I recently started integrating crypto payments into our checkout pages to see how crypto payments play out at checkout. Rather than using a payment gateway like Coinbase, I wanted to use Web3 wallets directly to allow quick and easy setup - you don’t need an account with some provider, you just need a MATIC wallet!
There has been a lot of crazy stuff going on recently with platforms like Polygon and Flow. Just looking at the past few months we’ve seen the big companies make some major moves in this space:
- January 2022- Adidas and Prada launches their collectables on Polygon
- April 2022 - Stripe launches the ability to do crypto payouts using the Polygon network
- May 2022 - Instagram announces that it’s testing NFTs on Polygon
You might have heard about Web3 by now and are still trying to figure out exactly what that means. In short, Web3 means user data is distributed across networks and no single entity owns the information. Or - a new iteration of the internet based on blockchain technology, which incorporates concepts like decentralization and token-based economics. For e-commerce that could simply mean buying something using your crypto wallet.
The Web3 way of doing transactions is similar to what you’re already used to
- You have a wallet with some crypto coins - the wallet is anything from a browser extension to a mobile app.
- You select to pay with your crypto currency of choice and connect your wallet to the checkout page
- You review and approve the transaction, which sends the transaction to the blockchain to transfer your coins to the seller’s wallet.
- Once the transfer is verified on the blockchain, your order is complete.
And just like that you’ve purchased something using your crypto.
I’ve been testing checkouts with Polygon, with currency conversions - e.g. Sell in USD, pay in MATIC
My takeaway after a few rounds of testing:
- Transactions are quick - it takes just a few seconds to confirm a transaction and MATIC from the buyer’s to the seller’s wallet. Because it’s on the public blockchain, you can even check the transaction status yourself using the public blockchain scan sites like
- It’s dirt cheap - transaction fees on Polygon (referred to as the “gas fee”) are currently between $0.0005 to $0.2, no matter the amount of the transaction! And with the way that blockchain transactions work, the fees are paid by whoever signs (approves) the transaction - in this case the customer doing the checkout.
- The process is familiar and easy - but that assumes of course that you already have a Web3 wallet with some crypto balances.
The only drawback I can think of at the moment - especially when considering the e-learning ecosystem - is that Web3 adoption is still in a very “techy” space. It’s easy if your customer base know what’s going on (set up a wallet, buy some $MATIC, transfer to your Web3 wallet and Bingo!), but that might not be the case for most businesses at the moment. But looking at the work that Facebook and friends are doing in this space it seems only a matter of time before buying something using your wallet is as common as tapping your card for a coffee.
In any case, it’s still cool to think that you can sell a course, webinar, e-book and just about anything straight into your crypto wallet with zero fees. Converting that crypto into fiat is another story, and you will surely pay your dues in fees there.