Text2Pay, a mobile billing application for online purchases, now allows merchants to accept Bitcoin, the decentralized virtual currency.
"By offering Bitcoins to merchants, customers will experience faster payment processing, lower fees, and increased security and privacy," says Mark Reiken, managing director of Text2Pay, in a press release. "It's a currency for the people by the people. [Bitcoins] are perfect for online goods and services such as online gaming."
Text2Pay allows consumers to pay for items online by entering their phone number and then a one-time PIN sent to them via text message. The service is used mostly for the purchase of digital goods.
Bitcoin enables quick funds transfer for less than the typical cost of credit card transactions, and Bitcoin services typically do not allow chargebacks. Because these cash-like traits appeal to certain users, more companies accept bitcoins.
The popular blogging platform WordPress started accepting bitcoins last year. In May, Gyft, a mobile gift card company, began accepting bitcoins for virtual gift cards that work at retailers such as Nike and American Eagle. In this way, Gyft enables indirect acceptance of Bitcoin for mainstream retailers that would not accept the digital currency under normal circumstances.
The future surrounding Bitcoin businesses is still uncertain after the Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network issued guidance on virtual currency in March. Bitcoin exchanges have been abruptly closed after losing bank accounts as the government tries to make banks the beat cop, ensuring that the Bitcoin businesses they work with are properly licensed. And funds from Mt. Gox's accounts at Dwolla and Wells Fargo were seized by the Department of Homeland Security as part of an investigation into the Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange.
Even with the recent actions taken against Bitcoin businesses, there are several use cases the digital currency benefits, including micropayments, charitable giving and international remittance.