While some experts say it is questionable as to whether bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can gain sufficient traction within the B2B payments market, one spend management firm wants to take an early lead in facilitating bitcoin adoption in the space.
Cost containment service provider imHark announced in a press release Friday (March 27) that it would accept bitcoin as a payment option from its business customers. According to imHark president Joseph Dignard, while major corporations do not yet accept the currency as a B2B payment option, they eventually will.
“We’re in the business of assisting companies in reducing their operating expenses,” Dignard said. “So it’s only natural for us to do it as well so we can pass on those savings to our clients. It’s a symbiotic exchange that benefits both parties.”
ImHark joins a few major corporations, including Microsoft and Overstock.com, that are now accepting bitcoin as a payment option. Dignard added that with the high cost and lengthy payment process involved in wire transfers – a major way businesses pay each other – imHark had to look at a new way to save companies’ money.
According to imHark, businesses that pay each other in bitcoin can avoid bank processing fees and facilitate cross-border transactions without the hassle of foreign exchange. Further, the company said, the payment method often takes much less time than other, more traditional methods.
For B2B transactions, which often see cross-border deals, bitcoin is especially convenient, the company added.
“Adoption in the B2B marketplace is slow. Are we likely to see bitcoin as a mainstream medium of exchange between businesses in 2015? Probably not,” the press release said. “But the use cases are there and, in time, the business world may see fit to give bitcoin B2B a better look.”
ImHark argues that facilitating the adoption of the cryptocurrency within the B2B payments arena begins with encouraging the supply side to view the currency as viable, a faster way to pay with fewer fees involved. These are factors, Dignard said, that benefit everyone in the supply chain. “Passing the savings to clients is another way to increase bitcoin acceptance in B2B transactions,” he said.