CoinBase announced today that it will be partnering with QuickBooks, a company that manufactures accounting software for small businesses, to offer Bitcoin-invoice services (called “PayByCoin”) to small businesses. QuickBooks, a company owned by Intuit, makes payroll, accounting, tax, and billing software for small businesses, and currently services 624,000 clients across the United States, and processes 40 billion dollars’ worth of payments per year. By partnering with CoinBase, QuickBooks will allow small businesses to issue invoices that can be fulfilled by one-click Bitcoin payments from within the invoice.
The process, from the perspective of the business, looks like this: They set up a CoinBase account, and link it to their bank account. Then they use QuickBooks software to connect their Bitcoin wallet to their QuickBooks account. From then on, any invoices they issue have a “pay with Bitcoin” option automatically attached. When their partners choose to pay with Bitcoin, CoinBase automatically converts Bitcoin to USD, and drops it off to their bank account within twenty four hours, with no hassle.
The PayByCoin merchant site lists a number of benefits for businesses adopting Bitcoin support: Total transaction fees are only about 1%, regardless of where in the world you’re billing; there’s no risk of chargebacks after the invoice is paid; the transaction is quick and consistent; and finally, the conversion process introduces no currency conversion risk: Accepting Bitcoin feels, to the end user, exactly like accepting credit cards, except easier, safer, and cheaper.
This sort of service is exciting, as it implies the possibility of a viral spread of Bitcoin awareness, as small businesses that use Bitcoin invoices ask their partners to begin using Bitcoin as well, to reduce transaction costs and streamline transactions. As that support spreads, because these businesses will be educated about Bitcoin and aware of its advantages, it’s likely that many of them will begin supporting Bitcoin at their storefronts, and making Bitcoin easier to spend for consumers.