Explaining why mobile payments have been unable to have a huge impact up to this point, Airbitz CEO Paul Puey pointed out the two big advantages that Bitcoin has going for it include decentralization and evangelism. According to him decentralization is huge for Bitcoin as a mobile payments option because it can be easily integrated into other mobile payment apps.
Elaborating further his point he says that whereas Stripe, Square, and PayPal have all already made moves related to Bitcoin integration over the past year, with Bitcoin, it doesn’t matter which payment apps the merchant and consumer are using during the checkout process. The last two years have been fantastic for Bitcoin as it has received wide acceptance.
However, Puey says that Bitcoin is not a closed garden where there is one specific app that both parties must be using at the same time. According to him none of the mobile payment options have had the same kind of nearly-religious support that is found in Bitcoin. In fact, there is a regular call from Bitcoin supporters who ask merchants to accept the digital currency.
There are people and lobbyists who try to explain the advantages of Bitcoin to the people and the authorities. For instance, they teach them about low fees and the lack of chargebacks, to business owners and get promise from them that they are going to embrace the digital currency sooner or later.
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Talking to the audience Puey said that he does not think PayPal Wallet has any meetup of this size, and this isn’t even one of the largest ones. Thus, according to him the reality is that there is a large community behind Bitcoin, and many merchants have decided to adopt the cryptocurrency simply for the free publicity that comes with the territory.
The Airbitz CEO also gave a presentation related to how Bitcoin stacks up against some other mobile payment options at a Los Angeles Bitcoin Meetup. Many speakers though talked that Apple Pay is the first real push for mobile payments in the US, the reality is that Google, PayPal, etc. have been trying to move people from credit cards to mobile phones for a few years.
Citing the examples of checks and credit cards he says that these became widely adopted in the past was that the consumer and the merchant didn’t have to have an account at the same bank for the payment to work.
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