Skip to content

How ISOs Can Prepare for Cryptocurrency

While cryptocurrency is not a significant factor for an agent ISO yet, there is a lot of chatter going on in the industry about how cryptocurrency will alter the way the value of goods are exchanged. Even so, experts are saying that the traditional merchant services model will have the advantage and appeal of widespread acceptance. Cryptocurrency still has a long way to go.

For example, consider the process that takes place when a consumer goes to a store and wishes to pay with their credit card via the major card networks. When the payment takes place, it occurs with an agreement that the form of value will be in whatever currency that has been predetermined. The customer, merchant, acquirer, network and issuer have expressed their consent. With cryptocurrency, on the other hand, acceptance is not widespread – though it is gaining traction.

What are the Top Major Cryptocurrencies

Many ISOs are already aware that there are different groups of cryptocurrencies to take into account. While there are similarities between them, there are also key differences than an agent ISO should know. Consider the following list of top currencies and how you can distinguish between them:

Bitcoin. Bitcoin has experienced great success thus far, even though there are problems that need to be addressed like scalability and privacy. It has still risen to become the world’s leading cryptocurrency with relative ease. Thousands of merchants all over the world have begun accepting bitcoin payments, both offline and online.

Litecoin. Some consider Litecoin to be a bit of a bitcoin clone. However, Litecoin does offer a different mining algorithm and faster transactions. Litecoin is accepted in various locations, but has not enjoyed the same level of acceptance as bitcoin.

Ethereum. Many people have also compared Ethereum to bitcoin. On the contrary, Ethereum focuses on the technical side of blockchain development (e.g. native tokens, smart contracts, decentralized applications, etc.).

Ripple. Ripple brings great things to the table. Unlike the other cryptocurrencies, Ripple is not about speculation. Instead, it focuses on transitional utility. This has led many banks around the world to consider Ripple as an option to improve transactions and other day-to-day operations in the future.

Out of all of these cryptocurrencies, the main one ISOs should be concerned about is bitcoin. Why? It currently has the highest amount of acceptance as a payment method within the ecosystem. In fact, major in-store retailers like Microsoft, Expedia and Newegg – among others – accept bitcoin as payment.

What Cryptocurrencies mean for ISOs

As cryptocurrency continues to evolve, and it will, more points of acceptance will be added to the ecosystem. The more this happens, the more important cryptocurrency will become to ISOs. The best thing you can do as an agent ISO is to take the extra time to educate yourself.

Make sure you understand the basics of ISO. Know how and why this technology is relevant. The key is to understand that blockchain is not cryptocurrency – it is actually the technology that cryptocurrency is built upon. You will need to have a thorough understanding of all of this, so you can better communicate and educate merchants. You will likely be receiving many questions in the future about cryptocurrency acceptance. You will want to be as informed as possible to help your customers incorporate even faster payments.

The first step in being successful is to identify why you want to offer cryptocurrency acceptance to merchants in the first place. For example, to serve high risk industries. You will then need to make sure you develop an extremely targeted pitch that is tailored to your audience. Explain all of the benefits and the future of cryptocurrency.