Coinbase has announced its merchants are now able to set Bitcoin price ranges for goods and services in a bid to tackle user error in submitting incorrect payment amounts.
Also read: Netcoins: ‘Bitcoin Brothers’ Virtual ATM Network
Coinbase User Errors ‘Not Fun For Anyone’
The update, announced on the Coinbase’s blog and Twitter feed Monday, also features a partial refund feature for merchants, allowing them to return funds for orders altered post-payment.
Coinbase is making it even easier for merchants to accept Bitcoin! https://t.co/6zzZ40WA1V
— Coinbase (@coinbase) July 6, 2016
Also announcing the news, CEO Brian Armstrong said that the service’s merchant volumes had grown around 250% in the last year to date. This brings the total number of merchants using Coinbase to around 43,000.
Our merchant tools for accepting bitcoin keep getting better. Merchant volumes have grown ~250% in the past year! https://t.co/cyXs7nZ1br
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) July 6, 2016
User error has become a frequent problem, Coinbase states on its blog, with extant refund procedures “not fun for anyone.” The range-setting tool, which Coinbase calls a “mispayment buffer,” is designed to allow merchants to offer their wares at a customizable price.
For example, an item listed for 0.5BTC could have a ten percent buffer added, and customers would then be able to pay between 0.45BTC and 0.55BTC and still have the order accepted with no refund or other process being required.
“An overhaul to mispayments has been our number one requested merchant feature for some time,” Coinbase adds. “Our legacy system, designed long before we fully understood the type and likelihood of potential human errors in the checkout process, made it a little too easy to create a mispayment.”
The tool comes in tandem with a feature which flags overpayments without blocking the order or requiring obligatory merchant intervention before it is accepted. Excess funds can be released to the customer afterwards, either at the original exchange rate or using the rate applicable at the time of processing.
The process is similar for part-refunds, now available for orders changed after the original payment had been sent.
Rise of Alternative Bitcoin Solutions for Merchants
The diversification of the Coinbase merchant offering comes as rival services all seek to make the Bitcoin transaction experience as flexible as possible for customers used to the tools offered by fiat-based traders such as eBay and Amazon.
Purse.io, which always allows purchases to be made on Amazon with Bitcoin at a discount, launched its Purse Merchants marketplace at the end of March. The site features more products than anywhere else, including the internet’s biggest names, CEO Andrew Lee told Bitcoin.com at the time.
At the start of the year, Plutus also unveiled contactless BTC payments using its app, eradicating the need for customers to invest in often poor-value Bitcoin debit cards. Merchants do not even need to be signed up to accept Bitcoin themselves.
What do you think about the changes in Bitcoin commerce? What is still needed? Let us know in the comments section below!
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