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BitPay Cuts 'Free and Unlimited' Bitcoin Processing for New Merchants

(@pete_rizzo_) | Published on September 23, 2015 at 22:55 BST
News

BitPay will no longer offer its "free and unlimited" introductory service to new merchants looking to accept bitcoin as payment.

First introduced in July 2014, the plan sought to help the startup reach its goal of enrolling 1 million merchants by 2017.

At the time, executive chairman Tony Gallippi described the plan as "free and unlimited", stating that such a pricing scheme would continue "forever" in a bid to entice merchants to the platform.

The announcement marks a break from the 0% transaction fee model BitPay has sought to market since late 2013 when it introduced a Professional Plan, Business Plan and Enterprise Plan for customers.

In statements, Gallippi framed the shift as one that would be unlikely to affect small merchants accepting payment via the service.

Gallippi said:

"The new Starter Plan will remain free for up to $1,000 daily and 30 transactions per month, giving many small businesses more than enough access to our platform for their needs."

Further, he downplayed the idea the change would have a substantial impact on customers, adding that "nearly all merchants" processing enough transactions chose to upgrade to a paid subscription package.

Starter Plan customers who process more than 30 transactions a month, the company said, would be charged a 1% fee on additional transactions. Likewise, subscribers to the company's Business Plan aimed at enterprise users will now be charged a 1% fee based on use, rather than a $300 recurring monthly cost.

"The new plan will lower the risk of experimenting with bitcoin acceptance for mid-sized businesses, while enabling our team to better focus on Business Plan merchants," a blog post stated.

The pricing change, the company said, was made following improvements to the platform including a new payments dashboard and upgraded refund and invoice adjustment tool.

Enterprise Plan customers, in turn, will see no changes to their contract pricing model.

Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.

Merchant image via Shutterstock

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