Bitcoin is a distributed, worldwide, decentralized, digital money. The advantage of Bitcoin is that there is no central authority like a bank, company, or government issuing Bitcoin. Bitcoin might be intimidating to most restaurant owners because it’s not integrated with most POS systems.
For retailers and POS companies, Bitcoin is a better alternative to credit card companies because they charge between three and five percent of each purchase simply to use the service. It costs even more to wire money from one country to another.
Here are some of the ways restaurants could help Bitcoin growth:
Attracting Like-Minded Clientele
Bitcoin has gained momentum due to social media exposure, an increase of value on the market that is attracting investors, and the more wide-spread knowledge of its benefits. People have been drawn to using Bitcoin because it is harder to add sales tax to a transaction. Since there is no way for third parties to identify, track, or intercept transactions that are denominated in Bitcoins, one of the major advantages of Bitcoin is that sales taxes cannot be added onto any purchases.
Another benefit of Bitcoin is its low transaction fees. There is no intermediary institution or government involvement in Bitcoin transactions, and therefore, the cost of transactions is very low. Users generally like to avoid transaction fees and exchange costs from foreign purchases and wire transfers. Immunity to fraud and identity theft are two of several benefits of cryptocurrency.
Accepting Bitcoin is a differentiator from other businesses and marketing-savvy businesses will strengthen their brand by accepting Bitcoin. Businesses adapting to Bitcoin are being seen as forward-thinking, and techno-savvy and will likely attract an audience that uses Bitcoin.
Restaurants accepting Bitcoin will diversity their customers. As more people become drawn to Bitcoin, it makes sense for restaurants to adopt POS systems that use Bitcoin. Customers will appreciate the choices of payment.
There are websites that track businesses that accept Bitcoin, including Coinmap.org and SpendBitcoins to help customers find Bitcoin restaurants on a map.
Experts concur that Bitcoin isn’t used widely enough to be considered mainstream and viewed by business owners as beneficial. America has been slow on the uptake, but many businesses in Asia have already integrated Bitcoin as a viable payment option.
When a restaurant opens up Bitcoin use, more customers could be encouraged to start dining there. As these types of businesses are commonly attended and universally relied on for entertainment purposes and communal gatherings, restaurants will be apart of a cause in helping Bitcoin growth.
A big reason restaurants have not participated in mass adoption is that most people do not use Bitcoin yet. Perhaps, once Bitcoin becomes popular, restaurants will need to adapt. POS Systems adopting Bitcoin would help as well. Fortunately, point of sale software systems are integrating Bitcoin because they want to see it grow.
Vend is cloud-based point-of-sale and retail management software that lets retailers run their business in-store, online, and via mobile. The online point of sale provider partnered with Digital Currency Point of Sale to allow retailers to transact with Bitcoins.
The owner of Orea Cafe in Australia, Samantha Saunders, cites Bitcoin payments has made up 10 percent of their daily takings through Vend.
Bitcoin payments are becoming a necessity for companies that sell products exclusively online. Most restaurants have online purchases available as an option for customers to order food to go. As mobile app usage is becoming more and more common, it will be easier for restaurants to accommodate Bitcoin using customers.
The Other Side of the Argument
On the contrary, Bitcoin has issues that prevent POS applications such as very high transaction confirmation time which can last from a couple of minutes to several hours. Sometimes the sender is responsible for fee payment. Most cryptocurrencies charge the buyer, rather than the merchant.
A big deterrent in mass Bitcoin adoption is that many businesses don’t want to inconvenience their customers by charging them inconsistent and sometimes massive fees on their transactions. It is definitely something that is going to have to be addressed before restaurants and other business models adopt Bitcoin.
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