Flow is adding BitPay to its cross-border e-commerce platform to support payment processing for bitcoin and bitcoin cash.
The cryptocurrencies join more than 60 different payment methods across 200 counties on Flow’s cross-border e-commerce platform, which includes Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Alipay, WeChat Pay, Union Pay and others. Flow is in the process of integrating BitPay with its first client in preparation for launch, said Rob Keve, co-founder and CEO of Flow. The company released BitPay to its clients this month.
Flow’s e-commerce platform allows merchants, such as U.S. watch company MVMT to localize the checkout experience across its international network. Flow does this by helping merchants manage local prices to include custom duties, offer local shipping options and, most important, local payment options, with Alipay and WeChat Pay being particularly important since they cover the majority of retail transactions in China.
While many payment methods, including Visa and Mastercard, may transcend global commerce, there are selected geographic markets that may have preferences for a local payment solution or may need a local bank transfer because many consumers don’t have a credit card and need an alternative. Keve identified the Benelux region, Germany, Korea, China and selected other countries as having this preference. So for a merchant to appeal to consumers in those countries or regions, it's important to offer local alternative payment solutions.
Regarding cryptocurrencies, it’s less of a geographic appeal and more of a merchant category appeal.
"It’s the categories that lend themselves to consumers with demographics favorable [to shopping] in cryptocurrencies,” Keve said. By adding a partner such as BitPay it can give a merchant greater access to consumers who are more comfortable transacting in cryptocurrencies for certain categories of merchandise such as gaming and electronics.