for software projects.

 

The Sheer Number of Developers and Projects

 

GitHub has over 31 million developers around the globe

 

Let’s face it — Most programmers are already familiar with GitHub. It is, therefore, imperative to share code on a platform most contributors are familiar with. Currently, GitHub has over 31 million developers around the globe (more in 2018 alone than GitHub’s first six years combined), 2.1 million organizations, and 100 million repositories. The stats are only getting better each year.

 

The benefits that come with this is that a project is open to contributions from developers all over the world. Some projects on GitHub start with only a few contributors, but rapidly grow to having hundreds, if not thousands, of developers working on them. This way, bugs get fixed quicker, updates are released frequently, and project continuity is ensured.

 

Available Integration Options and Apps

One thing that makes GitHub very powerful and attractive to developers is the integration options it provides with apps and other services via the GitHub Marketplace. Integrations allow developers to supplement the functionalities provided by GitHub. You can possibly connect GitHub to your existing tooling and work without having to exit first. But it doesn’t stop there — GitHub also allows developers to create custom apps for their own needs using GitHub’s API.

 

Code hosted on GitHub can easily be linked and used on other platforms. With the click of a button, you can effortlessly turn a GitHub repository into a fully functional application on platforms like Heroku, Azure, or AWS. GitHub provides far better integration support than many other similar hosting platforms.

 

Catch Vulnerabilities with Security Alerts

Many projects have dependencies. Dependencies sometimes introduce vulnerabilities. And vulnerabilities, if not patched early enough, expose us to serious security risks. GitHub helps developers catch vulnerabilities in dependencies by notifying them of known vulnerabilities. Admins receive vulnerability notifications and can add others to the list. Additionally, fixes to some vulnerabilities are proposed, and sometimes safer versions are selected automatically using machine learning.

 

The GitHub security alert feature is very useful, and ensures that developers build quality applications that are safe. As a programmer, you can enjoy the benefits of being notified of vulnerabilities and possible solutions.

 

Resolve Issues and Improve Code Quality

Another feature that makes GitHub very appealing to developers is Issues. Issues is GitHub’s own bug tracker. It helps note ideas, bugs, tasks, and enhancements for a project. Once code is shared on GitHub, that’s not the end, as software is rarely ever written once. Code evolves, and Issues enables its evolution by allowing contributors to suggest ideas to projects and report bugs.

 

GitHub Issues takes collaboration to a different level. Because ideas and bugs can be suggested with Issues, contributions to projects are not limited to only the code-savvy. With millions of developers on the platform, project ideas can quickly be turned into features, and bugs can be completely eradicated.

 

The list could go on and on. GitHub is truly a boon (for open source projects especially). With Microsoft now owning the platform, we can expect even more from GitHub.

 

Closing Thoughts

For the record, GitHub may not be the perfect fit for every developer or every situation. For example, if you’re developing code that is not open source and that has high security or privacy needs, you probably don’t have anything to gain by putting it on GitHub, even in a private repository.

 

By and large, however, it’s hard to think of situations where GitHub is not advantageous. It’s easy to see why there has been a surge in the number of companies embracing the open source approach. The integration choices, the number of developers on the platform, security features, and issue reporting system (to mention just a few main items), make GitHub the first-choice platform for sharing code.