Most payments processors that deal in digital currencies let consumers pay with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies and then may translate that money into dollars or other fiat money for the merchant. On Thursday, a company called Paxful Inc. announced a service that appears to do the opposite: it lets users pay with any of nearly 400 methods, such as PayPal, Zelle Pay, and money transfers, and then pays the merchant with Bitcoin.
New York City-based Paxful says Paxful Pay is available for online merchants to add to their checkouts. Though the 6-year-old company only launched the service commercially on Thursday, it says it already has more than 100 sellers on the platform. It will add “select” merchants in the weeks to come, it says, and “expand more generally” thereafter. Information about pricing and transaction volumes was not immediately available.
Paxful’s service, which is aimed at a global audience, also lets merchants track transactions on an online dashboard and convert their Bitcoin holdings into a local currency. Later on, it says, the service will add more cryptocurrencies and enable merchants to automatically convert their holdings to a local currency inside a bank account.
On the user side, consumers who choose Paxful Pay are prompted to log in to the service. If not a current user, they must create a profile. “Bitcoin has several different use cases that we’ve only begun to leverage, and e-commerce is a great example,” says Ray Youssef, chief executive and cofounder of Paxful, in a statement.
In recent years, some payment services have looked to tap into the consumer market for cryptocurrency by allowing users to pay online and physical merchants with Bitcoin or other digital coins. Last week, for example, the 622-unit Sheetz convenience-store chain said it will be the first c-store company to accept cryptocurrency. But in most of these cases, Bitcoin or other digital currencies are converted to dollars or other fiat money by the service enabling the feature for the merchant.
“There is a clear need to offer local options for Bitcoin, and this product is a culmination of our efforts to deliver on that demand,” says Artur Schaback, chief operating officer and co-founder of Paxful, said in a statement. “By offering users the ability to complete purchases using almost 400 payment methods, they will now have an even stronger financial solution at their fingertips. We cannot wait to expand this offering to encompass as many merchants as possible.”