Crypto

Crypto Gains Popularity Despite Headwinds as 75% of Retailers Make Plans to Accept Crypto Payments

A person holding their smartphone over a payment reader held out by a shop employee.

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Expect to see a lot more retailers offering a “pay with crypto” option soon.


Key points

  • Most retailers report moderate-to-high customer interest in crypto payments.
  • More than 85% of retailers consider enabling crypto payments a high or very high priority.
  • Nearly three-quarters are aiming to accept crypto within two years.

Even though the market is down this year, cryptocurrency is getting more popular and more widely accepted as a payment method. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, nearly three-quarters of retailers plan to accept crypto payments within the next 24 months.

Deloitte polled 2,000 senior executives at retail organizations across the United States to learn about their investments in digital currency payments. The results show that merchants are heavily prioritizing and investing in crypto payment options.

Retailers and customers are interested in crypto payments

Cryptocurrency has a long way to go before it reaches widespread acceptance, but interest in digital currency payments is high. In Deloitte’s research, 96% of merchants said their customers had either moderate or high interest in paying with crypto. Interest is particularly high among younger consumers.

With that level of interest, merchants that don’t enable cryptocurrency payments could miss out on potential customers. That was the consensus among the retailers that Deloitte served, with 87% believing organizations that accept crypto have a competitive advantage.

It makes sense then that a large portion of retailers are working hard on enabling cryptocurrency. More than 85% consider it a high or very high priority, and businesses of all sizes are putting a significant amount of money toward it. Among large retailers with $500 million or more in annual revenue, 54% are investing over $1 million to accept crypto payments.

Smaller organizations aren’t spending as much, but the majority invest at least $100,000. That includes organizations with under $10 million in annual revenue, where 58% spend $100,000 to $1 million.

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How merchants are reducing risk

Volatility is the biggest risk with cryptocurrency and an important consideration for merchants. If a company has accepted payments in Bitcoin (BTC) and the value plunges, that could put it in a precarious financial position. And when crypto crashes, it tends to crash hard. This year, there has been $2 trillion in crypto wiped out.

To avoid this situation, 52% of respondents plan to have third-party payment processors convert crypto payments to fiat money immediately. For example, a U.S. merchant could accept Bitcoin payments, but have that Bitcoin converted to U.S. dollars right away. This means the merchant is never actually holding cryptocurrency funds or at risk of a price drop.

There’s also quite a bit of interest among merchants in accepting stablecoin payments. In fact, 83% are specifically giving stablecoin payments high or very high priority.

Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency designed to follow the value of another asset. Most of the largest stablecoins are pegged to the U.S. dollar, so they’re intended to maintain a value of $1. That makes them a safer option for storing funds, at least when they work as intended. However, there have been several stablecoins that have failed, with TerraUSD being a recent example.

Positive news for retailers and crypto investors

Enabling cryptocurrency payments presents its challenges for retailers. Of those surveyed, 45% said that integrating digital currencies within their existing financial infrastructure was their greatest challenge. Another 44% went with integrating various digital currencies.

Early returns are promising, though. Among retailers that already accept crypto payments, 93% have seen a positive impact on their business’s customer metrics, and they expect it to continue next year.

The fact that so many retailers are setting up digital currency payments is also good news for anyone investing in cryptocurrency. As crypto gets accepted at more places, it could lead to more people interested in buying it. It’s also a sign of cryptocurrency’s long-term potential as a payment method.

It’s worth pointing out that cryptocurrency is still highly volatile and risky. Those are important considerations if you’re planning to buy crypto. But the consensus among merchants is that cryptocurrency will become much more widely used, which is exciting for enthusiasts and investors.

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