For a while it was simple. PayPal was a pain and Stripe was cool. Then PayPal bought Braintree which is pretty similar to Stripe. PayPal, known for their history of being the great disrupter, was fighting the narrative that PayPal was now the legacy dinosaur.
Then along came Bitcoin and all of them start looking like legacy dinosaurs. PayPal, Stripe, Braintree are all about making it easy to take Credit Card payments online. Suddenly along comes Bitcoin to pull the rug from under their feet by saying “maybe you don’t need Credit Cards at all”
We’re testing our Bitcoin support
Join the waiting list for the beta. In the meantime, check it out on Tarsnap.
(The Stripe Bitcoin status might be different by the time you read this).
Then today, the headline says:
“EBay’s PayPal Unit to Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments”
This seems to be war by Press Release. The Braintree/eBay announcement is about what they plan to offer, not what they are offering today. That is the same as Stripe.
Which brings me to PayStand, a minnow among these sharks, who made an announcement about Bitcoin support just 3 business days before the PayPal announcement. Yes, PayStand does look like a released product (I have not actually tested it yet). So does BitPay which announced ages ago on Aug 28th. (Yes, a few days in Bitcoin-land is “ages ago”). BitPay was touting integration with Demandware. If you are like me you are thinking “who?”
Consumers don’t need Bitcoin for domestic payments and the 2.9% Credit Card fee is not their problem (it is the Merchant’s problem). So I think that Bitcoin payments will first take off in cross border payments, because the currency exchange is a consumer problem not a merchant problem.
Which is why I think Paystand is the one to watch. Integrating with WooCommerce is riding the WordPress wave and to the Micro Multinationals that are the early adopters of cross border e-commerce, WordPress is the one tool that they can rely upon.