BitPay, which processes payments in the decentralized digital currency Bitcoin, has integrated its platform with Amazon's fulfillment service, which ships goods for merchants that store their merchandise in Amazon's warehouses.
The Atlanta-based company said Wednesday that merchants who use BitPay's service can accept Bitcoin payments on their website and automatically have Amazon pack and ship merchandise. The arrangement does not allow consumers to use bitcoins directly on Amazon's website.
The service is available to merchants in the U.S., UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain who use fulfillment by Amazon and run their website via WordPress, the popular publishing platform that allows customers to use Bitcoin to pay for some services.
"It's basically a turnkey system for the merchant," says Tony Gallippi, BitPay's co-founder and chief executive. "Any seller who has inventory on Amazon who takes payments on their own can accept Bitcoin."
BitPay's service, which is available as a WordPress plug-in, enables customers to pay with bitcoins for merchandise that carries an Amazon inventory number. After the customer pays for the order, BitPay transmits the fulfillment information to Amazon.
"When orders get paid through BitPay, Amazon's servers are automatically notified, and our admin screen is updated with the correct status," Mihai Alisie, editor-in-chief of Bitcoin Magazine, a BitPay customer, said in a press release. "PayPal does not offer the same service that BitPay can, so we have to manually process any orders which are paid through PayPal."
A spokeswoman for PayPal did not immediately comment.
"With BitPay, it's fully automated," says Gallippi, who adds that BitPay plans to make the service available via publishing platforms besides WordPress.
The service comes amid a push by Bitcoin proponents to spur Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, to accept the virtual currency directly. Bitcoinstore, a seller of computers and other electronics, opened for business recently with the promise of undercutting competitors who accept only conventional payments. The store's head of marketing recently told PaymentsSource the founders hope to see Amazon accept Bitcoin.
A spokesman for Amazon declined to comment.
BitPay, which processes payments for roughly 3,200 merchants worldwide, recently secured funding from a group of investors that includes the Shakil Khan, who helped launch tech startup Spotify; Ben Davenport, a software engineer at Facebook; and A-Grade Investments, a venture capital firm that includes Ashton Kutcher.