Cumbrian cab firm uses Bitcoin digital currency
Last updated at 17:05, Wednesday, 28 August 2013
A Cumbrian taxi firm has become the first in the county to use a new digital currency called Bitcoin.
Bitcoin has received a huge amount of press and media coverage recently, as businesses look into the new online currency, including Carlisle-based Cumbria Cabs.
Bitcoin is a decentralised virtual currency, meaning it doesn’t it exist in the physical world, nor does it have a central bank such as the Federal Reserve or the Bank of England.
The digital currency lends itself well to a taxi firm’s business model.
A company providing a service to so many overseas customers and high volumes of transactions done online or in a car, makes the ability to email invoices, a URL payment link, or even a QR code to a customer’s smartphone, very attractive.
Cumbria Cabs only started accepting the currency a few weeks ago after opening a merchant account through Bitpay.
The very low transaction fees associated with Bitcoin and the reduced risk of credit card fraud both appealed.
Owner Alistair Nixon said: “I was attracted by the very low charges for sending and receiving payments when compared with credit cards, PayPal and other online payments. With Carlisle being the furthest city in the UK from any international airport, Cumbria Cabs completes many long journeys to and from airports.
“This combined with a high number of business travellers as well meant \Bitcoin seemed an efficient solution to paying.”
Mr Nixon continued: “One of the main benefits for us is the option to accept payments from any currency and from any country in the world. This is great for people flying into the UK and wishing to book an airport transfer with us.
“When business owners realise that they can take bookings and payments from anywhere in the world, in any currency, with a very small transaction charge and fraud risk they will surely want to have that option.”
The current amount of Bitcoin transactions is currently estimated to be more than £20m.
Mr Nixon added: “As far as I know we are the first and only company in Cumbria to accept them, I know of one other taxi company in the UK that accepts Bitcoins but lots of businesses accept them already
“You can buy a cup of coffee or pay for a cab with Bitcoin in the USA so why not in Cumbria?”
First published at 14:31, Wednesday, 28 August 2013
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk
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