Online travel agency CheapAir.com has announced that it is changing its bitcoin payment processor after Coinbase said it would no longer support ‘custodial’ solutions for merchants.
Since 2013, CheapAir.com has accepted bitcoin as a payment option for flight and hotel bookings. However, following a change to Coinbase’s services, the online travel agency revealed in a blog post that it is looking to BitPay to continue accepting bitcoin payments.
Jeff Klee, CEO and founder of CheapAir.com, said in the blog post that:
We were recently informed by our processing partner, Coinbase, that they will no longer support ‘custodial’ solutions for merchants, and are removing a number of the tools and features that we rely on to accept bitcoin from CheapAir.com shoppers. These changes are scheduled to occur in a matter of weeks.
According to the travel agency, due to the fact that its travel supply partners aren’t there yet with accepting bitcoin, it has to transfer bitcoin to fiat before sending the money to its partners. It adds that Coinbase has been providing that service, but at the end of the month that service will cease to exist leaving CheapAir.com searching for a new alternative.
The travel agency is currently seeking out BitPay, a global bitcoin payment service provider, stating that the integration is largely complete. However, the adoption may not be as smooth as it would have liked.
Our one giant concern is that Bitpay does not support ‘non-payment protocol wallets’ (wallets that aren’t BIP-70 compliant). So if you do not have a compatible wallet, you would have to get one and use it as an intermediate stage for your bitcoin payment.
As part of its shift CheapAir.com has also said that in the coming weeks it expects to start accepting bitcoin cash, litecoin, and dash, and has already begun testing with these. It will also establish a dedicated customer service phone line and email inbox that is staffed with advisors who have a thorough understanding of digital currencies.
For now, though, Klee is keen to receive feedback from customers who may be able to provide a solution for the online travel company.
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