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A Processor for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Payments
BitPay is a virtual currency processor that specializes in enabling merchant accounts to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency payments from customers. The company also provides customers with crypto wallets and cards. Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the company has grown rapidly in the past few years. At the beginning of 2013, BitPay secured $510,000 in funding from various investors. By the end of 2013, the company received the backing of Horizon Ventures, an investment firm operated by China’s richest man. As a major crypto company, Bitpay partners with a large number of other financial companies, including ZenLedger and BlueSnap.
2014 Phishing Scam
In late 2014, BitPay lost more than $1.8 million in Bitcoin when its chief financial officer fell victim to a phishing scam. These losses do not appear to have been a breach of BitPay’s systems or a mass ripoff of BitPay users, but instead seem to represent an isolated incident for which the company has paid a steep price.
BitPay Payment Processing
One important detail about BitPay is that merchants can choose to be paid in real currency rather than in Bitcoin or other cryptocoins. If the merchant chooses this setting, BitPay will accept Bitcoin or other cryptocoins from online customers and then convert the transaction into standard currency at a locked-in exchange rate. This means that as a merchant using BitPay, you can accept cryptocoins from customers and still receive state-backed currency, not crypto, in your bank account. The service supports payout in at least 8 currencies and direct bank deposits in at least 38 countries, including two-day deposits via ACH in the United States. BitPay can be seamlessly integrated with Shopify and also offers plugins and POS integrations for online and retail merchants. The company has also recently launched a mobile Bitcoin wallet and a reloadable bitcoin Visa card for consumers.
Mobile Wallet Hacking
In November 2018, BitPay warned its users about an infected code created to steal private wallet keys from people who use the Copay (its open-source wallet) app. A hacker was able to create a backdoor into the service by setting up malware in an open-source library that Copay was reliant on. Those using Android and iOS versions 5.0.2 through to 5.1.0 of its Copay app were most at risk and are advised to avoid opening the app again, to update their affected wallets, and to then transfer funds from compromised wallets to version 5.2.0 wallets. The company has stated that BitPay wallets were not affected by the malicious code.
BitPay Location & Ownership
BitPay’s headquarters can be found at 8000 Avalon Blvd Ste 300 Alpharetta, GA 30009-2467. Stephen Pair is listed as the co-founder and CEO of BitPay, while Jim Lester is the CFO.
BitPay Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: BitPay charges 1% on all standard risk transactions but may enforce higher rates for high-risk industries.
- Complaints & Service: BitPay complaints number more than 30 on public complaints forums.
- BBB Rating: BitPay has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 29 complaints and 3 reviews in the past 3 years.
- Sales & Marketing: BitPay does not appear to hire independent sales representatives and has not received any complaints about its sales practices.
Should You Trust BitPay?
Lawsuits, Reviews & Complaints
Here's Who We Trust.
Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
Moderate Complaint Total
There are approximately 30 BitPay complaints to be found online, some of which accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. Positively rated aspects of the service include its sleek interface and easy configuration, while its primary drawbacks appear to be fund-holds and its complicated payment and refund procedures. Over time, the company appears to have become more restrictive with respect to the types of businesses it is able to serve. BitPay comes under fire from some corners of the cryptocurrency community because it has married Bitcoin payments to fiat currency to serve standard markets, which necessarily limits the types of transactions it can facilitate. We encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant services. If you have your own BitPay complaint to make, please do so in the comment section below.
BitPay Lawsuits and Fines
In February 2021, BitPay was ordered to pay $507,375 to settle a civil liability issue from OFAC due to processing payments from countries that are not allowed by US law, including North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Cuba, and Iran. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
BitPay Customer Service Options
BitPay offers email support to most merchants but may extend live support to very large companies, so merchants should be sure to evaluate how important it is to have live support for their Bitcoin transactions. One of the most common BitPay complaints is poor, often unhelpful customer service, so it appears that BitPay’s support department leaves much to be desired, especially when compared to top payment processors for customer service.
Is the BBB Rating for BitPay Accurate?
Better Business Bureau Profile
See Which Processors Offer No Monthly Fees And No Contracts.
Nearly 20 Complaints
The Better Business Bureau currently gives BitPay an “A” rating and is not showing accreditation for the company. There have been 29 complaints filed against BitPay in the last 36 months. 22 of these 29 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 7 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.
What Merchants Say
BitPay has also received 3 informal reviews to its BBB profile. The most recent review describes potentially missing money and a lack of customer service:
They put a **** Preauth back out for twenty dollars of gas I bought. Then “Ray” from customer service did not know what I was talking about. He stated for me to “Listen” in a aggressive manner. They said my twenty dollars does not exist and I don’t know what I am talking about. I filled a formal complaint with the **************** I would stay away from this exchange for Bitcoin. BITPAY is a SCAM
This merchant would be better served by one of our top-rated processors.
An “F” Overall
BitPay has also not received any informal reviews, although it is worth noting that these reviews are not subject to verification by the BBB. After weighing BitPay’s moderate overall complaint total against its increase in complaints and poor resolution efforts toward multiple complaints, we have slightly adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “B”.
How Expensive is BitPay Service?
Rates, Fees, and Contract Terms
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Early Termination Fee
PCI Compliance Fee
Equipment Lease Terms
A Lack of Typical Processing Fees
BitPay doesn’t require the use of Visa/MasterCard processing networks, so the service is able to completely bypass interchange rates and the usual fees associated with payment processing (including PCI compliance fees, monthly minimum fees, statement fees, setup fees, and chargeback fees). This allows BitPay to eliminate transaction fees and offer generous transaction limits to its users, which allows its rates to be competitive with some of the cheapest payment processing options.
Standard Risk Transaction Fees
For most standard-risk businesses, BitPay fees include a simple fee of 1% per transaction with no other fees. Users will receive multiple-user support, email support, automatic payment exception handling, QuickBooks IIF downloads, and basic e-commerce and billing tools. Merchants who are operating in high-risk industries may be charged higher per-transaction fees that will be disclosed upon account setup. Enterprise-scale merchants may be able to obtain lower pricing or priority customer support.
No Cancellation Fee, But Potential Fund-Holds
BitPay’s legal terms contain a list of prohibited business types and information regarding the company’s reserve and termination policies. Merchants are free to cancel the service at any time without paying a termination fee, but they may experience fund-holds at BitPay’s discretion. Bitcoin transactions cannot be charged back by customers, but they can be refunded in part or in full through BitPay with the merchant’s consent.
Does BitPay Use Deceptive Marketing?
Advertising & Sales Strategy
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Employs Independent Resellers
Advertises Deceptive Rates
Discloses All Important Terms
No Independent Sales Agents
BitPay appears to primarily rely on its website and traditional advertising methods to market its service. The company does not employ independent sales agents, and there are no BitPay reviews at this time that accuse the company’s sales team of unethical conduct. This compares favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
Public Contract Disclosure
BitPay’s website also does not appear to utilize any deceptive rate promotion at this time. The company’s contract terms are fully visible on its website, so we will award it an “A” in this category. If you suspect that BitPay is charging you undisclosed fees, however, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden costs.