Shopify Inc., an e-commerce payments and marketplace platform that accounts for more U.S. e-commerce sales than any other company besides Amazon.com Inc., is adding a gateway that will allow consumers to pay for products from Shopify online stores using a choice of digital or fiat currencies. The so-called hybrid service comes from Alchemy Pay, a Singapore-based payments provider, and is available in a range of countries including the United States, Alchemy Pay announced Wednesday.
The service supports nine cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Alchemy’s own currency, called ACH, and for fiat payments is supported by technology from China-based processor QFPay. Fiat payment methods accepted include PayPal, Alipay, and WeChat Pay, according to the announcement.
Ottawa, Ontario-based Shopify has proven to be a fast-growing platform for mid-size and smaller online merchants. Its gross merchandise volume totaled $61.1 billion last year, up 49% over 2018. About 1 million e-commerce sellers now use the Shopify platform, allowing the company to capture 5.9% of U.S. online sales volume in 2019, slightly ahead of eBay Inc. and second only to Amazon’s commanding 37.3% share, according to a chart on Shopify’s Web site that cites data service eMarketer as a source.
“This partnership [with Shopify] effectively put the power of cryptocurrency acceptance in the hands of over a million Shopify e-commerce merchants who serviced over 218 million consumers in 2019,” noted Shawn Shi, Alchemy Pay’s head of product, in a statement.
According to the announcement, Shopify merchants accepting payments through the gateway will not pay any fees “until further notice” as a means of promoting the new service. Shoppers using a personal-computer browser will be able to pay in digital currencies using any wallet, the announcement says, while those using a mobile app or mobile browser will be restricted to wallets that partner with Alchemy Pay.
The venture with Alchemy Pay is not Shopify’s first in cryptocurrency. In February, the company said it would support Libra, the digital currency Facebook Inc. launched last year. Shopify announced it would join the Libra Association, the venture’s governing body, after a number of major payments companies had withdrawn from the project after it came in for withering criticism from regulators and central banks in the United States and Europe.