While bitcoin's headlines are often dominated by large merchants like Dell, DISH and Overstock, broader business adoption of the technology as a payments solution may be more arguably influenced by the various platform providers serving the space.
Companies like e-commerce enabler Shopify and more recently financial software specialist Intuit, for example, now allow thousands of small merchants to begin accepting bitcoin.
Now, in a new interview with CoinDesk, Intuit engineer Clinton Nielsen has confirmed that PayByCoin is already gaining traction with the company's small business customers, and that despite bitcoin's sometimes negative press, the response to the program has been largely positive to date.
Nielsen told CoinDesk:
He added that the data further supports this conclusion, saying: "We've seen more sign-ups than we expected".
The California-based company earned $4.2bn in revenue during fiscal year 2013, and has a team of roughly 8,000 employees around the globe, according to its fiscal year 2013 investor filing.
Bringing PayByCoin to market
The product of both Nielsen and Intuit's Group Product Manager Manish Shah, PayByCoin was a project the two developers developed on during their allotted 'whitespace time' – the 10% of working time all Intuit employees get to spend on initiatives of their choosing.
Shah said that the pair used this time to form a small team for the project, adding:
In response to questions about the reaction of Intuit management to the product, Nielsen said that, on an ideological level, he saw bitcoin as aligning with the goals of the company:
Small business outlook
Although Intuit is optimistic about the applications of bitcoin in its own products, Shah said that he still feels as though the small business market is only just warming to digital currency.
Shah indicated that he believes the positive response has been due to the volume of early adopters that are using PayByCoin, as these individuals are generally enthusiastic about new technologies.
The broader small business market, he said, will likely be harder to win:
Bitcoin development continues
Shah further confirmed that more Intuit employees are seeking to develop bitcoin products during their whitespace time, and that these initiatives aim to leverage some of the less mainstream applications of the technology.
There is a particular interest in how smart contracts and other such technologies could be used for businesses. he said, adding:
Nielsen went on to say that should any of these whitespace products be given the green light, they would still be molded to fit Intuit's overall business objectives.
"The goal is always to make it as invisible for small businesses as possible, so they can go about running their business", he said.
Image via Intuit
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