The Australian Bitcoin exchange igot has announced the launch of the igot Merchant Solution, a service that allows both e-commerce providers and brick-and-mortar stores to accept bitcoins for goods and services. The igot Merchant Solution comes with a fixed transaction fee of half a percent.
igot has continued to grow globally. The company that is present in close to 40 countries would seem to be emerging as a key player in the bitcoin merchant solutions area. Through the latest product offering, igot also signals intent to the major players BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin, that it will no longer be business as usual.
igot’s competitive advantage stems from its ability to facilitate cross-border payment in any of the fiat currencies that it supports. The platform unveiled by igot enables merchants cash out in any of these local currencies at no additional cost, thereby shielding merchants in these countries from the wide fluctuations that Bitcoin is prone to.
The platform comes with other features that will make it much easier even for merchants who may not be very familiar with the technology. It complies with stringent security standards, has a full stack set of APIs and can be used with existing merchant accounts.
Rick Day, co-founder of igot said that,
“Accepting Bitcoin through igot has multiple advantages for merchants. Integration takes just minutes, and it protects businesses from both credit-card chargebacks and price volatility. Perhaps most importantly, Bitcoin is a free marketing tool that is likely to increase overall revenue. This is a win-win situation for merchants and the Bitcoin community. With a flat 0.5 percent transaction fee, we expect to get a lot of traction.”
CCN.com interviewed Rick Day on the latest solution and other igot plans in the global bitcoin merchant and remittance markets. The following is what he had to say.
What is your current market share of the remittance / “remittance” market globally?
Bitcoin offers a much more efficient way to transfer money overseas and, therefore, has the potential to disrupt the huge $550-billion remittance market. Bitcoin companies like ours are actively targeting that market, but it is too early to put a number on our market share. However, igot is present in some of the busiest remittance corridors: UAE to India, Australia to India, and soon, UAE / Australia to the Philippines, thanks to some strategic partnerships. We expect to become one of the biggest “remittance” platforms in six to 12 months time.
Are there any markets that hold special promise out of the 40 countries in which you operate?
Three markets stand out: Australia, India, and UAE. We see a lot of volume from these countries and expect that to grow.
How does the igot merchant solution differentiate from what is already in the market i.e. BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin?
igot offers a localized service for the markets in which we operate. That’s the key to our success. With so many local banking relationships in place, we are able to provide much faster payouts for our merchants compared to the international Bitcoin payment solutions. In most cases, they will receive their money the very next day. This is a major differentiating factor. We also offer transactions in 10 different fiat currencies, and you could essentially ask us to settle your payouts in 10 different currencies by creating BTC-to-fiat distribution rules within your merchant app. Furthermore, unlike BitPay and Coinbase, we only charge a 0.5% transaction fee, not 1% for cashout. With igot, cashing out is always free and local.
The solution supports fiat currencies in 40 countries, including one in Africa, Kenya.
Do you have any immediate plans for other African markets such as Nigeria and South Africa?
We’re really focused on Kenya at this time, but in the future, we’re very likely to be looking at other countries, such as Nigeria and South Africa.
In your press release, you have outlined elaborate security measures to protect client funds, from the technology perspective. How about regulatory compliance in the countries you operate in?
We strictly follow our KYC and AML policies for every jurisdiction in which we operate. As of yet, most of these countries do not require us to obtain a money-service business license. Even so, we already collect data and report all cases that would be required of us if we were an MSB. This means, as governments around the world start to establish regulatory frameworks, we will be instantly ready to comply.
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