Generally speaking, the word ‘stress’ is not something you equate with a surfing school. Yet, this was how Andrey used to feel. He owns Red Star Surf Camp, a surfing school located in beautiful Canary Islands, Spain, that attracts hundreds of clients of all ages from around the world who want to learn to surf or improve their skills.
What is the problem? Accepting international payments has always been a hassle for Red Star Surf Camp. Cross-border payments take time to clear, and they come at a hefty cost. Out of between 300 and 500 euros, Andrey accepts as payment from traditional payment methods, he and his customers pay about 50 euros in combined banking fees. As a small business owner, the portion lost to fees can make a big difference in profits. He also has rental fees, staff salaries, and more to take care of.
Using the advantages of both bitcoin and traditional currencies to improve business
Andrey had previously heard of using bitcoin as a payment method. He was excited by its possibilities, but he was also sceptical. He said:
“When I first learnt about Bitcoin and the opportunities it provides, I was so excited, I couldn’t sleep that night. It could solve a lot of difficulties I’ve had with taking international payments, plus would offer my clients another way of payment and potentially attract new customers, too. Bitcoin’s philosophy of freedom, no borders and no central control is very similar to the surfers’ philosophy — we are citizens of the world, we follow the waves and can’t be bothered with borders and banks’ limitations. At the same time, the technology is still developing, and I could not take the risk of running my business purely based on Bitcoin.”
This was when we introduced Andrey to Wirex as a method to help Red Star Surf School collect payments from his international clientele. Andrey opened a Wirex account, which comes with a bitcoin wallet, and he ordered a debit card denominated in euro. This allowed Andrey to use the speed and flexibility of bitcoin while having access to the liquidity of traditional money.
How to accept bitcoin, and how does it work?
Andrey’s clients can book surf lessons in advance and choose to make payment with bitcoin. This is great for Andrey because payments in bitcoin are irreversible and recorded. It is not possible for fraudsters to claim chargebacks.
After clients make their payments, Andrey will receive bitcoins in his Wirex account. He can keep them there, or convert them to cash. Unlike the usual ways to convert bitcoin to cash (which can take ages if one has to advertise for bitcoin buyers), Andrey can load the bitcoin to his Wirex debit card. The loading process is simple, instant, and can be performed on both desktop and the mobile app.
Converted euros will remain on Andrey’s Wirex card. When he decides to, he can simply go to any ATM and withdraw the money. He can also make payments directly from the card, which is linked to Visa. “I can now have the best of both worlds, accept BTC payments and not worry about the exchange rates or holding too much money in bitcoin,” said Andrey.
Wirex: in the business of helping businesses
This is simply one example of how Wirex can be used by anyone, including businesses. With globalisation, small businesses that don’t accept international clientele may find it hard to survive. Online-based businesses, too, can benefit from the simple yet clever payment platform that Wirex offers.
If you are inspired by Andrey and have a business of your own that could benefit from the same method, give Wirex a try. Simply open an account, order a card, and list your bitcoin address as a payment method on your website. After your customers make their payments (which should occur instantly or take less than an hour, depending on their bitcoin wallet), you too can convert revenue to your currency, or make business payments using the same card. All this with the convenience of mobile banking, so you can check your accounts at any time.
Let us know how we can help you get started. You can find everything on our Help Page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.