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Should small businesses accept digital currency as payment?

In a single year, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated small business digitalisation and the evolution of the cashless economy. But as the world considers embracing digital currencies for a multitude of payment, trading and banking options, small business has been largely left out of the conversation.

SBC Media sat down with Andrew Barker, Chief Marketing Officer of Qoin, a digital currency designed specifically for small business. Barker answers how small businesses can engage with the emerging digital currency market, and if it’s a beneficial payment avenue for them, how they can integrate digital currencies into their business model.

How can digital currencies help reduce transaction fees for small businesses?

With the absence of third-party intervention, digital currencies provide small businesses with a value proposition that means fewer fees.

Digital currencies often have charges of less than one per cent, and in fact, Qoin has zero fees, placing it well ahead of credit cards, which invariably charge between two-four per cent per transactions. In short, fewer transaction fees means more profit for the business owner.

What advice would you give SMBs that are nervous about receiving digital currency?

I would say, it is absolutely fair enough to be nervous about adopting any new idea or payment method into your business. There are two keys in my opinion as to assessing “new idea risk”.


Firstly, do the research on all fronts. More importantly, review the actual merchants that are using the system and what the pro’s and con’s from their perspective are. Secondly, slow integration is always better than the “all in” method.

Take a small percentage of your current turnover in an alternative currency, and then, if the outcomes work, increase the amount you can take. A quick final note on this is cost vs. outcome. With Qoin, there is zero cost to become a merchant and zero transaction costs, therefore, making Qoin a viable option to trial in your business.

Owners of Charlie’s Raw Squeeze, Johnny and Michael Tabet, accept Qoin in six of their health cafes. Credit: Greenslopes News.

How would a small business go about becoming a Qoin merchant?

Provided a small business has an active ABN and is prepared to accept Qoin for goods and services, businesses can simply download the Qoin app from the Apple or Google stores. Follow the steps to register the small business as a merchant within the Qoin ecosystem, and then be prepared to take on additional customers who will be paying with Qoin.

What is the ideal per cent of sales a small business should receive in digital currency?

It’s all about “managing” any business tool, so there are a number of factors to consider. Replacement cost of the product, business-related expense opportunities through Qoin etc. We do suggest that around 20% of the current cash turnover of a business is a manageable level but I think the key here is, talk to one of the 450 Qoin team members throughout Australia and NZ as to your specific business situation. Qoin is built on people and those people are there to educate and support our merchant community. Another difference Qoin offers to other currencies.

How do you see digital currency and small business interacting within the next 10 years?

The world is becoming more digitally focused every day and the future looks likely to incorporate more digital technology into the financial landscape. Australia is well on its way to becoming a cashless society, a feat which has been propelled forward by Covid-19. Research has suggested that in the space of ten years, cash has gone from being the most popular form of payment to only being used for about 25% of all transactions, a telling progression.

Andrew Barker, CMO, Qoin




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