Online Payments - Billing clients in a digital age

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 Susanna Ganjalyan
Business Management CRM SaaS Technology

These days people prefer to shop for things online, whether they are buying books, electrical devices or software. In fact, it is a very convenient way to compare prices, use discount cards and save money. E-commerce has and will continue to have a massive impact on the way merchants do business. It leads to dramatic growth in trade, increases markets and improves efficiency. Therefore companies need to figure out how they are going to accept online payments and with which online payment systems they want to work with. The payments landscape is vast and sometimes confusing, so we thought we would share our insight in this area as a company that allows our clients to process online payments. Additionally, let’s look at a potential alternative online payment system through the world of Cryptocurrency (such as but not limited to, Bitcoin).

At TutorCruncher, we offer integrated payment gateways, working with **Stripe **and **GoCardless **to allow our users to process card payments and direct debit payments respectively. Stripe has quickly become one of the most popular online payment systems. You can take card payments securely with minimal hassle, and you can even log into Stripe’s online interface to find out precisely what funds you will be receiving, and when. Let’s summarise some key areas:

Stripe Pros

  • High-speed transfer into your bank account (1–2 days depending on your location)

  • Full payment integration with most third-party services works with over 300 other apps (which makes the developers at TutorCruncher ever so happy!).

  • On Stripe’s you can find out precisely what funds you will be receiving

  • Clear and straightforward per transaction pricing

  • Accepts payment via multiple debit and credit cards, Bitcoin, Apple Pay and Android Pay.

  • No additional international payment fees.

Stripe Cons

  • Not available in every country

  • Can be expensive in some countries

Taking card payments in TutorCruncher is simple, secure, and speedy
Taking card payments in TutorCruncher is simple, secure, and speedy

GoCardless is to Direct Debit what Stripe is to card payments. Direct Debit, using a payee’s bank account details, is arguably the most efficient way to make recurring payments, offering lower failure rates and fees.

GoCardless Pros

  • Easy setup and account overview via online dashboard

  • Different payment plans for every size of business

  • Low and transparent pricing plans, including a capper transaction

  • Third party integration services for companies just like TutorCruncher

GoCardless Cons

  • Can’t process high-value transactions (over £5000)

  • Direct debit is not available worldwide

  • Is not as convenient to set up a billable client as it is to take a card payment

These are but two examples of payment providers which we at TutorCruncher are familiar with. However, there is a revolution in the world of online transactions which has recently found its way into the mainstream.

The future of exchanging money could be cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is perhaps the most well-known example; however, there are lots of other currencies such as Ethereum or Litecoin. In 2009 Bitcoin was created by an unknown programmer or group, under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto and is a way of transferring finances without the use of a centralized bank. Basically, it is doing the direct transaction from person to person without any red tape, you might say. Bitcoin is digital money, not physical cash.

The intial concern, Bitcoin transactions have a possibility of being copied. This opens up the possibility that the same Bitcoin could be spent twice or counterfeited.

A new TCcoin? Any suggestions on a name would be welcomed…
A new TCcoin? Any suggestions on a name would be welcomed…

The revolutionary technology behind Bitcoin is blockchain, which is defined as: “a decentralized ledger that keeps a record of all transactions that take place across a peer-to-peer network.” The most secure technologies that presently exist is the blockchain because it has defined financial rules and a transparent process for verifying transactions. And this is how Bitcoin manage the double spending problem. You don’t have to understand how blockchain works (!), but you can know that it securely tracks these transactions and prevents the whole thing from falling apart.

Recently Kodak announced “the launch of KODAKOne image rights management platform and KODAKCoin, a photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control of image rights management.” Clearly, Kodak finds a smart way to use the blockchain technology to solve a problem many photographers have.

So, can you buy anything real with Bitcoin? In fact, more and more companies now start accepting Bitcoins. For instance, Kentucky Fried Chicken has begun selling a “Bitcoin Bucket” which can only be bought using Bitcoins. For me, this looks more like a PR stunt. Obviously, it worked!

However, there are mixed feelings when it comes to cryptocurrencies.The mainstream media see it as dangerous because its value shifted unpredictably over the last months, as a matter of fact, Bitcoins is the biggest financial bubble of all time. But many experts predict that cryptocurrencies have the potential to be the new way to trade. Well, it’s safe to say that cryptocurrency has many benefits, such as security, speed, minimal transaction fees, easy to store and manage. Probably we won’t have to wait very long to see cryptocurrency as a globally established currency. How long might we have to wait until it becomes an acceptable payment method via TutorCruncher…?


The Financial Revolution And The Many Benefits It Brings: Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Technology Nowadays when people say "major financial revolution," they are inevitably referring to cryptocurrency, blockchain…*

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