Merchant billing service provider Paydici has announced a new partnership with BitPay that will enable its small merchant clients to accept bitcoin as payment for recurring bills.
The Oregon-based company offers a comprehensive service for issuing bills on behalf of its US clients and manages payments paid by bank account, credit cards, and now, bitcoin. As a result of the partnership, interested Paydici customers can enable the payment option for clients, who can opt to accept bitcoin for both physical and digital bills.
In an interview, Paydici CEO Eli Alford-Jones described the move as one that would bring bitcoin to small merchants who may not have integrated with a bitcoin processor directly due to the demands of their operations and the variety of payment types they need to manage.
Alford-Jones told CoinDesk:
"Our target merchants have the need to serve many different kinds of customers and demographics, and our objective at Paydici is to bring a single solution to them that allows them to serve their whole customer base, which includes people who want to pay in bitcoin."
Alford-Jones described his current client base as comprising mostly of small merchants such as landscapers, plumbers and property managers who work at hands-on businesses that require high-touch billing management.
On a technical level, Paydici has built an API for the front-end of its service to build bitcoin payments into its platform. This, Alford-Jones asserted, means most customers won't notice they're interacting with BitPay and its service.
"Essentially we've taken their underlying bitcoin processing service and integrated it into our recurring billing system," he added.
Access to new community
Alford-Jones went on to say that his company's support of bitcoin will allow it to capitalize on its longstanding interest in the technology, as well as the increasing interest its customers had shown in the technology.
In particular, he noted the passionate nature of bitcoin users as a boon for his clientele, as well as the savings they can now achieve by encouraging more clients to use the payment method. Paydici charges a flat fee for every bill it processes, plus an additional 2.95% fee for online credit and debit card processing.
However, Alford-Jones indicated that his company intends to pass on the inherent savings bitcoin can provide by not adding any fees for accepting the digital currency. Paydici currently charges $2 per bill to clients with less than 2,000 customers. Clients serving more than 10,000 customers, however, are charged just $1.35 per bill.
Customers can also elect to add bitcoin to physical bills, and to customize these statements.
"Someone could have a bitcoin payment option integrated into the statement design," he explained. "They could call [bitcoin] out with custom content in a different format, and include an actual advertisement that would be distributed with the bill."
Expanding bitcoin's use cases
BitPay executive chairman Tony Gallippi, in turn, categorized the partnership as one that would enable new types of merchants to accept bitcoin.
"We hope to see bitcoin being accepted for memberships, rent, subscriptions and even utilities," Gallippi said. "Paydici will help open the door to spending bitcoin on these types of products and services."
As for how many merchants will be able to benefit from the option now that the partnership has been announced, Alford-Jones was less clear, adding: "We don't share our merchant figures now, but we reach around half a million end users."
Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.
Images via Paydici