Crypto payments are going mainstream with more than 30,000 retailers and 15 major brands now accepting bitcoin, ethereum and bitcoin cash through a point of sale solution.
“Instead of bolting cryptocurrency payments on top of debit cards, we took the opposite approach. Over the past year, we’ve built new connections with tens of thousands of merchant point-of-sale terminals nationwide, to bypass the existing payments infrastructure and push cryptocurrency-based payment authorizations directly to merchants on your behalf,” says Flexa.
Flexa describes itself as “a new payments network, built on top of cryptocurrency, that brings buyers and sellers closer together in order to cut processing cost, eliminate fraud, and preserve your privacy.”
They have a Spedn app which appears to be little more than depositing at Gemini who is a custodian of the crypto.
As can be seen above, it’s basically Apple Pay, but with crypto. That same infrastructure is being used here, with Gemini managing the conversion to fiat.
The merchant probably doesn’t even know you’re paying with bitcoin, eth, or bch, as they’re tapping into point of sale infrastructure.
“Major retailers pay billions of dollars each year in processing costs (costs that are often borne at least in part by the consumer). With Flexa, merchants (i) get significantly less expensive and fraud-resistant transactions, (ii) can use the same payment hardware they currently use, and (iii) receive payment in fiat currency, not crypto,” says Tyler Winklevoss of Gemini.
The app itself apparently has AML/KYC requirements, making this a roundabout way of spending crypto.
There are other solutions which, especially for online commerce, simply provide the tools to accept crypto payments.
Then there’s payment processors like BitPay or Coinbase Commerce that allow you to choose just how much you want to receive in crypto and how much in fiat.
Overstock apparently kept 25% in bitcoin starting all the way back in 2014 when price was barely $300, making it perhaps one of their best investment ever.
All of these solutions are now starting to make crypto payments more mainstream and popular especially as a backup if say the card malfunctions for whatever reason.