HomeBlockchainBlockchain NewsWhat is an invoice and how to accept crypto with it?

What is an invoice and how to accept crypto with it?

The cat’s out of the bag when it comes to the benefits of crypto for businesses — merchants are able to slash fees, stamp-out pesky chargebacks, increase their global potential all the while improving the effectiveness of SEO and marketing. That’s why many are wondering: how can my business accept cryptocurrency? What’s the process like?

If you’re a merchant and you’ve already made the decision to capitalize on these benefits and integrate a crypto payment processing gateway. Indeed, now, you’re faced with the option of selecting the appropriate payment method for your customers, something that can be confusing without proper guidance.

That’s why today, we’ll be focusing on the most popular payment method, especially for businesses working in e-commerce – invoices. We’ll be breaking them down for you – the types that exist, how they work on the back-end, and how you can get started with them today.

However, before we dive deep into how to accept crypto payments in practice, it’s important to understand where invoices sit on the spectrum of payment methods, so we’ll take a quick stop at each one available before moving on.

An introduction to payment methods with crypto leader CoinsPaid

As we explained, when it comes to billing your customers for received services, there are many different options available to you. The one you end up interacting with will depend largely on the kind of industry you work in. Let’s take a look at how payments work, using the example of CoinsPaid, the #1 crypto gateway in the world by volume.

  • First of all, there are Payment Channel Networks (PCNs, or ‘Channels’ for short). These are blockchain-based systems that allow for fast and cost-efficient transactions between two parties. Much like how channels work on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network as a layer-2 scaling solution, channels are similar to opening a tab with a bartender – transactions are made over a period of time, but only recorded on the blockchain once the channel is closed and the ‘tab is paid’ so to speak. Channels are usually ideal for igaming, as the blockchain transaction fees will only be paid once when the customer is finished transacting, while the movement of money throughout the duration of the open channel is instantaneous, improving the customer experience.
  • Payment links are another option when it comes to getting paid. These are likely the simplest of payment options, as they don’t even require a website, a plugin or an API integration. Simply, a link is generated incidentally and sent to the client over email or an instant messenger such as whatsapp. As soon as the client opens the link, a payment countdown is initiated, which is completely customizable on the client’s side. With payment links by Coinspaid, clients can be sure that all payments are run through an AML on-chain analytics engine. Moreover, because they are very easy to interact with on the front end, conversion rate is usually very high – only three clicks are needed on the customer’s side. It goes without saying that the customer also has the option to pay in over 30 different currencies.
  • Next, there are plugins. These are pieces of software that turbocharge an existing program, enabling said program to do something it previously couldn’t do on its own. When it comes to payment plugins, they can be easily integrated into any site to enable customers to pay on-site. All it requires is a download, the competent setup, often chaperoned by a Coinspaid specialist, a selection of the payment methods required, and then a short test before going live.  The coinspaid payment plugin can be downloaded here. That’s how you can accept crypto payments on your website and receive bitcoin payments.
  • While these are all viable options that may be applicable in certain business use cases, for an e-commerce business model, we suggest the use of invoices. An invoice is a way to request a certain amount of funds from the end users that usually needs to be settled within a certain time period. Similar to payment links, this feature provides businesses with the opportunity to create an invoice for both B2B or B2C clients for a specific amount in a range of currencies.

Types of invoices – how to accept cryptocurrencies as payment 

  1. The first invoice type allows the user to choose the currency of payment themselves. Moreover, these kinds of invoices don’t carry any kind of time restrictions. They can be settled immediately, or in a week’s time. In addition, the rate is fixed as soon as the user confirms the payment currency, which can be convenient in certain circumstances.
  2. The second invoice type, much like the first, allows the user to choose the currency of payment themselves. However, the time restriction will always be 15 minutes starting from the creation of the invoice. This is important for companies who value speed and the provision of additional payment incentives to their clientele.
  3. Last but not least, the third invoice type does not carry the possibility to select the payment currency. This invoice type also carries with it a 15 minute time restriction. By following the link to this invoice, the user will be presented with the invoice’s information in addition to the rate, which will be fixed upon creation.

The 15-minute time limit exists due to the nature of certain cryptocurrencies, being volatile and subject to short-term change. CoinsPaid, for instance, takes on that 15 minutes worth of risk – providing peace of mind to clients unfamiliar with the blockchain-based environment. The kind of invoice chosen by the client is completely dependent on their preferences for certain cryptocurrencies, such as stablecoins, or their business’ specifics.

How does invoice creation look?

Since the majority of individual and business crypto users do not have crypto background and don’t know how to accept bitcoin, modern payment gateways are happy to simplify the process as much as possible, but are also ready and on-hand to guide each client through the process from start to finish.

The process of creating an invoice involves:

  1. Sending a request with a particular set of fields for the creation of an invoice;
  2. Acquiring a response in the form of a URL that can be forwarded to the user-payer.

The user then sees the invoice’s name, the amount to be paid, the currency (or selection of currencies), and additional parameters, such as the timer and an estimation amount, depending on how the invoice is customized.

As most invoices are time-constrained, the situation may arise where the user doesn’t pay on time. If that is the case, the system will display the failed status on the back-end. A callback with the ‘successful transaction’ status will only appear once the transaction is established in the mempool (a fancy word for a blockchain queue). Then, the timer is changed from 15 minutes to 24 hours while the transaction is processed, after which the status of the transaction will be changed to ‘confirmed’.

As soon as such a status is published, the funds will be exchanged in a receiver currency and then transferred to the client account. Indeed, if the invoice payment is to be carried out in instalments, callbacks will be sent for each part. Ultimately, this is how to accept cryptocurrency.

Final thoughts

Overall, if you’re wondering how to accept bitcoin in practice, invoices are a fantastic way to request digital currency payment from clients – with crypto adoption up 39% from last year – a statistic largely generated by increasing favourability within the e-commerce sector, it’s never been a better time to get Invoices integrated within your business and start accepting cryptocurrencies.

CryptoProcessing.com is the largest crypto payment gateway in the world, processing almost one tenth of all Bitcoin transactions worldwide without a single instance of client fund loss. With one of the most client-oriented and comfortable onboarding processes in the market, you’ll be in safe hands. Get in touch with one of our specialists today and get your business accepting crypto currency!

Most Popular