On July 13, 2018, American travel agency Cheapair.com has announced that it will no longer use a third party to process bitcoin payments from customers, following its much-publicized problems after Coinbase discontinued its support for the platform.
Coinbase Troubles and Solution
In a statement on the company website signed by CEO Jeff Klee, Cheapair.com revealed that it would henceforth use BTCPayServer, an open-source bitcoin payment processing solution to handle bitcoin payments from its customers.
In April 2018, BTCManager reported that Coinbase abruptly discontinued bitcoin payment processing and shut down its merchant platform. The disruption caused a series of problems for Cheapair.com, which found itself in unfamiliar territory after relying on Coinbase services since 2013.
Eventually, the situation culminated in an open letter to customers published on the company website asking for help and recommendations for a new bitcoin payment processor.
According to the statement, the feedback from customers proved invaluable to the platform as it discovered that it did not need a new payment processor. Instead of replacing Coinbase with another processor and gaining exposure to a fresh set of operational risks, it could be possible to gain control over the entire payment process and minimize third-party risk.
An excerpt from the Jeff Klee’s statement reads:
“For about a month now, we have been testing an open source Bitcoin payment processor, BTCPayServer, which, admittedly, I had never heard of before several of you suggested I take a look at it. Although there was a slight learning curve at first, and some engineering work to create the flow to turn crypto from you into dollars for airlines and hotels, we are thrilled with the end result.”
BTCPayServer Advantages to Cheapair.com
According to the statement, apart from giving Cheapair.com enhanced control over bitcoin payment processing and shielding it from third-party risk like it experienced recently, it also allows it to get around the controversial BItPay BIP-70 wallet requirement. The increased control and autonomy also make its payment processing faster and more efficient, and the platform can now do a better job of handling the occasional hiccups that come with crypto transactions.
Cheapair.com insists that despite its recent troubles, discontinuing cryptocurrency payments was never an option it seriously considered because it believes in the growth potential of bitcoin payments. To this end, the platform revealed that it has set up a dedicated crypto support team for customers, and it has also started to accept Bitcoin Cash, Dash, and Litecoin using GoCoin as a processor.