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Crypto will be a gamechanger in retail payments

Since Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2008 Bitcoin white paper, no platform has had a substantial effect in fulfilling the fundamental value proposition of bringing alternative payments into real everyday purchasing experiences for the average customer.

Starbucks (SBUX), Tesla (TSLA), and Microsoft (MSFT) are among the well-known companies that have begun accepting cryptocurrencies in 2021. Many more shops are drawn to cryptocurrency because of its lower prices, faster transactions, and potential to provide customers more payment options. AXA Insurance, for example, began taking cryptocurrency payments after discovering that roughly one-third of those polled had or were interested in crypto investments.

The retail blockchain market is expected to reach $4.6 billion by 2028, as more industry professionals recognise its value and strive to meet customer demands. However, major firms will not be the only ones driving this expansion. Customers and suppliers requesting cryptocurrencies as a payment option increased by 75% in small and medium-sized firms.

With the vast majority of retailers being small firms, which produce 43.5 percent of US GDP and create two-thirds of new employment while holding little liquidity in costs, and 70 percent of which want to take financial help, the argument for crypto is plain. With inflation on the rise, small companies, particularly shopkeepers, should look to cryptocurrencies as a hedge. 

Bitcoin’s value rises faster than inflation, making it a viable substitute savings vehicle and allowing firms to have enough funds to meet huge unforeseen occurrences. Though currently, fiat currency and Bitcoin are closely knit, but as trust in the crypto industry grows, the correlation shall cease to exist. 

That said, from a financial point of view, it is vital that small companies and shops embrace cryptocurrency as an alternate method of payment.

Becoming Mainstream: 

Last year, cryptocurrency went from specialized to mainstream, and it shows no signs of slowing down. The rise of cryptocurrencies is being driven by a broader societal movement. As older generations retire and younger generations enter the labor field, the purchasing habits of this new generation will determine the future of retail and banking.

Millennials reaching 40 were among the most impacted by the previous decade’s financial crisis, but have worked hard and invested well to lessen the wealth imbalance caused by their disadvantage.

People born between 1981 and 1996 had the highest proportion of digital asset owners, with 45 percent holding crypto in 2022, compared to about 30 percent in the same time the previous year.

And Generation Z isn’t far behind. The popularization of non-fungible tokens (used as profile images on social media) is one example of tech-savvy younger generations searching for new ways to use and display their assets after investing in the digital domain.

Enhancing customer experience: 

Every shop wants to keep their consumers happy. One method is to respond to client preferences by offering a variety of payment choices. Accepting just cash in 2022 feels like an intentional throwback.

One strategy to increase customer satisfaction is to accept bitcoin payments. It is especially noteworthy for the 93 percent of crypto owners who say they would consider buying anything using bitcoin (while 57 percent have already made at least one crypto purchase in the last year).

Secure in-store networks, mobile payments, and biometric verification may eliminate the need for standard checkouts altogether. Payment requests sent to a customer’s mobile device make crypto payments as simple as paying with Visa (V), PayPal (PYPL), or any other chosen digital payment option.

Future stores will be built around fluid, mobile-first, and customer-centric experiences, so it’s no wonder that nearly three-quarters of businesses questioned regard accepting new means of payment as critical to their success.

Offering cryptocurrency payments has both advantages and disadvantages for retailers. Accepting bitcoin necessitates some work, whether it is by adapting shops’ existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals or rebuilding their whole shop floor.

Similarly, cryptocurrencies are risky due to their volatility, and they might be subject to complex tax rules and regulations.

This complication frequently compels merchants to be clear in their terms and conditions, as well as to maintain flawless bookkeeping — a standard that should be imposed across the industry.

Crypto isn’t the only currency with structural issues: During the coronavirus epidemic, illicit card payments and identity theft soared by 35%, and small, independent firms were among the most hit. Mobile crypto payments might be a step toward security in this regard: since they are consumer transactions rather than passing via third-party intermediaries, crypto limits the attack vector for fraud chances.

Furthermore, blockchain transactions are irreversible, which is both a benefit and a disadvantage. Retailers may be able to better monitor their cash flow, but they must also take account of how much each consumer has paid in the event of a return.

Retailers can spearhead change:

Early retail adopters who are at the forefront of developing industry standards can contribute to the improvement of current best practises. While some may find it daunting, individuals that invest early are more likely to receive the benefits of a devoted and enthusiastic crypto-customer base.

By refocusing retailers on providing completely immersive customer encounters, cryptocurrency is paving the way for the future of retail payments. Never before in retail has a community been established based on payment type choice, and companies can now engage new customers and connect into crypto communities by building shopping experiences centered on community values.

Crypto is now accepted online and at certain traditional retail locations. Following that, increased demand will force merchants to remodel storefronts and transaction experiences with customers ’ preferences in account.

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