How your customers can pay you in Crypto

It’s always important to understand your customers’ point of view, especially at key conversion points like checkout. An important part of a successful checkout experience is providing a secure and easy way for customers to use their chosen payment method.

Deciding to accept cryptocurrency in WooCommerce is a great move to help you meet this need and attract a wider audience. And depending on which cryptocurrency payment solution you choose, your processes as a merchant may not be much different than traditional payment methods. However, customers pay in crypto will having a different experience, and knowing what that looks like, can help you become a better store manager.

In this article, we’ll help you understand the payment transaction from your customers’ perspective. With this knowledge, you’ll be well-equipped to find opportunities to increase your conversion rate, offer direct support, and educate your customers and prospects.

Crypto vocab check

You can go a little deeper into each of these terms here. But here is a summary of the most important terms.

Public key. Basically, the information you need to get someone to send you cryptocurrency.

Public address: A hashed (usually shorter) version of the public key. This is what you can share with someone who wants to send you money. Think of it as a Venmo username or a PayPal.me link. (eg 0x12B0aD31f483Cdf4741de8f5679A472E5fe3345G)

Private key. Allows a user to access funds sent with a public key. This should never be shared with another party.

Web3: Defined by the AP StylebookWeb3 is a catchy term for the prospect of a new phase of the Internet driven by the cryptocurrency-related technology, blockchain.

Web3 wallet (crypto wallet). Stores public and private keys for blockchain transactions.

Seed expression. A randomly generated list of 12-24 words that allow access to the Wweb3 wallet. This can be used to regain access to a cryptocurrency wallet. This should never be shared with another party.

Non-custodial wallet. Users have their own private keys and have full access to their Wweb3 wallet. (eg Metamask, Trust Wallet).

Custodian’s wallet. Private keys are held by third-party companies. (eg Coinbase, OpenNode).

Peer-to-peer payments

You may think: “Isn’t the whole point of cryptocurrencies the fact that they are peer-to-peer and don’t rely on third parties?”

Yes, it is entirely possible for you to receive funds from a customer without using any third party service or tool.

However, that’s just not realistic for the average consumer. They are not going to run their own node, generate transactions from the terminal command line, and memorize their private keys. Likewise, most merchants are happy to pay a small transaction fee to provide customers with a low-friction experience, while saving them a lot of time and energy to reconcile payments with orders.

Thus, this article focuses on common e-commerce transactions that use tools and services that are most likely to be adopted by novice and intermediate users.

An overview of making a crypto payment

From the customer’s point of view, there are three steps.

  1. Get access to a funded crypto wallet.
  2. Connect their wallet.
  3. Complete the payment and get confirmation.

The specific experience depends on the payment processor and wallets involved. Let’s go through some examples and talk about what happens at each step for your customer.

1. Access a funded crypto wallet

There are many options for people who want a crypto wallet. Each version has its own features, benefits, and support for different cryptocurrencies, chains, and payment experiences.

“Traditional” digital wallet providers like PayPal and CashApp now support crypto payments. Industry-leading crypto exchanges such as Coinbase, Crypto.com, and Binance offer their own apps that also serve as payment wallets. Then there are crypto-native wallets like MetaMask, Rainbow, and many others. You should do your own research to determine the best option or options for you.

After choosing a wallet and setting it up, the next step is to add some cryptocurrency to it so that you have a balance available to spend. This is usually a quick process as most wallets offer in-app purchase options.

So how does a customer know which cryptocurrency to add?

This is a good question. Often, it doesn’t really matter, other than the fees that can add up if they have to exchange currency. Some crypto payment processors will provide automatic exchange options so that customers can pay you in one currency and you receive it in another.

Where this is not possible, most crypto wallets offer a wallet exchange/exchange function, so if a customer holds bitcoin (BTC) but wants to pay in ethereum (ETH), they can easily make that exchange. Ideally, you’d load the wallet with whatever currency you want to pay in, but that’s not always possible before you decide to make a purchase.

2. Connect their wallet to your website

There are two main ways a customer can connect their wallet to your website: QR code or browser wallet connection. Crypto payment processors may offer one or both of these as options.

QR code

This route is best for customers who have their crypto wallet as an app on their phone. When someone chooses to pay with crypto, they are given a QR code that they can scan with their crypto wallet app utility.

An image showing how crypto payments are made using a QR code.  Image text.  Crypto App Payment with QR Code 1.  The seller provides a QR code at checkout.  2. The customer scans the QR code to review and authorize the transaction in their crypto application.  3. The seller's website confirms the receipt and completes the purchase.
Steps to receive crypto payments via QR code:

Connecting a browser wallet

This route is best for customers who access their crypto wallet through a web browser extension. When someone chooses this route, they are prompted to connect their Web3 wallet by clicking a button that invokes the browser wallet and asks for permission to connect.

An image showing how crypto payments are made via a browser extension.  Image text.  Crypto wallet payment via browser extension 1. Merchant provides crypto payment options and browser wallet connection prompt.  2. The customer selects their browser wallet to review and authorize the transaction within the extension.  3. The seller's website confirms the receipt and completes the purchase.
Steps to receive crypto payments via browser extension:

3. Complete payment and receive confirmation.

Whichever route the customer follows, the wallet will then provide prompts to guide them through checkout, either in the app or in the browser.

Once a payment is made, there may be a delay (usually just seconds) before the blockchain confirms the payment. At this point, you and your customer will both receive a confirmation. In the event that transactions are made directly on-chain, you can both receive a blockchain transaction ID.

And that’s it.

What do crypto payment processes mean for merchants?

There is a big difference between a customer who is already familiar with crypto and ready to complete a transaction and someone who has never used crypto before. Creating a cryptocurrency wallet, funding it, and understanding the process of completing a transaction are all barriers to entry.

Initially, most crypto payments are likely to be made by more experienced crypto users. This number is expected to grow significantly over time. So, if your followers and customers have indicated that they are interested in crypto, it may be worth referring them to reputable sources so that they can learn how to pay you in their preferred way.

The benefits of crypto payment options to your customers

In the first article in this series, we explored the reasons why adopting crypto makes sense for many traders. But why would your customers want to pay in crypto?

  1. They hold crypto and want to spend it. Maybe they were an early investor, they are a great trader, or they get paid in crypto.
  2. It is cheaper for them to spend crypto directly than to accept exchange and/or foreign exchange fees in exchange for traditional payments. This can be especially true for international customers.
  3. They may not have access to other payment methods.
  4. They may prefer to keep certain transactions private or separate from their other financial activities.
  5. They feel it is more convenient and safer.
  6. They value transacting without paying fees to traditional financial service providers (ie they are driven by ideology).
  7. There are no limits on the amount of daily payments. this is especially true for expensive, luxury products that may exceed a user’s daily banking limits.
  8. They pay for a native digital asset like an NFT.

Customer considerations to consider

As you can see, there are many options when it comes to the customer experience of crypto payments. Here are some things to consider when choosing and launching crypto payments:

  1. How easy is it for your customers to pay and in which cryptocurrencies?
  2. Are your customers directly exposed to crypto network fees? This can make it more expensive for them to pay if the crypto network is very busy.
  3. Are you clear about dispute resolution? This is especially important in the absence of traditional refund and refund options. Disappointed or unhappy customers are more likely to complain and leave negative feedback.
  4. How long do customers have to wait for order confirmation? Depending on how you allow customers to pay, they may have to wait longer than usual. Again, this is where using a payments partner can help, as they can often keep both fees and approval times very low.
  5. Do buyers need education? Customers may appreciate education about how they can pay with crypto, as well as guidance on security and fraud avoidance.

Help your customers embrace the future of payments with confidence

Merchants can choose crypto payment processing options that are simple and familiar. Customers, on the other hand, will have a different checkout experience.

There are millions of crypto users who are already ready, willing and able to pay in crypto. While crypto payment options are becoming easier and simpler, it’s still important for merchants to understand their customers’ experiences and the implications of their decisions in order to make the most of this new growth opportunity.

Ready to get started? View crypto payment extensions.

Learn more about why it’s time to start accepting cryptocurrencies and how to choose a cryptocurrency payment provider.

Accept payments in crypto



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