Bitcoin, Apple Pay, and the Alternative for Online Payments – The Good, The Bad and The Tip

The good this week revolves around money… (MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY) …or rather, the ways we part it with. Paying with a credit card is not a great user
experience. Bring out the wallet. Find card. Give it away. Swipe. Enter the amount on the processor. Confirm. Print receipt. Sign. Now you have this paper invoice you have to
get rid of. Cards get lost, stolen, they break, their
magnetic bands fail, and they look like shit after ten swipes. Don’t get me started on how cash is even worse. We take visa. It turns out, there’s a better way, and there
has been for a while, only it’s taking longer than expected to pick up. The concept of using your phone to pay is almost
too obvious in today’s world. It’s contactless, password, fingerprint or face-protected
and extra secure. While Google Wallet was honestly the first
widely implemented payment method, Apple Pay has been spending A LOT of money to integrate
NFC payments to their phones and to retails stores, but more importantly, to get people
to use it! These things are going away. Soon. Good riddance. One player that hasn’t succeeded here is Bitcoin. Bitcoin could very well be the future of currency,
but they haven’t solved the simplest thing: making payments. Sending Bitcoins is as simple as sending an email (NOT). And… you can purchase anything with Bitcoin. (NOT). The whole concept of having a ‘wallet,’ the
fact that you can ‘lose’ all your money if the hard drive where your wallet is, fails;
this is not a simple UX, and they are still miles away from mass adoption. I own some Bitcoin, and I’ve made and lost
some money with the extreme surges we’ve seen in the past couple years… but I don’t see
why I would use it to pay for anything when even a credit card is a simpler experience. Now for the tip; when you are looking at conversion
rates on websites, you want to reduce friction to the absolute bare minimum. Ever been on a checkout page and realize they
don’t take your American Express? OLD LADY: But my very best friend is this little gem: the American Express card. OLD LADY: Don’t leave home without it. Or they only take PayPal, and you don’t have
an account? (Obviously because it sucks). The struggle is real for your users and the
fewer barriers you have, the better. Companies like Stripe and Square are doing
marvels around this. Stripe, for example, lets you add Apple Pay
to your checkout page with a few lines of code. And Square’s minimalistic… square
lets anyone collect payments without going through the trouble of getting a payment processor. By the way, neither of those work in my home
country of Costa Rica. Stores have to go to a bank and pay thousands
of dollars to get their credit card stations and deal with their ridiculous 7% or 10% processing
fees. A year salary, right here. You know what I call them? Fun coupons! Stripe, Square will you please come over? We’ll have piña coladas and get
caught in the rain.

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