Bitso Extends Bitcoin E-Commerce Services to Mexico's Merchants

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Bitso has launched its e-commerce platform and point-of-sale (POS) system, BitsoPagos, positioning itself as a more wide-ranging provider of bitcoin services in the Mexican market.

The merchant solution includes an API for e-commerce companies that want to integrate a shopping cart interface, enabling customers to pay with bitcoin at checkout as quickly and easily as they could with traditional payments options like MasterCard, PayPal and Visa.

“While we still cater to traders, it just makes sense to plug BitsoPagos into the same market and attract Mexican merchants,” said chief executive Pablo Gonzalez, who added that a number of merchants interested in accepting bitcoin have approached Bitso in the last year.

Both the BitsoPagos cashier and e-commerce tools connect into the Bitso exchange market. There are no merchant fees required to use the service.

“There hasn’t been a service that allows them to accept bitcoin and quickly convert them to Mexican Pesos,” he continued. “We settle fiat with Mexican traders in minutes using the SPEI system. We can do it with merchants as well.”

The offering also includes a POS product for high-street retail shops and boutiques. Both the cashier and e-commerce tools connect into the Bitso exchange market.

Focus on e-commerce

While Bitso has a number of merchants already signed up and using the POS system, the company is more excited about the potential its e-commerce plugin will have for the global bitcoin economy.

"The brick-and-mortar solution is great for users that already have some bitcoin and want to spend it somewhere," said Gonzalez. "It is as convenient as using cash when making a payment; it is also great advertising for bitcoin."

However, he continued, e-commerce opens doors to international trade without the merchant and consumer risks posed by credit cards – chargeback fees and fraud, among others.

The BitsoPagos settlement feedback is instant, he said, something that credit card processors like Mexico’s Prosa can’t match at the time being.

To that, he spoke about the possibilities of real-time bill payments – and considering the US-to-Mexico remittance corridor, cross-border bill payments.

“A person in Mexico could go to the supermarket to buy groceries and have a relative in the US pay for the bill while the person in Mexico is at the cashier,” he said. “You just need to notify the sender of the bitcoin address and amount, which the payment app gives you.”

Developing an ecosystem

Bitso is betting big on bitcoin going mainstream in Mexico, Gonzalez said, and will continue to encourage that trend however it can.

“It’s all about developing the entire ecosystem, not just about getting speculators on board,” he said.

The company launched its exchange last April, with features designed specifically for locals.

It has since implemented a number of initiatives for users across Mexico, launched the country's first and only Ripple gateway, and extended its bitcoin buying services to mobile phone users.